Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Chickenhawk rag

As usual, Lindsay at Majikthise has them nailed. The "them" in this case are those who support the war in Iraq but won't lift a finger (except on a keyboard) to fight it. Here is her reconstruction of the hypocritical logic of the chickenhawk (the carrier of the hypocrisy virus, not bird flu virus):
1. A chickenhawk supports the war and could volunteer to fight.

2. Moreover he [or she; Lindsay seems to have a specific target, one Ben Shapiro, in mind, but there are plenty of others] recommends the war enthusiastically, and tries to convince other people that the war is worthwhile. He may have exhorted us to invade Iraq in the first place. Maybe he even attacks critics of the war for being "weak" or "unpatriotic."

3. He knows that there aren't currently enough troops to fight the war properly.

4. He understands that if the war is not fought properly, we will lose. He can't advocate the status quo, because that would be hypocritical. After all, he says he supports the war. He also claims to support our troops, and he wouldn't want any unnecessary deaths for lack of reinforcements.

5. The chickenhawk realizes that in the event of a troop shortage, we can do one of the following: a)Withdraw, b)Institute a draft, c)Induce more people to volunteer.

6. A chickenhawk can't advocate a draft because that would involve forcing someone to fight in his place. That would be hypocritical.

7. A chickenhawk must therefore support some alternative plan for recruiting more volunteers. The traditional free market solution would be to increase military pay until enough people join up to fight the war properly.

8. Obviously, we're going to need a lot of extra money. A chickenhawk can't urge us to simply borrow the money because that would be pawning off his financial obligation onto future, unconsenting generations.

9. The chickenhawk can either advocate raising taxes or cutting non-military spending. If the chickenhawk supports the Bush tax cuts, he's a hypocrite, unless he proposes raising other taxes to make up the shortfall. We need that money to recruit soldiers to fight his war.

10. If the chickenhawk urges us to cut non-military spending, he's got to explain why other people should lose their benefits just because people like him don't feel like fighting the war. After all, he could just volunteer at the current rates and save the government the expense of recruiting him later.
So, no matter how you look at it, a war supporter who won't join up is a hypocrite unless he's got a plan to encourage other people to volunteer and a willingness to pay his share of the cost.
This kind of hypocrisy is not new, obviously. In the Vietnam days we even celebrated it in song.

From Phil Ochs:

I'm just a typical American boy, from a typical American town
I believe in God and Senator Dodd [hawkish Senator from CT, father of the current Sen.Dodd]
and keeping old Castro down

And when it came my time to serve: I knew better dead than red
But when I got to my old draft board, buddy, this is what I said:

Chorus: Sarge,

I'm only eighteen, got a ruptured spleen
And I always carry a purse
I got eyes like a bat, my feet are flat, and my asthma's
getting worse
O think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old
invalid aunt
Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a goin' to school, and I'm
working in a defense plant

I've got a dislocated disc and a racked up back
I'm allergic to flowers and bugs
And when bombshells hit, I get epileptic fits
And I'm addicted to a thousand drugs.

I got the weakness woes, I can't touch my toes
I can hardly touch my knees
And if the enemy came close to me
I'd probably start to sneeze.


I hate Chou En Lai, and I hope he dies,
but one thing you gotta see,
That someone's gotta go over there,
but that someone isn't me

So I wish you well, Sarge, give 'em Hell
Yeah kill me a thousand or more
And if you ever get a war without blood and gore
Well I'll be the first to go