I want some chicken
I fight weeds
There's a wonderful piece on chickenhawks on Kung Fu Monkey but there's a bit I want to rip to shreds without stealing the fine prose below it. It's parsing time, folks.
There is a term tossed about currently: "chickenhawk." It's understood to be a derogatory term for someone who avidly supports choosing war as an option while simultaneously avoiding any risk of personal harm in the ensuing conflict. It is an admittedly fuzzy invective; particularly now when we have a professional Army. I think that in most applications it's lazy. People who support the Iraq War -- it's often couched in terms of supporting the War on Terror, but let's face it, nobody's chasing Bin Laden in the Pakistani highlands, we're talking Iraq here -- have claimed the phrase is meaningless. The quote that brought this attitude into particular focus for me was, unfortunately, written by a casual friend, Warren Bell, over at the conservative website The Corner:
I am going to save you some time. You no longer need to email me every time I take some position in favor of the War on Terror , the invasions of Iraq or Afghanistan, or in fact any pro-military stance. I now am completely and thoroughly informed that I am a chickenhawk, that it is "easy" to support a war when I don't have to put on a uniform and fight, and that I am a coward who would only sacrifice other people's loved ones.
Nice for you to be up front about it.
And to save you further time, I am going to expose myself even more. I am a hypocrite and chickenhawk in the War on Crime, as I continue to avoid donning a badge and a gun and busting down doors to catch bad guys, even though I support sending in real police to do the job.
Uh, chickenhawk, there is a vast difference between supporting the police and advocating aggressive war. The difference is that you would be calling for the police to execute criminals on the spot, but refusing to identify the drug dealers on your block.
I am a complete coward in the War on Fire, because I have never put on a yellow slicker and an oxygen mask to go stand on the front line in the battle against a burning building. And that's while completely admitting that I would be great at squirting the big hose.
No, you are a complete coward if you send barely trained 19 year olds to fight fires, then cut the budget for the fire department.
Additionally, and this is a little painful, I am a loser, hypocrite, chickenhawk, and barely half a man in the War on Weeds. I tried digging them out of my yard, but found I didn't have what it takes, so now I sit in my comfy chair and watch while other people's loved ones put themselves at risk. I'm sorry.
Well, if weeds blew your leg off, and the dandelions sniped at you, then you might have a point.
But like all self-justifying cowards, chickenhawk Warren, trivializes service to the country to hide his own cowardice. Here's a man lucky enough to write for the NRO, and he thinks his cheap words mean something.
I could write all day, every day, on how badly I feel for the Iraqis, how my heart aches when I see another woman bending over a prostrate body. But I don't. Why? Because those words would be cheap. Sympathy without action is cheap. People don't need to hear cheap words. The Warren Bells of the world can cheerlead all they want, but it doesn't lessen their cowardice one bit.
They want war without sacrifice, well, their sacrifice, you can die for them. They try to minimize their cowardice because they know it is shameful.They know they cannotlook honest men and women in the face. So they turn it into a joke. The sacrifice of others, the destruction of families, compared to weeds.
An honorable man would be ashamed of such a comparison.
posted by Steve @ 5:29:00 PM