Negative Notes from Baghdad on Repealing DADT

Reuters interviewed several soldiers on a base in Iraq about their dissatisfaction with Obama’s plans to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

Obamaoath“Specialist Joseph Watson, from Texas, was ‘pretty excited’ to see America’s first black president sworn in, he said, after watching Obama’s inauguration on a big TV screen at the dining hall of Forward Operating Base Prosperity, in Baghdad. But the 30-year-old was a lot less excited about Obama’s inclination to repeal the ban on gay men and women serving. ‘Ah, I think that might cause a lot of problems,’ he said. ‘It’s a big moral issue. It’s giving the OK, saying that being gay is alright. Personally, I don’t think being gay is OK.'”

Here’s another:

Specialist Justin Scharan, from Washington State, battled to contain a smirk on his reddening face when asked his view. ‘I’m Christian, so I really don’t believe it’s a good thing. But if it happens, there’s not much we can do,’ he said.”

And another:

“‘I don’t agree with it,’ said Staff Sargeant Tavar Cradle. ‘I think there’s other, bigger issues that could be dealt with.'”

They did find one soldier, who disagreed with the others, but he chose not to tell his name: “But one U.S. soldier, who asked not to be named or identified by rank, said he agreed with Obama on gays. ‘Put it this way: if they’re willing to fight for their country, to me, it doesn’t make a difference. Everybody has a right to defend their country, even if they are gay.'”

Surely Reuters could have found another.


  1. TonyG says

    “I’m Christian, so I really don’t believe it’s a good thing.”

    Frak you, idiot. What do you think the majority of us in this country were raised as, Satanists? Sorry, I’m just about done with the religious excuse for ignorance in this country (and, well, everywhere). I’m gonna give Bill Maher a call.

  2. Michael Bedwell says

    Always remember that, with very rare exception, mainstream media, particularly white men, are NOT our friend.

    While there are certainly many, perhaps a majority who still feel this way, it’s easy to imagine that the negative responses were from those who were asked when together, thus none wanted to sound like a queer lover in front of the others.

    The bottomline: we must ultimately tell the media and the troops it doesn’t matter what the fuck they think. It’s going to happen and the latter should be told to follow orders or suffer the consequences.

  3. says

    I am certain prior to Truman integrating the would have gotten similar responses. Once DADT is repealed and the US Armed Forces institutes a non-discrimination policy, the soldiers will be told to put up and shut up about gays.

  4. says

    “But the 30-year-old was a lot less excited about Obama’s inclination to repeal the ban on gay men and women serving.”

    Let’s remember that gay men and woman are not banned from serving in the armed forces. They’re just banned from telling anyone they are gay. The ban also is suppose to prevent anyone from asking them if they are gay.

  5. ShawnSF says

    The big “moral” issue for these “christian” soliders should be whether years of violence solves anything and if the cost of war is really worth it in the end? If grown supposedly “straight” men are so afraid of openly gay men serving next to them and defending the USA against “terrorists” then the rank and file military of this country really do need to grow a pair. Jeez. Sam Nunn would be proud.

  6. D says

    Let’s be honest – the military grunts aren’t exactly at the top of the food chain when it comes to intellect. It’s a blue collar job and blue collar America isn’t gay friendly. Disappointing but not exactly a surprise.

  7. says

    Thats very true alguien these are the guys and gals that enlisted blindly for an unsubstantiated war.

    And I am slao sure if the Rueters reporter tried he could find soilders who thought it was a great idea.

  8. jason says

    Obama is not gayi -friendly. He is gay-pandering. Big difference. It never ceases to amaze that there are many in the gay community who continue to delude themselves with the “Obama is gay-friendly” notion.

    Obama, like many liberal Democrrats, thinks that the only acceptable homosexuality is two hot chicks with long, flowing hair and make-up, similar to the ones who are promoted by liberal sleazeballs like Hugh Hefner. It’s a thread which runs throughout liberal Democrats: female-female “hot”, male-male “gross”.

    On this basis, I predict that Obama will not repeal DADT and that many of you in the gay community will end up with egg on your faces. It’ll be what you deserve for mindlessly supporting him.

  9. says

    Ah, Reuters… have they ever reported a single solitary gay story that was in a friendly way?

    Sometimes it’s subtle, such as when they refer to Bishop Robinson as “openly gay” (there’s a dinosour of a phrase) or when they say Jim Carrey “took a risk on a gay romantic comedy”. But always there is the assumption that gay is taboo and everyone hates us. And alway always they come across sensationalist.

    It’s no surprise that they found homophobes in the military. They were their contacts there.

  10. TANK says

    “Hope”fully we won’t have th wait for a consensus of every slack jawed moron with an opineeein before we move forward with this. And damn right there’s nothing they’ll be able to do about it.

  11. rob adams says

    The Obama Administration will delete Don’t Ask Don’t Tell from armed forces code of conduct via Executive Order.

    It’ll be the cancerous, euro-esque cynics in our midst that’ll have egg on their snouts.

  12. says

    Jason, honey, for one thing you don’t have a dog in this fight, being Australian.

    And what you seem to forget is that the armed forces is one place that hot girl on girl action is much more likely than man on man. There must be proportionately (perhaps even in actual numbers) at least twice as many dykes serving than fags. Think about it. Or read about it. You could start with Randy Shilts’s book, Conduct Unbecoming. Try learning one more thing beyond your damn liberal bisexual double standard shtick.

    Calling 24play!

  13. FunMe says

    Is this what happens when dumb people can’t find jobs, they go to the armed forces and bring along their ignorance and homophobia?

    Well la dee da to them. If they don’t like, tough.

    Change is a coming whether they are ready or not.


  14. Bading says

    JASON!!! Welcome back. We’ve missed your asinine rantings about the ‘liberal bisexual bias’ and such. How are things in oz? Please do amuse us with your gobbledygook more often. It makes things so much more quelle FUN!

  15. tc in nyc says

    Gee, I’m sure if you went back and looked at interviews of the troops when the military forces were desegregated I’m sure you’d fine pretty much the same answers.

  16. says

    I think the big point we’re missing here is that the one person who agreed with repealing DADT wouldn’t reveal his name. I’m sure he did that for fear of being branded gay or some sort of minor retribution from his friends.

    I don’t think any other news organization would have found comments much different.

    These servicemembers are on the front lines and there is a standard by which they act, and that standard is usually to be as hard ass as possible (no pun intended, well maybe a little).

    I don’t expect a servicemember with a camera (or pen and paper) in his face is going to say, in front of all his friends, “sure, gays are cool, I think they have every right to serve.”

    He would get hell for it. This doesnt’ make it right of course, just expected.

    I can’t believe I am going to say this, but Alguien was correct. Rumsfeld was right; you don’t get the Army you want, you get the Army you have.

  17. crispy says

    Every time Jason comments, I picture Dustin Hoffman as Rain Man rocking back and forth and repeating “girl-girl hot, male-male gross.”

    It’s actually quite entertaining for me.

  18. says

    Oh, and homophobic young soldiers who’ve probably never been around (openly) gay people and are suddenly questioned by reporters in front of their homophobic friends are certainly the people who should decide the fate of DADT.

  19. Andalusian Dog says

    OK, I’ll be the asshole who says this: these “straight” “Christian” types who are against the repeal of DADT just don’t want the jig to be up; the jig in question is the well-known fact that the vast majority of young “straight” soldiers engage in sexual contact with others of like mind(/loins). Just like many other non-serving “straight” men. Yes, we all know it, these “straight dudes” all jack off together, and occasionally have oral sex too. For them, it’s “male bonding.” Throw a queer into the mix and all of a sudden it becomes something “out” there, spoken of, known, identifiable, – instead of ambiguous, mysterious, taboo, and therefore a turn-on. Thus, their revulsion for the repeal of DADT. For them, it’s okay to enjoy man-on-man sex acts, paradoxically as long as you’re not gay. Go fig.

    If it weren’t illegal, unethical, and immoral, I’d say let the boys have their fun and keep DADT in place. Don’t worry, ye gay lads who want to serve – there’s plenty of fun to be had for you too, and the honor of serving in the military. Too bad it’s sickeningly unjust. So I guess we should repeal it. Who knows? Maybe these “straight” soldiers will learn to stop worrying and love the cock.

    Better yet: how ’bout we just stop enlisting entirely. Imagine: a world without war and all the dude-on-dude handjobs a dude can handle…I have a dream!

  20. Micah J. says

    I think the problem is that these soldiers expect a bunch of foofoo limp wristed nellies taking orders and marching around with M-16s in hand. And with new anti-discriminatory legislation that will come under President Obama, perhaps the brass couldn’t refuse to accept those feminine types.

    Eventually, once DADT is repealed, they’ll see that they’re surrounded by butch, masculine, hard bodied soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen just like them. The only difference is these guys stick their dicks some place else. Queens don’t want to serve in the military.

  21. joren says

    Obviously these guys never served in any of the bases in Japan. When I was living there, I couldn’t believe how many of the military guys were gay – and very open about it. Even the Sgt. I had a wonderful albeit short-lived relationship with. There were some nights where close to a dozen guys from the military were at my favorite bar – which meant that the place was about half full.

  22. JS says

    This is exactly why I don’t jump on the “let’s support our troops” bandwagon. Most of them are homophobic good ol’ boys only in the military for the money, or because they didn’t have brains enough to do anything else in life.

  23. lessthan says

    A couple of things: Several anecdotes does not make a homophobic Army. Also, the last survey I saw was taken by the Military Times, which is a paper that just about all the military gets. The survey was in our favor by a large margin, something like 2/3rds. The third point I want to make is that I served and frankly, most people were cool with me. Some of them might have not wanted to hang out after work, but we got along fine. This article is just trying to stir trouble.

  24. Steve says

    Yeah, that report’s complete bull. I live near Fort Stewart, GA home of the 3rd ID, and many of my friends are Army or Marine. Out of prolly the 30 I know as acquaintances and the others I have daily professional contact with, I can’t name a single one that thinks DADT is a good thing. Shame on you, Routers.

  25. says

    uh…hello? we “gays” pay their fucking salaries with our taxes, so maybe they should just shut the hell up and stop insulting their bosses? if they don’t want gays in the military, then we – ie: the gays – would gladly stop paying the 30 percent of our tax dollars which go toward their salaries and the rest of the cost of Bush’s stupid war. honestly, when is this country going to grow up?

  26. Kyle says

    …and we’re suppose to be proud of them?

    I wonder how many of them have nudie shots of their favorite Playboy pinup model they jerk off to during a “down” time. Not very ‘Christian’ like. I also wonder how many of these boys are actually virgins and saving themselves like Christ would like.

    LoL…only a Christian when it comes to hate.

  27. says

    I love how D the others assume that all the interviewed soldiers are white ( we know blacks aren’t homophobic). A few soldiers say stupid things so let’s all jump on the bandwagon and insult all soldiers as ignorant and uneducated.

    Let’s lump a whole group of people together through steroetypes and start insulting them. Sound familiar?

  28. Ryan says

    I have to admit, rarely do you see such vehemence from people on this site, or at least so much ill informed vehemence. Whoever quoted the MT is correct in that a slight majority of the uniformed services are in favor of repealing DADT. I would also like to point out that when those numbers are broken down to officer corp vs enlisted, the numbers further shift drastically. For those of you unfamiliar with the military the officer corp is as I think someone put it so politely are the ones who do the “thinking”.

    I have to admit I am a bit apalled at the general lack of empathy and respect afforded our servicemembers. Maybe I am coming from too much of a biased viewpoint on this. I am a 5th generation military brat, my father served, my brother serves, and I would be active duty as well if I wasn’t gay (none the less I spent some time serving as a civilian). Many of these men have given their time, their health and sometimes their lives for this country, whether you agree with the war, or their views on homosexuality, at least have the kindness and consideration to respect their sacrifices.

    Minds will not be changed overnight, nor will they be changed by meeting ignorance with hatred, derision and mockery.

    You will not change the military’s stance on this issue overnight, and more to the point, in an all volunteer service that is over extended fighting two wars, you do not want to rattle the boat too much. When you endure as much as the average military member or their family does, or sacrifice an iota of what they do, then you can bitch and moan.

    If nothing else I am encouraged by how much my own military family (nuclear and extended) and vast network of military friends are supportive of the repeal. It will happen, and our nation will be better for it.

  29. noah says

    First, what’s up with all of the generalizations? A reporter speaks to 3 or 4 people and that group is supposed to speak for hundreds of thousands of others soldiers?

    Second, Obama can’t repeal DADT with an executive order. DADT is a law, not a policy. Repealing DADT will require an act of Congress. The president will sign that legislation.

    Third, why are people setting themselves up for some needless emotional fall if Obama doesn’t handle DADT in 2009? Do you know if the votes exist on Capitol Hill for it? Would it make sense for Obama to push for a repeal that has no hope of passing or going for ENDA, which has a greater chance for passage (and would bring an immediate benefit for more GLBT Americans)?


  30. Wayne says

    The Milkman is correct… any solid soldier respects THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, not the President himself, and will follow orders when they are given. They don’t have a brain, they don’t make decisions and they aren’t entitled to opinions… that’s why they’re called Grunts.

  31. Las Vegas says

    It’s all well and good for the arguments here right now but let me set another scenario for you. There are two ways you are going to see DADT disbanded. The first is by law. That would mean a fight in Congress, committees, a filibustering by the Republicans, and that is how we got DADT in the first place essentally.

    I would also not count on Nancy and Harry looking to go that route. The DADT is not at the ehad of the list of problems to take care of in COngress and a fight over it would potentially throw off track other things. Besides the fact that in 18 months the midterm elections will start to heat up. The last thing Harry or Nancy want is to lose the power they now have.

    The second way would be Executive Order (EO). An EO would come from the President alowing gays to serve openly. The only problem is that if this is done it could be a short lived victory. The next PResident can come a long and rescind it the first day in office. What happens to all the out servicemen and women then?

    I’m not saying that this should not happen…I think it is long over due but how important is it today and what are the ramifications for the future of these people with the next President who may be Republican?

  32. dc8stretch says

    Didn’t I see specialist Watson, Scharan and staff sgt Cradel on Dink Flamingo’s website? Of course, they don’t identify as gay, but they suck cock and take it up the ass for money.

  33. Derrick from Philly says

    I didn’t even want to comment on this thread–you know, give other folks a chance to speak…but I’ll be goddamned.


    what did D say to make you think he was talking about white soldiers only? In fact, after going through the comments, what did anybody say to make you think that?
    Was it the term “blue collar”? What the f…k do you call a black Chrysler or Ford assembly line worker? What do you call a Latino transit employee? Why did Richard Pryor make a movie called “Blue Collar” and the main “blue collar” character was black?

    Actually, I thought the first soldier commenting was a person of color–just based on his speaking style. BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER–his opinion was unfair and wrong.

    Lord, some people are going to be in misery everytime they take cameras to the White House for the next 4 years.

  34. dancobbbb says

    These soldiers don’t think being gay is moral? Well, I don’t think murdering innocent men, women and children…. 600,000 innocent men, women and children for the purpose of stealing Iraq’s oil is very moral either. Neither is dropping white phosphorous on innocents in Fallujah, melting innocent people to the bone. The prissyness of the military is nauseating.

  35. dancobbb says

    I’m sick of people calling US troops “heroes”. They are decidedly NOT heroes. All they are doing is killing people and training the goons that will keep al-Maliki in power to keep Iraqi oil in the hands of Dick Cheney and his oilmen cronies. Millions are refugees and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis are dead because of the U.S. Military. And all for the purpose of stealing Iraq’s oil. And the guy who threw a shoe at Bush has been beaten to within an inch of his life by the thugs keeping the Bush-created dictator al-Maliki in power… I hope Bush is proud of his “democracy” in Iraq… Al-Maliki is EXACTLY the same as Saddam Hussein except that al-Maliki is a traitor to the Iraqi people when he gives Iraq’s oil to ExxonMobil and Chevron (Condi Rice’s company).

  36. James Poppinga says

    As I previously posted, most of the objections in the military revolve around moral religious issues. It also can be different between the services. The Army as you would imagine has a larger “supply” of religious nuts, to be followed by the Marines. Navy and Air Force are pretty much even. For some reason some military personnel don’t see that discrimination on moral or religious grounds is wrong. The only way to change it is a wide sweeping program and to frame it as a non-religious issue.

  37. Contrarian says

    Ryan, your post about your own military family was inspiring and correctly upbraided those who posted the hate the troops crap.

    To expect poorly educated enlisted men to have the views of NPR listening, NYT reading, Ivy League grads is silly.

    These guys will never be supportive in front of their buddies as that will brand them as queer lovers. As another poster said they view gays as limp wristed queens with lisps and general effeminacy–in short, not someone you can rely on in a firefight.
    The stupidity of some posters who think radical Islam is an invention of the loathsome Bush/Cheney crowd and not a threat is stupefying. Our new Prez has it right–we need a strong military to defend us and the threat is real. If DADT is the only way to keep the enlistments coming then it is a price worth paying. If you think the military is unneceesary you need to stop drinking the Kool-Aid of unrestrained wishful thinking and live in the world as it actually exists. And oh, btw, why does radical Islam always get a free pass on Towleroad–it is easily the most dangerously homophobic movement on the planet by any objective standard.

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