Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Live from Fantasy Land; it's Ben Shapiro

Yes young Ben seems reality challenged this week. His article is about how wrong it is for Liberals to use the Chickenhawk epithet. Apparently.

Apparently pointing out that many Republican leaders supported the Vietnam war and yet were unwilling to fight in it is an attack on their right to speak. Pointing out that young Republicans support the Iraq war, we are suffering from not having enough troops, and yet young Republicans are unwilling to enlist is similarly wrong. Not just wrong. UnAmerican.
The "chickenhawk" argument -- which states that if you haven't served in the military, you can't have an opinion on foreign policy -- explicitly rejects basic principles of representative democracy.
No it doesn't, young Ben, any more than the hundreds of ad hominem attacks you and your kind have launched over the year mean that Democrats Liberals shouldn't be able to have an opinion on, well, anything.

His flight from reality comes in the last bit.
The "chickenhawk" argument proves only one point: The left is incapable of discussing foreign policy in a rational manner. They must resort to purely emotional, base personal attacks in order to forward their agenda. And so, unable or unwilling to counter the arguments of those like Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney and President Bush, they label them all "chickenhawks."

. . . American soldiers fight for the right of all Americans, regardless of race, class or past service, to speak out on foreign policy issues. If they fight for the right of pacifist anti-military fifth columnists like Michael Moore to denigrate their honor, they certainly fight for the right of civilian hawks to speak up in favor of the highest level of moral and material support for their heroism.
OK, a few points.

1. Liberals have lots of substantive arguments against the insane policies of the Bush Administration. To pretend that our entire counter argument consists of screaming "chickenhawk" is nonsense.

2. Fifth columnist? Denigrating their honor? Criticizing this war is not the same thing as criticizing the military forced to fight in it, and if you spent even a few moments reviewing Michael Moores statements you'd find the truth. Consider this quote from Fahrenheit 9/11, voiced and presumably written by Michael.
I've always been amazed that the very people forced to live in the worst parts of town, go to the worst schools, and who have it the hardest are always the first to step up, to defend us. They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is remarkably their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?
I don't know how you read that, but to me that doesn't sound like a slur against the troops.

3. And, incidentally, how is "fifth columnist" better than "chickenhawk?" I mean other than the fact that there is some truth to the phrase chickenhawk and none in the slur fifth columnist.

4. The Republicans in Congress and in the White House have consistently fought to lower veteran's benefits. The penny-pinching Donald Rumsfeld, eager to protect the Bush Tax Cuts, fought the Iraq war on the cheap. It's Democrat and Liberal Activists who have pointed out both of these facts.

Anyway I admit to being of two minds about the Chickenhawk epithet. On the one hand it isn't really a response to a conservative foreign policy argument. It would be better to point out the inconsistencies and nonsense in their arguments directly. On the other hand, chickenhawk goes to a very real attack Conservatives have made on Liberals. Conservatives like to pretend that they are the party that lives America and that Liberals are the party that doesn't love America. Chickenhawk cuts right through that, so why not use it?

Any thoughts?

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