The following article on Al Jazeera English was written by Cindy Sheehan (peace activist, Peace and Freedom Party member, and 2008 independent candidate for Congress) and sent to her supporters. An excerpt is printed below.
It is hard to separate this issue from the activities of the military. War might be a “racket”, but it is also the most devastating act one can be involved in, whether you are the aggressor or a victimised civilian, no one can shake off the psychological scars of war. No one.
Its effects on the individual as well as collective human psyche are terminal. Championing equal rights is an issue of morality, war is immoral, and the US military is heading further and further down the path of immorality.
Even with the advent of WikiLeaks, transparency and accountability of US military activity has been sucked into a black hole of silence. Drone attacks, illegal cross-border interventions, extra-judicial assassinations all occur in the name of national interest. It is not in the interest of equal rights activists to support an institution that is intent on ignoring every protocol of human decency.
Face it, gays are now and have been in the military since before Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War.
The only difference being one can now admit their orientation without fear of official recrimination – a major boon for the equal rights movement! The capacity for increased carnage should not be celebrated as a victory!
I cannot help but think about those that are on the receiving end of US military aggression. So a minor change has occurred at the input juncture of the war machine, but the output remains the same: we dismantle systems of indigenous governance, support disingenuous often criminal overlords, commit endless acts of brutality, and worst of all leave entire nations rudderless, spiraling downwards into the same abyss that engulfs the US military’s lack of accountability.
I wonder what the response towards don’t ask, don’t will be overseas? I wonder if mothers across the Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan are cheering the repeal of the act (most likely not), gathering in the streets to celebrate a victory in the global pursuit of human equality, only to be forced to take cover as yet another hellfire-laden drone appears on the horizon. Hell hath no fury, as a drone operated from somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Don’t equal human rights extend to those that the Empire has mislabeled as the “enemy”? Or do we now have to ignore the fact that innocent people are being slaughtered by the thousands?