For the hypocrites who use the "chicken hawk" slur

Discussion in 'Politics' started by hapaboy, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. The 'Chicken Hawk' slur

    By Jeff Jacoby

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    ``It's touching that you're so concerned about the military in Iraq," a reader in Wyoming e-mails in response to one of my columns on the war. ``But I have a suspicion you're a phony. So tell me, what's your combat record? Ever serve?"

    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 any case, the whole premise of the ``chicken hawk" attack -- that military experience is a prerequisite for making sound pronouncements on foreign policy -- is illogical and ahistorical.

    ``There is no evidence that generals as a class make wiser national security policymakers than civilians," notes Eliot A. Cohen, a leading scholar of military and strategic affairs at Johns Hopkins University. ``George C. Marshall, our greatest soldier-statesman after George Washington, opposed shipping arms to Britain in 1940. His boss, Franklin D. Roosevelt, with nary a day in uniform, thought otherwise. Whose judgment looks better?"

    Some combat veterans display great sagacity when it comes to matters of state and strategy. Some display none at all. General George B. McLellan had a distinguished military career, eventually rising to general in chief of the Union armies; Abraham Lincoln served but a few weeks in a militia unit that saw no action. Whose wisdom better served the nation -- the military man who was hypercautious about sending men into battle, or the ``chicken hawk" president who pressed aggressively for military action?

    The founders of the American republic were unambiguous in rejecting any hint of military supremacy. Under the Constitution, military leaders take their orders from civilian leaders, who are subject in turn to the judgment of ordinary voters. Those who wear the uniform in wartime are entitled to their countrymen's esteem and lasting gratitude. But for well over two centuries, Americans have insisted that when it comes to security and defense policy, soldiers and veterans get no more of a say than anyone else.

    You don't need medical training to express an opinion on healthcare. You don't have to be on the police force to comment on matters of law and order. You don't have to be a parent or a teacher or a graduate to be heard on the educational controversies of the day. You don't have to be a journalist to comment on this or any other column.

    And whether you have fought for your country or never had that honor, you have every right to weigh in on questions of war and peace. Those who cackle ``Chicken hawk!" are not making an argument. They are merely trying to stifle one, and deserve to be ignored.
  2. I, terms like "chickenhawk", or "moonbat" are intellectually dishonest, stifle factual assessment and critical thinking and comment.

    shouldn't the title be "for the moonbats who use the chicken-hawk slur"??

    Or would that be hypocritical?


  3. Hapaboy,

    You are right it is a slur, but in this incidence is a well justified slur. War is a very serious endeavor. Good men are called upon to send boys to die. Die! Some eighteen year old boy is not coming home to his mom, his dad, his girlfriend. As a matter of fact lots of 18,19,21... year old boys are not coming home. From the beginning George Bush played the little billy bad ass role with this whole thing. Then he and his followers have smeared people as un-patriotic that don't support his decision to get us into a VERY POORLY CONCEIVED WAR. We are not fighting global terrorism by policing a civil war in Iraq. Those troops and funds could have been used much more efficiently in a war on terrorism with alot less loss of life to both Americans and Iraqis. Saddam Hussein did not pose an imminent threat to the US. As a matter of fact he didn't even pose a regional threat considering the fact we had him hemmed in completely. Many of us actually think he was a regional ASSET for the US. General after General has said that this war is bullshit. It is bullshit. Little Billy Bad Ass showed us just how tough he was, what a strong leader he was. Horseshit! It doesn't take personal toughness or strength to "gung ho" up a young man and send him to die. Look at those boys in Israel right now. They are fighting a real war, they are fighting for their homes and families in a desperate struggle. Their leaders didn't have to "gung ho" up anybody. They are not concerned with what anybody thinks. They are doing what real men do! THERE IS ONLY ONE GOOD WAY TO DESCRIBE GEORGE BUSH & DICK CHENEY.........CHICKENHAWKS!
  4. No, the title shouldn't be as you have described, although moonbats frequently use the term "chickenhawk." Try reading the article instead of jumping to fallacious - and flatulent -conclusions. :D
  5. You're not a political scientist, so you have no right to opine on this political issue. Why, you're nothing but a ....GERBILHAWK!!
  6. Oh I'm so sorry hapaboy but guess what? Even though I don't have any use for it, as it is a pretty useless sheepskin, but my bachelors degree is in Poly Sci.
  7. Sorry, but unless you work as a political scientist, it doesn't count!

    After all, if you're not a soldier or haven't served in the military, you can't opine on the Iraq war (if you do, you're a chickenhawk).

    So if you're not a working teacher you can't opine on education issues. Having a teaching certificate doesn't count if you don't work as a teacher.

    If you're not a police officer, you can't opine on law enforcement issues. Having a criminology degree doesn't count if you don't work in the field.

    If you're not a working healthcare professional, you can't opine on healthcare issues.

    Etc., etc...

    You remain a...... GERBILHAWK!!
  8. Man, since I was in the Army and have a degree in politcal science can't I at least be a bantum hawk?

    BTW my labeling of chicken hawk would not apply to anyone who didn't serve that supported a war. But, this war was poorly conceived by a president with a chip on his shoulder. He rushed in and between him and his supporters have attempted to smear the patriotic reputations of people in order to silence them. I remind you of Dick Cheneys response about Murtha before he actually realized who Murtha was. The Swift Boat crap, the earlier smears pointed at John McCain, etc. Bush has defied voices of reason on his side of the aisle, on the other side of the aisle, from the preponderance of Generals who have seperated since the beginning of this thing, etc., etc. He has completely changed his reasons for being there in the first place. HIS pride is the only reason we are in Iraq and he will let us go to hell before he will back down. So while I am not prepared to label anyone who supports Bush, regardless of their military service, a chickenhawk. He is a damn chickenhawk.
  9. When issues are discussed openly and honestly, liberals usually lose. That is because ordinary voters live in the real world and understand that policies not rooted in reality will fail. Liberal solutions, many of which are no doubt well-intentioned, typically are based more on feelings and a desire to seize the moral high ground than on reality.

    To address this problem, liberals have developed an entire cottage industry devoted to making policy disagreements off limits for political debate. Really, that is the genesis of the whole political correctness facism. So, on race issues, rather than discuss them, just call anyone who disagrees with you a racist. On welfare, call them a racist or mean-spirited. On immigration, call then a racist or a nativist, or squelch debate by intoning that "we're a nation of immigrants." And of course, on defense issues call them a McCarthyite or, if they support a war you oppose, a...chickenhawk.

    And if you find it being turned around on you, say if a military hero like Bill Clinton wants to bomb a country that has been our ally and never posed a threat to us, accuse them of being in favor of genocide. And be sure to also decry the politics of personal destruction, name calling and ad hominem arguments.
    #10     Jul 25, 2006