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Missouri Lawmaker Clarifies: ‘We Cannot Win The Hearts And Minds’ Of Muslims With Gays (Or Women)

By Igor Volsky on February 11, 2010 at 8:00 pm

"Missouri Lawmaker Clarifies: ‘We Cannot Win The Hearts And Minds’ Of Muslims With Gays (Or Women)"

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Nodler2Missouri State Senator Gary Nodler responded in the comments section about my claim that his argument for preserving DADT was more than just a little ridiculous:

I never said that this would be a cultural affront to terrorists. I don’t care what they think. I said it would be a cultuaral affront to the Muslims in who’s country we are operating. We can not win the hearts and minds of the people by insulting them and ignoring the standards of their culture. This is about the people who live there and the armies we are serving with. Your comment makes the common mistake that all Muslims are terrorists.

For some reason, Nodler is comfortable allowing foreign nations and cultures to guid U.S. military policy, which is generally overseen by an American code of conduct. The “Code of the U.S. Fighting Force,” for instance, states: “I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.” Forcing service members to lie about their orientation violates the code, but adapting to the restrictive cultural and moral standards of certain cultures would most certainly undermine American ‘principle’. (Which is ironic, given that Nadler’s campaign slogan is ‘Standing On Principle.’)

It would also push women and even minorities out of the military. As commenter Laura observes, “You know, many Muslims are deeply offended by Jews and Christians; are we making sure none of them are in the field, as well? And women, of course – wearing pants! Carrying guns! Commanding – sometimes – MEN!”

During the hearing, Nodler was asked how his “philosophy applies to women already serving in combat.” “Nodler suggested that might be a problem, also.” “I agree that is happening now [women serving in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq], [b]ut I am not certain that is advancing the goals of the U.S. military,” he said.

Nodler’s specific comments about DADT are particularly misinformed. Gay soldiers are already serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and despite Nodler’s rather offensive perceptions about these soldiers — they’re apparently incapable of personal discretion, constantly making out on patrol, fornicating in the streets, or even worse, seducing the locals — the U.S. military seems to be doing just fine.

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