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Jeff Jacoby puts an end to the "chickenhawk" slur in today's Boston Globe. He points out that, if the people who fling the insult actually believed what they say, they would have to abdicate on decisions regarding peace as well as war:
You hear a fair amount of that from the antiwar crowd if, like me, you support a war but have never seen combat yourself. That makes you a ``chicken hawk" -- one of those, as Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, defending John Kerry from his critics, put it during the 2004 presidential campaign, who ``shriek like a hawk, but have the backbone of a chicken." Kerry himself often played that card. ``I'd like to know what it is Republicans who didn't serve in Vietnam have against those of us who did," he would sniff, casting himself as the victim of unmanly hypocrites who never wore the uniform, yet had the gall to criticize him, a decorated veteran, for his stance on the war.
``Chicken hawk" isn't an argument. It is a slur -- a dishonest and incoherent slur. It is dishonest because those who invoke it don't really mean what they imply -- that only those with combat experience have the moral authority or the necessary understanding to advocate military force. After all, US foreign policy would be more hawkish, not less, if decisions about war and peace were left up to members of the armed forces. Soldiers tend to be politically conservative, hard-nosed about national security, and confident that American arms make the world safer and freer. On the question of Iraq -- stay-the-course or bring-the-troops-home? -- I would be willing to trust their judgment. Would Cindy Sheehan and Howard Dean?
The cry of ``chicken hawk" is dishonest for another reason: It is never aimed at those who oppose military action. But there is no difference, in terms of the background and judgment required, between deciding to go to war and deciding not to. If only those who served in uniform during wartime have the moral standing and experience to back a war, then only they have the moral standing and experience to oppose a war. Those who mock the views of ``chicken hawks" ought to be just as dismissive of ``chicken doves."
In fact, Jacoby doesn't quite go far enough in his denunciations. People who toss around that slur mindlessly endorse the idea of military autocracy over a broad representative democracy. Only in juntas do we see societies where military experience is a prerequisite in determining the policies of a nation. The same people who sling this insult are the first to turn around and call their political opponents "fascists", exposing an intellectual shallowness that colors the rest of their writings.
On the other hand, it gives us the opportunity to annoy them by adopting their slurs as a fun way to highlight the hypocrisy. The 101st Fighting Keyboardists' blogroll has gotten out of date, but I do plan on updating it this week. I have saved all the e-mails requesting admission, so please be patient a little longer. Freedom Dogs had worked on some T-shirts before I got injured, but I think he still has them available. (via Michelle Malkin)Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on July 24, 2006 1:34 PM
» Jeff Jacoby on the “chickenhawk” argument from Sister Toldjah
I wrote about the “you’re a chickenhawk so you can’t comment” argument back in August of last year, but am revisiting it again thanks to a great opinion piece on the subject written by Jeff Jacoby in today’s Boston Globe. ... [Read More]
Tracked on July 24, 2006 2:05 PM
Tracked on July 24, 2006 4:06 PM
» 'Chicken Hawks' from It Shines For All
"'Chicken hawk' isn't an argument. It is a slur -- a dishonest and incoherent slur. It is dishonest because those who invoke it don't really mean what they imply -- that only those with combat experience have the moral authority... [Read More]
Tracked on July 24, 2006 8:08 PM
» A dishonest and incoherent slur from rgcombs.blog-city.com
Jeff Jacoby has had it with being called a chicken hawk. His latest column just demolished that tiresome ad hominem argument (emphasis added): "Chicken hawk" isn't an argument. It is a slur -- a dishonest and incoherent slur. It is dishones [Read More]
Tracked on July 25, 2006 12:29 AM
Tracked on July 27, 2006 6:27 PM
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