The Chickenhawk "Argument"
"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -George Orwell
Are limousine liberals chickenhawks on the war against global warming?! Why aren't these armchair eco-warriors making the necessary sacrifices if they truly believe that the planet is approaching an apocalyptic, ecological end of days? Turning off lights, recycling cans, driving hybrids, hugging trees, and handing out honorary doctorates and Oscar-nods to has-been politicians is hardly going far enough to save the planet, do you think? That is...if they truly believe that we are in as dire a peril as they say that they believe, we are in.
Is John Edwards a chickenhawk on the War on Poverty? Not because he lives in one America while the poor he "champions" live in the other; but because he doesn't do anything to create more wealth for society; as a trial lawyer, he leached off of it. Liberals like him want to take YOUR money, and redistribute it, while they themselves do what they can to find loopholes in the tax system; while they are not taxed on wealth, they will make it impossible for anyone else to become wealthy. Their nanny state utopia would accomplish one thing: it would make us all equally poor.
When anti-war liberals want to shut down debate, they pull out the chickenhawk card, and wave it around like an ace in the deck. It is not. It is a joker in the deck. The chickenhawk argument is no argument at all.
Yesterday, an occasional blog visitor, who is a blue star mom against the current conflict in Iraq, left the following comment in a recent post:
Wordsmith, I still don't understand why a young strong guy like you who supports what we are doing in Iraq isn't joining up to help. I don't get it. If it is that important to you that we "win" (whatever that means) then why are you refusing to lend a helping hand and be all you can be? What are you waiting for? It makes no sense to me. You think you support the troops, but in reality you don't. You deceive yourself. You don't have a clue.
My son is done. Now it's your turn.
Not as eloquent and thorough as I want it to be, but here's part of my response:
First off, you have no idea what I do or don't do, in terms of support. There are many ways to support the troops.Realizing that Marty and I have been down this road before, I looked it up, and sure enough, we had this conversation already. It's a bit frightening at how closely I echoed the same sentiments and line of analogy then that I did in my response above. (In other words: I need new material). But what has changed, is this:
Second, I don't disparage anyone who doesn't "sign up". Military service is not for everyone. There are other ways to support the war effort, patriotically, without ever putting on a uniform. Will you disparage those in uniform who do not serve on the frontlines, as a combat infantryman? The majority of soldiers never ever get to fire a shot at the "bad guys". Do the opinions of those in direct combat trump the voices of the military chaplains, the mechanics, the cooks, the intelligence analysts, etc. sitting back at the base?
Frankly, I could give a rat's ass if all the pro-war Republicans are cowards. That they are afraid of combat and afraid to die. I'm ok with it. Because do you know why? Because many of these so-called chickenhawks appreciate the troops, for the very fact that these men and women are placing their lives in danger to keep the rest of us safe. They are the warriors of society that keep our children safe and make my livelihood possible. And because of that, I have a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for what our men and women in uniform are doing on our behalf. We owe them everything!
Go to any conservative blog, and 10 times out of 10, I wager, these blogs are deeply appreciative of what soldiers do on a routine basis.
We don't take their service and sacrifice lightly. I can't say the same thing about many of the lefty blogs I've visited.
What do they post on Memorial Day or Veteran's Day? Most of what I saw, were just anti-war/anti-Bush screeds. Nothing to really say, honoring soldiers; just using the occasions to disparage the current war, and use the memory of soldiers for political fodder.
Do you believe in fighting fires? Do you believe in criminals being stopped, Marty? Because that's dangerous work. I think last I heard, Los Angeles was experiencing a shortage of LAPD officers. Why aren't you out there, supporting law enforcement by signing up? Why do they have to be the ones to place their lives in jeopardy with every car they pull over; with every home they investigate for disturbance of the peace? Why do they have to be the ones out there, protecting society from being victimized by career criminals?
Do you know what the most dangerous profession is, Marty? It's being a fisherman. I believe being a logger is the second most dangerous, but I can't remember, precisely. So, do you like to eat seafood? Are you a chickenhawk of the sea, for not risking your life out on fishing boats? Perhaps you do catch your own fish...perhaps not. Why should I care? I don't.
The chickenhawk argument doesn't fly with me, Marty. Not one wit. Because it's no argument at all. It is merely a ploy, designed to shut down debate, as one soldier put it.
Early this year, I sought out military service, and settled on signing on to the National Guard, with the possibility of transitioning to regular army, later on. I scored high enough on my ASVAB, that I could have gotten just about anything I wanted for my Military Occupational Specialty (or so I was told). My recruiter said they were short on military intelligence, and put it down as my first choice; although I wasn't sure which of my 3 picks to go with. I wanted all three (training in multiple MOS's is definitely possible). She listed "combat infantry" and "cavalry scout" as my 2nd and third picks.
Well, as it turns out, I was being processed rather quickly, and something in my records hadn't been taken care of which disqualified me for the time being, in pursuing my first choice. My counselor asked, "what do you want? Money or adventure?" I said a little of both, would be nice. He put me down for my second MOS pick: combat infantry. I guess that would be more in line with "adventure".
I was hoping by my birthday (which was and is today), I would have been sworn in by now. That hasn't happened, sad to say.
During my medical physical last month, I had to go through MEPS 3 times. I am .05 over on the refractory limits of my eyesight. We did what we could to try to get the doctor to pass me through, and it was a royal pain of much wasted time and waiting. I lucked out in seeing a consult, fairly quickly after not being greenlighted by the doctor. But I am still waiting on a medical waiver. I should get it; but I don't know how much longer I will have to wait, before that happens.
Because of work commitments and attempts to accommodate my bosses, I requested my shipping date for basic training be in the summer or after summer, anyway. This might be a good thing; because I have not worked out much in 6 years. I'm a former collegiate athlete, but found out I'm 35 pounds overweight. And it ain't muscle. There's nothing quite like a fat gymnast (here's what I used to look like, liberal shirt and all). Actually, the fat doesn't really show that much on me. But I can certainly feel that extra 35 pounds, weighing me down, hidden from somewhere. So, between now and summer, I may be blogging less in order to spend the blogtime, shaving off the pounds before I get to boot camp. I understand they like to do a lot of push-ups.
I think my growing worry is how my body will hold up. In some ways, I'm stronger than most people (I can still crank out 30 chin ups in a row and do handstand push-ups without a wall). But my right shoulder gives me problems on regular push-ups and dips- anything to do with being in a support position (I had arthroscopic surgery in college, and the shoulder's gotten worse, with disuse); and my neck gives me problems, from boxing and submission grappling when I was younger (oh, and also landing on my head on the trampoline). In fact, as I sit here typing, it sometimes gets numb. Hopefully, as I get back on a training regiment, the injuries will subside and be counteracted upon by a diet of regular conditioning and rehab, on my part.
It's been interesting to have liberal friends of mine try and talk me out of enlisting. (Marty, of course, is not a friend of mine, does not care a wit about me, and wants me to enlist, because she disagrees with me politically, and seeks to intimidate with the chickenhawk card). My military parents and conservative friends, however, have been nothing short of supportive and encouraging.
I may have to do a post after I am finally in, to explain to my anti-war/anti-Bush friends my reasons for wanting to serve in the military. I am just exhausted from justifying myself, over and over through so many email back-and-forths, for the last month.
By the way: today, I turned 39. Hooah! And ugh!