R. Stanton Scott, former tank platoon sergeant, writing at Foggy Bottom Line
Those who argue that some citizens should be excluded from military service because their presence would hurt “unit cohesion” are saying that current soldiers should be able to decide with whom they serve. This is bravo sierra—the military is not a country club whose members should be able to blackball undesirables.
I think that’s right, substantively. But I’d also like to draw your attention to its elegant rhetoric. It completely turns the “This is the Army” argument for excluding gays back on itself, by making the current ban seem like an undesirably soft concession to the comfort of the troops, rather than an admirably hard refusal to let civilian values of equality and respect for human rights dominate military decision-making. “The military is not a country club.” It’s not well-crafted to persuade me, or most readers of this blog. But it’s brilliantly unanswerable by exactly the people who need to be de-mobilized in order to enable the change we want.
Extra points for “bravo sierra.” Hadn’t heard that one. And, again, just perfect in context.