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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Flight of the Chickenhawk















Be like me

DC Media Girl pointed out this Nation article.


Generation Chickenhawk
Max Blumenthal

..................

In interviews, more than a dozen conventiongoers explained why it is important that they stay on campus while other, less fortunate people their age wage a bloody war in Iraq. They strongly support the war, they told me, but they also want to enjoy college life and pursue interesting careers. Being a College Republican allows them to do both. It is warfare by other, much safer means.
...........................

I chatted for a while with Collin Kelley, a senior at Washington State with a vague resemblance to the studly actor Orlando Bloom. Kelley told me he's "sick and tired of people saying our troops are dying in vain" and added, "This isn't an invasion of Iraq, it's a liberation--as David Horowitz said." When I asked him why he was staying on campus rather than fighting the good fight, he rubbed his shoulder and described a nagging football injury from high school. Plus, his parents didn't want him to go. "They're old hippies," Kelley said.

Munching on a chicken quesadilla at a table nearby was Edward Hauser, a senior at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas--a liberal school in a liberal town in the ultimate red state of Texas. "Austin is ninety square miles insulated from reality," Hauser said. When I broached the issue of Iraq, he replied, "I support our country. I support our troops." So why isn't he there?

"I know that I'm going to be better staying here and working to convince people why we're there [in Iraq]," Hauser explained, pausing in thought. "I'm a fighter, but with words."

At a table by the buffet was Justin Palmer, vice chairman of the Georgia Association of College Republicans, America's largest chapter of College Republicans. In 1984 the group gained prominence in conservative circles when its chairman, Ralph Reed, formed a political action committee credited with helping to re-elect Senator Jesse Helms. Palmer's future as a right-wing operative looked bright; he batted away my question about his decision to avoid fighting the war he supported with the closest thing I heard to a talking point all afternoon. "The country is like a body," Palmer explained, "and each part of the body has a different function. Certain people do certain things better than others." He said his "function" was planning a "Support Our Troops" day on campus this year in which students honored military recruiters from all four branches of the service.

Standing by Palmer's side and sipping a glass of rose wine, University of Georgia Republican member Kiera Ranke said she played her part as well. She and her sorority sisters sent care packages to troops in Iraq along with letters and pictures of themselves. "They wrote back and told us we boosted their morale," she said.

By the time I encountered Cory Bray, a towering senior from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, the beer was flowing freely. "The people opposed to the war aren't putting their asses on the line," Bray boomed from beside the bar. Then why isn't he putting his ass on the line? "I'm not putting my ass on the line because I had the opportunity to go to the number-one business school in the country," he declared, his voice rising in defensive anger, "and I wasn't going to pass that up."
You know, normally, I'd be inclined to humor these selfish fucks, but between seeing Bush's audience last night and reading the Daily News this morning, I'm just not in the fucking mood.

Ramona Valdez was 20 years old and she died as a Marine, in combat. Her family had none of the advantages of these people, her age, have had. And they do not even comprehend that the world is not just about words. Valdez's husband desperately wants to go back to Iraq, I guess to avenge his wife's death. Everything good about her is now just a memory.

She could have gone to school, she could have been drinking beer in a hotel. But instead she joined the Marines, just like thousands of other ambitious, but poor kids.

I'm tired of their excuses and their selfishness. I don't think anything but ill comes from Iraq. I wouldn't recommend anyone enlist to fight there. But these kids are utter and contemptible cowards. They think they can win a war by cheerleading and no one disabuses them of this notion. They are being coddled into thinking that a good speech is the same as going to Scout/Sniper school or being an MP and it isn't even close.

Their excuses are so palid, so insulting, so vile that it makes me ill. They want someone else to win a war they cheerlead. They think that all it takes is a good speech.

Part of me is revolted by this, but another part of me is heartened. Because if these people relyh only on words, their are as doomed as the New Left was. These kids are being pumped fujll of the same shit which killed the left. Make a good speech, say the right things, people will like you and you never have to actually deliver as long as everyone feels good.

They should have called this a generation of Bushes and Cheneys

Update: Greg Beato at Wonkette has the following snark:

Attack of the College Republicans

Reporting from the frontlines of the College Republican National Convention, Max Blumenthal profiles young conservative patriots who are making the ultimate sacrifice for their country during wartime, forsaking a chance at adventure and glory in Iraq to do the tough work on the ground here at home:


By the time I encountered Cory Bray, a towering senior from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, the beer was flowing freely. "The people opposed to the war aren't putting their asses on the line," Bray boomed from beside the bar. Then why isn't he putting his ass on the line? "I'm not putting my ass on the line because I had the opportunity to go to the number-one business school in the country," he declared, his voice rising in defensive anger, "and I wasn't going to pass that up."

And besides, being a College Republican is so much more fun than counterinsurgency warfare. Bray recounted the pride he and his buddies had felt walking through the center of campus last fall waving a giant American flag, wearing cowboy boots and hats with the letters B-U-S-H painted on their bare chests. "We're the big guys," he said. "We're the ones who stand up for what we believe in. The College Democrats just sit around talking about how much they hate Bush. We actually do shit."

Such as? Such as selling "Bush Country" tshirts in bulk. And putting his ass on the line against Saddam, Osama, and John Kerry via this crappy web game he developed. Or, as this excerpt from an August 2004 piece in Philadelphia Weekly suggests, eating a lot of meat:


A big Texan, he's wearing a weathered Houston Astros baseball cap and a Bush/Cheney T-shirt. He has seven--one for each day of the week. Bray chugs his beers and brags of the large amounts of meat he can eat.

President in, oh, 2036? That's our guess.

posted by Steve @ 12:00:00 PM

12:00:00 PM

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