Friday, June 24, 2005

A Note to the Chickenhawks: Enlist, or Shut Up

from Sirotablog:

There are a lot of pathetic political hacks running around these days talking tough about fighting wars - and most of them have never fought in a war, avoided fighting when they had the chance, and have no family members fighting in our current war. When ultra-hawk Vice President Dick Cheney had the chance to fight in a war, he said he had "other priorities." When George W. Bush had the chance, he used his dad's name to get out of combat service. While Peter Beinart and the New Republic claim they truly believe in more hawkish policies, I don't see him or the magazine's writers lining up to enlist. And last I checked, the same Karl Rove who is attacking Democrats for questioning the management of the Iraq War, is the Karl Rove who has never served in the military in his life.

Now, as I wrote in a cover piece for the Nation magazine a while back, we shouldn't be surprised that these chickenhawks have no problem talking tough about war, while running away from it in their own personal lives. Tough talk about war, and criticism of those who oppose it, makes these pathetic souls feel stronger than they actually are - and they have used it quite effectively in the political arena.

But Steve Gilliard today really puts these chickenhawks in their place:

"If you will not serve in Iraq, and no one you know will serve, stop expecting someone else to do what you will not. Therefore, it is time to stop calling for more troops, or the US to make Iraq safe. We cannot do this and even Americans are refusing to join the fight. It is time to look at your actions and realize, that despite your ideals, you oppose continuing this war. In practical terms, you have decided that this war is not worth your life or anyone you know. And million of Americans have joined you in this decision. So, with this fact evident, it is time to call for US troops to withdraw from Iraq. Not save it, not add more boots on the ground. You have already voted by your actions. It is time that you match it with your words."

This is the way Democrats need to be talking about these issues – not cautiously asking for an "apology" from Rove. We don't want "apologies" – we want a real debate about this. That means it is time for Democrats to finally go for the throat and make clear that if you are going to vehemently advocate sending more and more innocent Americans to die in Iraq, you better be prepared to back up that rhetoric with some sacrifice of your own. And that goes especially for the inside-the-Beltway neocon crowd who makes decisions and spouts off opinions from the confines of the well-guarded cocktail party circuit, and thus never has to deal with the blood-and-guts ramifications of what they're talking about. If you are willing to ask others for sacrifice but evaded such sacrifice when you had the chance, and aren't willing to make any sacrifice yourself now - then sit down and shut up.

In common with many other mountain folk, I belong to a family which since the French & Indian War has sent people to every war in which this country has fought. We serve with honor and humilty because we love our country. I have three brothers, a nephew and a niece serving in the current conflict. Their service is given with gratitude for the opportunity to live in America.

The rich corporatist scum who led us into the war in Iraq are, nearly without exception, cowards. They have evaded their responsibilty to physically defend our country and instead, as so many of their kind have done in the past, have opted to hire those less fortunate than themselves to serve in their place. Secure in their privilege, they cannot even be bothered to defend it.

Now, many of those of lesser economic station who normally can be enticed to join the military are beginning to refuse to do the dirty work of others. Enlistment rates, for the Army in particular, are so low that recruiters are resorting to fraud and deception to fill their quotas.

Isn't it time for the privileged Right to stand tall and defend their country? Where are the calls for the increased enlistment of Young Republicans? How many sons and daughters of those currently in power in Washington serve in the military? When are Jenna and Babs reporting for duty? How about Dickies daughters? My guess would be that you wouldn't need all twenty toes and fingers to count the family members of curent Congress that are serving.

What of the pundacracy? Sean Hannity is of an age to serve, as is Joe Scarborough. Michael Savage seems to be an ideal candidate. And surely some job could be found for good old G. Gordon, even at his advanced age. Ann Coulter herself is not too old to be an acceptable enlistee. How many members of the right blogosphere have volunteered? What is the enlistment rate among Charles Johnson's followers? In fact, Johnson himself has never served.

Understand, I am not calling out those on the Right who have served. They have my gratitude and my respect. I may disagree with them on their politics, but they have shown that they had the courage of their convictions.

I am however calling out those creatures of privilege who are content to let others serve in their place. If you want to talk the talk, then have the balls to walk the walk. That means you Glennda, and Charlene, and Dickie, and Dubya, and Donnie, and Wolfie.

Get us the hell out of your damn mess before we lose too many more of the only people who were willing to defend America with their lives. Our armed forces.

Put up or shut the fuck up.

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