Comments Posted By flea
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The chickenhawk piece by Jacoby was great, but missed a point that I have personal experience with.

Recently, I had an pro/anti argument with a close friend about Iraq. I was pro, he was anti. He raised the chickenhawk argument about George Bush. The main thrust was that GWB avoided military service. I said this was rubbish. People didn't become a fighter pilots during the Vietnam era to avoid combat .... on and on and on ...

Anyway, he said people without military experience couldn't take a pro-war position (but could take an anti-war position, of course). I explained to him that since I had been in the military, I could! As it turns out, I was mistaken: I was in the Air Force during the first gulf war. I wasn't in theatre, and saw no combat as such. Since I hadn't experienced combat, he explained, I wasn't included.

That got me to thinking .... so the only people who can advocate a pro-war positon had to be in theatre and actively engaged in combat during a war.

What a great way to shut down the pro-war arguments ... We all know that zillions of people have been in the military, but few have been involved during times of active combat. Even fewer have been in theatre, and fewer still are trigger-pullers on the ground. If you want to go a step further, the number of soldiers who have pulled extended, prolonged periods tough combat is statistically very small, as a percentage of total active duty strength. They're brave beyond belief, and that's why we stand in awe of them.

On a related note, similar thoughts crossed my mind during the last presidential campaign, but didn't get focused until I read this article: John Kerry used the chickenhawk slur a few times, as I recall. Without getting into the whole swiftboat / medal scandal, Lt. Kerry based his whole presidential campaign on a relatively brief period of combat activity. That shows bravery, and the ability to get himself and his men out alive. I've known people who were in combat like this, and they're usually modest to a fault.

But Kerry sounded to me like he was calling everyone else pussies because he was "in the s**t". Is it possible he alienated people who had an uncle who was a cook in the Navy during Vietnam; and didn't see any action?

My grandfather served in WWII as an airplane mechanic. He was in theatre, but didn't see combat. Was he a chickenhawk?

Comment Posted By flea On 25.07.2006 @ 23:11

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