President Barack Obama promised if elected to change the law which forbids gays and lesbians to serve in their nation’s armed forces. Since the notorious, “don’t ask, don’t tell” law passed under the Clinton administration, over 12,000 gays and lesbians have been forced to resign from the armed forces including dozens of trained linguists in Arabic, a skill desperately needed in wars being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel lifted restrictions on gays and lesbians in 1992, and a recent cover of an Army magazine portrayed two gay soldiers kissing. Australia has lifted restrictions and the United Kingdom was compelled in 1999 by the European Court of Human Rights to allow gays and lesbians to serve in the armed forces.
Representative Patrick Murphy, the first Iraq war veteran to be elected to Congress expressed his anger at the current restrictions against gays and lesbians. “I take it as a personal affront to our warriors. To say that other countries’ soldiers are professional enough to handle this and Americans are not, is really a slap in the face.”
Of course, there is no evidence that those fighting in actual battle object to having gays and lesbians in their ranks.
Posted in Australia, Barack Obama, Conservatives, Democrats, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Israel, Liberals, Military, Multicultural, Politics, Republicans, UK
Tagged Australia, gays-lesbians, Israel, UK, US
Six years ago American troops swept through Iraq and former President George Bush announced to the world the United States was bringing peace and democracy to the backward people of Iraq. But, all Iraqis have endured is six years of killing and bombing and torture and death. On Saturday, Shiite Muslims were leaving a mosque near Kirkuk when the sound of an explosion ripped through the air leaving seventy dead people and over 200 wounded. It was another round in the conflict between Shiites and Sunnis and al-Qaeda and Iraqis. The truck was parked across the street from the mosque and most probably waited until enough people were leaving before being blown up. Shiites are complaining there were not enough guards around the mosque. No one assumed responsibility for the bombing but it had the earmarks of an al-Qaeda operation.
The United States only has ten days left before its troops must evacuate Iraqi cities. Will their departure result in fewer or more such bombings? Is it simply too late to alter this ongoing outburst of hate and violence or must it continue running its course? The future alone knows.
Posted in Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Islam, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Religion, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged al-Qaeda, iraqi bombings, US