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Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Chicken Hawks

Military Mark is raising some interesting questions and, for myself at least, I know I have given this subject a lot of thought. Why is it some other guy over there and not me? I am very grateful to those who have joined. It is a sacrifice, a huge sacrifice. At this moment in my life, with a wife, three kids, a house, it is simply too big a sacrifice for my family to make at this point in time. If the conflict escalates and the President, whoever he may be, makes it clear that further sacrifice is needed, then the whole calculation changes.

We have an all volunteer military. That's a good thing. If you volunteer for service, you deserve all the respect (and benefits) that follow from it. Yes, there are 34 year old guys with houses and three children who have been called to war. They are either a) career soldiers, or b) citizen soldiers who signed up to serve in the national guard. Both deserve our praise. Nobody in the armed forces should be pitied, however, because they have been asked to do their duty. Once you sign up, you know how it works.

I don't generally favor a draft, since it is the most intrusive and liberty depriving action, short of prison camps, that I can think of. I would prefer we compensate our soldiers in a manner that makes the military a more viable career option for young people. But that's another subject.

I don't know if MMark is being serious or just trying to stir things up, but I think the whole chicken hawk argument is pretty much ludicrous. To be consistent, you would have to also conclude one of two things, either:

a) only people who serve in the military should have a say in issues of war and peace, or

b) people who don't serve in the military can never favor military action.

Otherwise, what purpose does this charge serve? It certainly isn't designed to inspire people to contribute to the war effort. (Anyone feeling inspired?). No, this charge is basically an ad hominem attack that allows the speaker to either (a) namecall or (b) avoid actually addressing the arguments pro and con about military action. Typically, the charge is used for b, but in Mark's case, it appears that (a) was the motivation. Of course, namecalling for namecalling's sake is encouraged (Skip = fetahead).

I didn't serve in the military! -- uh, Ok. You got me. But what does that have to do with whether or not an invasion of Iraq is warranted? I'm going to support the policies that I believe will make this country safer and more secure. I don't think it makes any sense for you to tell me that, unless I have served in the military, I have to keep my opinions to myself. On a broader level, it makes no sense to expect the commander in chief to do something other than the right thing because he is afraid that someone will criticize him for not serving in Vietnam. Happily, Bush has not allowed that to hinder him or his policies.

As you know, we have civilian control over our military -- well, let me introduce you to six very pro war civilians!

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