“And it’s one, two, three
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn
Next stop is (Afghanistan)
And it’s five, six, seven
Open up the pearly gates
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why
Whoopee! We’re all gonna die”
— Country Joe and the Fish
I’m not sure why anybody would want to give Uncle Sam, or in this case Uncle Donald, a helping hand on the battlefield these days.
I mean, the commander in chief doesn’t exactly instill a lot of patriotism in most people. Would you want your kids laying their lives on the line for Donald Trump’s foreign policies?
I suppose one could ask the same questions of the Nixon/Vietnam era, Korea and all the other wars America has gotten itself involved with on foreign soil — and the presidents who served as commanders in chief at the time.
Still, people do enlist to this day, and I can’t explain what would inspire people to want to learn how to kill other humans in the trenches and so on. But to each their own . . . I’m a 1960s/1970s/1980s/1990s/2000s/2010s flower child, as in Make Love. Not war . . .
So, in a way, I’m thinking Donald Trump and his cohorts may be be doing transgender people a favour by barring them from joining the U.S. military and killing people on the battlefields of foreign countries.
But I know that a lot of trans people feel they should have the right to travel to foreign countries with the U.S. military and kill people.
And, hey, if other Americans are allowed to do it, trans people should be allowed to do it, too.
I’m reserving comment, though, on the ban announced by Trump on Twitter today saying that transgender people will not be allowed to serve in the military in any capacity.
I need clarity, because it is obvious that Trump’s announcement took the Pentagon by surprise. Does the ban apply only to people who are beginning to medically transition or are in the process of transitioning? Or does it apply to fully transitioned individuals as well?
The New York Times is quoting people saying this is a money issue, that the U.S. military doesn’t want to pay the costs associated with gender transitioning? If this is true, then fully transitioned people should be allowed to serve.
We’ll get clarity on all of this in the days to come, I’m sure. I suspect that Trump tweeted it as a trial balloon, and that we will see some back-peddling by the White House.
Note: I slightly altered Country Joe’s “Vietnam” song in the excerpt at the beginning by substituting the word “Vietnam” with “(Afghanistan)” to make it more current.
Photo: Donald Trump. (Credit: Marc Nozell/Wikimedia Commons)