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Perhaps it's my impending return to school, but I am hankering for some 
solid debate. Not that the usual name calling isn't fun, but I think, for 
the time being, I KNOW on what side of the political game most of the 
frequent posters fall. In an effort to toss things up a bit, I'd like to 
cast a debate in a different form.

As a final in a US military history course I took, the essay question was 
essentially this: write a letter to President Clinton from the Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs outlining what could be done to mend fences, explaining 
military culture and its impact on certain decisions and opinions, etc. The 
most interesting thing of it was that, by nature of the structure of the 
question, personal opinion had to be left out. I strive for a similar 
structure here.

President Smith has just taken office. He is moderately liberal, or perhaps 
liberally moderate, with of course the requisite dash of conservative 
leanings. He has fine relations with the military, is respectful of the work 
done and sacrifices made on behalf of the country. The good relationship is 
generally mutual, the military is as pleased with the new President as 

A year or two goes by, the relationship stays positive. One day, the 
President stands before the people and makes the following speech, the nub 
of which is excerpted below:

'I cannot help but believe that this country, no matter the issue, is done 
better by justice than not. That any question that is answered with equality 
and liberty will be answered correctly. Equally true, in any area where we 
do not follow these truths, we shall never truly succeed. Following in the 
footsteps of Harry Truman, who said that nevermore would the US military 
fight as a force segregated by color, so too shall it be true that nevermore 
will the US military fight as a force segregated by gender - in any unit, 
any job, or any capacity. I have full faith and confidence in my military 
leadership to see this directive followed to its most successful end.'

The question that is put to the forum, then, is how would this best be done? 
No weasling, no disagreeing with the policy, it's a done deal. It's not 
about whether one agrees with the decision - it's far more compelling if you 
DISAGREE to have to think about how to make it work - in fact, those are 
some of the opinions I am most interested to hear. That's part of why I 
chose this issue - because I know that the opinions do not fall timidly, the 
positions are strongly held. It is, therefore, a challenge. Call it an issue 

Enjoy the day,
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