The debate over gays in the military has highlighted the progressive impulse to look anywhere but to America for cultural truth. On talk shows and in editorials, Americans are urged to emulate “other industrialized nations” (read “increasingly decadent Western Europe”) that permit openly homosexual soldiers and sailors. Often praised is Holland, whose ponytailed, hairnet-coiffed legions strike terror in exactly nobody. But perhaps we shouldn’t be too quick to judge; except for World Cup soccer, the Dutch have fought no major battles since Hitler rolled over their defenses in about 12 minutes.

Another contender for military correctness is France, which does not ask inductees their sexual orientation. But hold les horses. When a French soldier is found to be overtly homosexual, he is sent to a psychiatric unit for appraisal, and usually reassigned to national civilian service. “There’s a cultural difference,” says a French military official who requested anonymity. “Homosexuality is less of a stigma for us. And you have a voluntary force; we have a draft. If you could escape military service simply by declaring homosexuality, 85 percent of our conscripts would turn out to be ‘homosexual.'”

Israel, whose policy toward women in combat (forbidden since 1948) is often misconstrued, is similarly misrepresented on its homosexual policy. In a report to the United States Army cited in the Washington Times, military personnel expert Charles Moskos of Northwestern University summarizes: “De facto, open gays in the Israeli Defense Forces are treated much in the manner of women soldiers, e.g., usually they reside in their homes, are not allowed into combat units, and are kept out of forward base areas.”

In NATO, 10 of 15 nations ban or restrict homosexuals in the military, according to a study by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe (SHAPE). The good guys, at least by Barney Frank’s standards, are Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Norway. Bad guys include Spain, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Iceland, and Belgium (which defines homosexuality as “a psychological anomaly inconsistent with military service”).

The real stinkers, however, are the United States and Great Britain, both of which still fight occasional wars. Although Britain does not ban homosexuals outright the way the United States does, gay soldiering is discouraged through “administrative” means. Major John Sylvester, staff officer at the British Embassy in Washington, explains: “There’s a degree of subtlety here. If there’s conduct unbecoming, then we could discharge.” But conduct unbecoming can be as simple as an open declaration of sexual attraction to the other troops, especially those under one’s direct command.

Twenty years of federal court rulings in the United States unambiguously show that an open declaration of homosexuality is de facto conduct, because it is a foolproof indicator of intent to commit sodomy, an illegal activity under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Of the 17,000 homosexual men and women mustered out of the U.S. Armed Services over the past ten years, not one has denied indulging in or planning to indulge in the proscribed behavior.

But back to the “other industrialized nations.” The gay ban only recently fell in Canada and Australia. Canada knuckled under to a judge upholding the claim of a dismissed female soldier who admitted to having had a lesbian affair. In Australia, officials said that their ban was lifted in response to Clinton’s publicized promise. So we now have the United States looking to one nation that mirrors our problems with an imperious judiciary and to another that is admittedly following what its leaders believe to be the American example. Which brings us to the folly of this whole business of comparing the United States military to that of other nations. Like it or not, we are the world’s policeman. And international comparisons tend to be quite selective. For example, we are not supposed to buck a fictitious international lavender military tide. On the other hand, no other nation is thrusting women into combat roles, but such comparisons are deemed useless. The United States must lead the world in unisex innovation, even if it means drafting our mothers, wives, and daughters along with gays. As Dave Barry would say, I Am Not Making This Up, this stuff about drafting women. Navy Secretary Sean O’Keefe told midshipmen in Annapolis shortly before the Clinton Anschluss that women should perform combat roles in all the services and be “conscripted on an identical sociological basis as men.” What a gentleman.

Speaking of gentlemen, Republican “opposition” to the Clinton plan consists of a bare majority within a minority. Some GOP senators have run for cover, trying to appease their enemies by vainly protesting that they are not “gay-bashers.” Rather than oppose Clinton openly, many supported the safe idea of holding congressional hearings before Clinton issues his promised executive order on July 15.

The homosexual and feminist military agendas are one and the same. Both cite “equal opportunity” as the only relevancy. Sexual differences, no matter how stark, arc trivialities to be smoothed over in sensitivity sessions like those the entire Navy endured courtesy of the Tailhook scandal and a spineless Navy brass. Like parents who choose a daycare center because it meets their own—not their child’s—needs, the pansexualists have targeted the military not because lifting the ban will strengthen the nation’s defense but because the military is the ideal vehicle for their larger agenda: open cultural acceptance of homosexuality and the elimination of Christianity from public life.

During Operation Desert Storm, the Gideons handed out one million New Testaments to troops slated for Middle East duty. Had the gay ban not been in place, the ACLU’s Gay and Lesbian Project would have found a judge to invoke “equal protection” and ban distribution of this “oppressively homophobic” literature. Sensitivity training would have surely followed. Is there any reason to believe that a politically correct nation that orders its troops to conceal items such as crosses. Stars of David, and chaplain’s insignias so as not to offend the people whose hides are being saved would not order its military to salute and then comply?