Chickenhawks and (Their) Bullshit

From Crushed by Inertia

Crip Walkin’ and Chicken Hawkin’

Glenn Greenwald has an interesting post up about supporters of this insane Iraq “Surge” idea. His notes that Fred Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute, one of the architects of this surge plan, argues for a necessarily large increase in the number of American troops in Iraq. In fact, Kagan states pretty plainly that the surge won’t work unless many thousand more troops than are currently available are deployed to the region.

The president must request a substantial increase in ground forces end strength. This increase is vital to sustaining the morale of the combat forces by ensuring that relief is on the way. The president must issue a personal call for young Americans to volunteer to fight in the decisive conflict of this generation.

Glenn then makes a connection that’s patently obvious. If you are one such young Americans, and you support Bush’s war and Kagan’s plan for its escalation, you should enlist to serve your country in Iraq. And not only for the sake of rhetorical consistancy.

At this point, to continue supporting a policy that has caused such a cataclysmic loss of life, American, Iraqi and otherwise, one would have to think that “victory” in Iraq was the single most important cause of our time. After all, it would have to be worth several thousand American lives and, at best, several hundred thousand Iraqi lives.

I do not personally believe this, nor did I think that any such victory was attainable at any point during Bush’s Iraqi Adventure. So I did not support the war, because why should Americans or Iraqis die for something that isn’t truly essential for our survival, or that wasn’t even possible?

But if I did believe this, well…I’d only have a few options:

(1) Go off to war.

(2) Admit to myself and anyone else who asked that I’m a coward, willing to send other men to die for what I think is important but unwilling to potentially sacrifice my own life or the lives of close friends and family members.

(3) Find a way to aid the war effort significant enough to substitute for my presence on a battlefield.

The so-called right-wing “chickenhaws,” young men or the parents of young men who strongly support Bush’s war but refuse to serve, tend to go with #3. They claim that their writing about the war and bringing issues to the public’s attention compensate for their absence from the field of battle.

This is almost always bullshit. Most right-wing bloggers and pundits reach a relatively narrow audience, and it would be hard to argue that most of them are having any influence on the national dialogue one way or the other (unless you count starting arguments with left-wing blogs). I mean, Jonah Goldberg’s got that cushy columnist job with the LA Times, but no one actually listens to his idiotic ramblings. High school seniors have enough knowledge of history and political science to rebuff 98% of his arguments.

Read the rest here.

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