The ‘Chickenhawks’ Argument

by John Hawkins | September 12, 2002 11:59 pm

The ‘Chickenhawks’ Argument: I can’t believe how much ink and web space has been devoted to refuting the whole patently ridiculous idea that you can’t advocate attacking Iraq without having been in the military or at least offering to join the military. There are so many things that are obviously wrong with this sort of thinking that I hardly know where to start.

The military may be the experts on how to fight a war, but anyone familiar with hideously conceived “Operation Northwoods[1]” should be willing to concede that the military is not always the best judge of whether and how we should enter a fight. We could also point out that while fighting in our nation’s military is certainly dangerous work, it has become significantly less dangerous than it was in previous decades. In fact, we lost more than three times as many of our people on 9/11 as we lost [2] in every military engagement we’ve fought since 1980. Some people have even pointed out that people who are against the war have an opportunity to go to Iraq and be human shields[3] if they really believe that only those who are going to risk their lives should be able to advocate a position on the war.

Last but not least, I believe that people who say you can’t advocate war unless you’ve been a soldier or intend to be one are inherently hypocritical because they don’t apply that concept to anything else. Are these same people refusing to criticize President Bush’s decisions because they’ve never been President? Will they refuse to criticize any action of the police if they’ve never been a policeman? If THEY have not served in the military, do they feel that they have no right to criticize the actions of those in the military because they’ve never been in their shoes? If a doctor is accused of medical malpractice, do they think only other doctors are qualified to judge whether he’s right or wrong?

This whole “chickenhawk” catcall is a joke and furthermore is an attempt to divert attention away from the fact that there is obviously no way to stop Saddam Hussein from supporting terrorism and building WMD other than by using force. Crying “chickenhawk” is much easier than actually coming up with a solution other than military force that has any hope of working.

  1. Operation Northwoods:
  2. we lost :
  3. human shields:;$sessionid$QDSWKJX5UFXR3QFIQMFCFFOAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2002/09/08/wirq408.xml

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