Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving Special: Chickenhawk Served on a Skewer

Tristero has been a regular at Digby's for some time now and IMHO he is a real treat to read... passionate and articulate. I really like what he has to say. Here's another gem on the topic of Advocating War If You Haven't Served which has come up in the discussion of Charlie Rangel's talk about instituting a draft.

There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way.
the chickenhawks go even further than just excitedly embracing the prospect of waging war against Iraq for no reason. They have the unmitigated gall to denounce everyone who opposed Bush/Iraq as naive, as traitorous, as third-rate minds, as not really comprehending the nature of the threat, and so on. They are perfectly willing to describe the tens of millions of people who marched in February '03 in opposition to the war as "objectively pro-Saddam," a remark as utterly ignorant as high-five enthusiasm to fight a war is.

In short, it is the lack of even the slightest comprehension of what war really is, combined with their belligerent, dismissive arrogance that makes the question of the chickenhawks' own willingness to serve in the Bush/Iraq war a more than fair question.


It is the hysterical, clueless, and reality-free warmongering over Iraq that makes the question, "Well, since you feel so strongly about it, why don't you enlist and go fight? " an inevitable one. The question is really another way of saying, "You don't know a damn thing about what you're talking about, or you wouldn't talk about Bush/Iraq in such a foolish, callous way."

For my own part, I strongly believe that those advocating this war must, in some meaningful sense, get involved in the war effort. That doesn't mean staying in your pajamas and typing on a blog that your smarter countrymen are traitors. Nor does it mean that you have to volunteer for night patrols in Sadr City. But if you are as gung ho for bang bang as the National Review gang was, it behooves you to support the war in an active manner, by enlisting, by joining USO, by volunteering in hospitals, and so on. It is simply disgraceful how little responsibility or involvement the chickenhawks have. If the threat is that serious that you think your neighbor has to be willing to die to meet that threat, then the least you should feel obligated to do is to help confront that threat. That, my friends, strikes me as close to a moral absolute.


O'Donnell, in defending Rangel's call for a draft, gives us a very telling anecdote:
In my one conversation with Kissinger, which occurred on TV, I asked him if he knew anyone who got killed in Vietnam. He was completely thrown. He doesn't go on TV to be asked such small-minded questions, he goes on TV to pontificate and TV interviewers are happy to let him do it. Kissinger sputtered and ran away from the question, leaving the distinct impression that he did not know anyone who was killed in the war he managed. His memoir of the period does not mention a single casualty. If you have ever stood at the Vietnam Memorial and run your hand over the name of a relative on the wall, as my mother and I did last month, you can get as angry as Charlie Rangel does about people like Kissinger deciding how long our soldiers should be exposed to enemy fire in a war we know we can't win.
Of course, Rangel doesn't want a draft. But somehow the reality of this war must be made palpable to the American people. It is not, and as a consequence, the drooling warlust on display by the chickenhawks attains a credibility it doesn't deserve. It is a lot easier for a lunatic like Cheney to sound like he knows what he's talking about when he lies that the war is going "remarkably well" when there are no photos of coffins of American soldiers, no tally of Iraqi deaths, and no images of what war really looks like to the people unfortunate enough to be caught up in it.
Powerful stuff, full of righteous indignation. I love it and we need more of it, not less.


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