Speaking with American Marines, Air Force, and Army soldiers stationed in Amman, Jordan, during a 25-minute Q&A session, it was Navy Adm. Mike Mullen who was surprised nobody asked him about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the policy that’s been in the American headlines for weeks. In fact, the Joint Chiefs chairman didn’t receive a single question about DADT in three separate townhall meetings he hosted. Rather, soldiers were interested in, you know, actual priorities: “Of far more interest to them were other areas, they told Mullen, such as allowing women to serve in infantry units. They also asked about relations between the military and the State Department and, more narrowly, when a key Defense Department official would be assigned to Amman permanently.”
This isn’t a small matter. What’s often said the loudest isn’t said at all, and that soldiers stationed in the Middle East didn’t have a single thing to say about DADT isn’t necessarily remarkable; in fact, by some accounts it’s predictable. The issue of gays serving in the military might be “controversial” for some soldiers, but plenty of active duty personnel will tell you they’re there to follow orders, whether that means forcibly accepting out gays as their comrades or doing so because they actually don’t care.
The only ones making a big stink out of it, then, are American lawmakers with voters to please and hate groups speaking out of turn on a topic they are unfit to discuss.