I sympathize with the difficulty these supervisors faced: it is very hard for a white supervisor to weed out a troublesome non-white subordinate because of the armyâ€™s Equal Opportunity Office. The military has a fierce, well funded and staffed EEO bureaucracy. Although the office is officially racially neutral, everyone knows how the deck is stacked. Personally, I was never able to dismiss unsatisfactory non-white subordinates, and other officers of my acquaintance experienced the same problem. One officer made a valiant attempt to block the promotion of an incompetent Korean lieutenant by refusing to sign his promotion paperwork only to have a different officer sign it with the commanderâ€™s blessing. In such cases, it is easier to just promote the troublemaker and transfer him to a different post. This is probably what happened in the case of Major Hasan.
Affirmative Action is expensive, of course, but this means it's also a security risk.
...the military has a great many non-white medical officers. Elite whites, who make up the majority of doctors, tend to avoid military service so the Army must recruit the dregs of the medical schools. When I was down with a case of bronchitis during my days in the service, I was advised by several NCOâ€™s to avoid the closest on-post clinic because the black doctor there was incompetent. Later I saw a Sikh, with beard and turban, a violation of army regulations, working at a dental clinic with the rank of colonel. As Iâ€™ve written elsewhere, Sikhs have their own unique terrorist potential, and I was shocked at the folly of recruiting this man and giving him such a high rank.
Hengest is referring to his excellent earlier article, The Sikhs of Vancouver.
Veterans Day is our chance to honor those Americans whoâ€™ve served on battlefields from Lexington to Antietam, Normandy to Manila, Inchon to Khe Sanh, Ramadi to Kandahar.
They are Americans of every race, faith, and station. They are Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and nonbelievers. They are descendents of immigrants and immigrants themselves. They reflect the diversity that makes this America.