Combs Spouts Off

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A dishonest and incoherent slur

Posted by Richard on July 25, 2006

Jeff Jacoby has had it with being called a chicken hawk. His latest column just demolished that tiresome ad hominem argument (emphasis added):

"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."

Outstanding — RTWT.

Captain Ed (to whom I tip my hat) noted that the 101st Fighting Keyboardists unit provides "the opportunity to annoy them by adopting their slurs as a fun way to highlight the hypocrisy." Great point! Attention Fighting Keyboardists — I think Jeff Jacoby deserves one of those cool FreedomDogs T-shirts. I assume Jacoby is in the Boston area. I’ll pledge $10 if someone from that area can find out what size and how to get it to him. Heck, if someone makes it dead simple for me –i.e., all I have to do is fill out a PayPal form — I’ll cover the whole thing. Anybody want to help make this happen?

Note to the publicity-minded: A Fighting Keyboardist spokesperson hand-delivering the T-shirt would make a great news story and photo op, doncha think? If you’re from the Massachusetts area and want to make this happen, add a comment or email me (see top right sidebar).
 

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