Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Diversity, Dithering, and Damnable Myopia

As Veterans' Day draws to a close, I feel drawn to revisit GEN Casey's statement, highlighted in my previous post.
First, I need to apologize for the childishly trite heading for that post, but it was the only way I felt that I could adequately express my shock and dismay at GEN Casey's statement without letting loose a string of invective at the sentiment contained therein.
Here's the deal: the Army is not strong because of its diversity. The Army is strong because we take a wildly diverse population and bind them to a common goal, and a common ethic, with one set of values (that many wear posted on their dogtags, because, I guess, one can accomplish values training by osmosis). In some ways the Army (or the military writ large) is the ultimate melting pot. We don't care who you are, where you are from, what your race, color, creed, cultural background, or (as long as you don't ask or tell) what your sexual proclivities are. All we care about is that you are constitutionally capable of making the commitment to defend our nation and our constitution.
We are not Army Strong because we've got white, black, red, brown and yellow in our ranks. We are Army Strong because we've got white, black, red, brown and yellow hewing to a common cause: the defense of our nation and our way of life.
Achieving "diversity," in and of itself, is nothing to crow about, unless your objective is so vapid and vacuous that the mere composition of your team is reason enough to declare victory.
These days, I think the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. have been turned on their head. When we pat ourselves on the back for achieving "diversity," we laud our composition merely for the physical attributes with which they were born, and not for the great things that they have achieved. We are navel gazing and preoccupied with the color of our members' skins, and not the content of their respective characters. This is a shame.
And because of the apparent fugue state our fixation with diversity has engendered, I am hearing a lot of smart people say," well, there were red flags with MAJ Hasan, but we shouldn't jump to conclusions."
Got it. But when a Muslim stands up, declares "Allahu Akbar," and starts shooting every Soldier in sight, I know where my investigation begins; I know what a duck looks like, walks like, and quacks like.
Again, I reiterate, I think our Army is far too professional to succumb to "backlash" against Muslims because of Hasan's actions. See, mature professionals are able to point their fingers at singular Jihadi bastards without painting every Muslim with their crimes. When you're not preoccupied with diversity and population composition, you're able to hold individuals culpable for their actions.

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