Monday, May 29, 2006

Lions Led by Donkeys

This post, I will admit, is the awkward collision of passion with the limits of my craft. Please pardon my poor words on a somber day.

Oh, and I am fully aware that 27% of you will think I'm absolutely fucking mad. We at KFM did quantify the Crazification Factor. You 27% can save us both time by not bothering with comments. Or remember to keep the hate in e-mail form. Address to the right.

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. 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. 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. 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.

That is, to be blunt, a pretty spiffy piece of writing. Warren takes a confessorial tone -- always a nice touch -- links several seemingly similar relationships together, then daisy chains them with a nice bit of rhetorical sleight of hand into an almost inexorable ride into absurdity. No one in their right mind would accuse a man who does not do his own gardening as a coward, and look-at-the-queen that's the same as criticizing a man who does not do his own fighting.

I also like the seamless bit of work converting support for the War on Terror, the War in Iraq, the War in Afghanistan, and a "pro-military stance" into the exact same thing -- a matched ideological set, if you will, in which rejection of any of the first three immediately disqualifies you from the fourth. Despite Tbogg's constant mocking, that is not the work of a clumsy man.

The fact that Warren took this particular tack (and we can toss Ben Ferguson's "I support the Yankees, doesn't mean I wear their uniform" crack in there), however, finally clarifies for me disconcerting problem exposed by many of the hawks' own arguments. It may be arrogant of me -- it can not help but be arrogant of me, I suppose -- to say that they fundamentally misunderstand what their relationship to the troops should be.

There is truth in the idea that soldiers are our designated warriors. But the accidental revelation in these attitudes is the bizarre concept that by soldiers choosing a life of taking risks on our behalf, these war supporters are somehow absolved of any responsibility to them other than emotional support and approval. There is the stink of ... the troops as employees. Like, say, gardeners. Not that I would ever make such a crude comparison.

But the fact is that soldiers make this choice in a specific context. They are not just entering a job. They are, to pull up my Catholic high school education, entering into a covenant with us. They take an oath to sacrifice their lives, if need be. That is, in my faith anyway, the holiest thing a person can do. In return, the civilian side of the covenant is a deep responsibility, a responsibility far beyond the emotional support one gives a sports team, or the minimal responsibility one has with employees. Our oath is simple:

We will make sure you have the equipment you need.

We will make sure have a clearly defined mission.

We will make sure that such missions are as well-planned as possible.

We will take care of your families while you are gone.

We will take care of you when you come home.

That's not a lot to do for someone who's out there getting shot at for you. Even better, rather than the fuzzy "we will support you" standard set by many, these are actionable, definable terms. Is "supporting the troops" just waving flags, writing supportive essays, and arguing for the nobility of their mission? I say no, those actions are laudable but meaningless if they are not backed by these concrete goals. And concrete, plainly spoken responsibilites are exactly what we need: by measuring ourselves against our progress in these arenas we can, if we are honest, meaningfully judge if we are fulfilling our duty.

Now how do we accomplish our side of the covenant in a representative democracy? We do so through the instrument of our will, the government.

But what happens when the government screws up our side of the covenant? That's where we hit the snag. In that case, it is our job, our responsibility -- not our right, our responsibility -- to hold those civilian administrators accountable. To criticize them when their policies fail to uphold our side of the oath. If need be, to remove them and put people in place who will fulfill our very simple side of the covenant with our men and women in the armed forces. To hold these administrators accountable is literally the least we can do. Their accountability is our accountability, and with people dying in our name, WE MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

I set forth, as first principle, that this Administration is failing to do its job in fulfilling our responsibilities to the troops.

We will make sure you have the equipment you need.
It is inarguable that the troops were sent into Iraq without the proper body armor or vehicles. Even now we have reports that Halliburton has been providng the troops with contiminated water. (and so imagine the shit they're getting away with we don't know about) * This is the richest nation in the world, and it's not like Saddam went all Pearl Harbor on our asses. We had a fair chunk of time to figure out there'd be shooting in the sand. Hell, it was on our own timetable. This is inexcusable.

We will make sure you have a clearly defined mission.
"Fighting terror" is not a clearly defined mission -- it is a talking point. A clearly defined mission has goals and timetables, and when those timetables are not met, then strategies are revised. "We will stand down as the Iraquis stand up" is not a strategy. What's the timetable for rebuilding Iraqi troop strength? What will we change in our attempts to build up those troops if those timetables are not met? Is our mission to stay until there's a fully functioning Iraqi Army and fully functioning state security apparatus? If so, what are those numbers? Is the training going as fast as we hope, or should adjustments be made? Is our mission to stay until the Iraq infrastructure has been repaired? To what levels? Is our mission to kill Zarqawi? To defeat the insurgency, or just control it? Numbers, dates, plans, percentages -- this is the way grown-ups plan and fight a war. "Stay the course" is not a strategy. If it were, then Macarthur would be buried on a Phillipino beach, George Washington would never have scarpered back across to Long Island under cover of fog, Lincoln would have let McClellan ride out the rest of the Civil War, and hell, Reagan would have let Dick Cheney talk him into never trusting Gorbachev.

We will make sure these missions are as well-planned as possible.
If you can't agree that post-war planning was a joke , you're not even living on the same planet as I am. Go ahead and disagree with the Joint Chiefs. I'll wait here.

We will take care of your families while you are gone, and Take care of you whe you come home.
There are already homeless Iraq War veterans, the VA is underfunded and VA benefits have been if not cut then, ahem, "stop-lossed" at least three times by this Administration. Add to that the Bankruptcy Bill passed without exemptions for troops ...

You can link-hunt all day. The point is by the broadest, most easily agreed-upon standards our side of the covenant with the troops is not being upheld. We are culpable, we are responsible, were are in fact guilty if we do not rectify this situation. And the only way to rectify this situation, in our form of government, is to go chew the shit out of the guys whose job it is to execute our will.

The problem is, these yahoos have managed an ugly trick. They have turned criticism of the policies of Bastards in Suits into criticism of The People in Uniform Getting Shot At. This, of course, is completely wrong, as one can easily tell the difference between the Bastards in Suits and The People in Uniform Getting Shot At. One group is in Suits, and Not Getting Shot At, while another is in Uniform, and Getting Shot At. Please, try to grasp this. Not the same.

There is a flip side. Some people confuse supporting the Bastards in Suits for supporting The People in Uniform Getting Shot At. This is, again, ridiculous. If the history of modern warfare has taught us anything, it's that the Bastards in Suits spend an awful lot of time working the kinks out of plans involving The People in Uniform dying unpleasantly. They often screw that up. When they do screw up, it is incumbent upon Bastards in Suits to suffer criticism and fix the situation, as by comparison The People in Uniform are suffering shattered skulls, missing limbs and death. Which is, on my scale, exponentially more traumatic than criticism.

Some people even seem confused on how we are criticizing the Bastards in Suits. The Bastards have a job to do. They are not doing it. Period. Tommy Franks recently trotted out the classic bit of misdirection, attacking critics of Donald Rumsfeld.

"I don't care about your politics. I don't. Don Rumsfeld is an American patriot."


Yes, well, that's lovely. But we're not criticizing his patriotism. We're criticizing his job performance. One of the great mysteries of the last six years was how and when the Bush Administration turned public policy into Special Olympics. "Oh, I know Donny knocked over all the hurdles, but HE LOVES THE RACE, so you SHUT YOUR FILTHY, CYNICAL MOUTH." Jesus H. Christ.

The first war I read about extensively was World War I, where I encountered the magnificently British term "Lions led by donkeys." If there's a more apt description of our current thrill-ride, I can't think of it. Here's the thing: you folk on the other side of this particular argumentative aisle may like the Donkeys. You may trust the Donkeys. But never, ever forget the goddam difference.

This discussion, these peoples' attitudes, lead to an even darker place. Our relationship with the troops is based on the idea that we are asking them to risk their life. Implicit in "risk" is a ratio of threat to preparation, a judgement of danger to the possibility of a positive outcome. To expand on Warren's idea, it is not wrong in current society to ask a policeman to risk his life, as we provide him with authority, equipment and an infrastructure necessary to ameliorate those risks. The same with firemen, and in theory the same with soldiers. It is only a risk, however, as long as there is support.

I call bullshit if one refuses to pay for bullets, refuses to pay for bullet-proof vests, and then asks a patrolman to run into a blind alley filled with heavily armed bank robbers. The risk changes into something else when we ask others to face danger with nothing from us in return. Then risk becomes blatant sacrifice, sacrifice on an altar of our comfort.

One of the most heartbreaking things I've ever read was the story of the Worcester fire. An ordinary warehouse fire turned into a deathtrap. Some firemen went missing, two went in after them, two after them ...

... and the really shattering moment was when the fire chief, McNamee, said "No more." He had a dozen men ready to charge into that inferno and keep looking. But he said no. He knew they'd reached the point where risk crossed reward. The men before were a risk, to save their brethren. The men after would have been a waste. The plan had to be changed, new goals had to be set. I cannot even imagine the courage it took to make that decision. I do not think, to be frank, I would have had the character to survive it.

To use Warren's metaphor again -- there is no blot on his character because he doesn't put on a yellow slicker and fight the War on Fire. But to claim the right to stand outside that warehouse in Worcester and argue that they should stay the course and keep sending in rescuers ... that is a different thing entirely. He may be right or wrong. But there is no moral high ground to be had there.

This is what is particularly galling. I understand why one would cling to a worldview wherein this Administration has not screwed up both this war and the fulfillment of our duty to the men and women fighting it. But that worldview is there for your comfort, to make you feel brave in demanding action, or secure in the idea that your government is competent, or noble in pursuit of higher ideals of patriotism or freedom. It is our responsibility to be clear-headed, mature, and frankly ruthless enough to discard our own emotional needs and kick the Bastards when they need kicking.

If you fail to even make that tiny effort -- hold the Bastards accountable -- to insure the troops the material, planning and care they need, then no matter what you say, what you write, or how many flags you wave, you are not supporting the troops. I am sure the pfc. with no body armor, no armored Hummer, on his third of who knows how many tours while his family goes quietly bankrupt appreciates your "support for his mission." But the other shit matters more. You are not holding our representatives accountable for their failures. You are not living up to your responsibility. You have broken the covenant. With this relationship broken, the soldiers are no longer your proxies, they are your instruments. You are treating them as tools. You may not feel that way, that characterization may fill you with rage, but how else to characterize such one-sided relationship?

There is a goddam world of difference between asking a man to risk his life to defend the nation and waste his life proving a point.

That these unquestioning war devotees will not sacrifice their lives, their comfort, their safety: that's hardly a sin in modern society. But they are not even willing to risk emotional discomfort by admitting their faith has been misplaced. That they will not even risk this, this tiny, tiny thing ... that is the sin. It is not that that you're not risking your life. It's that you are risking nothing.

The problem is, there is no single word in English for a man risking absolutely nothing, who demands someone else risk absolutely everything. I'm sure there's a word in German -- they are a whizzer with those kicky compound nouns -- but none in English for that precise combination.

So, for now, we must let "chickenhawk" be its placeholder.










(NOTE:
the kossacks have arrived, by literally the thousands. If I may, I would remind you that I am raising money for the Fisher House, housing for military families so they can visit wounded veterans in the hospital. The link's to the right. If you found this post useful or interesting, please toss a single buck into the pot. At the volume we're experiencing now, that would mean thousands. If you hate me and want me to die tasting my own blood under a gas truck -- I match all donations, so the best way to shut me up is by bankrupting me by donating as much as possible! )

* (NOTE: the second. There has been an edit here, and something I wish to address. Please hop to the home page and check for the follow-up. Thanks.)

180 comments:

Alex Epstein said...

Huh. How about "coward"?

Mary R said...

One thing you didn't mention is that the Chickenhawk term came into use when the military began having recruiting problems.

It's one thing to be a hypocrite in the War on Crime when the police academy is turning away recruits. The problem twists into something else when there is a policeman shortage.

For the College Republicans to stay in school and bully anti-war protesters, while the army is forced to fill their quotas with autistic kids and stop-loss soldiers who should be allowed to go home, does approach sin.

Randy Walters said...

I have little constructive to say, except that I'm glad this is one of the first things I've read this Memorial Day. Fine work, John.

Ancient Clown said...

Nicely done...I would direct your attention to my post Calling to BE..Warriors and get your thoughts on that.
We are who we follow...we are responsible for what we allow.

Anonymous said...

John, you are a god.

Roman Levin said...

Well said. And "coward" won't do. Not specific enough. I'm a coward, because I won't take up a gun and shoot at people. But I won't ask (or demand of) others to do the same.

Stephen Benson said...

thank you john. beautifully written. i hated me some REMF's when i was in the service, i still hates me some of them now.

TH said...

The german word you're looking for is "Arschloch".

Just so you know.

mark farrell said...

I wish my writing had so many poor words and awkward collisions. Great post John.

pamb said...

Wow. Thank you for an excellent post.

Marisacat said...

I am lucky a friend just sent me this site and this post. I am reading it with my first cup of coffee...

amazing ... Thank you.

Marisacat

Clyde Smith said...

Nicely done. I'm not a big support the troops kind of guy but the accounts of actual soldiers in Iraq are just heart rending when you recognize how deeply they've been abandoned.

Any terms I use for these warmongers rapidly become obscene and violent so I'll hold that one.

My own problem with the chickenhawk term is that it has previously been used mostly to describe men that are into boys.

I hate these fucking warmongers but I imagine no more than 50% are actual chickenhawks.

MrVisible said...

The cheap "Support Our Troops" magnets on the back of SUVs nationwide are beginning to fade. The people who bought them never imagined that years after they'd slapped them on their tailgates, thousands of dead later, they'd still be waiting to find out what we'd need to do to win, let alone why we went there in the first place.

I saw one the other day that was bleached to the color of bone. Maybe they keep it on their bumper as a kind of penance.

GM Doug said...

th,

Those of us who speak a little german (marrying a german girl does mean you have learn something), know full well that the word you used isn't the term John was asking for.

But by god, you are still right in using it to describe those who are subject of this piece.

I almost put rant - but then I realised rants are when people take a point and go off in a rage often going beyond the point they need to make.

John, this was no rant, this was the best op-ed I've seen from yourself for sometime and possibly the most impactful piece of reading I've had since Bill Hick's Gulf War I set. Yet I feel you held back on this you could have gone to town and we would have all agreed the same - but this piece isn't a rant, it isn't even an arguement - it's truth.

Elohite said...

Great article but I think you missed the single most important condition on the covenant between citizen and soldier. That the citizen will only ask for the soldier's sacrifice if absolutely necessary. This must be the first consideration above all the ones you mention.

All the equipment and support in the world is pathetic recompense for laying down lives in pursuit of something which could have been achieved through other means than martial force.

Anonymous said...

I avoid contact with American Civil Religion, especially on its high holy days. As a disabled Vietnam Vet, it has been especially hard to watch the lessons we might have learned from our sacrifice ignored in these evil days. Your post was refreshing; I'm glad one of Amanda's posters provided the link.
JohnieB

Anonymous said...

We will take care of your families while you are gone.

Because I agree with this as part of my end of the deal that I'm not personally getting shot at today, because of the day, and because of the effort you put into writing this, I just tossed some more money at you on behalf of the current charity Fisher House. Thanks for writing this, and for telling us Fisher House exists at all.

Almo said...

Very nicely written, excellent point, and great link to the fire story. I'm still reading through that one...

Luana said...

Bravo, Rogers ... just when I think I can't respect your writing any more than I already do, you gleefully prove me wrong. Have you ever considered doing this for a living?

Shaman Dandulla said...

I wonder... if this, as you say: "is the awkward collision of passion with the limits of my craft", so what is it like when you do not collide?
very interesting indeed...

Adorable Girlfriend said...

I avoid contact with American Civil Religion, especially on its high holy days. As a disabled Vietnam Vet, it has been especially hard to watch the lessons we might have learned from our sacrifice ignored in these evil days. Your post was refreshing; I'm glad one of Amanda's posters provided the link.
JohnieB

I think Johnie put it very nicely. Thanks to AIF for sending me here.

Theo said...

powerful.

nice to find you.

Anonymous said...

I got here from Pandagon. Thank you for this today.

neoneoconned said...

Chickenhawk can be argued to apply not just to those who support war but dont serve. It can also be applied to those who are all for military solutions in other people's neighbourhoods, while they live in peaceful and wealthy environments. This endless, aimless war is racking up an ever longer list of trashed neighbourhoods.

JD Rhoades said...

Thank you so much for that, John. The word "covenant" is spot-on.

I usually reserve the "chickenhawk" comment for those who don't just support the war, they regard support for the Iraq War as a measure of your own patriotism, courage, or manhood and call the same into question if you dare to oppose the war or even criticize the way it's run.

plover said...

Thanks for this – a truly fine piece of work. Excellent analysis of the unyielding apathy of war supporters.

I would add just two things concerning what is currently encompassed by "chickenhawk". First, the "War on Terror" has been hyped as an existential threat to U.S. From the rhetoric of war supporters, one could be excused for thinking they believe us to be in as much danger as during WWII. Their actions however... not so much. Second, is the sense some of the College Republican types give that they are fighting the "War on Terror". They basically seem to feel that their effort is required to defeat the political forces here in the U.S. that might prevent the GWOT from being pursued with sufficient mayhem. This is not historically the attitude of young patriots in a time of war, which leads to the question: who told them this was their role?

Green Voice said...

Great site John!

Could you add some intelligent remarks to my freinds Anti-Bear site? He needs it.

thebearsmustbestopped.blogspot.com

Thanx,

Green_Voice

Urban said...

Found this via Steve Gilliard's News Blog. This is very well put. I am forwarding link with the hope that other big blogs will link to this post. This needs to be read by as many poeple as possible.

Matthew said...

If there was a way for me to give you a one-man standing ovation, I would clap thunderously for an hour.

Thanks for your piece on the war and thank you for verbalizing what so many of us need to hear.

You are, indeed, a great writer.

Perhaps the war is a subject of some of your creations?

ElGrande said...

Sadly the people who really need to understand this moral boot to the head will never get it.

This isn't the first Memorial Day I've felt shame, but thanks for crystallizing our national failure in this piece.

Mike the Mad Biologist said...

"We will make sure you have a clearly defined mission."

Excellent post, but I would change this to:

We will make sure you have a clearly defined, attainable, and just mission."

Respectful Dissent said...

There are a couple of differences to draw out here. The policeman or fireman can wake up one morning and decide that they don't want to be a policeman or fireman any longer, and stop; the soldier doesn't have that option. For a servicemember, not doing your job is a federal offense.

The other aspect is that the policeman or fireman choose whether or not to go into a dangerous situation, but no one forces them to (in the sense that they face jail time if they don't), whereas in theory, the "clause of unlimited liability" means that a soldier can be ordered into certain death if the mission absolutely requires it (not that situations in Iraq require this, but still, that potential for total sacrifice is there).

Granted, many of those enthusiastic for the war are beyond prime fighting age, but in that case the real test is where their sons and daughters are.

TK said...

Anyone who makes an argument like Mr. Bell's is either a fool, a thoroughgoing hypocrite or a moral cretin. Either way, there's really no point even engaging them. Not only are they outside the reach of moral reason, they indict themselves with their own hollow sophistry.

That aside, nice post.

David said...

That was the most skillful, and thoughtful, analysis of our proper relation to the meaning of this day. Great work!

Jacky Tar said...

Thank you, Sir, for a well-written and presented essay on the duty of citizens to demand that the government uphold the contract between the military and the nation. I've linked to it from my LJ, and strongly encourage everyone to read it.

Anonymous said...

fantastic piece.. very well written. I came here via Steve Gilliard.. definitely going to be bookmarking this site.

Anonymous said...

That's pretty much verbatim what I needed to read before I could go to bed with a measure of mental peace today. Thanks.

Qe2 said...

A Brit in Hong Kong loved it!
Awesome.

JR said...

Frankly, I'm not sure I like the WORD chickenhawk, but the concept retains something meaningful for me.

As a 7-year military veteran, I admit that I look poorly on people who could have chosen to serve their country, instead chose not to, and then bask in the reflected glory of our troops' bravery and sacrifice.

And it really is about sacrifice. The "chickenhawks" sacrifice nothing, yet believe themselves to be great patriots and warriors. When it was their time and chance to "man up" and put on the uniform, they instead chose other options.

They wouldn't give up careers, family, benefits or safety when they could have and now they exhibit a disgusting "bring em on" bravado that should earn nothing but disdain. It is a sad display of fake swagger and misplaced machismo, replacing the true expression of shared sacrifice and experiences, with the bluff and puff of empty words.

Actions speak louder than words and their lack of action says much about their character.

panu said...

extremely illuminating, I dare say.

in a monkey sort of way.

R. Mildred said...

I really hate to point this out, becuase this is great post, but when you're anti-tax, and anti-social services, and anti-competent governmental infrastructure for such services, you're also anti-police and fireservices.

Got my post on that here

Though I think I just managed to "shorter" myself there.

Echos of Memories said...

The word you look for, in all it's scathing, is

(der) "Schreibtischtäter".


On another point, you don't condone, support or initiate policies or actions that result in the creation of firestorms, violent crimewaves or natural habitat destroying non-native weed epidemics, do you?
Thus, the constructed parallels are illogical. How fitting for a Schreibtischtäter at The Corner!

Anonymous said...

On German words: "Etappenhengst"?

While it means someone who is at least close enough to hear the artillery, it conveys sufficient contempt.

It's hard to create a good composite noun when you lack nouns for the concepts you want on incorporate.

inge

R2K said...

Touch my monkey!

Annie said...

I fear the day when we finally leave Iraq. All the enemies resources and manpower has been duly occupied away from our shores - what will they do with those resources when the war in Iraq has ended?

Norman said...

nicely written. Great site.

Alicia said...

This is my first visit to your blog, and all I have to say is bravo. You explained everything so clearly, even my boyfriend who is unfortunately still in that 27% will have to agree. You may have just saved our relationship! ;)

Joshua James said...

If I recall, chickenhawk is also a term for pedophile -

Fantastic post, John -

Joshua James said...

Alicia,

break up with him. Would you still date him if he persisted in believing black people should remain slaves? Dump his ignorant, bigoted ass.

The neocon movement is the closest thing to racism ever. It is a war of classes.

aimai said...

OK, kungfu monkey, its official. I love you. This is one of the great posts of all timee, and I'm going to be bookmarking your site in my politics folder. Thank you for a rousing, rousing, memorial day speech.

aimai

Phyl said...

Thank you so much, John. I don't know if I know anybody who can approach a subject like this so rationally, with such commitment to facing the facts, yet still with such passion.

Thank you!

Supermouse said...

Wow. That was amazing. It does put everything clearling into perspective.

I've hated the war since the '45 minutes' furore, and I feel very sorry for the poor bastards who got put out there.

In Britain, our TA, part-time troups who are meant to be the soldiers of last resort, our final defense when we run out of professionals, THOSE troups have been being sent to the front line since very soon after war broke out. I know one of them. He came back a changed, and I think broken man.

Aimzon said...

love this post

MEC said...

This is a brilliant and noble essay.

I used to have two signs in my yard, until the Michigan winter wore them down to illegibility:

SUPPORT THE TROOPS

NO WAR

The chickenhawks saying they support the troops is like an arsonist saying he admires firefighters.

Smitty said...

This is the straight-forward and cogent post I have been looking for to help explain what I truly believe about patriotism. A beautiful post, to be sure.

This is the type of stuff I wish that our Congressional delegations would read and believe. Hell yes; be hard on the Government! Hell yes; hold the Administration accountable! Instead of the insipid "right war, wrong reasons" argument, this post gets at the root. We're there, now. It's time to uphold our end of the deal, and the current Administration has fooled you, John Q. Public, into believing that thoughts, prayers and Fox News count as support.

Thanks for this post.

janeboatler said...

Fine words. I'd love to have written them. No apologies needed.

I like the German "Schreibtischtäter"; that works for me.

This is my first visit here via T'Bogg. I will return.

Gentlewoman said...

I came over from tbogg's. I agree with aimai, this is one of the best posts ever. Thank you for setting it out so logically. It is our responsibility as citizens to uphold this covenant, and to make sure that those who have perpetrated this atrocity can never hold their heads up again, much less hold power. Thank you again.

nolo said...

Man, if I'd known you had such a great and topical post for this Memorial Day, I'd have turned on the computer. Excellent stuff.

cmdrtinfoil said...

KFM, you done good.

Protesters don't register on the infantryman's radar; period.

REMF Politicians -- your Bastards in Suits; guys in the chain of command who reportedly have to keep their butt-cheeks clamped when they visit Iraq.

REMFs -- necessary evil, serving in uniform; able to draw combat pay but not routinely in the line of fire.

Chickenhawks -- Never served, never will, but love to play, "let's you and him fight."

Cowards -- Chickenhawk subset that plans to enlist when Atlantis bobs to the surface.

And the next time you see Mr. Bell, please tell him it's turnout gear, not a yellow slicker, and it's designed to keep your skin from melting when you run into a burning building. He could join a volunteer fire department and learn the difference but public service doesn't sound like his bag. On the other hand, he does call himself a loser, so at least he sounds honest.

boadicea said...

Magnificent Kung Fu.

I've been thinking much the same lately about our responsibilities to our troops, and to defending our Constitution and the freedoms guaranteed by it.

Actually, of course, it is only guaranteed to the extent that we make it so.

Time to put some skin in the game of democracy.

Anonymous said...

Great post--in another second, all my usual recipients will get a link to it. Unfortunately, you know full well that you're preaching ot the choir, and your words will have no affect on the chickenhawks, let alone the Bastards in Suits. This very morning, my gentle, Christian supervisor revealed that he was a veteran (I assume of Vietnam), but stated that the Iraq war was good, necessary, and producing wonderful results that the LIBBURUL MEDIA weren' telling us about. "The liberal media that never calls Bush on a single lie?" I asked. Supe said he didn't believe Bush was lying and then launched into "I did not have sex with that woman."

Honestly--what in God's name is wrong iwth me, that I can't see the wonderfulness of te Son of Poppy and His holy ministers? What in God's name will it take to wake up Supe and millions of others?

polymath said...

**They have turned criticism of the policies of Bastards in Suits into criticism of The People in Uniform Getting Shot At. This, of course, is completely wrong, as one can easily tell the difference between the Bastards in Suits and The People in Uniform Getting Shot At. One group is in Suits, and Not Getting Shot At, while another is in Uniform, and Getting Shot At.**

what's truly amazing about this paragraph is how a) you're so totally, obviously, sadly right, and b) you made the mere act of capitalization funny.

my only criticism of your blog, john, is that it makes any attempt of mine to write about politics seem punily insignificant. that said, you have my proxy vote: so please don't stop.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this powerful posting. Thanks also for the link to the "Perfect Fire". Really hit home.

Anonymous said...

Fine, fine essay. I propose that "Memorial Day" be renamed "Convenant Day", and that one day every year be devoted to what we owe those who have placed their lives at the disposal of the state for the defence of the nation (*not* for the policy advancement of the state).

"Memorial Day" is too easy; you only have to remember people who have gone and are never coming back. We should have a day for remembering the ones who could be back tomorrow if we chose it.

--Del C

Susan said...

I love the way you've laid this issue out, and hope Bell skips any feeble attempts at rationalization and takes your criticism to heart, since he's such a logical guy. My favorite song about chickenhawks, btw, is "Chickenhawk" by Roy Zimmerman, lyrics and MP3 here:

http://www.roysongs.com/sounds/index.htm

Laura said...

I used to work for a veterans organization. I had a volunteer who was a former Navy Seal who lived in HUD housing and only had money when the VA gave him a mileage voucher to go to his medical appointments. I know veterans who are homeless. Families of deployed troops are on food stamps while they're off putting their ass on the line for America everyday.

This is the best piece that I have read. This is the most fitting Memorial Day tribute that I've seen.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was brilliantly written and extremely insightful. You put into words something I've felt strongly for a long time (the whole Suits vs Uniforms distinction) and MADE ME THINK about something new (the covenant with our soldiers).

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This is indeed a great post, I would only add what a few other people have already said: before making sure our soldiers are equipped for their mission, before we arrange for their care upon their return, we must make sure that the mission they are being sent to do is necessary, just, and that we only do it after exhausting all other options. Iraq doesn't meet any of those criteria, and arming the soldiers properly isn't really worthy of commendation if we send them off on a fool's errand to begin with.

Misha said...

Great piece. I am a veteran of the Air Force and totally agree with the "support the soldiers but not the administration that put them there" stance.

And thank you for supporting the Fisher House. I stayed at the Fisher House at the West Palm Beach VA Hospital when my father had surgery for colon cancer two years ago. It was beautiful and the staff couldn't have been more helpful during a very stressful time.

Anonymous said...

Rumsfeld being a patriot does not preclude him from being completely wrong. Or stupid. Or a criminal.

Being a patriot does not mean "my country right or wrong." It means you support your country when it's right and you repair it when it's wrong.

Misha said...

Oh, and an excellent way to support our deployed soldiers (whatever they may need) is thru Anysoldier.com. Just FYI.

Anonymous said...

Where is this covenant spelled out?

I mean, I look at the oath of enlistment, and it says a lot about what you, as enlistee, shall do, but little about any obligation that the rest of society has to you for enlisting.

Page 2 of the standard enlistment contract makes it obvious that the government can change the terms your service at a whim, and you, the enlistee, basically have to suck it up. (5 b) on page 2 specifically, should be read by anyone who thinks that there is some kind of covenant between civilians and troops.)

Yes, it used to be understood that the military was supposed to take care of its people, but that's been honored more in the breach than the observance. (It has been much more honored in our non-draft era, but still, it's honored more in the breach than the observance.) It was also an informal obligation, one which has been ignored on a massive scale in the past. (Heck, formal obligations can be ignored, too-ask the Bonus Marchers.) It's never spelled out, and anyone who serves and doesn't realize this is naive or stupid.

Military enlistment is indentured servitude, and indentured servants don't get treated too well. (Slaves-or, to use our modern parlance, draftees, are treated much worse.) There was a time when the military contract was actually a contract, but it sure isn't one nowadays. (Contracts are supposed to bind both parties. The military enlistment contract binds one party, and lets the other change the terms of service at will.)

Troops are employees, and very little is actually promised to them.

(I served in the reserves for 10 years, with close to two years of active duty in the current unpleasantness. I was once very enthusiastic about the current unpleasantness, but I have become increasingly uncomfortable with it.)

Batocchio said...

Great, great post. I've never understood how anyone can aggressively push for war and then insist on waging it so incompetently. How can any public official talk about supporting the troops while denying them body armor? Anyone who truly cares about the troops will criticize Rumsfeld, Bush and the gang when they do a poor job. If the Bush admin put half the energy they put into PR into actual job performance, we'd be doing much better.

k. said...

very well done, particularly good is the yin and yang of Rights & Responsibilities.

barfly said...

"Chickenhawk" is also street-slang for a person who hangs around bus terminals and train stations looking for runaways who are looking to "make it in the big city." In essence a pimp, who hooks others into doing a job they are too old, fat or too chicken to do themselves. It is in this definition of chickenhawk that we find such "war pimps." Sadly, they also treat the troops just like ho's. Chickenhawks tell the troops how much they love them, while rhetorically bitch-slapping those who complain.

Anonymous said...

I could not say it better,

all I can say is "AMEN"!

Matt Olsen said...

John, I've been tempted all day to point out lots of little things that are wrong with your post but they're just that for the most part - little things. It is a good time to be reminded of our obligation to our troops.

In the end, you're not arguing with Bell at all but with a portion of the Right that needs to hear the truth behind your message. Your voice won't be heard there, unfortunately, because you choose to package your thoughts for consumption by the angry Left.

And I think it's fair to say that a good deal of that crowd missed the part of your post where you called everyone, including you, me and them, to their duty of putting down the "I hate a decision made in 2002" signs for a moment and hold up a "where's the armor?" sign. For my part, I was duly chastised by your post and promise I will do something about that in my little corner of the world.

Also, just to back Misha up, AnySoldier.com is a great program. I finally got off my duff and sent off some items I'd purchased a while ago this morning. Just head over there and read the letters from the participating units and you won't be able to resist pitching in.

Anonymous said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I came here from TBogg. I sent a donation, too.

Susan said...

Matt claims:

In the end, you're not arguing with Bell at all

I think you missed the part where he was arguing with Bell.

Coyoteville said...

An afterthought, I was the anonymous just above. I'm going to bookmark your dite and explore it later. I'm also going to pass on the "Lions Led by Donkeys" post to various friends.

Once again. Great post.

John Holga said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gregory Harris said...

Sir,

Well done. A donation is duly made, and my hat is off to you, once again.

SkipChurch said...

I don't know hown Rumsfeld can look himself in the mirror. All through the pre-war planning process he was cutting troops, interfering with the deployment, downplaying the risks. The generals were right, but Rummy got his own compliant suck-ups like Myers and Franks on board with the result we now see: total fucking disaster. What's so weird about the Republican administration is that they seem incapable of seeing through the haze of their own failed worldview. The triumph of ideology over reason. Ah, the 'faith-based' presidency!

Anonymous said...

Nailed it. Utterly.

Pro-war activists who dodge service have a constitutional right to express their opinions. However, we also have the right (and responsibility) to call them hypocritical COWARDS.

Freaked-Out Canadian said...

The War On Fire: A Fable
(or, why all similies are really like lies)


So let's say that, in the...um...War on Fire, some non-firefighter, say...um...the Mayor, decided that the best way to stop possible fires was to be pre-emptive, and start burning down peoples' homes before they could catch fire on their own. To burn these peoples' property and then to occupy them as part of a civic rebuilding effort.

When people tried to defend their homes, the Mayor ordered the firemen to use their axes to kill the home-owners. To root out the growing resistance to his plan, the Mayor asked the firemen to capture key members of the resistance, torture them, humiliate them, and then frighten them with the fire department's dalmations.

Of course, the fireman lacked the right resources - sufficient axes, armoured firetrucks, vicious dalmations and manpower - for this kind of initiative, but the Mayor didn't really care. In fact, he began to force volunteer firemen into the fray as full fledged fireman-occupiers. These new War on Fire recruits had to leave their jobs and families behind, so they weren't very happy.

None of the other cities agreed with the Mayor's pre-emptive burning policy since they felt it went against the basic property rights that were at the root of all civic constitutions. Pretty soon the city was a pariah at civic conferences.

Evertually, it became apparent that the original justification for the War on Fire's pre-emptive philosophy was specious. None of the properties burned and occupied turned out to be at risk of catching on fire at all. Clearly the Mayor had been given some bad advice. But this didn't slow the Mayor down. Neither did a terrible new development.

A river flooded in another part of the city, wiping out an entire neighborhood, but all of the firemen - who might have helped - were busy burning down buildings, occupying the properties, and killing, with their axes, those who resisted.

A lot of firemen hated what they were doing, and over 2000 of them had died at the hands of angry residents who wondered why the firemen were burning down their neighborhood in the first place.

Several retired Fire Chiefs said the Mayor's policy was non-sensical and stupid, as did Chiefs from all the other cities nearby, but the Mayor wouldn't listen. Besides, he had his supporters.

One of them was a blogger named Warren Bell. Writing for The National Review, he defended the Mayor using the silliest argument I've ever heard. He compared the War on Fire to that War on Terror that President Bush is currently pursuing. You know the one. How silly of Warren. Can't he see the difference between the two? Doesn't he know that all similies are really like lies?

RJRoss said...

This is my first visit to this blog (via DailyKos), and I just want to congratulate you on a brilliant essay. I had never thought very deeply about the relationships between the citizen, the soldier and the politician. You laid it out very clearly in a most enjoyable piece.

Bravo! And thanks for your patriotism!

Thomas said...

John,

That's a nice piece of writing in response to Warren Bell's "chickenhawk" defense. Our troops are not machines, nor are they simply hirelings. They put life and limb on the line, with only an implicit trust that the mission is vital and that they will be supported fully.

Our reason for being in Iraq is that our leaders truly believed (I think) that nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons were being produced there. The dictator there at the time seemed to foster rather than discourage that belief, possibly for the sake of intimidating his neighbors. Remember, he did invade Kuwait once upon a time. There was a U.N. resolution requiring teams of inspectors to check things out. He played games with them. There were "no fly" zone requirements, which he also routinely disregarded.

Now it seems we're stuck in Iraq, in a struggle that really doesn't serve our own interest. The human casualties are high. The economic cost is astronomical. Oddly enough, in some respects we have paid for both sides of the war. We cannot realistically speak of "winning" this war.

However, in my opinion, we do not have the liberty of summarily abandoning the effort. We shouldn't fight their civil war. We a also shouldn't require a western style there. But, We need to give reasonable support to stabilizing Iraq. That entails peacekeeping and training, and requires a given amount of time. How much time? -- that's the big question.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, sir. Very well put.

Anonymous said...

Bell's 'war on ...' premise is a most obvious nonstarter. The 'war on teorrorism' is as phony this time as its ever been in our deception-based foreign policy past and, of course, the others he blathers on about are shamefully ridiculous anologies. NeoConfessionals such as Bell's are as common as the spittle and puke 'neath the bar stool. It is not a joke. He is simply another miserably dishonorable chickenhawk in the company of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Limbaugh, Mathews, Will, Krauthhammer, George Allen (my senator) and all the rest of the gas bags that unashamedly promote themselves and their blusterous second and third-hand ruminations at the expense of common fools and more commonly foolish young men and women who think they've got some game.

Kate R said...

fantastic. I'm sending a link to everyone I know.

Nezua Limón Jonez said...

Brill, my good man. Brill.

ogre said...

Nicely done, and well said. Donation made.

Fues said...

I will say what has been said but can't be said enough-Good on you John.

Maestro said...

On the topic of getting them the equipment they need:

http://www.projectboresnake.org/

Incidentally, the only thing I found not quite so spiffy about this entry was the political symbolism of Donkeys. Although admittedly, Lions led by Elephants doesn't have the same ring.

Mark

Anonymous said...

What an amazing essay. Should be required reading for every living citizen of the U.S.

Michael Gruber said...

I liked your essay, although I believe that 'chickenhawk' in its present usage derives from those who supported the war in Vietnam but declined to serve in it. This class includes virtually all of the non-military architects of the war in Iraq. The Swift-boating of John Kerry, the political destruction of the multiple Vietnam amputee, Max Cleland (on the grounds that he was not as patriotic as his draft-dodger Republican opponent) and the accusations of 'treason' against the decorated veteran John Murtha, are all examples of the extent to which the American public has embraced chickenhawkism. I believe the height of this corruption was reached during the 2004 Republican National Convention, when delegates were shown wearing purple band-aids to mock John Kerry's Purple Heart medal.
Has there ever been a nation that so attacked genuine heroes in the name of 'patriotism?' I think your essay suggests a reason. We know we're doing bad, we know we're not sacrificing our share, we know we're not _really_ supporting the troops, and we're ashamed of it, deep down. One result of this shame is the current war-mongering bravado on the part of people who never heard the snap of an angry shot.

Dave said...

Excellent piece of work. Just one fine post.

I might add one thing regarding the covenant that is established between a country's military and it's civilian population:

You, those I am charged to protect, will never, ever send me into harms way until every possible avenue and action, short of capitulation, has been exhausted.

DrDave said...

That is just a brilliant post. I shall pass the link on to others I think should read it and to take you up on your generous offer, I'm throwing a couple of bucks into the Fischer House pot b/c they do good work.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

KFMoney is now on my daily list. Amazing amazing post. My favorite line:

One of the great mysteries of the last six years was how and when the Bush Administration turned public policy into Special Olympics. "Oh, I know Donny knocked over all the hurdles, but HE LOVES THE RACE, so you SHUT YOUR FILTHY, CYNICAL MOUTH." Jesus H. Christ.

Awesome.

Jer said...

Got here via crooks & liars. Great post, very inspiring and very well articulated.

ITMFA.

-Jer

kootcoot said...

Would whoever started ringing Warren's Bell, please and apologize immediately and desist from further ringing? Thank you!

kootcoot said...

Oh yeah, and re: Lions Led by Donkeys"
isn't there another name for a Donkey?
I think it is A double plural or ASS.
Excellent Post by the way!

nj progressive said...

Thanks for a thoughtful piece, and the link to the heartbreaking Worcester fire story. Came from Firedoglake

Heronymus said...

John Rogers Speaks For Me.

I'm making the fucking T-Shirts.

alabamaslim said...

Disagree with the opening, agree with the conclusion. And it only took how any years and how many deaths to arrive at this conclusion? Too little, too late, but better late than never. Now you might take a long look at some of our administrations other policies. Happy awakening.

The Kat said...

*applause*

"The problem is, there is no single word in English for a man risking absolutely nothing, who demands someone else risk absolutely everything. I'm sure there's a word in German -- they are a whizzer with those kicky compound nouns -- but none in English for that precise combination."

Hmm, the germane word you're looking for, if not German, is: fucktard

Pronunciation: 'f&k-tärd

synonyms: bush, cheney, rummy

Great writing. Keep it up.

The Kat

Anonymous said...

This is a speach that needs to be made by a leading Democrat in the House or the Senate. It captures perfectly the right wing betrayal of America's soldiers.

exMI said...

Interesting. I would have to say though that this covenant between the soildier and the country is a wonderfull ideal that has never existed. Every soldier KNOWS that he is going to get screwed by Gig Army and the Government. It is just a question of when and how badly. The American people love soldiers. As long as they are quiet, polite, and only show up at parades and to rescue people. There is alot less enthusiam when they want money.
To say that the soldeirs were improperly equiped when they went into Iraq frankly isn't true. They (we actually, I was there) may not have had the best stuff out there that money could buy but we had what we had always been given, what we were told we would go to war with. What we trained with. But it has gotten better and better with each passing day and I don't think you will find very many soldiers without body armor deployed out there now. (At least not the ones who go out of the bases.)
I do whole heartedly agree that while the war itself was planned excellently, there was no plan at all for what would happen once the Iraqi army was beaten. Just some sort of daydream of flowers and a new government riseing phoenix like from the ashes.

Oh well, it was an interesting read.

matt olsen said...

So, naturally, these protestors would pick the shipment of armored vehicles and other equipment as a reason to protest:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/05/31/iraq.protest.ap/index.html

Seems to me that they need to read this post, too.

Anonymous said...

Great post!
Chickenhawk still seems useful as a term for someone who can cackle about the War on Terror but can't define terror in a way that includes NYC and excludes Hiroshima.

Aaron said...

Interesting. I like your clearcut division between the military and their governmental employers, because those two seem to often mesh. There is indeed a difference between those who put their lives on the line for their country, and those who are controlling the chess board. We should always question the player of the board, and never the pieces themselves. Of course, that's not to imply that those in the military are mindless pawns, but ... well, you understand my point. Again, well written, and some food for thought.

Alena said...

Wow... truly excellent post.

bushtit said...

I'm a little late to this table but....Outstandingly succinct post and extremely thought-provoking. What a great new perspective on chickenhawks. And I beg to differ about your caveat regarding the "awkward collision of passion" with the limits of your craft. Your craftsmanship was superb. Unfortunately for me, when my passion gets all worked up, my lips won't work, my tongue gets twisted and my words come out all wrong. But you've given me ammunition. Thank you.

badenov said...

For Maestro, et. al.,

How about "Lions Led By Asses" as a less-encumbered rephrasing of the title metaphor (and is probably what the original Brit bon-moticist had in mind IMHO)?

Anonymous said...

Wow. That is one of the most cogent things I have read in a long long time.

And to paraphrase Tommy Franks: "I don't care what your politics are. I don't. But if you break the covenant with our troops you are not a patriot."

wood said...

Bravo. Truer words were never said.

Ryan Biesemeyer said...

wow. I am thoroughly impressed with both the snippet you quoted and the article you wrote in answer.

Often the debate is reduced to insults, making any attempt at an educated conversation impossible, yet you raise the standard by attacking knowledgibly and openly the issues of concern.

Ryan Biesemeyer
Bies Design Studio

That Girl said...

As always, you are the best!

Anonymous said...

Artful and intelligent. We need this kind of clear reasoning in the mainstream media.

mike weber/fairportfan said...

I recall the term from my 'Nam days; the first prominent politicians i recall it being applied to were Dan "I spent the war in Indiana" Quayle and Ronnie (who spent WW2 in Hollywood making films designed to encourasge others to go get their asses shot off).

Bravo, sir, you hit it well and truly on the head.

My (step) son-in-law just got back from Iraq, where he apparently had some Hairy Experiences; at least his four-month-old-daughter gets to know her Daddy as something other than a man in funny clothes in a picture.

May i suggest a couple of related links? (Some of them my own work, admittedly, but they might lead people in wothwhile directions)

First, i cannot too highly recommend this piece, by one Alfred Hambidge, from David Hackworthy's site. Hack himself said he loved the military, even though she was a whore; he knew how often your ideal "compact" was/is achieved. He died a while back, but was still running things when this one went up, so he approved the sentiment. I do too.

Which leads to this one. I started a blog a while ago and kept it going for months, but i obviously wasn't getting out and the lack of feedback wore me down; i still post sporadically. But this was my first post, when i was in a white hot rage after hearing of a soldier being recomended for court martial for cowardice after he asked to see a shrink because he was afraid.

The kid didn't say he would't fight. He didn't run. He was apparently doing his duties satisfactorily. He just wanted counseling (and maybe some anxiety or depression meds, who knows?)

And they fitted him up for a court martial for cowardice.

God damn George S. Patton forever.

And i'll say it again here: "They are killing my brothers again!"

And perhaps, while meditating on that "compact" between the military and society, one might check out David Drake's harrowing stories of future combat in his collection The Tank Lords -- particularly i recommend you the (totally fortuitous) combination of my own posted review back-to-back with that of SF author and combat vet Michael Williamson, both concentrating on the novel "Rolling Hot" contained therein.

Williamson says that the story finally triggered an understanding in him of the way in which a sizeable portion of the populace does not probably simply can not understand military service and the sense of honour and duty that drives it.

And i leave you with words from two bards of the military and the honourable and courageous:

"It's 'Tommy this' and 'Tommy that' and 'Tommy, wait outside!';
But it's 'Special train for Atkins!' when the trooper's on the tide..."

and

"Drive on -- it don't mean nothin'
My children love me but they don't understand
But I got a woman who loves her man
Drive on -- it don't mean nothin', don't mean nothin'
Drive on."

Anonymous said...

http://www.teambio.org/2006/06/american-legion-condemns-chickenhawks/


this is what the American Legion thinks about Chickenhawks

Ymarsakar said...

American body armor can stop SVD-Dragunov rounds. Making the troops carry 100+ pounds into battle makes them a sitting target, regardless of any precepts about providing good armor. Good armor that makes soldiers too slow to move out of the way of bullets, is bad armor.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Your understanding and eloquence are appreciated.

-Dave
514th AES

Crumb Maker said...

As a veteran, I just want to say 'Thanks'.

Baylink said...

Well, I threw $10 in for the Fisher House, so you can cross off 9 other assholes' responsibilities. :-)

On a different topic, I'd like to propose the Whedon-cut as a replacement term, since I think Joss does it even better than they did on Gilligan's Island.

David E Kelley is fond of it too, and even less so, Aaron Sorkin (they composing the trilogy, with Shonda Rhimes coming up fast on the outside if the new development deal doesn't kill her...), but I think Joss is the current best progenitor thereof.

Anonymous said...

Seen from a southern hemisphere's perspective, this is great stuff.

In Australia we see a lot of discussion, a real lot. About rights. This has to be one of the first times I see responsibility come up in a discussion in the U.S.

In Australia we have simmilar bodies as your V.A which are run by the Federal Gov. However in all cases that I know of we dont have veterans or currently enlisted on welfare. What gives there?

demondoll said...

Thank you for the wonderful post

MerielK said...

I thought that this was very good, accurate and true. I suppose you are preaching to the choir in my case. I have lived in Japan for the last 7 years, though I am an American. It is very sad to see the US go down the pot since the Bush 2 administration took over. Sad to see the villainy committed by those whom we elected (act in our name), sad to hear hardly a wimper against these same villains. People are more activist about their favorite sports teams. You might be interested in the study of Pschohistory (not the Asimovian creation), which is the study of historical motivations. The book Foundations of Psychohistory by Lloyd deMause is very profound and helps untangle why, for example, the US as a nation is now sacrificing US citizens, not to mention the Iraqi civilian population (and has done so for years now).

Thank you for your hard work writing your essay.

acaligurl said...

another post worth reading! thanks. i'm new to the blog posting thing, but enjoyed reading yours.
ciao

David Harmon said...

Wonderful post. As a minor quibble alluded to in previous comments:

I always thought "chickenhawk" in the political sense referred specifically to those civilian leaders who had managed to dodge the draft in their own youth, but now talk all gung-ho and big-(st/d)ick about sending off the troops and smiting all and sundry. Especially those who presume to vilify actual combat veterans, for having learned that War Is A Bad Thing.

If they're not stopped, I'm quite certain these will shortly be the same guys, who order the same troops, to come back and kill American civilians for daring to question the Divine Authority of King Bush II and his puppeteers.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Credit where it's due: to my knowledge, the term "chickenhawk" was first used by the great Jack Newfield to describe superpatriots (hawks) who supported the Vietnam war with their mouths while keeping their asses far away. You know: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Rudolph Giuliani, George F. Will, Dan Quayle, Pat Buchanan, etc., etc. I've also read that it was the Germans who said "The British fight like lions, but they are led by donkeys." To call Douglas Haig a donkey is to insult donkeys -- but that's another issue.

Cynthia Livingston said...

Way late to the party-but I just wanted you to know I just contributed 10.00 to Fisher House. I know that's not a lot, but I've had this blog entry on favorites for months, promising myself that as soon as I got a job I would do what I could to help our soldiers who are being so incredibly fucked over by the admin. This is just a start, I hope to be able to give more in the future, and often. Thanks for making me aware of this great organization. It helps to be able to do something and not just feel helpless in the face of such monolithic stupidity and callousness.

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شركة مكافحة الحشرات بالخبر

mohammed elgammal said...

شركة مكافحة الحشرات بالقصيم
شركة مكافحة الحشرات بالقطيف
شركة مكافحة الحشرات بالمدينة المنورة
شركة مكافحة الحشرات بالجبيل
شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام
شركة رش مبيدات بجدة
شركة رش مبيدات بالجبيل
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بجدة
شركة عزل خزانات بالدمام
شركة عزل خزانات بجدة
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجارى بجدة
شركة تنظيف بيارات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بيارات بجدة

nilehome said...

نايل هوم
nilehome


شقق الرحاب للبيع
فيلا للبيع في الرحاب
مدينة الرحاب بالقاهرة الجديدة

شقق للبيع فى المعادى
حدائق المعادى
المعادى الجديدة
شقق للبيع بالمعادى 2013

Anonymous said...

Mari Kenali Dulu Ciri-Ciri kutil kelamin, kemudian Obati penyakit kutil kelamin anda dengan cara melakukan pengobatan kutil kelamin seefektif mungkin melalui obat herbal kutil kelamin Kami DE NATURE yang mampu mengobati penyakit kutil kelamin anda secara aman dan tidak menimbulkan efek samping apapun yang dapat merugikan tubuh anda.
Jual Obat Kutil Kelamin Wanita
Obat Kutil Kelamin
Obat Kutil Kelamin Ampuh
Obat Kutil Kelamin Tanpa Operasi
Gejala Penyakit Kelamin
Obat Kutil Kelamin
Obat Kutil Kelamin Ampuh
Obat Kutil Kelamin Tanpa Operasi

Anonymous said...

Cara Mengobati Kutil Kelamin Pada Pria dengan mengunakan obat kutil kelamin herbal sehingga tanpa Operasi sembuh total karena saya sangat takut apabila mendengar kata operasi apakah ada pengobatan kutil kelamin yang dapat dicegah dari rumah untuk menyingkirkannya? Apa ada perawatan yang baik untuk kutil kelamin manjur apakah ada solusi alami dalam perawatan yang untuk ibu sedang hamil

Anonymous said...

tersedia untuk memperlakukan kutil dengan sendiri? Mungkin ini semua pertanyaan yang mungkin Anda pertanyakan pada diri Anda sendiri jika saat ini Anda memilki kutil Berikut dibawah ini pembahasan dari cara mengobati kutil kelamin tanpa operasi dengan menggunakan obat kutil kelamin tradisional paling manjur aman untuk ibu sedang hamil

Anonymous said...

bagi ibu yang sedang hamil ataupun untuk ibu yang sedang menyusui segera kontak kami untuk mendapatkan obat kutil kelamin terbaik de nature serta paling manjur cara mengobati kanker payudara dengan menggunakan obat kanker payudara paling manjur terbuat dari daun keladi tikus sarang semut serta dari daun sirsak insyaalah tanpa operasi kanker payudara dapat sembuh dengan cepat | obat wasir wasir | obat kutil kelamin segera kontak kami untuk mendapatkan pengobatan yang terbaik dari klinik herbal de nature untuk ibu sedang hamil