Of all scandals of the Obama administration, perhaps none is both as culturally threatening and ignored as the ongoing purge of career military officers. Even more than American society, the military has fallen prey to a severe case of political correctness. Why is this so?
“You have to remember, the military is a captive audience. This is why politicians use it for social experiments,” explains Gerry, a Ret. Chief Warrant Officer. “It’s nothing new. Think back to Truman’s forced integration of the armed forces. That was probably good for the country.” Racially integrating the military accelerated the trend into broader society.
Today, a similar approach is being taken regarding women and gays in combat. In the view of many officers, this has led to a degradation of the traditional military culture. Many complaints filed by women accusing their commanding officers of sexual harassment are without merit. “I’ll give you an example. In the course of a training exercise, the commanding officer pulled a female soldier back by her belt. It was done for training and safety reasons, but she filed a complaint. It was dismissed only when two witnesses came forward and explained what actually happened. The administration is making a big deal about sexual harassment in the military. Unfortunately, frivolous complaints like this are more common than the public is led to believe,” says Gerry.
Since the Carter administration, the military has been forced to operate on a quota system that favors women and minorities. This means that as a matter of policy, the best qualified men are skipped over for a promotion because a certain number of women must be promoted first. Ditto racial minorities. Affirmative action is a politically contentious issue in civilian life, where most of the time people’s lives do depend urgently on the qualifications of the person next to them. Yet in forgoing gender- and colorblindness, it is no exaggeration to say that politically-mandated social engineering routinely and unnecessarily risks lives of American servicemen.
The administration, in the last two years, has taken a sharp turn in favor of LGBT rights. In effect, this has translated into the censorship of the Christian view of marriage within the military, chilling the religious freedom cherished by American service personnel for generations. Phillip Monk was a 19-year veteran in the Air Force. His Commanding Officer, Colleen McGee, is a lesbian. While attempting to convey that it was against policy to use the position of authority to promote religious beliefs, McGee attempted to force Monk to admit that the traditional view of marriage was a discriminatory. Monk, an evangelical Christian, politely refused to answer the question. For this, he was relieved of duties and is now being pressed with charges under the Uniform Military Code of Justice.
Has the country reached a point where soldiers must take the official line that the Bible’s definition of marriage is discriminatory? Is it so important to force gay marriage on the country that lifelong professional soldiers are summarily dismissed for daring to dissent? Apparently so. But this incident is part of a much broader effort by the Obama administration to separate Christian views from the military.
- An Air Force officer was told to remove a Bible from his desk, because it might make some “uncomfortable.” What makes such a display in “uncomfortable” in particular is left undefined.
- Another Air Force Lt. Col., a Chaplain, was censored for authoring an essay entitled “No Atheists in Foxholes.” A cranky critic called it an “anti-secular diatribe.”
- In last two years, the administration has evidently ordered the purge of Christian terms in the military. For example: Army soldiers were directed to remove etchings of Bible verses from their rifles with a Dremel tool; a video tribute to First Sergeants was forcibly removed because it used the word “God,” which might offend atheists or Muslims (?); and, the Air Force recently removed “God” from a logo.
Writing at the American Thinker, Professor Fay Voshell compares the treatment of Christians in the military today to Islamic Dhimmitude; that is, the official second-class citizen status given to Christians and Jews under Islam. Writes Voshell, “Generally in such countries, the dhimmitude of Christians and other religiously devout non-Muslims includes, among other things, denial of the right to openly practice their religion, to share their faith with others, to attempt to convert or persuade others to become Christian, to hand out religious literature and to construct houses of worship. It also means many professions and opportunities for advancement will be closed to Christians, with only the lowest positions in society open to them.” Dhimmitude indeed.
Recall the case of Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, brought to my attention by Gerry. A highly rated armor officer, LTC Dooley was asked to teach a course on radical Islam at the Joint Forces Staff College within the National Defense University. For his presentation of facts, he was targeted by American Islamic groups, several with links to the criminal Muslim Brotherhood, and unceremoniously dismissed from his teaching appointment. From there, he was issued a negative officer evaluation by a Lt. General, ending his career. His curriculum having been labeled “academically irresponsible,” the reputation of the Islamists had been saved.
Gerry taught a similar course to Dooley’s on Muslim culture in the Middle East, and how to interact with the press in the region. He shared with me some of the slides used in his presentation to soldiers who were heading into combat in Iraq, formerly classified but no longer in use. “These are very similar to what got LTC Dooley fired.” What were some of the things mentioned in the slides?
- Muslim culture coalesced in the early 7th century and has remained static for the last 500 years
- Muslim press outlets focus on myths and sensibilities
- Al-Jazeera, Al-Manar, and Al-Arabiya present clearly biased coverage
These points are historically and culturally accurate. The presentation also reviewed several instances of Muslim outrage at alleged Western disrespect of Islam, such as the infamous Danish cartoons, and the since-debunked flushing of a Koran (as reported by Newsweek). This was, after all, not a course on comparative anthropology, but a practical primer for soldiers deploying into a war zone and dealing with the enemy and a hostile, often manipulative foreign press.
Paging through the presentation, it becomes clear that LTC Dooley was a victim of the Islamic-inspired political correctness which has permeated the American military, and threatens to destroy its traditionally Judeo-Christian culture. Furthermore, by sanitizing the information presented to soldiers so that it could not possibly offend Muslims, the Obama administration is in fact endangering the lives of the very people who protect the nation from foreign terrorists.
In addition to the persecution of Christians and the censorship of anyone who might “offend” a Muslim, the chilling of free speech in the military under Obama extends to the President himself, as well as his administration. In today’s military, criticism of any of the administration’s policies can lead to a dishonorable discharge. Don’t approve of Obamacare? Don’t approve of the “green” policies? Don’t see the wisdom of empowering the Muslim Brotherhood across North Africa and the Middle East? Any vocal criticism along these lines, however slight, is grounds for immediate discharge. Apparently political loyalty, above all else, is important to this commander-in-chief.
A previous story reported on the purge of high ranking brass, including many Generals. But the policies as described above have led to a purge of a very significant number of lower ranking officers. Captains and Colonels, who more than their superiors actively run the military (as oppose to acting as political intermediaries), are disappearing en masse. Even more alarmingly, Senior NCOs are being forced out because they refuse to comply with Obama’s strict political correctness.
“Civilians have to understand something about the military. The NCOs are the heart and soul of it. They are what make America’s armed forces different from the rest of the world’s, and always have. Now their very existence is under threat by a president who would rather push a political agenda than maintain a strong military with high morale,” explained Rurik, a Vietnam veteran who is now a published military historian. “Stalin decapitated his military in the Great Purge of 1937-38. He had 80% of the senior officers killed. But it also extended into the lower ranks,” he added, ominously.
It is clear that the Obama administration has taken political correctness so far within the military that is rivaling sharia in its control over free thought. Coupled with revised rules of engagement that place an enormous burden on the soldier, this may explain why the Obama administration has utterly lost the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, Iran recently responded to the Obama plan to attack Syria by threatening to attack the American embassy in Baghdad. In Afghanistan, President Karzai is reduced to negotiating with his mortal enemy, the Taliban, even as the administration encourages such talks. Moreover, Obama’s silencing of active duty Christians pales in comparison to treatment of Christians by the Muslim Brotherhood, who he has supported diplomatically and through intervention. The rebels that the administration is arming in Syria have been found culpable of several instances of genocide against local Christians.
What’s shaping up is an unmitigated disaster for the administration and the Democrat Party with Christians, and with western minds in general. Eagerly looking to fill the leadership gap is Russian President Vladimir Putin. Authoring a derisive op-ed in the New York Times, he chided Obama for disregarding international law, and strongly opposed any military intervention that would benefit the murderous rebels. It’s no secret that Russia has emerged from Communism with a renewed Christian faith. For example, the Basic (Orthodox) Church Teaching on Human Dignity, Freedom, and Rights is meant to guide legislation in Russia. For many Christian Americans who see their faith under assault, that Russia has taken a pro-active stance must be heartening. For American Jews, who see Israel alone in a region that Obama has helped to ignite into chaos, the stabilizing force of Russia must be reassuring.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of a highly trained, professional military with longstanding traditions to complement a free society. In any society, the military is the vanguard that ultimately keeps rule by preventing the conquering by a foreign culture. The values that they cherish, the ideals that they uphold, both reflect and inform the values of the society protected by them. Loyal first to the Constitution, then to the Commander-in-Chief, the United States Armed Forces are intended to be an institution as far removed from daily politics as can be realistically expected. They stand as our most powerful bulwark against tyranny, protecting the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans every day. An active assault on these traditions, and large scale purging of officers who refuse to silence their beliefs, is tantamount to declaring war on the very institution that wages war on our behalf. It’s a not-so-subtle form of national suicide.
There is a story out of Little Rock about a teacher who removed all the desks in her classroom on the first day of school. When the students arrived, she told them that they could have their desks back when they told her how they earned the right to sit a desk in school. The children answered: Grades? No. Behavior? No. Finally, after several periods passed, the children gave up. Just then, 27 Veterans entered, each carrying a desk. Said the teacher, convinced that her lesson would be understood by the entire desk-deprived class, “You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you.”
The information in this article comes from numerous public sources, as well as interviews with two retired officers: a Chief Warrant Officer, Gerry, who specialized in information analysis; and a Vietnam veteran, Rurik, turned military historian. Both maintain extensive relationships with active military individuals and organizations. The views expressed above do not necessarily represent the views of those interviewed.
See Part 1, What about that Purge?
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