The Chickenhawk Generation

Max Blumenthal is fearless.  The filmmaker recently went to Arlington National Cemetary to pay tribute to recently fallen war dead from Iraq.  And then we went over to a convention of College Republicans in Arlington; while all support the war in Iraq, few are willing to fight it, hence the phrase “chickenhawk.”  Here is his film:

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  1. I’m curious, Dan: did you support any of the various military actions and interventions undertaken by the Clinton Administration?

  2. I am not in favor of war in general; it represents a failure of diplomacy and reason. But that said, I support the effort to defeat Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. I think we worked well with our NATO and UN partners to stop genocide in Bosnia. We failed miserably in Rwanda.

    The quote is not: “MY country, right or wrong.” It’s “My country, right or wrong. And when wrong, right it.”

    Are you going to ask me if I supported the Allies versus the Nazis too?

  3. That’s a pretty funny video. Not surprising how so many supported the war yet didn’t believe it was important enough to quit school and serve their country in putting down what they believe to be the threat they claim. That group believes that sacrifices are meant to be borne by others.

    Jubal. I didn’t support all the military actions of the Clinton Administration at the time. I wasn’t sure if the policy goals were realistic. In retrospect Clinton’s policies were well thought out with objectives achieved with minimal casualties. One can’t say that about the war in Iraq.

    The big difference I see between those opposing Clinton’s policies and Bush’s policies is the rhetoric used to describe those in opposition.

    When Clinton’s war critics were sounding off there was dismay by those in support of Clinton. Contrast that with the Bush supporters. Anyone who voices opposition to the war is branded as being Unamerican and a traitor. And how this rhetoric encourages our enemies and damages the morale of the troops.

    Yet troop morale and the concept of traitorous behavior didn’t seem to be a concern when conservatives were critics of Clinton during the Balkan Campaign.

  4. Are you going to ask me if I supported the Allies versus the Nazis too?

    No. But I would like to ask you about your experiences serving in Afghanistan and Bosnia, since I presume you backed up your support for those interventions by volunteering to fight there.

  5. Turnabout is fair play I presume. I believe your excuse to the same question was you had a family to support. I’ll play that card too, since it was good enough for you to play.

    Actually Matt, I have a severe hearing loss in both ears; I have about 35 percent in my left ear and 45 percent in my right, corrected through the use of hearing aids. Considerable speech therapy and years working in radio have left me with exceptional diction for a person with the severity of hearing loss that I have. The army recruiter at college night said that would prevent me from getting drafted should they ever institute the draft. I am more pacifist than warrior and don’t believe I could kill another human being even in a time of war, making me a pretty poor soldier. I’ve only been hunting once and pretty much hated holding a rifle. Plus, I think gays and lesbians should serve in the military if they want.

    I also think we spend way too much on defense; more than the rest of the world combined actually. And I’d like to see some of those funds deployed to things like healthcare and education and the environment.

    But even during the Clinton years, I was in my late 30s, making me a less than ideal soldier. Max’s film is about college age Republicans. Big difference.

  6. Dan,

    More than likely you were also too old. Since the Iraq war has started, the age of enlistment has been lifted to 42. And we still don’t see huge numbers of people running to their recruiters. I got a chuckle out of seeing Tom Delay as one of the guest speakers. Delay’s excuse for not serving in Vietnam was the minority kids had taken all the spots. And it kept good Americans like himself from serving. Tell me that isn’t proof the man was sniffing his own pesticide.

  7. If you couldn’t tell; I also have a serous problem with authority figures. I’d be a lousy soldier.

    But to the root here; young Republicans who support the war won’t fight it.

    I havwe begun asking my Republican friends with high school age children which branch of the service they will enlist in and I get the same blank looks Max got from the Young college Republicans

  8. I have very mixed feelings about the chickenhawk label. It shames me that Princes Harry and William serve in their armed forces while so few of the offspring of the leadership of our country do so. And I do think those who support a war should be willing to send their children to it. OTOH, I realize it’s generally out of fashion these days for the American upper middle class to serve. The reason for the change in society could be speculated upon elsewhere.

    What ultimately really does concern me, though, is our present disregard for our service people. I’m frequently impatient with those who waste an hour or so of my time, but what we’re doing today is wasting years of the lives of thousands of young people. And in many cases wasting — taking — their entire lives.

    It’s clear now that we went into Iraq on false pretenses. Few people, even among the so-called rock-ribbed cons, give our efforts there much chance of success. Yet we continue to shamelessly disrespect the time and the very lives of the young people who serve there.

    My partner is a Vietnam era veteran. I have family stationed in the Middle East, though not in Iraq. I tried unsuccessfully to convince one of my kids to enlist. I believe in national service.

    But I also respect those who serve, and we are not being respectful when we send them on fool’s errands. To me, those who disrespect those who serve are the true chickenhawks.

  9. Blah, blah, blah. Just applying the “chickenhawk” standard to you, Dan. Hopefully you’ll see now it’s a pretty stupid one, and one the liberals will quickly forget about when a war comes along of which they approve.

  10. I like this article. I especially liked this excerpt.

    And quite frankly, during last Thursday’s news conference, when George Bush started blathering about “sometimes the decisions you make and the consequences don’t enable you to be loved,” we had to question his mental stability.

    What makes this Op Ed even more remarkable is the publication is owned by the one and only Richard Mellon Scaife.

  11. you must have missed my first comment where I said I wasn’t in favor of war in general. So it doesn’t apply.

  12. For those of us with loved ones on active duty in Iraq, the video of these smarmy, spoiled bedwetters mouthing neocon talking points is nauseating. They’re cowards, repeating the propaganda fictoid that we have to fight them over there or we’ll have to fight them over here. Of course they aren’t enlisting and actually fighting themselves, nor are their family or friends. They leave the dirty work to children of the lower classes, and don’t fall for the lies that the military recruiters use to ensnare the gullible.

    I’m not sure which group I detest most, the supremely confident delusional Bush, the chickenhawks, the keyboard commandos, Cheney and the insane neocons, or the Republicans who continue to support this rogue administration. Probably, the deepest disgust is for the enablers like Cunningham, who continue to pretend that there is some morality, conservatism, or respect for our Constitution in this criminal conspiracy that has sabotaged the Republican party.

  13. Aunt Millie:

    Coming from someone like you, who thinks name-calling equals reason and argument, that’s a high compliment.

  14. Well, Cunningham, it’s important to call things by their proper names as a first step in having rational discussions.

    For the troops and the families of the troops who realize that they are being held hostage for political purposes, there’s not a lot of respect for the people who continue to insist that they are winning in the fifth year of a catastrophic military blunder that kills and maims our kids. Bush wants to kick the can to the next President instead of admitting that his failure to plan for the occupation, and his trust in partisan hacks lost the war and turned the entire middle east into a much more fertile breeding ground for jihadists.

    Chickenhawks like you don’t get it, but it’s interesting to note that 72% of contributions to current Presidential candidates by active duty military members and their families are going to anti-war candidates.

  15. Aunt Millie, your problem is you can’t get past the name-calling in order to have a rational discussion.

  16. I liked this Op Ed. Especially this passage.

    And quite frankly, during last Thursday’s news conference, when George Bush started blathering about “sometimes the decisions you make and the consequences don’t enable you to be loved,” we had to question his mental stability.

    What makes this remarkable is this publication is owned by Richard Mellon Scaife.

  17. I work with a couple of 20 somethings who think military service is a “career choice” and they just made a different choice. Forget that they had parents to pay for their college education, car and first apartment while their careers got off the ground.

    The day I see a recruitment ad on TV where a rich, white kid jumps out of his Beemer, runs into his parents house, (in a gated community, of course) and tells them he is joining the military, then I’ll believe they see this as the cause of their time.

  18. All republicans are hipocrits they are cowards, i cant wait till shit hits the fan in this country cause these coward kids will know what it means to sacrafice themselfs and do what they think is a right thing if they want the war to go on. join and stop being pussy cowards hiding behing your daddy’s desk you cant hide forever just look at the prince of England

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