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More thoughts on the chickenhawk slur

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:28 pm - August 23, 2005.
Filed under: General

In the first comment to a recent post where I agreed with a man who lost his son in Iraq that the media should offer “equal time to the other loved ones of fallen heroes,” a reader quoted a Democratic Senator, who himself was just mimicking one of the left’s standard refrains in criticizing supporters of the war. He called us chickenhawks. He probably thought he had won the argument by accusing certain supporters of the war of being afraid to fight.

But, in so labeling us, he effectively forfeited the field. Instead of taking issue with the facts we are presenting and the arguments we are making, he attacked us personally. They’re no longer engaging us; they’re baiting us. “After participating in a lengthy comment session” on this blog, ThatGayConservative concluded liberals use this tactic to “justify their own hatred.” Sometimes I think he’s right, that liberals are just trying to find a rationale to express their hatred of and contempt for conservatives and our ideas. On my more generous days, I think they’re just looking for means to dismiss our arguments without having to acknowledge our ideas.

The Gay Conservative wasn’t the only one to take issue with the absurd, but standard left accusation. In comment #82 to my post, Joe, echoed Clint in calling the accusation, “petty ad hominem; ‘at best’ trying to get a rise; more likely the mark of intellectual desperation.”

It’s just a mean-spirited charge, especially given the fact that many who serve, indeed, many who have seen friends and colleagues die, continue to stay and fight for our country. According to a report in today’s New York Post, “Every one of the Army’s 10 divisions — its key combat organizations — has exceeded its re-enlistment goal for the year to date.” (If you don’t believe me, read whole thing. (Via Powerline, via Betsy Newmark.)

As long as we have a volunteer army, the Chickenhawk slur is just that, a slur. A means to insult certain conservatives while dismissing our ideas.

All that said, I think it’s a fair question to ask why those of us who support the war have not served. By asking this questions, instead of calling us chickenhawks from the get-go, they might see that many of us have wrestled with our decision not to serve.

More than that. We recognize the quality of the men and women who have signed up.

Perhaps to show how much we honor these great Americans, instead of spending so much time on Cindy Sheehan, we should talk more about people like her son Casey, a true American hero. This brave young man “re-enlisted in the Army in 2004 knowing full well that he could be sent into a combat zone.” On April 4th of that year, he volunteered to rescue his fellow soldiers under assault from forces loyal to Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al’Sadr. Please read Blackfive’s beautiful tribute to Casey Sheehan. Blackfive, by the way, is a blogger who did serve in the Army.

Instead of considering our arguments, too many on the left label us chickenhawks which New England Republican sees as “a childish substitute for not being able to argue your case on the merits.” Or, as John Hawkins put it, the “‘chickenhawk'” catcall is little more than an attempt to stifle debate and divert attention away from the lack of substance that undergirds much of the anti-war side of the debate.” (Last two comments via Lorie Byrd’s excellent post on Michelle Malkin‘s blog.)

The chickenhawk tactic serves primarily to slur those who support the war but did not themselves serve in the military. While those who call us chickenhawks may think they have trumped us, all they really have done is replaced argument with name-calling. Not only that; by their very tactic, they leave themselves open to criticism from countless Americans who have served. Just as an overwhelmingly majority of those who currently serve in the armed forces support the president’s policies, many, many veterans support the president on Iraq.

Although Mr. Bush ran against a man who touted his military credentials in last year’s campaign, he won a higher percentage of the veteran’s vote than did that Vietnam Vet. Indeed, his percentage of the veterans’ vote was higher than his national majority. As was his percentage of the vote of those currently serving in the military.

Let’s have a debate on the merits of the war in Iraq. But, let’s not do it by calling some of the president’s supporters names or misrepresenting the president’s policies, including and especially the case he made for liberating Iraq while Saddam still tyrannized than land.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

UPDATE: Since initially posting this piece, Andy (in comment #26) pointed out that columnist Ralph Peters offered a correction to his column where he acknowledged one “substantial error.” While reenlistment rates continue to exceed expectations, the “Army is still falling short on new enlistments.” I have changed the text of this post to reflect that.

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92 Comments

  1. Personally, I like living in a country with civilian (non-military) control over the military. Don’t you?

    Comment by joe — August 23, 2005 @ 7:41 pm - August 23, 2005

  2. Just to clarify, why I don’t think I’m the one who ever used the word chickenhawk, I have in the past said that a major difference between WWII and the WOT/War in Iraq (which have often times been compared to one another on this and other blogs) is that in WWII, civilians volunteered, signed up and went and died for our freedom because it was undeniably threatened by Japan and Hitler. This has not been the case with the WOT/War in Iraq on the same level as it was in WWII. I personally was not leveling any accusations of anyone for not going to war to fight, but just pointing out that the perception of a threat to our freedom seems far more heavy during WWII than it does with the War on Terror/War in Iraq. I just wanted to clarify that and point out that any time I have mentioned those who talk about how important this war is to our safety who choose to let others fight it was to compare it in terms of “perceived threats” to our freedom. I don’t think anyone should go and fight if they choose not to and do of course support a volunteer armed forces.

    Comment by Britton — August 23, 2005 @ 8:14 pm - August 23, 2005

  3. I would not volunteer for this war, especially now knowing what we know. And I would not want to be drafted. I am uncomfortable with the idea of supporting a war that I would not fight or want a family member to fight. It goes against the way I was raised.

    What about the rest of you?

    Comment by anon — August 23, 2005 @ 8:33 pm - August 23, 2005

  4. The chickenhawk slur is really an easy way of bullying other people; it has no merit whatever. Moreover, in most circumstances it’s none of anyone else’s business whether another citizen served. Remember that most veterans aren’t combat veterans, and that some of our greatest wartime leaders had little if any military experience (Lincoln, FDR). To see how absurd it is, apply the logic of the chickenhawk slur to other topics of our time:

    Are women who express an opinion about abortion going to be intimidated into disclosing whether they or a family member has ever had an abortion? Are men automatically precluded from voicing their concerns as well?

    Are people who live in the city going to be dismissed whenever they comment on agricultural policy?

    Are non-diplomats going to be grilled about their overseas experience whenever they express opinions about America’s foreign policy?

    Are physicians the only ones allowed to contribute to a national debate about medical care?

    Of course, some people are better informed than others, through experience or training. Former military personnel typically (but not always!) bring a lot of insights to a discussion about war, just as farmers usually understand agriculture, and diplomats the foreign service.

    The chickenhawk epithet is a cheap, lazy, and sly way to silence those with whom one may disagree. I’m against it.

    Comment by Butch — August 23, 2005 @ 8:46 pm - August 23, 2005

  5. I must be missing something. Maybe it was covered in one of the long threads that I skipped. But people are calling the Gay Patriots and That Gay Conservative chickenhawks, and demanding that you sign up? Don’t they know that the military doesn’t want you?

    This isn’t quite as dumb as when they fling “chickenhawk” at people who have served or are currently serving, or when Michael Moore asked a childless congressman why his son wasn’t serving, but it’s right up there on the dumbness scale.

    Comment by Milhouse — August 23, 2005 @ 9:13 pm - August 23, 2005

  6. Butch is pretty close to it. The chickenhawk slur is a way for lefties to try and silence debate before the emptiness and vacuity of their positions can be revealed in detail.

    Comment by V the K — August 23, 2005 @ 10:15 pm - August 23, 2005

  7. I would not volunteer for this war, especially now knowing what we know.

    What you know or what the DNC, MSM, and the Neo-Socialists WANT you to know?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 23, 2005 @ 11:40 pm - August 23, 2005

  8. Don’t they know that the military doesn’t want you?

    We’re not all flaming, limp-wristed queens lisping like Truman Capote. I doubt many resemble Buddy Cole. There are, in fact, many gays that are serving now. Besides, if you don’t tell, you can serve.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 23, 2005 @ 11:43 pm - August 23, 2005

  9. Re: #2

    “…a major difference between WWII and the WOT/War in Iraq…is that in WWII, civilians volunteered, signed up and went and died for our freedom because it was undeniably threatened by Japan and Hitler. This has not been the case with the WOT/War in Iraq on the same level as it was in WWII.”

    Whoa! Let me just check something.

    You don’t think the caliphascists threaten our freedom *more* (forget about merely the same amount) as Germany and Japan in WW2?

    Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, but never had the ability or intention to incinerate cities on our mainland. Ditto for Hitler, who didn’t even bomb Pearl Harbor (he only torpedoed some merchant shipping that was a “legitimate” target in the legal sense that it was supplying his enemies).

    Of course Japan and Hitler were threats to our freedom. My point is: given that they were, then how much *more* a threat to our freedom is an enemy who can incinerate our cities, if they just slip through with the right single, small piece of WMD? And who has every intention of doing so – even after we “get Israel out of Palestine” (in Cindy’s ugly formulation) – until and unless we should submit to Islam and their Caliphate?

    “I just wanted to…point out that any time I have mentioned those who talk about how important this war is to our safety who choose to let others fight it was to compare it in terms of “perceived threats” to our freedom.”

    OK, and once again Britton…..who would these mysterious “people who choose to let others fight it” be?

    I don’t “choose to let others fight it”. Our volunteer, selective military gets to pick and choose, and long story short, they didn’t choose me. My life goes on. I try to support the cause of America in other ways.

    Comment by joe — August 24, 2005 @ 12:33 am - August 24, 2005

  10. P.S. And don’t anyone try to say that these mythical “people who choose to let others fight it” would be President Bush or other top officials. It would be quite impossible for Bush’s daughters, for example, to serve in Iraq – because they would be top terrorist targets, would (for that reason alone) require huge extra protection interfering with unit performance, would be subjects of constant invasive and destructive (to the military) media gossip, etc. Again, just for those reasons alone, the military *would not take them* if they tried.

    Comment by joe — August 24, 2005 @ 12:38 am - August 24, 2005

  11. One more thought……There is one group of people “who choose to let others fight it”……..That would be far-leftists. People who would never remotely consider volunteering for the military, no matter how “patriotic” or “supportive of our troops” they would now like to claim to be. Heck, at least I thought about and was warned away by military friends.

    Comment by joe — August 24, 2005 @ 12:43 am - August 24, 2005

  12. The people who make the chickenhawk slur are probably the same ones who want to ban military recruiters from our major universities.

    Comment by Patrick Rothwell — August 24, 2005 @ 8:48 am - August 24, 2005

  13. Easy Britton. They’re not after you.

    What is being perceived here as a “slur” is not an attempt to “bully”. There’s enough of that directed at the liberal writers, and it’s been quite vile in some cases and tolerated by Bruce and Dan, who have even honored the prime practitioner with a front page post.

    Instead, the term “chickenhawks” is nothing more than a succinct characterization of a site full of men (mainly) who avidly support the War On Iraq (calling it “a noble cause”), but who would not for a moment consider joining that war – even though that war needs their participation.

    Seems to me those men are coming back with 3 common excuses for why they eagerly support that war in concept but not in practice:

    EXCUSE #1: There’s no need to participate. The military is meeting its recruiting and re-enlistment goals – i.e., we’ve got plenty of people to fight this thing already; don’t need another single one.

    They base that excuse on a one-two month Summer period when enlistment is always at its highest and don’t acknowledge that THOSE goals have been lowered in the first place. Before using this excuse, they should go to the DoD website and carefully read the latest press release (putting the best face on the problem)…

    http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Aug2005/20050810_2387.html

    …and to the NYT’s story on reduced recruiting goals…

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20F1EF6385C0C7B8CDDAF0894DD404482&incamp=archive:search

    EXCUSE #2: Cheering a war from the sidelines but not participating in it is no different from cheering on police and fire personnel but not becoming one.

    Sounds safe enough on the face of it, right? But when you think about it beyond the easy out it seems to offer, you realize that there is (or should be) a perceived difference in honoring the service of fire and police personnel who respond on our behalf in circumstances beyond our control which threaten our safety, and rooting on a war that needlessly threatens the lives of military personnel – something that is very much in our control, for we can stand up and insist that leaders not put our people in harm’s way for flimsy reasons. By the logic expressed in the excuse, one could – just for fun – call out for help from fire or police personnel, knowing that they were walking into a dangerous trap, and be absolved from all responsibility for that action by simply saying, “but I support the (fire personnel) (police) (troops)”.

    EXCUSE #3: Besides, I’m gay and the military doesn’t want gay people in the first place.

    This rationale for non-service was most effectively rebutted by (dare I say it) Chief Chickenhawk himself, when he wrote above: “There are, in fact, many gays that are serving now. Besides, if you don’t tell, you can serve.”

    Gang, I know the “chickenhawk” label ruffles feathers here. But I’m afraid you’ve earned it and, like it or not, are doomed to wear it through the conclusion of the Iraq Folly. Your protestations of this label have become tiring, so can we now move on to another subject – e.g., “Republican leader calls for the assassination of Venezuela’s president”?

    Comment by Reader — August 24, 2005 @ 9:02 am - August 24, 2005

  14. Milhouse-

    Does that answer your question?

    Comment by Clint — August 24, 2005 @ 9:58 am - August 24, 2005

  15. I have to go back to scrolling over Reader’s completely detached from reality comments. I skimmed over its pathetic rationalization of why it’s okay to use name-calling against people who disagree with you, and then I read this “Republican leader calls for the assassination of Venezuela’s president.”

    1. Robertson is not a leader of the Republican party. Republicans do not elect their leadership from the ranks of whackjobs who lost every single primary when they ran for president. They leave that to Democrats.

    2. Does anyone suspect the left and the media’s (but I repeat myself) obsession with one comment by Pat Robertson might be a ploy to distract attention from the fact that St. Joan of Crawford, their Moonbat Heroine of the Anti-War Movement, has been exposed as a ranting, anti-semitic lunatic?

    3. Was there any similar outcry when George Stephanopolous, a member of the White House staff, advocated assassinating Saddam Hussein?

    So now that I’m not in the White House, I can say what I couldn’t say then: we should seriously explore the assassination option. Even though the current crisis may be subsiding temporarily, we don’t know what the future holds. A direct attack on Saddam would no doubt be politically risky — the president, concerned about his place in history, would be torn between the desire to get rid of a bully and the worry that an assassination plan gone awry would embarrass him late in his term. But the president should think about it: the gulf-war coalition is teetering and we have not eliminated Saddam’s capacity to inflict mass destruction. That’s why killing him may be the more sensible — and moral — course over the long run.

    I’m sending Reader back to scrollover country.

    Comment by V the K — August 24, 2005 @ 10:19 am - August 24, 2005

  16. Dan, another good post. Just be sure to share with the folks at MoveOn and TalkLeft and the Democrat Underground… and the former AFL CIO.

    Comment by Matt-Michigan — August 24, 2005 @ 10:49 am - August 24, 2005

  17. #15 – Yeah, I don’t bother either. At some point I figured Reader’s wacky trash was frequently self-refuting and didn’t need me. I read your stuff of course, and you just sort of confirmed that 🙂

    Comment by joe — August 24, 2005 @ 11:07 am - August 24, 2005

  18. Britton, on the other hand, gets somewhat more of my respect and attention.

    Comment by joe — August 24, 2005 @ 11:09 am - August 24, 2005

  19. Well, with Britton, there are some indications that actual thought is going on, and not copy-pastes of shrill talking points from the far left.

    I just thought of another way to illustrate the chickenhawk fantasy:

    Left-Winger: I oppose the war because Bush is actually a babboon riding a tricycle and my pants are full of green Jell-O.

    Right-Winger: I support the war, because I think establishing Arab democracy will benefit Americans and Arabs in the long run.

    Left-Winger: Well, since you won’t go and fight yourself, your reasons don’t count and I win.

    Comment by V the K — August 24, 2005 @ 11:58 am - August 24, 2005

  20. I see you all are most combative in your responses, so it doesn’t look like the chickenhawk slur has silenced or shamed any of you.

    Today, Instapundit quotes from Susan Mettler’s Soldiers To Citizens: The GI Bill And The Making Of The Greatest Generation:

    In the democratic ideals so central to the nation’s identity, military service had long been regarded as the utmost obligation of masculine citizenship, and the protection of the nation by ordinary citizens, as opposed to a standing army, was considered essential to maintaining self-governance.

    Well perhaps we have a new model for utmost citizenship, Republican screenwriters:

    “For Mr. Averch, this column is an extraordinary act of courage. It is not hyperbole to suggest that his career may be threatened, and perhaps even his personal safety.”

    Comment by anon — August 24, 2005 @ 12:12 pm - August 24, 2005

  21. Logic and facts
    Are effective attacks
    But chickenhawk slurs don’t hurt us

    Comment by V the K — August 24, 2005 @ 12:28 pm - August 24, 2005

  22. Reader, please engage us in argument and stop trying to define us. How the **bleep** do you know that we would not “for a moment consider joining the war?” How is it that you presume to know our thought processes?

    You can rant on and on as much as you want, but in the end, your very comment makes very clear that your interest is not debate, but attacking us personally–and using that slur as an attempt to dismiss our arguments. You say we’ve “earned” this label, based not upon what you know about us, but about what you assume about us. Your use of that verb says much about the way you see us, but nothing about the way we are.

    You link a New York Times article which is more than months old and link a DoD press release which offers almost nothing to support your claims.

    Indeed, you indicate that you’re not willing to deal with our arguments when you write “Your protestations of this label have become tiring, so can we now move on to another subject.” It’s not our protestations which have becoming tiring, it’s your attempt to label us and so dodge the points we raise that has become representative of the way many on the Left handle our arguments.

    As long as we have a volunteer army, the chickenhawk slur is, as I said in the post above, simply that a slur.

    Finally, if you’re going to dismiss us as “chickenhawks,” how do you handle the arguments of an overwhelming majority of active-duty military who support the president and the war? In many cases, our points echo those of those brave men and women — as well as of numerous veterans who already served.

    Perhaps your case might have merit if only those who didn’t serve favored the war. No wonder the Left wants to highlight Cindy Sheehan, as if to suggest military families oppose the war. It’s too bad (for your side) that the publicity she gained spurred countless military families who support the war to speak out in defense of the president and his policies in Iraq. But, since many who serve (and have served) offer arguments similar, if not identical, to our own, all you are doing is labeling us while ignoring the broader argument.

    So, in the end, all you’re doing is calling us names and ignoring the issues.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — August 24, 2005 @ 12:32 pm - August 24, 2005

  23. See, Michelle Malkin can’t say what Casey Sheehan would think (she didn’t) but bleeding gash there, Reatard. can (she did).
    Further, you living in a liberal wonderland if you actually believe most Americans oppose the war.

    Shut up and take your hormones, Reatard.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 24, 2005 @ 12:58 pm - August 24, 2005

  24. Powerline has touched on this today….They were really more on the media-coverage topic, but they say it so beautifully:

    “…The media’s breathless tabulation of casualties in Iraq–now, over 1,800 deaths–is generally devoid of context. Here’s some context: between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year exceeds the rate of combat deaths in Iraq by a ratio of nearly two to one.

    “That’s right: all through the years when hardly anyone was paying attention, soldiers, sailors and Marines were dying in accidents, training and otherwise, at nearly twice the rate of combat deaths in Iraq from the start of the war in 2003 to the present. Somehow, though, when there was no political hay to be made, I don’t recall any great outcry, or gleeful reporting, or erecting of crosses in the President’s home town. In fact, I’ll offer a free six-pack to the first person who can find evidence that any liberal expressed concern–any concern–about the 18,006 American service members who died accidentally in service of their country from 1983 to 1996.”

    There’s more – Read the whole thing: http://powerlineblog.com/archives/011443.php

    Comment by joe — August 24, 2005 @ 1:36 pm - August 24, 2005

  25. Who needs to make excuses for supporting the War on Terror? And who’s cheering from the sidelines? That’s yet another nasty, cheap slur. I don’t know anyone, anyone at all, who is happy about the war, much less cheering about it.

    Good grief.

    Oh, and gays are not welcome in the US military, period. Don’t ask, don’t tell and you likely don’t get busted out. But it’s still illegal for gays and lesbians to enlist in the first place.

    Speaking of accidents, gay men in the military have always been the target of “accidents.” Ensign Johnson “accidentally” fell overboard in the night. Corporal Smith was “accidentally” sucked into an aircraft engine. This phenomenon is well known among gay men in the military, especially among sailors and Marines on ships. Even before DADT, not telling was always a good idea for those who wanted to survive.

    Comment by Butch — August 24, 2005 @ 2:25 pm - August 24, 2005

  26. Um, did anyone actually read the article? Maybe you should go back and check to read this part, in case it wasn’t there when you saw it before:

    “Correction: My article above contained a substantial error: The new-enlistment rates I cited were wrong. The Army is still falling short on new enlistments. I deeply regret the mistake. But the numbers on the inspiring re-enlistment rates of our combat soldiers – the central issue of the column – were correct. I stand behind every word I wrote about the patriotism, commitment and valor of our troops. – RALPH PETERS”

    OOPS.

    Comment by Andy — August 24, 2005 @ 2:28 pm - August 24, 2005

  27. VtK-

    Logic and facts
    Are effective attacks
    But chickenhawk slurs don’t hurt us

    Brilliant!

    Comment by Clint — August 24, 2005 @ 3:00 pm - August 24, 2005

  28. Thanks, Clint.

    There is a reason enlistments are down. It’s because the strong economy is competing with the military. Recruiting is always a challenge during a period of strong economic growth.

    Naturally, the Bush-hating left don’t want to talk about the strength of the economy.

    Comment by V the K — August 24, 2005 @ 3:31 pm - August 24, 2005

  29. Perhaps your case might have merit if only those who didn’t serve favored the war. No wonder the Left wants to highlight Cindy Sheehan, as if to suggest military families oppose the war.

    Of course, what Reader and the rest of the Left don’t want to admit is that Cindy Sheehan opposed the war in Afghanistan as well — not good publicity, you know.

    Really, GPW, you hit on the main point. The Left is trying to use people with a military affiliation of some sort to advance their agenda, but it keeps unraveling when the moonbat sides of their natures are made obvious. John Kerry, for instance, fought in Vietnam, but then he went up in front of Congress and “exaggerated” all the stories he told about the troops, which led to the leftist shrieks of “baby-killer” and showers of spit that greeted our returning soldiers. Cindy Sheehan’s son was killed in action, but it turns out he volunteered to join, he volunteered to re-enlist, and he volunteered to go into the firefight that killed him — and his mother has used his death to advance her racist and anti-Semitic views ever since.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 24, 2005 @ 4:12 pm - August 24, 2005

  30. To go back up to Joe’s comments regarding my comment about WWII and WOT. I was not saying that I felt one way or the other but pointing out the obvious differences in enlistment during WWII and today. The obvious differences in how the “threat” is perceived. In WWII, the enemy was a bit more clear than it is today. Japan, Germany, et. al. There was a clear and visible goal to achieve which was defeating them. After we were attacked first. People who were not in the armed services left their families to sign up to defeat the enemy. We are not seeing anything like that today like was seen in WWII. I think a lot of it has to do with the perception people have of “the enemy” (unclearly defined) and “the threat” (whether or not the WOT will ever eliminate the threat or diminish our status in the Middle East). I think if the threat was more clear and an enemy more defined, you’d see more people fighting. But a lot of people are completely lacking in any faith that a war on terror is something that can be one and that you can clearly define an enemy to go and defeat in such a war. I was not taking sides, or anything, but merely pointing out that America was far more united on who the enemy was and the importance of defeating that enemy in an expediant manner during WWII than they are today. And in WWII, most supporters of our war were not blogging (of course) but were fighting. And many voluntarily so having not been serving in the armed services prior to the war. Having discussed this before, I was also just clarifying that I was in no means slurring anyone for not fighting in this war. Just pointing out that many who support it and are capable of serving are not. That was far less of an occurrence during WWII.

    Comment by Britton — August 24, 2005 @ 4:49 pm - August 24, 2005

  31. “The chickenhawk slur is really an easy way of bullying other people; it has no merit whatever. Moreover, in most circumstances it’s none of anyone else’s business whether another citizen served.”

    This comes from the same ethical place that wants Jim West’s privacy protected.

    Comment by anon — August 24, 2005 @ 4:49 pm - August 24, 2005

  32. Anon, your comment makes absolutely no sense.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — August 24, 2005 @ 4:59 pm - August 24, 2005

  33. Anon’s comments offer no insights and no relevant facts. Moreover, they don’t refute my assertion that the chickenhawk slur is being used to bully other people. What exactly is unethical about making such an obvious statement?

    If you want to question other people’s ethics, anon, why not have the ethical integrity read their posts and think about them first.

    Comment by Butch — August 24, 2005 @ 5:21 pm - August 24, 2005

  34. So, somebody who uses no nic and no email thinks it’s okay to call other people “chickenhawks.”

    Comment by V the K — August 24, 2005 @ 5:24 pm - August 24, 2005

  35. Britton-

    Some stats… Out of a population of 150 million people, 16 million served in WWII, 12 million of them outside the continental U.S. About a third were volunteers, the rest were drafted. 292,000 died (1.8% of those who served).

    Today, out of a population of 280 million people, 1.2 million have served in Iraq and Afghanistan alone. Every single one was a volunteer. Of these, 1,800 have died. (0.15% of those who served).

    So… yes, if Nazi Germany were rampaging across Europe and their Fascist allies bombed Hawaii, and American culture was unchanged over the last two generations, we would expect about 10 million military volunteers — almost a factor of ten more than we’ve gotten.

    There are quite a few notable differences between the wars. And there are quire a few notable differences between American society in 1940 and American society in 2000. But you’re absolutely right that the American people were more uniform in popular opinion in 1940 than in 2000.

    I’d suggest that quite a bit of that is the increased availability of information — look at the uniformity of public opinion in North Korea, or even France, for comparison.

    In the 1940s every single movie in every single theater in America began the film with a short propaganda piece about the war and Nazi propaganda films were banned. Press and pundits opposed to the war were suppressed. In the 2000s we can watch Al Jazeera on web-cast, or watch any of a half a dozen indy films lambasting the Bush administration on “On Demand” TV, or pundits doing the same on NPR every Sunday. This is actually a very good thing, if you believe (as I do) in the marketplace of ideas. But one side effect is that American opinion is less uniform.

    Comment by Clint — August 24, 2005 @ 6:14 pm - August 24, 2005

  36. Butch offers wise counsel to those nesting here at GP: “If you want to question other people’s ethics, why not have the ethical integrity to read their posts and THINK about them first.” Well said, Butch.

    Comment by Reader — August 24, 2005 @ 6:29 pm - August 24, 2005

  37. Never called anyone a chickenhawk. But like John Derbyshire at NRO, I disagree with those that think the issue is irrelevant. Note: Jonah Goldberg disagrees. Guess which of the two has done military service. Again: I am uncomfortable with supporting a war I would not fight or want a family member to fight.

    I’m just a loyal Republican trying to save his party from going off the deep end. Loyal Republicans performed a similar service with Nixon.

    Comment by anon — August 24, 2005 @ 6:29 pm - August 24, 2005

  38. I like John Derbyshire, and he has always been most courteous in responding to my emails. However, I think his reasoning is flawed, and I prefer my green Jell-O pants analogy.

    Comment by V the K — August 24, 2005 @ 7:23 pm - August 24, 2005

  39. [S]o it doesn’t look like the chickenhawk slur has silenced or shamed any of you.

    What’s for posters here at GP to be ashamed of? As for silence, that’s exactly what the people who use the chickenhawk epithet are hoping for. No such luck.

    I’m “uncomfortable” with this war all right, and I wish our young men would stop being shot and maimed in it. But I have yet to hear a sensible alternative to fighting terror all over the world, including in the Middle East.

    Comment by Butch — August 24, 2005 @ 7:24 pm - August 24, 2005

  40. _I_ certainly don’t expect or hope for silence by discussing the chickenhawk issue. I think we all learn from your comments. I really would like to know: would any of you fight this war? It’s a question I ask myself. I would hope it’s one you would ask of yourselves as well. And if many people say, no I would not, do you think that chages the nature of the war, its urgency, its priority?

    For those that think only leftie liberals would find an element of taint in supporting a war that one would not fight in. I refer you to Derybershire’s comments about Bush’s military service and the chickenhawk slur in general. He’s got a few sharp things to say about the role of the twins as well.

    Comment by anon — August 24, 2005 @ 8:35 pm - August 24, 2005

  41. I reject your premise. The merits of the war and the nobility of the cause exist completely apart from the willingness of any given individual to take up arms.

    Comment by V the K — August 24, 2005 @ 8:44 pm - August 24, 2005

  42. I agree with V the K.

    For instance, many Friends supported the merits of the American Revolution and the nobility of its cause, and the British reverse of the case in other instances, but were unwilling to take up arms because of their religious beliefs.

    For example, many of my relatives supported the merits of World War II and the nobility of its cause, but did not serve — because they were ranchers, and their support on the homefront was more vital to the war effort.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 24, 2005 @ 9:05 pm - August 24, 2005

  43. Anon,
    Are you assuming that non of us have considered service?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 24, 2005 @ 9:13 pm - August 24, 2005

  44. [W]ould any of you fight this war?

    I would. Yes.

    If I had enlisted, I wouldn’t have any reason to evade my sworn duty. After all, joining the armed services entails the possibility of combat.

    If I were a young man of enlistment age, and if there were a draft, and if I were drafted tomorrow, I’d fight, sure. I faced the same thing as the war in Vietnam was winding down. I thought that war really was a screwed-up, poorly run disaster, but I distinctly remember thinking, in 1972 when I was facing the possibility of being drafted, about which branch to join (the Navy). One thing that always bothered me was the fact that gays weren’t allowed in the military at all, and if you came out, it was a big black mark on your record for life – or worse. Gay men used to get the living shit beat out of them, or have “tragic accidents,” in the military. In fact, that still happens all the time.

    The War on Terror is a different case, and I think we have to win it in order to survive, simple as that. You could die at the hands of a terrorist on a battlefield, or you can die at his hands on a train/jetliner/pizza joint. I’d rather die fighting. As Churchill said, “You can always take one with you.”

    BTW, I don’t mind answering the question, as long as the chickenhawk thing doesn’t come up, for reasons previously stated.

    Comment by Butch — August 24, 2005 @ 9:23 pm - August 24, 2005

  45. “I reject your premise. The merits of the war and the nobility of the cause exist completely apart from the willingness of any given individual to take up arms.”

    While the Chalabi family was only quasi-noble, I’m sure they appreciate your support.

    Comment by anon — August 24, 2005 @ 11:00 pm - August 24, 2005

  46. Please stop this ridiculous argument. I served for 8 years, my husband is currently active duty and if I didn’t have 2 kids under the age of 5 I would sign up today to serve again. This chickenhawk accusation is completely illogical. Let me just say this – I’ll denounce all those who support the war but haven’t signed up to serve when those who keep throwing out the chickenhawk accusation denounce all those who attack the war and the military (and YES they do attack the military …) and who have never served themselves. (What could they possibly know about war when they themselves have never served, right??) Guess that would mean denouncing Michael Moore, most of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, the vast majority of anti-war activists, and perhaps some of the chickenhawk accusers on this blog!
    If you accusers were genuinely concerned for the troops overseas, you’d spend some time learning how they think and what they think about this war. What you would find is that, though many in the military may have criticisms about specific aspects of how the actual operations on the ground have been run, the vast majority of them support what we are doing in Iraq, recognize the inherent morality of the mission, and would serve again. My husband is a perfect example. He served for 7 months and moved on to a different command. He has a lot of issues with specific items related to how the war has been run, but he will go back to Iraq in a heartbeat if the opportunity arises again. If people in the military don’t mind that people who haven’t served and aren’t planning on serving still support the war, why do you anti-war folks spend so much time and energy squawking about it! Get over it and start using your brains to really think about the issues at hand. If you don’t like the war, fine – come up with a better way to handle the foreign policy issues of the day. But spare all of us the sad chickenhawk accusations. Please.
    Debk

    Comment by DK — August 25, 2005 @ 12:50 am - August 25, 2005

  47. Anon #45 — That’s an interesting non-sequitur. Here’s another: Rough Tots Eat Kool Jell-O.

    Comment by V the K — August 25, 2005 @ 6:01 am - August 25, 2005

  48. Sorry Deb, but you’ve just made yourself Chickenhawk by association in their book. You’ve now invited their hate and condemnation of the military and America, but if you call them on it, they’ll lie to your face and tell you how much they love you while they piss on your boots.

    Thanks for your service, Mr. & Mrs. Debk.
    Hooah!

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 25, 2005 @ 6:07 am - August 25, 2005

  49. DebK makes a very late entry and nicely sums up just about every single talking point put forth by most of the defendants on the issue here over the past two weeks. Nothing odd about that. Good story though, and the family represented in it symbolizes the best in our country. We can all agree on that.

    Otherwise, these thoughts on your responses to the “chickenhawk” characterization in this particular thread – all of which were an improvement on the kneejerk outrage in the earlier thread:

    >Transparent subject-shifting – with repeated attempts to change the topic to Cindy Sheehan, as if that Gold Star Mom was the Devil. Of course, if she agreed with you, she’d be Mother Teresa.

    >Re-emergence of the WOI=WOT argument, without any acknowledgment that this is a self-fulfilling argument made possible by the War On Iraq itself. The level of cognitive dissonance here, however necessary it might be, is enough to make the ears ring.

    >NDT (a long-time favorite of all us Readers) is off on a merry jag, alluding to the equivalence of his stateside efforts here in 2005 with those of his rancher relatives in WW The Twoth. Will somebody please get him a job in a Halliburton factory down there in Texas so he can feel better about himself?

    >Dan **bleeps** himself (and no doubt would **bleep** Reader if he had the chance), but averts his gaze whenever Chief Chickenhawk flaps vitriol all across the site. The double standard continues.

    And, Dan, you talk about “dodging points”. It was clear from your later comments that you didn’t even bother to read the arguments in the earlier post. Instead, you ran right to the NYT June article link, checked the date, and denounced it as “more than months old” – as if all facts known to man have changed in the past two months (still the “more than months old” device was very clever and one I hope to remember). Your read of the DoD press release must have been at least cursory, for you once again amended your initial post – something I always give you credit for, since it demonstrates that you at least try to make conscionable arguments – except for your final, coup de grace intended point, which was this: Troops support Bush; we support the troops; therefore, we are not Chickenhawks. I think you might have hit “submit” a little too quickly there.

    Comment by Reader — August 25, 2005 @ 7:55 am - August 25, 2005

  50. I think my issue is not that those who support the war don’t fight in it, I have no issues with that. That is a personal choice each person makes for themself. If you don’t believe you are needed in this very important war on terror, you’re probably right, you probably aren’t needed. That being said, I also don’t think it is fair at all and a bit hypocritical that those who do not believe the war in Iraq was a justified battlefront for the war on Terror and is just plain and simply a mistake in focus on the war on terror, they are bashed by those who think otherwise and told that they do not support the troops. To not support the war in Iraq does not mean you don’t support a war on terror. And to support a war on terror means you should be able to question whether that war is being fought correctly. I do not think invading Iraq was a justifiable step in the war on terror. I question the seriousness of keeping our homeland secure when I know that people are still able to get across our borders. That our ports are unsecure. I think we have all found that while we can liberate nations of people, it only take very few terrorists who hate us to wreck havoc on our country. And you cannot eliminate every terrorist abroad. To think otherwise is to be irresponsible and dangerous. So to me a logical first step was to invest as many resources as possible in securing our homeland to keep those few terrorists OUT of our country in the first place. So many people have discussed getting nuked at Pizza Hut and such. Fighting the war in Iraq to me was not the first logical step in preventing such an act. And while I think the Iraqis are better off without Saddam, I question how much safer we are because of invading Iraq. And I don’t think I am unfaithful to the armed services by questioning whether they are being used in the most logical way to secure America.

    Comment by Britton — August 25, 2005 @ 8:41 am - August 25, 2005

  51. I don’t frankly see where else we could have started. Sure, the Saudis are scumbags, the Iranians are bastards, and the Syrians are both… but none of those places were in violation of 17 UN resolutions to disarm. If one is going to begin moving the Middle East into the 18th century, Iraq was really the only place to start.

    And even though the Bush Administration has conducted the war in ways I strongly disagree with (e.g. its failure to secure the border is downright criminal, the DHS is a disorganized bureaucratic mess that contributes next-to-nothing to national security {which is what some of us were afraid of from the outset}, Rumsfeld’s defense department is making a number of ill-advised and short-sighted decisions, and Bush should be covertly supporting the Iranian democracy movement, but it’s possible he is and we don’t know about it, but if he isn’t shame on him), overall, I think going into Iraq was the right thing to do. It could have been done better, but hindsight is 20/20. And it has contributed to American security by drawing terrorists into the maw of the military, by forcing terrorists to expend resources that otherwise would have gone into new attacks, and I think it’s been a definite factor in the moderating of Libya, in the baby-steps toward democracy that have happened in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE which, properly nurtured, will serve mightily to weaken terrorism in the long run. I mean, all the border and port security in the world can’t keep us secure forever. Look at Israel. Ultimately, terrorists have to be taken out at the source.

    Any wuss can pursue small, popular issues. It takes courage to take on big, unpopular ones.

    Comment by V the K — August 25, 2005 @ 9:06 am - August 25, 2005

  52. I think there is a tendency on the left to presume that support for the war (and for Bush) is as blind and absolute as their own opposition to the war and hatred for Bush. In truth, most of us on the right are much, much more measured than that.

    Comment by V the K — August 25, 2005 @ 9:26 am - August 25, 2005

  53. NDT (a long-time favorite of all us Readers) is off on a merry jag, alluding to the equivalence of his stateside efforts here in 2005 with those of his rancher relatives in WW The Twoth. Will somebody please get him a job in a Halliburton factory down there in Texas so he can feel better about himself?

    LOL…..again, here’s the problem, Reader:

    — You have very limited knowledge of what I actually do

    — You really don’t know for whom I work

    — You have no idea who my friends and relatives are, much less whether or not they’re serving or have served

    Now, if you want to keep pushing your argument that I know nothing about sacrifice, that I do nothing that helps in the war on terror or our troops, and that I am nothing but a coward, you’re welcome to do it — it is, after all, a free country. However, I also feel that people should be aware of what I mentioned above, which is that you are making such statements on the grounds of little to no evidence.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 25, 2005 @ 10:15 am - August 25, 2005

  54. Isn’t it odd that the same poster (Reader) who a week or two ago responded to the detailed demolition of his arguments by writing that he didn’t want to waste bandwidth posting arguments, is now expending tremendous amounts of bandwidth defending his latest slander.

    My favorite response to him personally is credited to NDT —- You, Reader, supported the war in Afghanistan. You, Reader, did not join the military at that time. You, Reader, assert that it is the obligation of anyone who genuinely supports the Iraq war to immediately volunteer for service there.

    So, which is it Reader, are you a chicken or a hypocrite?

    Comment by Clint — August 25, 2005 @ 10:27 am - August 25, 2005

  55. “If people in the military don’t mind that people who haven’t served and aren’t planning on serving still support the war, why do you anti-war folks spend so much time and energy squawking about it!”

    Because I want our military to do things that advance our national interests. I think the best way to insure that is to have a military made up of “ordinary citizens, as opposed to a standing army.”

    The military and its civilian satellites are pretty good at advancing their self-interest in the name of national interest. That’s why I find the actions of the person who blew the whistle on prison abuse so admirable and patriotic.

    “Personally, I like living in a country with civilian (non-military) control over the military. Don’t you?”

    I couldn’t agree more with Joe. That’s civilian, not commercial, control. Let’s not forget Ike’s warning.

    Comment by anon — August 25, 2005 @ 12:26 pm - August 25, 2005

  56. “You have very limited knowledge of what I actually do. You really don’t know for whom I work”

    ND30, are you a part of the “military-industrial complex”? If so, have you found yourself having to sacrifice a lot during this conflict or on the whole has it been a plus for you?

    Comment by anon — August 25, 2005 @ 12:56 pm - August 25, 2005

  57. Great string of chats here this morning. Really.

    Britton’s #50 is sweeping in its scope, seems so completely honest, and is tough to disagree with…

    Which brought VtheK to the verge of doubt on the war (or conciliation, not sure which), but I’m sure he’s back by now.

    NDT, you’re a joy to read, almost every single time. And I don’t think (and never meant to imply that) you’re a coward. From your description a while back of your local political activism alone, there’s no way anyone can call you a coward. And, as to what I really know about you – just from your posts this past year and from the bio at your website, I DO actually know very little (which is the way it should be here). But you’re a good writer and those of us who enjoy good writing can certainly build an image from your words and learn your patterns; in fact, learn enough about your patterns to be able to spot a well-crafted post (#53) designed to bring your opponents to tears. You are VERY good.

    And Clint #54, the answer is: neither – I’m 55. Good try though.

    Comment by Reader — August 25, 2005 @ 1:27 pm - August 25, 2005

  58. V the K – thanks. I agree with you on your point above. I don’t think you outrightly agree with Bush’s policies 100% and it’s really nice to hear that you agree that there has been a huge lack of focus on the homeland itself. While we can agree to disagree about whether iraq should have been the first focus of our war on terror or whether us being there will accomplish what the goal was to accomplish, we can agree that as long as the homeland is ignored and recognize it will take decades or centuries to bring the Middle East anywhere, we are completely at risk of being nuked in a Pizza Hut. While “Any wuss can pursue small, popular issues. It takes courage to take on big, unpopular ones” I find that these are “issues” they are life and death situations that are being ignored and he might be brave for starting a process he tinks will keep us safe well into the future, I think the very first steps would be keeping me safe today and tomorrow. I don’t believe you can end terrorism or change EVERY single person’s viewpoints on the United States and without protecting ourselves from threats at home, you’ll never accomplish much protecting ourselves from threats abroad.

    Comment by Britton — August 25, 2005 @ 1:53 pm - August 25, 2005

  59. Unfortunately, there is no loyal opposition in this country to hold Bush’s feet to the fire on his neglect of border security. The Donks have become too deranged to be taken seriously, and anyway, they have no credibility on the issue.

    Comment by V the K — August 25, 2005 @ 4:10 pm - August 25, 2005

  60. #37 – “I’m just a loyal Republican trying to save his party from going off the deep end.” (from ‘anon’) – Why does that sound so made-up?

    #46 – good to hear from you, DK! Thanks for what you and your husband have done.

    #50 – Britton – Thank you for making clear that, in your book, the WoT is very important.

    You said: “Fighting the war in Iraq to me was not the first logical step in preventing such an act.” Well, it wasn’t the first step. It was about the fifth or sixth.

    First they secured airlines, borders, etc. as much as the public would allow. Second, they started making clear to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia that they had to crack down on their rogue caliphascist elements. Third or fourth, they invaded Afghanistan and cleared most of the al Qaeda bases there. Fifth, they invaded Iraq to clear out the al Qaeda bases there (yes, there were a couple – contrary to the MSM) and to stop Saddam’s work on WMD (yes, there was a lot – even if he didn’t have finished products ready to go).

    The Iraq invasion had at least 2 beneficial consequences:
    – it led to the exposure of the A.Q.Khan nuclear secrets network and further pressure on Pakistan to clean up its act;
    – it led to Libya stopping its nuclear program.

    That’s *in addition* to:
    – the direct object: stopping Saddam and his WMD ambitions.
    – creating the first possibility for democracy in the Arab world in 30 years, a crucial step in the long-term war on terror
    – exposing the U.N. oil-for-food scandal, the single largest program of corruption yet recorded in history, some of whose money did go to fund some terrorists.

    I’m satisfied that Iraq, as the fifth or sixth step, was a right step. We can agree to disagree.

    I’m sure Iraq won’t be the final step. But, as President Bush put it last night: “Terrorists will emerge from Iraq in one of two ways: defeated or emboldened.” (quote may not be exact) It’s important that we finish it.

    I agree there is rather more we should be doing to secure our borders.

    “I don’t think I am unfaithful to the armed services by questioning whether they are being used in the most logical way to secure America.”

    I don’t either. I don’t think you have been accused of being so. And Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, *aren’t* doing that. They’re just undermining, period. You need to understand and accept the enormous difference between what you’re doing in #50, and what they’re up to.

    Comment by joe — August 25, 2005 @ 6:25 pm - August 25, 2005

  61. #51 – Agree. There are important, valid criticisms of the Bush administration to be made. I desperately wish I could have voted for someone better in 2004. But, under the tutelage of Howard Dean, John Kerry, etc., we’re quite simply failing to have those discussions, or to find anyone better. “Monday morning quarterbacking” would be the most charitable thing you could say about much of the Democrats’ criticisms. “Pure hate” would accurately describe the remainder.

    Comment by joe — August 25, 2005 @ 6:30 pm - August 25, 2005

  62. #55 – “Because I want our military to do things that advance our national interests. I think the best way to insure that is to have a military made up of ordinary citizens, as opposed to a standing army.”

    The implication would be that right now, our volunteer army is a standing army, which is bad.

    Do you really believe that? You want a return to the draft?

    It’s hard for me to imagine the State doing anything more immoral and oppressive, making it then unworthy of defense, than forced conscription.

    Comment by joe — August 25, 2005 @ 6:33 pm - August 25, 2005

  63. Or slavery of any kind. I know we had a draft in World War 2; I also know we had slavery during the American Revolution – Neither was right (even though World War 2 and the American Revolution ‘as such’ were right).

    Comment by joe — August 25, 2005 @ 6:35 pm - August 25, 2005

  64. #58 – “While we can agree to disagree about whether iraq should have been the first focus of our war on terror…” – Again, please cut the crap; Iraq wasn’t the first focus.

    Comment by joe — August 25, 2005 @ 6:37 pm - August 25, 2005

  65. (to finish the thought) Iraq is one piece in a large array of different actions touching many countries – some actions you’ve heard about; others you have not.

    Comment by joe — August 25, 2005 @ 6:46 pm - August 25, 2005

  66. I desperately wish I could have voted for someone better in 2004.

    You and me both. I was going to sit out the election entirely, but when I saw that the alternative to the at-best mediocre leadership of the Bush Administration was letting the country be run by infantile nutjobs like Michael Moore and MoveOn, I just held my stomach and voted for Bush.

    Comment by V the K — August 25, 2005 @ 7:21 pm - August 25, 2005

  67. “It’s hard for me to imagine the State doing anything more immoral and oppressive, making it then unworthy of defense, than forced conscription.”

    I’m not surpised that you feel that way Joe. My moral compass is calibrated a bit differently then yours I guess. Is your moral revulsion to forced conscription limited to just the United States?

    Comment by anon — August 25, 2005 @ 7:25 pm - August 25, 2005

  68. Absolutely not. See if you can Guess Why I oppose communism, dictatorship, fascism, and socialism.

    Comment by joe — August 26, 2005 @ 1:02 am - August 26, 2005

  69. P.S. All of those things – and forced conscription – have the same root: the belief, conscious or unconscious, open or hidden, that a person only has life by the grace of the State and their life is the properly of the State.

    Thus, Left collectivists and far-“Right” collectivists (e.g., fascists) are ultimately the same.

    We had something called the American Revolution which overturned that doctrine, saying State exists only by the grace of the people. Look into it.

    Comment by joe — August 26, 2005 @ 1:05 am - August 26, 2005

  70. Typo in first line of #69 – should be “property of the State”.

    Comment by joe — August 26, 2005 @ 1:06 am - August 26, 2005

  71. Joe-

    One of history’s great ironies that it did so using forced conscription, literal slave soldiers (sent to serve in place of their drafted owners), and invaluable support from the substantially less free of the two Great Powers of the day.

    Just in passing, since “anon” may or may not return (and how would we know?), any guesses on what other country he might have been thinking of? Let’s see… a country nearly universally reviled in both extreme wings of American politics, which has universal conscription of men and women, gay and straight… one that’s vastly more free than any of its neighbors, and arguably more free than any of its neighbors’ neighbors’ neighbors, and yet is usually held to a much higher standard and routinely found wanting…

    Comment by Clint — August 26, 2005 @ 1:45 am - August 26, 2005

  72. Reader-

    My goodness! You mean there are exceptions to the chickenhawk rule?

    Ok…. can’t call anyone a chickenhawk if they’re over 50. Got it.

    How about if they are over 40? over 30? over 25? over 21? under 18?
    What if they are obese, nearsighted or gay?
    What if they have a criminal record or are not legal residents?
    What if they are just too clumsy to safely handle a gun?
    You do realize that even today the military is turning away volunteers, right?

    I believe by the time you are done, most of the people you could call chickenhawks are actually serving their country.

    Unless, of course, you’d only carve out an exemption just barely large enough to include yourself…

    Comment by Clint — August 26, 2005 @ 1:53 am - August 26, 2005

  73. #71 History is full of ironies, Clint, because it’s a story of progress.

    The folks who made the American Revolution didn’t fully understand (in many cases) the implications of what they were saying and, as they had their hands full defeating Britain, couldn’t create a utopia overnight.

    I look for progress, not perfection. We’ve come this far – abolishing State ownership of the people, then slavery, then conscription. We shouldn’t go back on any of them.

    Comment by joe — August 26, 2005 @ 3:19 am - August 26, 2005

  74. P.S. If you were referring to Israel, I have to say: as a socialist country (and with conscription) they are only half-free at best.

    Even we are not that much more than half free (because of all the elements of socialism / Statism / paternal government that we retain, and that have even increased somewhat under Bush).

    But will I take “half-free” over communism, dictatorship, fascism, or full-fledged theocracy? Yeah.

    Comment by joe — August 26, 2005 @ 3:25 am - August 26, 2005

  75. “Reader- My goodness! You mean there are exceptions to the chickenhawk rule? Ok…. can’t call anyone a chickenhawk if they’re over 50. Got it. How about if they are over 40? over 30? over 25? over 21? under 18? What if they are obese, nearsighted or gay? What if they have a criminal record or are not legal residents? What if they are just too clumsy to safely handle a gun? You do realize that even today the military is turning away volunteers, right? I believe by the time you are done, most of the people you could call chickenhawks are actually serving their country. Unless, of course, you’d only carve out an exemption just barely large enough to include yourself…”

    Comment by Clint — August 26, 2005 @ 1:53 am

    Clintus, that was downright sad. You must have been in a rush (or tired). Why else would you have spent so much time on an argument while forgetting entirely that a Chickenhawk, regardless of the above conditions, is someone who humps a war he won’t fight in. The part you forgot: “humps war”. As you know, I don’t hump this war; you do.

    Comment by Reader — August 26, 2005 @ 8:19 am - August 26, 2005

  76. There is a reason enlistments are down. It?s because the strong economy is competing with the military. Recruiting is always a challenge during a period of strong economic growth.

    Naturally, the Bush-hating left don?t want to talk about the strength of the economy.

    Oh. I thought maybe recruitment was down because perhaps just possibly Americans don’t want to leave their homes and families in order to fight and possibly die for Iraqi freedom — i.e., so that Iraq can become an Islamic theocracy, an ally of Iran, and at the same time a client state and an enemy of America? Just a thought.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 26, 2005 @ 10:58 am - August 26, 2005

  77. Perhaps our all volunteer military could liberate counties with conscription?

    Comment by anon — August 26, 2005 @ 11:26 am - August 26, 2005

  78. I would put it this way, Anonymous…….you wonder why the Left has to go to such lengths to hide what Ba’athist Iraq was like and to paint such a gloomy picture of liberated Iraq’s future.

    Perhaps they know that Americans have a very good track record of supporting military efforts to remove brutal, genocidal dictators; thus, they’ve decided that the best way to protect said dictators is a cover-up and a constant drumbeat of fear about the future.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 26, 2005 @ 11:31 am - August 26, 2005

  79. Was Dan’s aquaintance, “gifted consultant” Greg Stevens, “the guy I found so attractive,” part of America’s efforts to remove brutal dictators? Did working with Marcos and Milosevic pay well or was it a noble and patriotic sacrifice.

    Comment by anon — August 26, 2005 @ 11:52 am - August 26, 2005

  80. Reader-

    I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you weren’t intelligent enough to keep track of the argument from one post to the next.

    Hint: see comments #54, #57, #72, #75.

    You’ve now argued yourself completely in a circle.

    Comment by Clint — August 27, 2005 @ 10:04 am - August 27, 2005

  81. #80. Your use of the tired old insult on personal intelligence was an unpleasant surprise this morning. Is that your game now?

    Comment by Reader — August 28, 2005 @ 10:16 am - August 28, 2005

  82. Joe – you can choose to think Iraq wasn’t an initial focus if you want. Chronologically, perhaps not, but in the big scheme, you can bet it was one of the first targets on the map. Of course that is a biased view of why I think we invaded Iraq, but I have little doubt it was not at the very front of certain peoples’ minds when we began this war on terror. AS for the first few steps you mentioned in securing the homeland, give me a break. Have you been to an airport lately? We just disagree on what the focus on the war on terror should be. Iraq to me would have been much farther down the list than fifth or sixth as you state. I’d like to have at least finished the job on numbers one through four before stretching economic resources so thin that nothing gets done. Mismanagement from day one if you ask me. And only one administration to blame for it.

    Comment by Britton — August 29, 2005 @ 1:30 pm - August 29, 2005

  83. Britton – Now you’re playing stupid semantic games.

    Yes, Iraq was “*ONE OF* the first targets”…..one of the first 5, exactly as I said, and totally different from what you said earlier (you said “the primary” target, earlier).

    Fact: Iraq was NOT “the first” target. Argue with that fact. Or change your earlier spiel (about it being the first target or main target and what a mistake that is).

    And if you think airport security needs to be better – perhaps it’s so – well Britton, *you* give *us* a break: it’s a 100% separate issue from Iraq.

    Comment by joe — August 31, 2005 @ 11:56 am - August 31, 2005

  84. Britton, since you seem to have such a deficiency of knowing what Bush’s strategy is in the War on Terror…..perhaps you will want to actually read one of his speeches on the subject. Here is one recent one: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/08/20050824.html

    Here is an idea to mull over: “In an open society like ours — and we will keep it open and we will keep it free — it is impossible to protect against every threat. That’s a fact we have to deal with…And so the only way to defend our citizens where we live is to go after the terrorists where they live.”

    With Iraq, and its terrorists (past and present), as ONE OF the first 5-6 steps.

    Comment by joe — August 31, 2005 @ 12:02 pm - August 31, 2005

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  92. Cindy Sheehan and I are about the same age. We were in junior high and high school at the same time, in the seventies, during the Vietnam War, when most veterans were coming back and were quite happy to be out of the “suck.” The last thing the males of our generation wanted to look like or be like was a solider, so we wore our hair long, our clothes colorful, our shorts short, our swimming suits colorful and brief.
    By the early eighties women were growing weary of “wimpy” looking males, so it became more and more popular once again to join the military. I am a ninety
    one Gulf War veteran who decided to join in 1986 bcause I couldn’t reconcile the problems of the Vietnam veterans with the hipocricies of feminists wanting sensitive men who weren’t wimps .
    Cindy Sheehan, like most women of her generation, have not made one comment about the killing of nearly three thousand males in combat despite forty years of feminism. She is quite proud of the fact that she had raised a son who was a “handsome soldier.” Fair enough. But the military is not exactly an institution for the liberation of the male sex. So I am a little confused about a hip, well educated seventies woman, a relatively liberal roman catholic, proudly sending her sensitive son off to combat, then turning around and saying that she lost her “beautiful” son. I have got news for leftists like Ms Sheehan: the military is a right wing homophobic institution that doesn’t allow men to be beautiful. I am sure that she raised a wonderful son. I think she should take some responsibility, however, for her son ending up and dying in a fascist institution.

    Comment by daniel sebold — December 29, 2006 @ 12:47 pm - December 29, 2006

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