GIVE AN INCH. . .
July 1, 2021 | View PDF
According to a 19th century legend, the Truth and the Lie meet one day. The Lie says to the Truth: "It's a marvelous day today"! The Truth looks up to the skies and sighs, for the day was really beautiful. They spend a lot of time together, ultimately arriving beside a well. The Lie tells the Truth: "The water is very nice, let's take a bath together!" The Truth, once again suspicious, tests the water and discovers that it indeed is very nice. They undress and start bathing. Suddenly, the Lie comes out of the water, puts on the clothes of the Truth and runs away. The furious Truth comes out of the well and runs everywhere to find the Lie and to get her clothes back. The World, seeing the Truth naked, turns its gaze away, with contempt and rage.
The poor Truth returns to the well and disappears forever, hiding therein, its shame. Since then, the Lie travels around the world, dressed as the Truth, satisfying the needs of society, because, the World, in any case, harbours no wish at all to meet the naked Truth.
I thought long and hard before I decided to pen this Robservation. In today’s ridiculous “woke” atmosphere, the reasons should be obvious. Anytime someone voices a dissenting view from the left’s “cancel culture,” things tend to get a bit testy. Fangs come out, hatred spews and everyone goes into attack mode – despite any truth staring them in the face. The cancel culture mob is not interested in facts but only in pushing their agenda and crushing any opposition, often using the foulest of language and most offensive methods imaginable. I still find it amusing that ANTIFA, the supposed “anti-fascists” are, through their own doctrine and virulent behaviors the most fascist among us. Just because you claim to be anti-fascist does not mean you are. Actions speak louder than words.
Today’s Robservation is troubling on so many levels that I really do not know where to start. Some may read this and immediately label me a “homophobe” or some other tag that does nothing to uncover any truth but rather is solely meant to punish anyone (including yours truly) with a dissenting view. In a previous column, I addressed this specific issue and will once again do so just to get this out in the open. Here goes; I for one could care less about someone’s sexual proclivities. I DO NOT CARE. Pretty simple, huh. Whether I agree with you or not, it does not mean I hate you or wish evil upon you. I have had both homosexual friends and relatives. I simply do not care. There are however, lines never to be crossed yet are trespassed daily at increasing rates. There are many lines in the sand and no matter what people want to pontificate, in this world there are times when there are clear lines of demarcation separating right and wrong. Sorry but there are. (See “Truth” at the beginning) An adult wanting to have sex with a child or the poisoning of young minds with aberrant ideologies like the acceptance of socialism and communism here in America are just a couple examples.
An article appeared in the news this past week that reported the hosting of a “Drag Queen” show held at Nellis Air Force Base. Yes, the same place that is home to the USAF Thunderbirds and one of the most demanding air combat training exercises in the world, Red Flag. Below are just two links to articles about this insanity.
An official AF release stated, “The event was sponsored by a private organization and provided an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the history and significance of drag performance art within the LGBT+ community. . . ensuring our ranks reflect and are inclusive of the American people is essential to the morale, cohesion, and readiness of the military. Nellis Air Force Base is committed to providing and championing an environment that is characterized by equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion.”
Despite this, I do not see any evidence to support the claim that this event was “essential” to readiness in the military. I still have many ties to current and former military members who I have worked with and although we may be considered by some to be “dinosaurs” in our thinking, military readiness, morale and cohesion was something we took very seriously back in the days of Strategic Air Command, EWO, the Iron Curtain, the Fulda Gap, etc. When I entered the Air Force in 1983, emphasis was correctly placed on defending America, training and preparing to kill those who need to be killed in time of war. You know, important stuff like real readiness; not watching a drag queen show on base.
I fly and talk with many young kids today, C-17, F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10, B-1, B-52 pilots and many support personnel and their views are rarely if ever those reflected within our press. Why would they be? It goes against whatever narrative they are trying to push on us. I had to talk a young, Navy F-18 pilot off of the “I am getting the heck outta ‘Dodge’” ledge one day when he was so fed up with the lack of what is essential for a combat pilot and being replaced with what he felt was constant indoctrination on social issues. There is a real concern when young men and women tell me that many times it seems as though warfighting thought and preparedness is put on the back burner in favor of social justice indoctrination. I am not advocating a Neanderthal and repressive view towards any of those in our society (see paragraph 2 – I do not care), but no, these ideas should not trump military readiness. These, in my historically minded view are two separate issues.
Here is where the title comes into play. Several years ago, I flew with a young C-17 pilot and he was telling me that an Air Force readiness inspection team landed on his base (which is normal). As part of their inspection, however, if they went into an office and saw a “Maxim” magazine on somebody’s desk, they were written up. Yes, the same magazine sold in the BX at the time. We are not talking about Playboy, Penthouse or other clearly inappropriate material but a Maxim magazine. I will be the first to admit there is no place for gratuitous nudity in the workplace and is something I am glad is no longer pushed or tolerated. When I flew for NATO, you should have seen the stuff allowed in the squadrons back in the late 80s and early 90s. Pretty repressive stuff actually and definitely counterproductive for dual gender unit morale. I for one am glad it is gone.
Next comes squadron heraldry and history. Luckily for me, I never saw this first hand. As a historian, this would have pissed me off to no end. It still does. Another young pilot was telling me this sordid detail. In the Air Force, there are many squadrons whose history dates back to the US Army Air Corps and World War II. In many squadrons, there would be wartime photographs of the men and airplanes that entered combat against our enemies. These men flew, fought and died by the tens of thousands while killing even more people at the behest of their national leaders. But shame on them for painting provocative nose art on their airplanes and heaven help any squadron photos that dared display such an “affront.” Topless, scantily clad women were often the norm. Afterall, we were sending these young men out with a great chance of never seeing another sunrise so what if they painted their airplanes up? The real travesty here is not the historical photos but the cowardly edict to remove them public viewing.
I will be the first to admit that in 2021, there is no place for similar artwork on the nose of airplanes. None. But as I read somewhere and pardon my paraphrase, “History is not there for you to like or dislike. It is there for you to learn from it. And if it offends you, even better.” So, in one fell swoop, the sacrifices of thousands of young men have been deemed worthless and offensive, worthy of damnation and to be forever hidden. (See The Truth again)
So now I am to the overall rub of this column. Although magazines like Maxim are considered to be too taboo within squadron life (maybe so) and unit history, heraldry, memory and the sacrifices of thousands are also considered to be too risqué in the current woke arena (definitely NOT), having a drag queen show on a military base is somehow seen as not only acceptable but somehow essential to operational readiness. How in the heck is this any less “offensive?” Do we not see this? I love a statement I heard somewhere that said, “I can explain it to you but I cannot understand it for you.” This, in my mind’s eye IS NOT an LGBTQ issue but one of military readiness and a serious lack of focus on what is important. If military readiness remains a cornerstone in our armed forces, and that at times seems to be quite a big “if,” you can rest assured that the Chinese, Russians, North Koreans and Iranians take their readiness seriously and are most certainly laughing at us today.
Give an inch? See where that takes us.