Saturday, July 16, 2005

Chickenhawk Droppings

The Chickenhawk meme has been shoveled about the blogosphere once again. Some things never make it to the compost heap Here's a few blogs who've swept up some of the mess:

Winds of Change: takes on Atrios and links to OneHandClapping who asks very pertinent questions of the impertinent Atrios:

" Do you agree that no one except veterans and presently-serving military members should ever decide when the nation shall go to war, and why? "

"What gives you the justification to speak against the war? "

"Why should non-serving supporters be silent while non-serving critics be heard? "

(At this writing, Donald Sensing has 89 commenters.)

The Q and O blog references Christopher Hitchen's:

"Did I send my children to rescue the victims of the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center? No, I expected the police and fire departments to accept the risk of gruesome death on my behalf. All of them were volunteers... But when it comes to the confrontation in Iraq, the whole notion of grown-ups volunteering is dismissed or lampooned. Instead, it's people's children getting 'sent'."

A rapier's touche.

At Billoblog, (sounds to me like a blend of Brillo and Bilbo) we read this common sense:

"I am reminded of an exchange I once had with a well-known blogger who was agitating for a precipitous invasion of either Iraq or Afghanistan ( I can’t remember which), and was busily calling the planners of the war everything from incompetents to cowards. It was clear that he had no clue of how the military worked, how logistics worked, how military training and buildups worked, etc. Things he would have had at least a little clue about had he spent even a minimal time in the military."

The Cliffs of Insanity says:

"The chickenhawk line might be the most idiotic meme in the history of blogs. Repeated endlessly by left-wing trolls in comment sections of right-leaning blogs, it goes something like this:

If all you chickenhawk rethuglicans love the war in Iraq so much, why don't you go enlist, huh? I'm tired of all you cowards from the 101st keyboardist regiment mouthing off about it. Go join up or shut your mouths!

Do they realize how utterly stupid they are? To assert that only military personel should have a say in where and how a war is fought is to advocate a quasi military dictatorship..."

And read what happens at Cliffs when he substitutes "soldier" for "law enforcement officer".

My favorite might be Pejmanesque:

"Massive kudos go out to Joe Katzman for writing this post, but if I may, there really is little point to trying to engage Duncan Black in a debate. Debates are between serious people and Duncan Black is anything but. He's not interested in learning about our ideas. He's not interested in the possibility that he might be wrong and we might be right about certain things. Duncan Black is interested first and foremost about being the Blogosphere's greatest demagogue and if that means holding on to the "chickenhawk" canard, then by gum, that's what he will do. Logic be damned."

Lastly at Tigerhawk, (another great blog name!):

"There are all sorts of principled policy and even legal arguments against the war in Iraq,* but the curators of Arlington West and the brainless twits who level the "chickenhawk" accusation forsake those in favor of disingenuous appeals to emotion. They are exploiting our national grief over our own dead and wounded in order to score political points, because they are not persuading enough people with actual argument. They should be ashamed, but won't be. They absolutely should be ignored."

If you skipped going to all the other, go to Tigerhawk.

The Chickenhawk assertion says, "If you support the war, you must enlist. And its unspoken yet implied secondary, (really the primary assertion, indeed the true point of the claim): since you have not enlisted, therefore you are a hypocrite. This neat little circle also takes the one making the chickenhawk argument off the hook. Support the war, enlist; oppose, off the hook, no obligations of any kind. I suspect guilt, some deep yet unconscious knowing they are in the wrong..See Shrink Wrapped for more.
Although not an unreasonable question, why haven’t you enlisted, asserting hypocrisy does not prove it. At its most simple, the question might be asked, what are the obligations of citizens in a Republic during wartime? (Scream at that assertion if you must; you would be wrong. This current World War, and I agree with those who say IV, started for us with Iran, and Jimmy Carter’s 444 day dance of ineptitude. It hit a sad low when our soldiers, armed but without bullets could not halt the bombing death of our Marines in their barracks in Beruit. We took horrible losses in Africa- the many dead at the two embassies. President Clinton gave the green light given to Bin Laden in Somalia, as much by the withdrawal as his denial of armor for the Special Forces, to avoid provocation. War escalated with the World Trade Center’s first attacks in 1993. And blew wide open on that blue September morning. Not forgetting the anthrax attacks whose source we still do not know.) Enlisting in the military is only one possible obligation; although with an all volunteer force, the obligatory part seems not to apply. Then it becomes a question of duty. Do we have a duty to enlist? I think that question can only be answered by looking at the mirror. And there are lots of answers to the ‘ why haven’t you enlisted’ question. I’d ask the questioners why they can think of no answer except hypocrisy? Is that the best you can do? There are the simple qualification of weight and age. I meet the weight requirements easily enough. My wife is fortunate I’m over the age limit; I’d go in a minute. (I’ve even fantasized that, God forbid, something happened to her, I’d spend a year getting very fit, lie about my age and give it a shot. As I’m already a veteran, there would be some problems with this fantasy coming true. But why does the left revert to cynicism so quickly,when most of the country’s response to the people jumping from floors 82 and up was righteous anger?) Am I hypocritical by weight, honest by age? What about women? Any exceptions there? Parents? Specific case questions quickly twist into thickets. And setting aside the claims of hypocrisy, if the assertion is true, and enlistment is obligatory, the opposite case ought also to be true. Run the other way around, what is the equally unbending obligation upon those who "oppose the war"? (Oppose the war; Support the war, such tiny categories. What I support is Liberty and self determination, something the liberals and leftists, now masquerading as "Progressives" used to believe in. They've thrown out those principles for the sake of political manoeuver.) Is it the Johnny Bin Laden option, taking up arms against "the War"? Or maybe leaving the country? Support the Troops, brings them home; Oppose the troops, leave the country? No? Why not? Too hard? Wrong? (Once during the recent hockey strike I told another old Leftie at work, "I’m opposed to hockey but I suport the players." Missing the irony he said it was the "stupidest thing he'd ever heard"!)
We've collided with the Left's confusion between talking and acting. They believe talking is doing something. And the doing something means, in Minneapolis, holding up signs on bridges; in San Francisco throwing rocks at police; everywhere bad verbage, giant puppets, (papier_mache Pod People...?) and drumming. Hamlet saw the difference between action and words. The left doesn't even see the eggshell.
The obligations of citizens in a Republic are many. Enlistment is not the only choice. Not all those in uniform are at the tip of the spear. They also serve who only hand out wrenches. We are in the fight of our lives and the left wants to shut its eyes. Sure, not everyone can serve, but everyone ought to stand together. The quibbling and pettiness of the left is juvenile and infuriating. I wish they would just shut up. Their only effort effort in this Chickenhawk carnival barker pavillion is more noise. More moralistic crap from people who, having abandoned any belief in any transcendent truth, set themselves up as autonomous Authority. They are lost souls clattering about in emotional fits, sneers, and profane diatribe. Too proud to try hitting the knees in prayer, too superior to engage in genuine argument.
Nothing is ever good enough, pure enough, correct enough. "Prove your Patriotism to Me", they say. If we are going to compare Patriotism, let's limit the contest to those who actually have some. But even this is false. Patria is a virtue; one has it or not. It quantity cannot be measured. It is an 'All gave some, some gave all' continuum. Or should be. I just wish the left would give even half a widow's mite, half a shit. We need a United States. They remind me of a cartoon, just a single frame. A man is standing at an office window. The sign above says, "Complaints." Behind a half-door another man says, "We've taken the product off the market, the factory where it was made has been shut down, and the salesman has been shot. Now are you satisfied?"

And they are not. What is it going to take? Will it take slaughtered children at a Montessori school in Clearwater to take dismantle your dishonest arguments? Anthrax in Berkeley? When will you come to the defense of Liberty?

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