Dear Peter Pace,
As a lesbian, I often turn, in my quest for moral guidance, to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. You, Peter Pace, being Chairman of the JCS, are to me a virtual guru of ethical enlightenment! So, naturally, I was struck by your recent Chicago Tribune interview, in which you said, “I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts.”
At first, your words threw me into a panic of denial. Does this mean, I asked myself, that I am basically good, and bad only when I am performing acts of a homosexual nature? What if there were more than two individuals getting it homosexually on — if I were part of an orgy of, say, 3 to 11,847 people – would I be less immoral? And what if I joined the Army and shot a lot of Iraqi insurgents, along with a few innocent civilians — would Peter Pace at last condone me?
Then I stopped bargaining with myself. I realized that you, Peter Pace, are right. Just as I have accepted the fact of my homosexuality, I now must accept the fact that I am morally depraved. Thank you for informing me of my innate evil. I will try to keep this in mind the next time I engage in acts of sordid, sin-soaked muff diving with my homosexual girlfriend.
I shall now endeavor to go on with my life, with perhaps slightly lower self-esteem, but also with joy in the knowledge that that you and I share a common humanity. For you, too, Peter Pace, have stood alone as an outcast, scorned and snickered at by your peers. In 2005, you had the guts to stand up to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to argue that it was the duty of American troops to prevent torture. Wow. It’s one thing to have humanitarian (or “humo”) tendencies — but actually opposing torture in this Administration must make you feel like some noncom Army fag with his head stuffed into a barracks toilet.
Speaking of epithets, did you hear that, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, pundit Ann Coulter called Presidential hopeful John Edwards a “faggot”? I’m sure she meant that in a good way. In fact, in a recent appearance on Hannity & Colmes, Ann explained that her use of the word “isn’t offensive to gays; it has nothing to do with gays.”
Ann must mean that she sees John Edwards not as a homosexual, but as an annoying, effete, wussy kind of guy — a guy who possibly wouldn’t like to be tortured. After all, Ann is unwavering in her anti-wuss position, and has made her name with such actual, alpha-femme statements as: “I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantánamo.”
Ann is not pretty when she’s mad. So I worry, Peter Pace. I worry that Ann Coulter will find out about your stance against torture and call you, at some nationally-televised gathering, a “faggot.” I mean, we homosexuals can take it when we’re called names, but you people are more delicate. It’s good, then, that you reclaimed the moral high ground with your defense of the use of white phosphorous — an incendiary chemical that burns down to the bone when exposed to oxygen — in flushing out insurgents during the American siege on Fallujah. “It is a legitimate tool of the military,” you said.
I guess “legitimate,” here, is a code word for “moral.” Which is a code word for “heterosexual.” Which is the preferred libidinal default of you and God and Ann Coulter and all good people. It is natural, then, that when we meet a person, we assume she or he is heterosexual — or “moral” — unless, of course, we ask and are then told that the person we have just met is a godlessly debauched queer.
So, given that there are, according to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, approximately 65,000 gay men and lesbians serving in our military, your endorsement of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy makes perfect sense. I feel truly proud, truly grateful, knowing that none of our soldiers who caused the deaths of at least 60,411 (and counting) Iraqi civilians were immoral enough to admit that they were queer.
Perhaps, in order for us all to sleep nights, Peter Pace, we Americans — straight and gay — should apply the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to you, as well. For instance, we won’t ask you just what the military did at Fallujah and other places in Iraq, and you won’t tell us, OK? It’s one way of maintaining our national morality at its current level.
Well, gotta go. My girlfriend wants to have sex again. This time, she’s asked me to dress up as Ann Coulter. As if that could wash away the stain. . . .
Susie Day lives in New York City where she writes a humor column for feminist and gay publications. She has also written on U.S. political prisoners and labor issues and thinks her girlfriend, Laura Whitehorn, is hot stuff. Can’t get enough of Susie? Read other pieces by Susie Day in MRZine: Susie Day, “Fugitive Offers Reward for Rumsfeld’s Capture” (22 July 2005); “Street Life of a Mad Activist” (28 July 2005); “Waiting for Karl Rove” (9 August 2005); “A Child’s Primer of Intelligent Design” (24 August 2005); “The Flood This Time” (19 September 2005); “Things That Rise Up in the Night: A Howl-oween Treat” (18 October 2005); “President Salutes Anonymous Red-Baiter” (14 November 2005); “Conspicuous Consumption of a Mad Activist” (11 December 2005); “2006: The Year in Horrorscopes” (9 January 2006); “Visiting Herman” (7 February 2006); “Savior Self” (6 March 2006); “Pinko Plague Panics President” (4 April 2006); “Seymour Hersh and the American Brain” (2 May 2006); “Identity, Class, and Bite Me, David Horowitz” (30 May 2006); “Bugging Hillary” (19 June 2006); “Back in the USSA” (24 July 2006); “News from the Back of the Front” (21 August 2006); “Barbie at the Barricades” (20 September 2006); “How to Stay Out of Gitmo” (18 October 2006); “Ted Haggard and the Church of the Down-Low” (13 November 2006); “Police Gun Down Another Rich White Man” (11 December 2006); “Consuming Karl” (6 February 2007); and “Anna Nicole Smith Bombs Iran” (6 March 2007).