[This post was originally published 21Jun05. Due to the topicality today, I thought I'd bump it up.]
[There are updates - see below.]
Neat-o. An actual lefty koolaid drinker, right here on my very own site.
Now, I wouldn't be surprised if someone from the
anti-American anti-war camp had found this site accidentally — it happens all the time, and some occasionally drop a turd or two in the comments — but this fellow actually came here from my mini-bio page at BlogsForBush. He came here looking for a fight to pick.
As is so often the case with the
anti-American anti-war crowd, he rolled out what he thought would be a rhetorical nuke: the tired and discredited "chickenhawk" argument — questioning my "credentials," my qualification to offer opinions about the war. I guess the obvious military theme here escaped his notice, and I called him on it.
Not content to leave well enough alone, however, he decided to leave another steaming pile in the comments. I figured it deserved an up-front response. I know it will fail utterly to convince him, as he apparently arrived at his current opinions shortly before turning off his brain, but a response is nonetheless warranted.
Read on and, as always, feel free to comment.
My goodness you are defensive.
I can be offensive, if you would prefer. I'm good at it, but I find it distasteful.
Please read the one sentence post again. While it is certainly directed at you personally (no point in not being direct here), it is also "generic"; i.e. please explain to me where the millions of your "fellow right-wing white guy" Bush voters/Iraq war supporters are...now that their country needs them (and needs them precisely because of their political views and voting behavior? (they do not seem to be, unless I am mistaken, "enlisting in droves".
"Droves" are not required. No longer do we deploy tens of thousands of troops lined up shoulder-to-shoulder on the battlefields. Indeed, the military force structure is smaller now than at any time since before WW2.
Have there been recruiting shortfalls? Some, yes. The reserves can't meet their goals if active-duty soldiers are re-upping at rates above the quotas — which they are. The Navy, Marines and Air Force are meeting their goals.
Perhaps, however, if you and your ilk would cease the slanders against our serving troops, young peoples' attitudes towards the Army would be somewhat different. The perpetual shouting of "babykiller" (to take an example from history), despite the transparent falsity of the charge, will eventually make an impression. But I guess that's what the Left wants, isn't it?
As for the "chicken hawk" argument getting "old", it is getting old, again, precisely because you and your fellow right wingers are only too happy to encourage death and destruction, so long as it is someone else who does the dying.
Yes, we encourage death and destruction... specifically, the enemy's death and destruction.
Is there anything so awe inspiring as the "courage of the non-combatant"?
That's mighty brave of you to say from behind that keyboard. When's the last time you took a physical risk for something you believe in? Ever?
I'll bet the answer is "never." Paging John Stuart Mill...
You are a veteran...so what?
I enlisted when the outcome of the Cold War was far from certain. I served in Korea at a time when, had the Norks decided to come south en masse, the result would have been far from predictable, though the results predicted for those of us stationed over there were, euphemistically speaking, not altogether rosy.
I did my time. I took the risks inherent in military service. So now am I qualified to comment on the current war?
Well, guess what? I am no more or less qualified to offer an opinion than you or anyone else. I merely have the advantage of experience, but that's how it works here in America.
Or is it merely that you would rather try to use a discredited rhetorical device to shut up all those who oppose your point of view?
You claim to have a terrible boo-boo that prevents you from serving in the military?
Not just "claim." I assert that I have an injury that keeps me out. If you'd bothered to read a few of the archives here, you'd have known about it.
But I suspect that you'd simply prefer to hurl insults.
I have read recently of American soldiers who, having had limbs blown off, are returning to combat duty with prosthetic limbs. Is your injury worse than this?
No, I wouldn't say so. How can a herniated disk compare to a lost hand or foot? But it was enough to end my career, and is enough to keep me from re-upping, even if I were not already too old.
And even if it is...again I say...what about the "right wing millions"? Where are they? All nursing upper-class tennis elbow?
Thankfully, no. Most are out there making this country run on what is to all intents and purposes a peace-time footing. Austerity? Not hardly. Rationing? Don't need it.
Thankfully, the people who know how to make democratic capitalism work are doing so. I wouldn't be quite so eager to try to run the country's economic engine on patchouli fumes.
As for freedom of speech, your defensive reaction says more than I can. Of course I think you have a right to your "very strange" opinion. And I, in turn, have a right to mine. The difference, of course, is that I don't support "that which I am not willing to do myself". i.e. get my head blown off for...what, exactly?
For what? For what?
How about the end of $25,000 payments to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers? Would that be a good enough start? How about the end of mass executions, the end of the rape rooms, the end of people being fed alive into industrial shredders?
Are you in favor of those things continuing? Or is it just that you are so blinded by your dislike of the Right that you refuse to admit that those things actually happened, are not happening now, and that it is a positive good that they are not?
The real difference, which seems to me to be true of virtually all of your ilk, is that there is nothing whatsoever for which you would risk everything. Look up the word craven sometime.
The war is lost; it was lost before it started.
The millions of ink-stained fingers seen in Iraq this past January thoroughly refute your statement.
It sounds to me not so much that you're against the war — you'd just rather see us lose.
You might want to read, or reread, Halberstam's book about Vietnam. Or Will Durant's observations about "Muslim warriors" (in his "Story of Civilization".)
My reading list is already full. Halberstam? A New York Times reporter who wrote a book on Vietnam — I wouldn't waste my time. I can already predict what he thinks of the whole thing.
I anxiously await your response...so long as it addresses my questions, that is.
My blog, my rules. I address exactly what I choose to. Don't like it? Then leave.
I'd have gone on longer but, as yesterday, my back and shoulder still hurt quite a bit.
And, Bellino: don't let the metaphorical door hit you in the ass on the way out.
Update, 6/22/05: if your tolerance level for a bit of profanity is up to the task, Mad Dog Vinnie has more along the same lines. More accurately, he has more whether you can handle it or not.
Chris Muir gets it, too:
Iowahawk provides his R-rated take on the matter, from a slightly different perspective. Such a potty-mouth, that Zarqawi....