Taking our lumps on “Don’t ask; don’t tell”

Faced with loss of a five digit number of troops from the “don’t ask; don’t tell” policy on sexuality, Obama and the Pentagon are contemplating lesbian/gay/bi/trans equality. In the opinion of Susan Estrich,

“Every argument being made today to exclude gays from the military was made in the past to exclude blacks. And yet, once the military was integrated, it became a model of real integration for our nation — one of the few places where minorities are indeed fully integrated, equal if not more successful in attaining leadership roles. Freed from the requirement of discrimination, the military has shown that it can judge merit without regard to race or gender. Freed from the requirement of discrimination, the military could lead the way to an equal society.”

MIM would agree with Susan Estrich if the military stayed within U.$. borders.

Within U.$. borders we would say the rich people of the all the nations should get over their homophobia. However, it is our position that all troops, male or female, heterosexual or LGBT are gender oppressors in the Third World. For this reason, we cannot say we are for increasing the military except for the fact that since “The Surge” in Iraq the international united front has had great success bankrupting the United $tates. In other words, we cannot say we are for anything that reduces frictions in our military while it is occupying other countries.


MIM sees LGBT questions as subsumed within gender questions, with gender defined as rooted in leisure-time. Thus it is of particular note how we handled the Lynndie England question.

“Lynndie England is no one special in Amerikkka. Any female-biology adult of the right age could have volunteered to take her place in the Amerikan Army. That’s the proof that it is a group thing about gender in Amerika.”(2)

We at MIM do not buy that there are some oppressors made so by individual actions and some who are not. Once U.$. troops step into another country, they are gender oppressors of that country and given history right now, even before they arrive in another country they are the threat of gender oppression. Once in a country, a certain percentage is bound to fire off actions like Lynndie England’s.

In our founding documents we state that anti-militarism is one of our top principles. War lays bare what is going on with the whole mode of production, so we tend to emphasize it.

When we subordinate U.$. LGBT questions to anti-militarism there are many consequences:
1) We get into the class content of military oppression by the United $tates.
2) We touch on national oppression.
3) We raise whether rich LGBT are going abroad to oppress poor LGBT.

It’s hard to see how a bigger U.$. military improves conditions for LGBT in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran etc. Exploiter-occupier troops cannot win an argument based on class or nation, and so the approach will be with hooks from leisure-time — free pornography CDs in Iraq, lighter penalties for prostitution and now “out” LGBT behavior.

How it will look from the other side is that there will be heightened concern that people with focus on leisure-time will be drawn as traitors to the U.$. side for the pornography, prostitution or “out” life. MIM would say that rich people of the West “don’t get” how the exploited put together social life to survive.


The default U.$. strategy is always missionary, and now missionary inclusiveness. The “inclusiveness” strategy is individual centered and diverts from principled consideration of comparison of groups.

There is no clear-cut reason for Third World people to oppose the United $tates’ bankrupting itself. It is also said that LGBT liberation deprives many of their morale in the military. There is no reason for the international proletariat to oppose that either.

Where the concern will be is whether U.$. strategy provokes increased intra-proletarian fighting as gender hooks become of increasing concern.

Some colleges had put up a fight against ROTC because of the anti-LGBT policy. Now there will be increased military recruiting in universities as the military perfumes its image.


The gender question is another reason struggles advance in stages. MIM would also oppose having Boricuan troops in the U.$. military. There is something wrong about having Boricuan troops in the U.$. military occupying Korea and there is something wrong with how Korea became Rumsfeld’s model for Iraq. So what I say about LGBT in the military I would also say and have said about the rich oppressed nationalities within U.$. borders.

The lives of LGBT people internationally will be much improved after a long period in which the United $tates does not ram Hollywood and Lynndie England down Third World throats. LGBT people should not have to contend with answering how they are more or less similar than exploiter-occupiers. The United $tates is wrong to raise gender as a justification for occupations.

1. http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_susan_estrich/don_t_ask_don_t_tell
2. http://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/gender/lynndieengland.html


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