Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Students for War

The "chickenhawk" issue raises its ugly head once again. But Donald Sensing aggressively misses the point in his post on the topic. He tasks Atrios with a series of questions, the most important one being, "[w]hy should non-serving supporters be silent while non-serving critics be heard?" The obvious answer to Sensing is that non-serving critics oppose sending other people to war in Iraq.

I wouldn't argue that nobody who hasn't served can't advocate going to war. I would argue, however, that those who are hot for war and have the opportunity to serve like the "Students for War" and the young conservatives of Tom Tomorrow's imagination aren't very serious about their values. In an earlier time they would have received the white feather of cowardice.

It is an issue that hits close to home for me. In my callow youth, I was very much a Jingoistic neocon. National Review was my bible. Under the influence of John Wayne movies and a controversy over hawkish "war wimps" like George Will and Richard Perle; who hadn't served in Vietnam, I joined the Marine Corps Reserve. Of course, I was young and there was no war at the time. If I had a son of military age today, I would lock him in the basement before allowing him to serve in the current war under the present administration.

16 comments:

moltar said...

I'd say "put your ass where your mouth is," but these chicks seem to have done it already.

otter said...

Clark-

This is a great response to theose war weenies!

I sent them the following:

Oh, sign up or shut up...

"...if you kiddies are so tough you would act like men and fight for your country...instead of clicking your little toy computer keys and whining like girlie men!"

Let's see if they post that!

captain.something@gmail.com said...

What's missing is the most obvious element of the response.

The military is suffering and needs people, and everyone on the right wing knows it, but no bigmouth will step up to the plate.

I wouldn't think much of the shaming argument if the all-volunteer military was doing fine.

Andrew said...

"The obvious answer to Sensing is that non-serving critics oppose sending other people to war in Iraq."

So? Are the consequences, by definition, worse if they're wrong?

Not fighting can sometimes merely be delaying a cataclysm, and in so doing shifting the advantage to the enemy, thus lenghtening the struggle and the loss of life. Is this to be excused merely because the anti-war crowd doesn't want anyone's blood even indirectly on their hands?

Why don't we accept the fact that people can support a war in more ways than serving on the front line, and that these persistent attempts to put white feathers in the hands of one's opponents is a cheap and tedious way to stifle, rather than win, a debate?

Brad said...

Clark

By that logic, I assume you are against the Kyoto Protocol, aid to the Third World, and ending the genocide in the Sudan. If this is incorrect, how come you haven't enlisted to go to the Sudan (or just gone there), how come you haven't ceased driving your car or using electricity, or sent the bulk of your estate to the bank account of Robert Mugabe or other assorted dictators?

The sarcastic point here is that we all have opinions based on our value systems, and believing that the war is necessary is just as valid as believing that it isn't. Just because this war doesn't apparently meet your definition doesn't mean everyone else has to either join or STFU.

Just once I would love to meet a liberal who actually BELIEVES in freedom of speech and real personal choice. Because to a person, they almost ALL don't.

Clark said...

Brad:
I haven't expressed an opinion on Kyoto, but I have arranged my life so I drive very little. I oppose genocide and mass murder every where, but I don't think the U.S. should go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. I think it was President Benjamin Harrison who said, "we have no commission from God to police the world."
I didn't say that nobody not serving can have an opinion on the war, my point is that young, healthy supporters of war ought to be joining up. I understand why they don't, but the reasons aren't particularly admirable.

Lefty said...

Brad,

Nothing is black and white. No one believes in absolute anything; be it freedom to speak or to execute. Your overbroad generalizations are contradicted precisely by the fact that I can read them; clearly you're not being censored.

The fact is, you people are either so stupid that you've been suckered by incessant lies, or worse yet you simply are refusing to admit that you've been lied to this whole time. There's no moral equivalency between what's going on in this country and anything else which has occurred in my lifetime, even Watergate (which admittedly was at the very beginning of my lifetime). This isn't about peacekeeping missions in Sudan, or even in Kosovo. This is about the expectation that you can continue to maintain an all volunteer army while going to war on false pretenses, all while being lied to, and having false information planted in the media, and having the truth supressed.

Andrew said...

Nothing give me greater joy that to watch someone use the term "overbroad generalizations" and then follow with a paragraph which opens with "you people are so stupid," and continues by wearing out the thesaurus looking for variations of "lies."

A masterpiece of the left side of the mouth not knowhing what the right side is saying. You are to be commended.

Glaivester said...

" 'The obvious answer to Sensing is that non-serving critics oppose sending other people to war in Iraq.'

"So? Are the consequences, by definition, worse if they're wrong?"

Misses the point. Sensing's question was, in essence, why is it considered more appropriate to denigrate hawks for not actually serving in the military, but it is not appropriate to so excoriate doves.

Clark was saying that the reason people criticize non-serving war supporters is because they see them as hypocrites for not doing themselves what they want others to do (i.e., fight in Iraq). Those who oppose going to war are not similarly criticized because they are doing themselves what they want others to do (i.e. not fighting in Iraq).

Whether or not you find the argument that non-serving pro-warriors are hypocrites persuasive, such an argument does not even make superficial sense when referring to non-serving anti-warriors.

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Anonymous said...

You know whats really funny? Is that a lot of us "war weenies", as some of you have so kindly called us (students for war, etc...) HAVE put our money where our mouth is. Yet, its the smooth talking sweethearts like you that threw rotten trash at the men coming home from Vietnam--you guys talk a big game. You are the ones that challenge US to take a stand with our right hand, and when we do, the funny thing is, we don't see any of you folks around. Yeah, the Marine Corps Reserve in peacetime, nice. Don't think for a minute that your one weekend a month gives you the right to freely speak about those of us that have bravely stood for more than you can even fathom--even whilst advocating the very horrors that sometimes inevitably lead to heartbreak.