Dan Choi Wants Back Into The Anti-Gay Military So He Can Kill Innocent Civilians

More recently, Choi was on Democracy Now, in a debate with the queer radical anti-war activist Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, and said, “…war is a force that gives us meaning. War is a force that teaches us lessons of humanity and allows us to realize something about our society and teaches us the lessons that we probably should have learned before we went to war.” Neither [the show’s host Amy] Goodman nor Juan Gonzalez, her co-host, blinked an eye. Goodman has not simply featured Choi’s views on her show, she has explicitly endorsed them in her op-eds outside her role as show co-host.

Within today’s left, or what passes for the same, it is actually possible to have someone like Goodman, who has spent many hours among commentators critiquing the devastation caused to Iraq, listen to Choi talk about “rebuilding” a country that he is helping to bomb and destroy, without a single question about his politics. In this case, identity – and its efflorescence under a neoliberal war – becomes the excuse for war and it erases the possibility of a critique of Choi’s ideology.

Even further, the war on Iraq becomes a staging ground for Chois’s personal dramas, a backdrop to the possibility of a doomed romance. As Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore puts it, “How many Iraqis died in order for him to express the ‘truth of who I am?’ What about the truth of the war?…Did you hear that? He’s not worried about dying in an atrocious war, or killing innocent civilians, but about whether his boyfriend will be notified.”

– Yasmin Nair discussing Dan Choi’s politics in her article entitled, “Dan Choi Is No Hero: Rage, or the Lack Thereof.”

Image via Boss Tweed

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  • Gary

    What an offensive headline, why n the world does a gay blog have to turn so deeply into puerile Leftie anti American bs? Shame on u

  • Ted

    Oh, rock on, Yasmin Nair.

  • Ted

    Gary: Your channeling of Michele Bachmann is brilliant satire!

  • Bob

    The war in Iraq is unnecessary and atrocious, but that headline is unconscionable.

  • Major Craig McNeil

    Ask the Jews, gays, and other hated people who DIDN’T die at the hands of Nazis about which military intentionally kills innocent civilians. Remember that America’s comfort with LGBT was one of the reasons we were attacked 10 years ago. Men and women like Dan Choi and I defend with our lives the writer’s ability to be an ass.

  • Octavio

    “How many Iraqis died in order for him to express the ‘truth of who I am?’ What about the truth of the war?…Did you hear that? He’s not worried about dying in an atrocious war, or killing innocent civilians, but about whether his boyfriend will be notified.”

    Has Yasmin Nair even bothered to look into Dan’s efforts in the war? NEVER does Dan actually say he’s for killing innocent people, that is a casualty of many disorganized and undisciplined troops and I can assure you Lt. Choi does not stand for that.
    What a horrid person Nair is to discard Dan’s relationship as something as banal as a romantic drama. All Dan is fighting for is to be regarded as a human being by the country he serves.

  • Bruno

    There are some good points in comments above, but Dan’s comment goes a bit further than saying “war is sometimes, unfortunately, necessary.” He seems to be saying that war is necessary as a teaching tool for society. That war is, intrinsically, a good and necessary part of human existence. I couldn’t disagree with that more, if that’s the case.

  • Jim

    It’s fine to disagree with his views and the war. However, I do not understand how one goes from his comments to the headline “…So He Can Kill Innocent Civilians.” It is really over the top and seems to come of hatred. I guess that’s what I can expect considering the author.

  • Thomas Maguire

    I blame Bush.

  • delurker

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Team Yasmin here. :)

  • delurker

    @Major Craig McNeil: Why we were attacked on 9-11 has NOTHING to do with why we went into Iraq. Stop perpetuating that lie, you moron.

  • Elfen

    Ugh – that’s it – I’m not returning to this site. The headlines and often the content are just too vile.

  • Ian

    @Gary: Anti-American?? What the fuck is that anyway? What, is it somehow “unpatriotic” to point out when your country’s military/politicians wage an unjust and brutal war that ends up killing innocent civilians? Speaking up, speaking out, is not “anti American”, it’s necessary to have a functioning democracy. Something we’re letting go of bit-by-bit because of people out there who, like you, call into question others’ love-of-country when they express views against war or the war-machine. Here’s some truth: The military IS anti-gay. The Iraq and Afghan wars HAVE KILLED INNOCENT CIVILIANS. If Dan Choi wants to be part of the war machine and “find meaning” in war, so be it. But don’t expect everyone to cheer for unjust wars or whitewash the truth about the FACT that our soldiers kill innocent civilians. And don’t call others “anti-American” for pointing it out. Christ, we’re such a fucking infantile society when it comes to nuanced issues.

    P.S. No one need pounce on me for “not supporting our troops” or other such dribble. If someone truly “supports our troops”, then they should be willing to stand up for them when the politicians and commanders exploit them and force them into multiple tours in unjust wars.

    P.P.S. I know I know. I should chill and take a pill. :)

  • JayKay

    Typical anti-American leftist scum. It’s just too bad she won’t be a civilian casualty.

  • Ian

    @Major Craig McNeil: “America’s comfort with LGBT was one of the reasons we were attacked 10 years ago”?? You’ll forgive me, Major, but what’s your point?

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    Does anyone know definitely Dan Choi current military status? Has his commission been restored, or is he still officially listed as “honorably discharged”? He wears his dress uniform and camo fatigues enough in-public, but is he legally entitled-to? Or, is he just wearing them as a “costume” with enough of his old insignia missing to not be breaking the law?

  • Brian

    “America’s comfort with LGBT was one of the reasons we were attacked 10 years ago”

    Do you seriously believe this nonsense?

  • Queer Supremacist

    @Brian: It’s not nonsense, but don’t take my word for it. Here it is, straight from the Camel’s mouth:


    “(a) We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling’s, and trading with interest.”

  • Ian

    @Queer Supremacist: Actually, it is nonsense. The reason we were attacked is not because of gays or “intoxicants” or “gambling” etc. The reason is the radical warped ideology that supports and motivates the terrorists. Do you see the distinction?

  • Queer Supremacist

    @Ian: There is no distinction. Their homophobia is a core feature of their warped ideology. It’s the same ideology that motivates fundamentalist Christians. That’s why both need to be fought tooth and nail with the same weapons, the same tactics, and the same level of force. If that means another Civil War, so fucking be it.

    Are some of you pathologically incapable of blaming non-Westerners for their actions?

  • Ian

    @Queer Supremacist: ?? I am specifically blaming it on their warped ideology. i.e., blaming them. And I suspect we’re closer in thought on it than you think. BTW, I agree about the fundie Christofascists.

  • skzip888

    Ah, the overachiever’s mantra. “I’m not beating you up and shoving you in a locker because you did anything; I’m beating you up and shoving you in a locker because I tell myself it poses somewhat of a challenge and gives me existential meaning.”

    The only reason I pay attention to this guy is that the Military policy that keeps him from serving is wrong, and we’re all very supportive of him trying to change it.

    The inept Political policy that sent this guy to war in the first place is probably best analyzed on another blog. With even more trolls.

    As for the “Radical Queer” grab bag stance, it may be too soon. I worry we’ve splintered the community enough without people demanding fair-trade edible lube and vegan Jello shots.

  • kevininbuffalo

    @Elfen: Ditto, absolutely shameful!

  • Ian

    @skzip888: Well said.

  • Ian

    I also find it disturbing that he quotes (misquotes) Chris Hedges. Great book, provocative title, but I somehow doubt Mr. Choi read it or understands it — given the context of his remarks.

  • Gay Veteran

    “Kill innocent civilians” that’s the go to statement for most ignorant people who are anti-war… the key word is ignorant. I will never deny that innocent people die during war.. innocent people die on both sides.

    Be anti-war that’s great but don’t be an idiot who perpetuates this bs lie that soldiers are running around purposely killing innocent civilians. I spent a year in Iraq and I know my unit and the units around us weren’t going around slaying innocent civilians.

    The headline is highly offensive and ignorant.

  • Abel

    Yasmin Nair’s post (go read the whole thing) is hysterical nonsense. She reads like a babbling peacenik from the 60s. Grow a pair, lady.

  • Skeloric

    Oh look, its another story written by Daniel Villarreal.
    Of course the title is offensive and poorly chosen.

  • Mic

    I for one don’t mind being called anti-american, I AM!! The United States is an imperialist predatory nation and wherever it sends Dan Choi to expand or solidify its empire the natives are right TO KILL HIM!! If some nation attacked this country unprovoked the people would not hesitate to kill that nations troops and would be justified in doing so.

    To U.S. troops or those considering joining the U.S. military DON’T. You’re not fighting for my freedom and your cause is not just.

    Gays in the military?? NO ONE SHOULD BE IN THE MOLITARY.

  • QueerToday.com

    We stand with Yasmin and all those fighting for true queer libration and justice.

  • milhouse

    When the Chinese, Russians, Iranians, Koreans, and other emerging nations finally join forces and are goose stepping on American soil, you’ll wish there were a million Chois to defend your sorry asses.

  • k.e.

    I can’t stand Yasmin Nair or Dan Choi for exactly the same reason: so freaking self-congratulatory!

  • jeff4justice

    @k.e.: Funny I like both Yasmin Nair or Dan Choi for being self-congratulatory!

    If one is not self-congratulatory who’s going to do the congratulating then?

    We activists take so much crap from the LGBT community, from bloggers, and from the anti-LGBT folk… part of the battle is self defense just to do the work you do even when some of the folks you’re there to serve put you down too.

    I’m so self-congratulatory that I think I am more awesome than Yasmin Nair, Dan Choi, MLK, Milk, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and Kanye west. You know why? Because I know my self-worth as a person and activist is however I define it – not based on the impossible standards of a hyper-critical world of people impossible to please.

    Funny thing is most people who run their mouths about publicly known activists do little but sit around, observe, and find fault.

    Some of the critique is fair of course. However if I criticize someone I also invite them to an interview for their side. To those who observe and find fault in other activists and simultaneously do their own activism too, may I suggest we spend more time trying to find common ground than fault finding. I do it too at times and then I have to remember to get back to work on what I can impact.

  • delurker

    @milhouse: yeah, a million drama queens who plant their mugs in front any camera and frolic around with GOProud douchebags ain’t gonna save us from an imaginary alliance against all the U.S.’s perceived enemies.

  • GayGOP

    This headline was offensive. That being said, I am currently working to get into shape so I can go join the JAG Corps, which will probably send me to Afghanistan or Iraq for the time being.

  • tjr101

    America’s violently bloody and often hypocritical foreign policy is hardly anything to be patriotic and proud of. People need to drop this faux patriotism and get their heads out of their asses.

  • Andrew

    The most dangerous place to stand is between Dan Choi and a camera.

  • Mark in NJ

    I hope that the lesson that our nation learned from Iraq and Afghanistan is that UNLESS a nation state attacks the US, war is obsolete. War is about “us” nations vs. “them” nations. But guess what in a global economy with a global community that is interconnected, there are no “them” nations there are only “us” nations and we better be thinking about how we can all get along better in this world that keeps getting smaller.

    There will always be bad guys, but the days of an entire nation state of bad guys is I hope truly in the past.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @delurker: While your comment is 100% accurate, do take into account that not only this major, the military as a whole except for those in intelligence, and the country as a whole except POTUS, VPOTUS, senior military and intelligence officers at NSA and CIA, were led to this so-called “fact about Iraq” by those empowered by the electorate those lies.

    Yes, it is long past time for the major to wise up and every American too. Lies, too, kill; and in this case have resulted in the murder of tens upon tens of thousands of deaths, continuing strife, and horrid human conditions.


    Per the headline, disgusting. Concerning Choi’s comments, NO ONE SPEAKS WITH FULL CLARITY during on-air interviews. I do not believe that Choi remarks were any way near endorsing killing innocents as a learning project.

  • gregger

    Daniel Villereal,

    Why don’t you go back to Faux News or whatever scumrag “journalism” source you came from. I stopped my regular comments after reading your non-stop idiocy and yellow dog journalism. I come back maybe once a week or every two weeks and see your poorly written articles or misleading headline attempting to “encourage discussion and discourse” (as you so lamely put it). It really is a shame that a site that I used for quite a long time to get the queer slant on news and the people in the news has turned into the National Enquirer.

  • Guillermo3

    @Gary: Puerile or not,at least this queer leftie can write in something other than annoying,puerile internet-ese,unlike “u”.I hope that Ted’s 2nd comment is correct:that your seeming assholery is satirical,”slave of satan.”

  • Guillermo3

    @tjr101: Right,tjr 101!!The unfortunate__NO:TRAGIC_thing is that too much of this “faux patriotism” isn’t faux,just mindless

  • Ambrose

    Shameful headline and shamefully oversimplified commentary, though I don’t support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If Queerty continues down this road of ludicrously overblown namecalling against GLBT activists, I’ll be done with it. There are alternatives.

  • Guillermo3

    @delurker: Thank you,delurker!!That myth____HORRENDOUS EFFECTIVELY MANIPULATIVE LIE,really and too many citizens’ willingness to embrace it is what gives Democracy a bad name:Reminds me of the scene in Syberberg’s “Our Hitler” in which Hitler,wrapped in a toga,rises from Wagner’s grave,saying:”I am the bad consciense of Democracy…”

  • Guillermo3

    @JayKay: JayKay[cute tag,honey],Should we infer from your comments that you
    are “typically” PRO-American fascist scum ? :or,perhaps just a typical redneck fairy/

  • Guillermo3

    @skzip888: Bravo skzip888 !!! The factionalism and in-fighting in this and so many other gay sites [even the nauseatingly “sweetness & light blogs of Davey Wavey) are really discouraging.Too often,
    many of the comments reinforce the negative stereotypes of gays as “Bitchy Queens”.

  • Guillermo3

    @Ian: Wow,Ian!!! Great,especially your P.S. paragraph.Was it Emerson who said:
    “Patriotism is the last refuge of a soundrel”?

  • milhouse

    Choi should be made a General and given a great white steed on which to march into battle. As McArthur said, “I shall return”, and so shall Choi. Three cheers for Old Glory!

  • perdeep

    @Ian: Thank you for posting rational, sane comments in an otherwise dismal thread.

  • Patric

    To those who find the the title offensive/atrocious/vile: why? The US military is constantly killing random people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, et al. Choi wants to be part of this institution. He claims to want to rejoin because he finds some self-actualization in war, which itself cannot be separated from the random slaughter it necessarily entails. Therefore, we can conclude that, by rejoining the military, Choi will further enable random killing.

    We can argue about whether this random killing is justified, but to deny it or to feign outrage when hearing that it happens is truly vile.

  • Brk

    The title of this article is the perfect example of why, when asked in the Queerty survey to describe Queerty in one word, I chose “tacky”.

  • damon459

    Dan Choi is an attention whore we don’t need. I can’t believe we are still giving him attention.

  • Gay Veteran

    @Patric: What do you know about this “random killing” you’re talking about? Are you talking about casualties of war? or are you just sensationalizing the happenings of war to support your stance on war?

  • Black and White

    I love the naive peace fuckers with their Woodstock delusions of some John Lennon-esque utopia wherein if we all just send out vibes of love we won’t be slaughtered by the thousands when some invading force comes kicking down our door. Unfortunately, war is necessary–maybe not specifically these wars. I won’t argue that point today. But we live in a violent world. Nature, red in tooth and claw and all that. Pacifism isn’t a tactical measure of any success. Having the power to quell your enemies but showing the restraint not to is a far better solution to global conflicts. Reality lies neither with Starblossom nor Bubba, the trigger-happy redneck. And I agree with many posters here: this is an egregiously hand-wringing leftist article. It had everything but that woman from the Simpsons crying out, “Won’t somebody please think of the children?!”

  • Ian

    @Black and White: Thanks for your grand rhetorical flourish. But, typifying what I pointed out in an earlier post, you make the same error as others when they brand any citizen as “anti-American” if they dare point out uncomfortable truths about war. In your case, you brand them/me “naive peace fuckers with their Woodstock delusions of some John Lennon-esque utopia” Secondly, you erroneously equate criticism with pacifism. The two are not the same, no matter how much you scream they are. (Not to mention your obvious lack of familiarity and understanding of John Lennon’s life and work. Lennon was clearly able to understand and appreciate nuance – the many “gray areas” of life.) In my case, I prefer peace but I also understand and allow that war is sometimes necessary and frequently messy. I prefer peace but I also appreciate and support our soldiers by standing up for veterans’ rights. But I won’t be a cheerleader for war in general and the politicians who get us involved in unjust wars. And I certainly won’t shut-up or whitewash the horrors/errors of war, like the unintentional killing of innocent civilians. If you want to be a mature adult in a conversation about war, you have to be able to admit and handle the FACTS about war — both the good and the bad. If it makes you feel better by calling other people “anti-American” or “naive peace fuckers with their Woodstock delusions of some John Lennon-esque utopia”, then so be it. But by doing so, you’ll never have a real conversation and never make a difference. You’ll just be shouting on the sidelines.

  • Mav

    @Black and White: Reality lies neither with Starblossom nor Bubba, the trigger-happy redneck.

    ^ I agree with this. I used to be a pacifist in college, but I realize as I’ve gotten older that the world is more complicated than I would have liked to believe.

    Now my philosophy is more, “Walk softly, but carry a fleet of Predators and Aurora stealth bombers just in case.”

  • NelsonG

    @jeff4justice: As a blogger myself, I’ve taken more than my fair share of bullshit from activists and bloggers as well. So it’s not fair to paint us all with the same brush especially since those you might be citing profit in the equality business and I do not.

    Choi is a poser and a right wing hack. I just have to ask how many more people will it take before people realize Choi is not an advocate but an obstructionist.

  • Chancery

    This is the dumbest opinion seen on Bilerico since that silly kid tried to equate the UK riot criminals with gays.

  • Jack E. Jett

    The Iraq War was wrong on so many levels that it baffles me that Cheney and Bush are not being held as war criminals. I also wish that gay groups that have awards shows would see to it that Dan Choi would be just as deserving of one of their awards ..FAR MORE so than Gyneth Freaking Paltrow.

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