by John Hawkins | August 6, 2007 6:30 am
Last Friday, I wrote a column that slammed the Daily Kos, among other things, for being virulently anti-military and what do you know, a soldier in uniform was shouted down at the Daily Kos convention this week-end for pointing out that the surge is working (but, but, but….I thought that they supported the troops?).
Now, if you want to see deep, rich, irony, take a look at this post from The Angry Rakkasan, in the main section of the Daily Kos, about the incident.
It starts off like so,
Author’s note: Both Michelle Malkin and Matt Drudge are still young enough to enlist in the military. As such strident war supporters, it’s anyone’s guess as to why neither of them has yet felt the need to pick up a gun and help out, while other troops–some under the age of 25–are beginning their fifth and sixth deployments. With morale plummeting over the war, the military is in desperate need of the type of motivated troopers I’m sure both Malkin and Drudge would make.
Apparently, the definition of “chickenhawk” has been greatly expanded. In Michelle Malkin’s case, what, she has to serve in the military so that she can comment on the Yearly Kos convention? That certainly seems to be the implication here, doesn’t it? Heck, it’s even worse for Drudge, because he didn’t even do any commentary, he simply linked to the incredibly embarrassing video of the Kossack moderator screaming at a soldier in uniform and that’s somehow illegitimate because he didn’t serve in the military?
Also, consider this: this piece starts out with a “chickenhawk” attack on Malkin and Drudge. In other words, they have no right to speak, because they weren’t soldiers. But then, when a soldier tried to speak up at the Daily Kos, they wouldn’t let him say his piece either. In other words, the only people allowed to even express an opinion about the war in the eyes of the Kossacks are people who are anti-war.
But, let’s finish up with the dreck from The Angry Rakkasan’s diary,
On Friday morning Jon Soltz of VoteVets.org moderated a YearlyKos panel called The Military and Progressives: Are They That Different? I was on the panel with Jon, along with General Wesley Clark, Iraq veterans Jonathan Powers and Josh Lansdale, and author Ilona Meagher. The panel went fine. However, at the end, there was some drama. Tempers flared between Soltz and a questioner in a military uniform, and the right-wing Pajamas Media reporter in the room began falling all over himself to film it–thinking that he had just scored a “macaca” moment for the Right.
…Right-wing media outlets like MichelleMalkin.com, The Drudge Report, and the National Review Online have been quick to seize on the footage, hoping to use it as proof that Kossacks don’t practice the free speech they preach. Too bad for them that this was really a dust-up over nothing–brought on by an irresponsible soldier who made it very plain to all of us that the Republican-induced lowering of Army enlistment standards has left us with certain soldiers who respect discredited Republican talking points, but not the law or the uniform of the United States Army.
…By the time the sergeant approached the microphone, though, the time for the panel had already run out. Jon Soltz, acting as the moderator, made the decision that, given the time constraints and the fact that we felt certain the sergeant was about to start a fresh debate (and break the law), he would draw the panel to a close.
This would have happened, had a number of well-meaning Kossacks not spoken up and urged Jon to take the soldier’s question. It was pretty apparent that they wanted to give the soldier a chance to ask a question because they thought he was sympathetic to the Kos cause. Jon allowed to soldier to speak, but not before issuing him a very stern warning–the same warning he had received the previous night from General Clark about political debate, the uniform, and the law. I had my fingers crossed that the guy would listen to the second warning, and just say a word or two, or ask to talk to Jon outside of this political event, and that would be the end of it.
But that wasn’t to be. Instead, the sergeant pulled out a military manual and began lecturing us on “adversity,” and how adversity builds character and how it shapes the soldiers that make up the Army. The idea was that those of us on the panel weren’t strong enough to “handle” the adverse conditions in Iraq. Essentially this young soldier was presenting a lecture on adversity to a panel that had a collective Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and eight combat deployments. He then stated that since the beginning of the surge, Iraqi casualties had fallen. Although, on that point, the sergeant was flat wrong.
Soltz, who is still a Captain in the Reserves, at that point had heard all he wanted to hear. As an officer, he took it upon himself to reprimand the sergeant for breaking the Uniform Code of Military Justice, left the stage, and went to confront the soldier. In fact, if he hadn’t reprimanded the soldier, he could have been seen as condoning the act–and none of us wanted to do that.”
Whether this soldier was breaking the rules or not, I will leave to the attorneys, but if this guy writing this piece had one single, solitary, ounce of integrity, he would admit that they would have welcomed him speaking if he had been anti-war. In fact, The Angry Rakkasan says that,
“This would have happened, had a number of well-meaning Kossacks not spoken up and urged Jon to take the soldier’s question. It was pretty apparent that they wanted to give the soldier a chance to ask a question because they thought he was sympathetic to the Kos cause.”
Moreover, Kos himself previously said, back in June of this year, that he strongly supports the right of the troops to speak in uniform (of course, he was talking about a liberal soldier),
“So they’ll prosecute me if I wear my Army uniforms to an anti-war protest? Really?
But that’s not the point. As we’ve seen time and time again, we see military personnel, in uniform, all the freakin’ time as backdrops to Republican pro-war events — including with Mr. 28% — and there haven’t been any prosecutions of those folks.
Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh has already been discharged. He has every right enshrined under the Constitution, including those of free speech and peaceful assembly.
And anyone that thinks otherwise, quite frankly, is legitimately and objectively un-American.”
Well, given Kos’s own standard here, wouldn’t it be fair to say that the Yearly Kos convention was, “legitimately and objectively un-American” because they wouldn’t let that soldier speak in uniform? I think it would!
Let me also note that people like Jon Soltz and The Angry Rakkasan have brought 10 times more disrepute on the military with their dishonorable behavior than this kid ever could by speaking in uniform. That’s not because they’re anti-war, it’s because of the grindingly stupid and hypocritical way that they play their former military service as a victim card. “Oh, if you weren’t in the military, you have no right to disagree with me — about anything — ever” — and boy are they going to remind you that they were in the military over and over and over again. These guys don’t make points and arguments so much as they make their declarations of their position and then say that no one else is allowed to have a contrary opinion unless they served in the military, in which case they’re “irresponsible” and a result of the “lowering of Army enlistment standards.”
They also constantly imply that they speak for the troops when everybody knows that most of the military is conservative. If you took an opinion poll of every soldier in the military and compared the results to what The Angry Rakkasan thinks and to what Michelle Malkin, who was denigrated at the start of that Daily Kos post, thinks, on 85 issues out of a 100 — if not more — you’d probably find that the majority of soldiers agreed with Malkin.
So, all this jazz about Michelle needing to go to serve in the military is pure garbage since she’s already a better spokesman for the views of the troops than any liberal who attended the Yearly Kos convention, including the former soldiers.
PS: Speaking of irony, the three biggest names at the Yearly Kos convention were Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards, all of whom are, by liberal standards, chickenhawks who never served in the military, yet support the war in Afghanistan.
Also see, The Chickenhawk Slur.
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