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Geffen and Military

April 04, 1993

Right away the knee-jerk militarists are outraged (Letters, March 21) over David Geffen's distaste for military service. Doesn't Geffen know, they say, that the military is fighting and dying to preserve "rights and freedoms"?

Women's freedom? Female officers mauled, pawed and degraded by male officers in the Tailhook episode. An exception? When female soldiers complained to their superior officers about being raped by male soldiers while stationed in the Persian Gulf, they were told to forget it and then threatened with demotion when they persisted.

Gays' freedom? Gay servicemen are routinely threatened, assaulted and hounded by other servicemen. Officers encourage this--I mean, look the other way--until the inevitable: In Tokyo a gay U.S. soldier is killed by another soldier while two others stand lookout.

Freedom for the rest of the world? Since World War II the U.S. military has directly intervened in behalf of autocratic regimes in Vietnam, the Dominican Republic and Kuwait and worked closely with brutal dictatorships in the Philippines, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Indonesia.

Perhaps these are some of the reasons for Geffen's view of military service.

CLIFFORD OLIN

Alhambra

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