Corporal Max Klinger would have been appalled. The otherwise normal character from the M*A*S*H television series tried to prove himself eligible to be discharged by reason of insanity by always dressing in women’s clothes. But his commander, Colonel Potter, never got suckered into giving him the Section 8 discharge he wanted so desperately. Last week, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter declared that from now on the Pentagon would regard the Klingers in uniform as the new normal.
It’s not like there wasn’t anything else going on in the world, but Carter apparently believes — as his boss does — that making transgender soldiers feel comfortable is more important than doing what a defense secretary is supposed to do.
Last week, Russian ships harassed U.S. Navy ships in international waters, in dangerous maneuvers almost as recklessly dangerous as the Russian aircraft buzzing U.S. ships down to an altitude of about thirty feet. Carter could have demanded a meeting with his Russian counterpart on the U.S.-Russia “Incidents at Sea” agreement which was made decades ago to avoid such incidents turning into war. But he didn’t.
Carter didn’t take time out of his transgendering schedule to object to the latest cave-in by Obama and Kerry on the Syrian war. This time, as the Washington Post wrote in a Sunday editorial, Obama’s “cycle of failure” on Syria gave Putin what he sought for months, American participation in strikes against “terrorist” opponents of Bashar Assad. Putin regards all forces fighting Assad as terrorists, though some of them are our putative allies who we are trying to train and arm.
Carter didn’t manage to emit a whimper at the fact that about 70 percent of the U.S. Marines’ F-18 strike aircraft are so worn out they can’t be flown in combat, or the fact that the Navy is incapable of meeting about 60 percent of our combatant commanders’ mission requirements.
There wasn’t a word from Carter on the fact that CIA Director John Brennan believes Obama’s two-year war against ISIS hasn’t even dented its ability to strike globally with its terrorist operations. Or about the fact that the commander of two Navy boats that surrendered to Iran in January because, as the Washington Times reported, the commander believed his failure to surrender would interfere with Obama’s Iran nuclear weapons deal.
Carter might have objected to the order by the last Army secretary, John McHugh, that commanders would have to balance readiness for combat with “lactation” — the need of some women soldiers to pump breast milk into bottles to feed their infants later. But he didn’t. The new Army secretary, Eric Fanning, is openly homosexual and not likely to reverse the lactation order.
You’d think that all of those things were so important that Carter wouldn’t have time to declare that “transgender” soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines can no longer be discharged and can serve openly in the military. But these aren’t normal times.
Team Obama has gone down this path as fast as people like Obama and Carter can push them. First, “don’t ask, don’t tell” was repealed so that homosexuals could serve openly. Then women were proclaimed able to serve in most combat roles. Then women were determined able to serve in infantry and special operations forces, though we were always promised that this wouldn’t compromise physical fitness standards. We never believed those promises, and we were right. Just last week the Marines — supposedly the last holdout on physical fitness standards — decided that women wouldn’t have to do pull-ups: they could do push-ups instead.
While they were at it, the Marines eliminated the word “man” from 19 job titles. The Air Force, so far, is resisting changing the term “airman” to “airperson,” but it’s only a matter of time.
All of this proves redundantly Obama’s goals of making the abnormal the new normal and weakening our military in the process. Obama has always believed that his saying something would make it true. But all Obama and Carter have done only divides our forces between protected minorities and shrinking warrior majority. It does nothing to improve their unity and effectiveness.
No change — social engineering like the transgender proclamation and many other “transformations” being imposed on the military — should be accomplished unless they will result in increased readiness and lethality. If Carter were not merely another Obama sycophant, he’d insist on that.
There are practical effects to Carter’s decisions to accommodate homosexuals and transgenders and such. For example, consider how the sleeping arrangements for troops can be set up.
My pal, retired Navy Rear Admiral Mike Groothousen, was the commander of the USS Harry S. Truman when I first met him. Truman is a 98,000-ton aircraft carrier, one of the biggest ships in the Navy. Groothousen told me, “On aircraft carriers, the Navy’s largest ships, we can accommodate two genders with reasonable privacy, even though it meant a lot of work-arounds. You just can’t do it with four or five gender ‘identities.’”
Before Obama and Carter are out, we should expect more. If transgender people want to have their hydraulic equipment changed to further a “gender reassignment,” we’ll be informed that we, as taxpayers, will foot the bill.
All of this insanity can — and should — be rolled back. But it won’t be. These battles are lost and even if Donald Trump is elected president, he’s not going to reverse the damage done to our military. Remember, please, his invitation to Bruce/Caitlin Jenner to use whichever bathroom in Trump Tower that he/she/whatever wished to use.
I believe Jamie Farr, the actor who played Corporal Klinger in M*A*S*H, is still alive. Someone should ask him what he thinks is more important: transgender soldiers being able to serve openly or repeatedly caving in to Putin on Syria. I’ll guarantee you’ll get a more sane response from him than from Ashton Carter.