TV & Radio
米軍、同性愛者の入隊公認を 元制服組首脳、定員増へ提言 (産経 2006/01/04)
Second Thoughts on Gays in the Military
By JOHN M. SHALIKASHVILI
Published: January 2, 2007
TWO weeks ago, President Bush called for a long-term plan to increase the size of the armed forces. As our leaders consider various options for carrying out Mr. Bush’s vision, one issue likely to generate fierce debate is “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the policy that bars openly gay service members from the military. Indeed, leaders in the new Congress are planning to re-introduce a bill to repeal the policy next year.
As was the case in 1993 — the last time the American people thoroughly debated the question of whether openly gay men and lesbians should serve in the military — the issue will give rise to passionate feelings on both sides. The debate must be conducted with sensitivity, but it must also consider the evidence that has emerged over the last 14 years.
When I was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I supported the current policy because I believed that implementing a change in the rules at that time would have been too burdensome for our troops and commanders. I still believe that to have been true. The concern among many in the military was that given the longstanding view that homosexuality was incompatible with service, letting people who were openly gay serve would lower morale, harm recruitment and undermine unit cohesion.
In the early 1990s, large numbers of military personnel were opposed to letting openly gay men and lesbians serve. President Bill Clinton, who promised to lift the ban during his campaign, was overwhelmed by the strength of the opposition, which threatened to overturn any executive action he might take. The compromise that came to be known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” was thus a useful speed bump that allowed temperatures to cool for a period of time while the culture continued to evolve.
The question before us now is whether enough time has gone by to give this policy serious reconsideration. Much evidence suggests that it has.
Last year I held a number of meetings with gay soldiers and marines, including some with combat experience in Iraq, and an openly gay senior sailor who was serving effectively as a member of a nuclear submarine crew. These conversations showed me just how much the military has changed, and that gays and lesbians can be accepted by their peers.
This perception is supported by a new Zogby poll of more than 500 service members returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, three quarters of whom said they were comfortable interacting with gay people. And 24 foreign nations, including Israel, Britain and other allies in the fight against terrorism, let gays serve openly, with none reporting morale or recruitment problems.
I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces. Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job.
But if America is ready for a military policy of nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation, the timing of the change should be carefully considered. As the 110th Congress opens for business, some of its most urgent priorities, like developing a more effective strategy in Iraq, share widespread support that spans political affiliations. Addressing such issues could help heal the divisions that cleave our country. Fighting early in this Congress to lift the ban on openly gay service members is not likely to add to that healing, and it risks alienating people whose support is needed to get this country on the right track.
By taking a measured, prudent approach to change, political and military leaders can focus on solving the nation’s most pressing problems while remaining genuinely open to the eventual and inevitable lifting of the ban. When that day comes, gay men and lesbians will no longer have to conceal who they are, and the military will no longer need to sacrifice those whose service it cannot afford to lose.
John M. Shalikashvili, a retired army general, was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1993 to 1997.
Text of Nancy Pelosi's speech
Thursday, January 4, 2007
(01-04) 11:31 PST -- Rep. Nancy Pelosi's speech upon her election today as speaker of the House.
"Thank you my colleagues, thank you leader (John) Boehner (R-Ohio).
"I accept this gavel in the spirit of partnership, not partisanship, and I look forward to working with you Mr. Boehner and the Republicans in the Congress on behalf of the American people.
"After giving away this gavel in the last two Congress', I'm glad someone else had the honor today.
"In this House, we may belong to different parties, but we serve one country. We stand united in our pride and prayers for our men and women in the armed forces. They are working together to protect America, and we, in this House, must also work together to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.
"In this hour, we need and pray for the character, courage, and civility of a former member of this House -- President Ford. He healed the country when it needed healing. This is another time, another war, and another trial of our American will, imagination, and spirit. Let us honor his memory, not just in eulogy, but in dialogue and trust across the aisle. Let us express our condolences and appreciation to Mrs. Ford and the entire Ford family for their decades of service to our country.
"With today's convening of the 110th Congress, we begin anew. I congratulate all members of Congress on your election; I especially want to congratulate our new members of Congress. The genius of our Founders was that every two years, new members bring to this House their spirit of renewal and hope for the American people. This Congress is reinvigorated new members by your optimism, your idealism, and your commitment to our country. Let us acknowledge your families, whose support has made your leadership possible.
"Each of us brings to this new Congress our shared values, our commitment to the Constitution, and our personal experience.
"My path to Congress and the speakership began in Baltimore where my father was mayor. I was raised in a large family that was devoutly Catholic, deeply patriotic, very proud of our Italian American heritage, and staunchly Democratic. My parents taught us that public service was a noble calling, and that we had a responsibility to help those in need. I viewed them as working on the side of the angels and now they are with them.
"I am so proud that my brother Tommy D'Alesandro, who was also a mayor of Baltimore, is here leading my D'Alesandro family today.
"Forty-three years ago, Paul Pelosi and I were married. We raised our five children in San Francisco, where Paul was born and raised. I want to thank Paul and our children Nancy Corinne, Christine, Jacqueline, Paul, and Alexandra and our six magnificent grandchildren for giving me their love, support and the confidence to go from the kitchen to the Congress.
"And I thank my constituents in San Francisco and to the state of California for the privilege of representing them in Congress. Saint Francis of Assisi is our city's patron saint, and his song of St. Francis is our city's anthem: 'Lord, make me a channel of thy peace; where there is darkness may we bring light, where there is hatred, may we bring love, and where there is despair, may we bring hope.'
"Hope, hope, that is what America is about and it is in that spirit that I was sent to Congress.
"And today, I thank my colleagues. By electing me speaker, you have brought us closer to the ideal of equality that is America's heritage and America's hope.
"This is an historic moment -- and I thank the leader for acknowledging it. I think you Leader Boehner. It is an historic moment for the Congress, and an historic moment for the women of this country. It is a moment for which we have waited over 200 years. Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights. But women weren't just waiting; women were working. Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling. For our daughters and our granddaughters, the sky is the limit, anything is possible for them.
"The election of 2006 was a call to change -- not merely to change the control of Congress, but for a new direction for our country. Nowhere were the American people more clear about the need for a new direction than in the war in Iraq.
"The American people rejected an open-ended obligation to a war without end. Shortly, President Bush will address the nation on the subject of Iraq. It is the responsibility of the president to articulate a new plan for Iraq that makes it clear to the Iraqis that they must defend their own streets and their own security, a plan that promotes stability in the region, and a plan that allows us to responsibly redeploy our troops.
"Let us work together to be the Congress that rebuilds our military to meet the national security challenges of the 21st century.
"Let us be the Congress that strongly honors our responsibility to protect the American people from terrorism.
"Let us be the Congress that never forgets our commitment to our veterans and our first responders, always honoring them as the heroes that they are.
"The American people also spoke clearly for a new direction here at home -- they desire a new vision, a new America, built on the values that have made our country great.
"Our founders envisioned a new America driven by optimism, opportunity, and strength. So confident were they in the America they were advancing, they put on the seal, the great seal of the United States, 'novus ordo seclorum' -- a new order for the centuries. Centuries, they spoke of the centuries. They envisioned America as a just and good place, as a fair and efficient society, as a source of opportunity for all.
"This vision has sustained us for over 200 years, and it accounts for what is best in our great nation: liberty, opportunity, and justice.
"Now it is our responsibility to carry forth that vision of a new America into the 21st Century.
"A new America that seizes the future and forges 21st Century solutions through discovery, creativity, and innovation, sustaining our economic leadership and ensuring our national security.
"A new America with a vibrant and strengthened middle class for whom college is affordable, health care is accessible, and retirement reliable.
"A new America that declares our energy independence, promotes domestic sources of renewable energy, and combats climate change.
"A new America that is strong, secure, and a respected leader among the community of nations.
"And the American people told us they expected us to work together for fiscal responsibility, with the highest ethical standards and with civility and bipartisanship.
"After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: pay as you go, no new deficit spending. Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.
"In order to achieve our new America for the 21st Century, we must return this House to the American people. So our first order of business is passing the toughest congressional ethics reform in history. This new Congress doesn't have two years or 200 days.
"Let us join together in the first 100 hours to make this Congress the most honest and open Congress in history - 100 hours.
"This openness requires respect for every voice in the Congress. As Thomas Jefferson said, 'Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.' My colleagues elected me to be Speaker of the House -- the entire House. Respectful of the vision of our Founders, the expectations of our people, and the great challenges that we face, we have an obligation to reach beyond partisanship to work for all Americans.
"Let us all stand together to move our country forward, seeking common ground for the common good.
"We have made history, now let us make progress for our the America people.
"May God bless our work, and may God bless America."