Not only is major financial damage been done to the US, but your international reputation is also been destroyed as well, which is something you have not considered above. The continual call by some of your leaders and military to carry on at war for a little bit longer reminds me of a addicted gambler who cannot resist thinking "just one more go, just one more go".
What has actually been achieved ? Has the man at the heart of the worst attack on your country I can think of actually been captured or otherwise brought to justice ? No.
Even here in the UK, all of our political leaders have said that enough is enough. It's nice to see Obama trying to end this war and I just hope that the next set of leaders in Congress and the White House don't try to restart it.
To highlight how far the US has changed over the last decade, this Onion article
was considered farfetched satire a decade ago instead of the depressing reality it has become.
There are many people outside the US (myself included) who really like your country but are saddened by what you are doing to yourselves.
Of course it's easier, in the eyes of your politicians, to fight a enemy who cannot win or even inflict major damage on you. How long would this war last (and would it have even started) if it was been fought against a traditional enemy ?
This is excellent news, but I strongly suspect that either a appeal will be filed or the military will just try to ignore the ruling until someone goes back to court to try and force them to comply.
And for anyone who believes that this will somehow destroy the US military, please remember that openly gay and lesbian people have been able to serve in the UK military for a number of years now without any impact on military operations at all.
Also, don't forget that for a gay or lesbian person to be willing to serve in the US military in the current climate, and be at continual risk of been exposed and discharged, shows that they must really love their country when they are willing to go through all that.
My first question was not clear so let me clarify it. These three cadets are members of a high profile cadet council so I doubt they will receive many attempts to convert them. But what about normal cadets ?
It would have been nice for the reporter to have talked to normal cadets, but on the other hand how many cadets would talk openly to a reporter in this way if they were been put under pressure to convert ?
How many cadets would talk openly to a reporter in this way if they were been put under pressure to convert ?
Also, there is one question I have never seen answered about all this.
All the remedies been put into place are designed to stop new cadets from having someone's specific brand of religion been forced on them and to lay down guidelines for existing cadets.
However, what about officers within the USAF who have already graduated and consider it ok to force their values onto others ?
What procedures are in place within the USAF generally to curtail any inappropriate activities by these officers and what is to stop all this from happening all over again as these people rotate back through the academy, but this time as instructors ?
(Don't forget that when this started a few years ago, a large part of the problem was due to instructors at the academy forcing their values onto others.)
Also, given the recent shepherding reports, it seems that the academy still has a major problem on it's hands.
@bubbagump: The football coach can express his views in private (outside of work) at any time he wishes and I strongly support his right to do so. What he cannot do is to force those values onto others especially when he's operating in a official capacity. Oh, and speaking personally, if the sign had been for another religion I would have still had the same problem with it due to the context in which it was presented.
@noname: The various reports documenting the investigations conducted when this first started a number of years ago listed in detail the actions of staff and senior cadets at the Academy.
A couple of those reports are attached to the official report I posted the link to above. You will see that military rank/position has indeed been used to promote religious views.
@Awareness: You have my sincere sympathy for what happened to your family member.
Since you imply the Academy problems are recent knowledge for you, you may not be aware that the USAF produced a report 5 years ago into the religious environment at the USAFA at that time.
It is quite disturbing reading, especially when reading the various independent reports which were produced at that time and were attached to the end of the official USAF report I mention above.
The USAF hosted copy is no longer at it's original URL, but Fox News have a copy on their website and it can be found at:
(You will probably need to cut and paste the above URL into your browser's address bar. Note also that it's a PDF document so you will need a PDF reader. The document is about 4MB in size.)
While reading the various sections, you will see that some Academy staff and senior cadets have quite a history of trying to force their values onto other people at the Academy and behaving in highly inappropriate ways in that regard.
If you are pushed for time, the various independent reports in some of the attachments at the end of the document are more concise and detailed than the USAF report. Attachment H has a detailed report on events at that time and some reasons why the Academy actions at that time violated the US Constitution.
I'm a Brit living in the UK and looking at the US from the other side of the pond I see a US which quite correctly points out religious extremism in other parts of the world, but fails to address such extremism in it's own backyard.
The case of the USAF Academy comes across to me over here as been a horror story of religious fundamentalists successfully taking control of a military organisation, then practising prejudice and bigotry (and even in some cases hatred) while daring to call it Christianity (and I speak here as a Atheist). This story comes across to me as been just one more story in a long list of horror stories.
(I have a great deal of affection and respect for the US but the rise of religious extremism within the US over the last few years, especially in places like Colorado Springs, is a shock and is quite sad - the US came across as been very tolerant when it came to religion in the past.)
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