June 1st, 2006

American Legion Condemns Chickenhawks

Well, they didn’t use that exact word, but that’s the meaning. Chickenhawks, keyboard warriors, members of the Chairborne Division — the American Legion has your number. In the June 2006 issue of American Legion Magazine, there’s an article entitled “How the Privileged See the Military.”

The article is a review of this book — AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service — and How It Hurts Our Country. One of the book’s two authors is the wife of a career military officer, and the other is the father of a former Marine.

My favorite quote from the article is: “For those who wave the flag and support the troops but also consider their own family exempt from service because of the wealth of better options available to them — we suggest they take the magnetic yellow ribbon off their SUV and rethink their position.”

Bravo! Again, these aren’t the rantings of an anti-war Leftist. This is the ultra-conservative My-Country-Right-or-Wrong American Legion.

Currently, the number of Congressmen and Congresswomen who are also veterans is about one third of what the number was just a generation ago. About one percent of Congress has a child who’s currently serving. Hell, it’s more fun to send somebody else’s kids off to war.

Or, like Moe used to say (pointing to Larry and Curly): “I’ll fight to the last drop of their blood.”

The article says “This is not a Democrat-Republican issue. It is a class issue — small-town, religious and middle-class Democrats are more likely to have someone in the military in their extended social group than wealthy Republicans living in big cities.”

The article concludes with “Why don’t the elites serve? Most probably they never even consider it…the reasons may change but one thing remains constant: the expectation that military service is for the “other” and never for the most privileged.”

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Posted in Politics, Military

28 Comment(s)

Leave a response »

  1. Honza Prchal Says :

    That’s one way to read read it, but the “privileged” and “”educated” referred to in the article are overwhelmingly Democrats, hence the negative views of the military. So, “chicken-doves” might be a better tag line.

  2. Tom Harper Says :

    The article itself seems to be non-political (a rare moment for that magazine), but their point is the huge discrepancy between some people’s vocal support for the war and their refusal to enlist.  Obviously some people have valid reasons for not being able to enlist, but there are clearly millions of able-bodied under-40 Americans who COULD enlist but would rather just sport yellow ribbons and bumperstickers and shout cusswords at anyone who disagrees with them.

    At least “Chicken-Doves” are being consistent — there’s no contradiction in not enlisting to fight in a war that you don’t believe in.  “Chicken Hawks” on the other hand…

  3. LiberPaul Says :

    Hear, Hear Tom!!!  Nothing wrong with avoiding a war you don’t think is just, ya know, just like Dear Leader and Tricky Dick Cheney did ;-)

  4. Tom Harper Says :

    Ah yes, Cheney’s five deferments during Vietnam because he “had other priorities.”  And the Texas Air Guard had a 3-year waiting list, but suddenly there was a vacancy for Boy George.

  5. Liberal Army Wife Says :

    The DAY that a Bush child (any of the clan) or a Kennedy, or Clinton or any of the others who voted FOR this war puts on a uniform, is the day that I start respecting ANY of them.


  6. Tom Harper Says :

    LAW:  I hope you’re not holding your breath.  It’s gonna be a long wait.

  7. fattkidd Says :

    It’s high time that the common folk in this country drop all the ‘conservative vs liberal’, ‘blue vs red’, ‘GOP vs Dem’, ‘Black vs White vs Latino’ bullshit that’s been so pervasive the last 30 years and start to realize that it’s all meant to divide and conquer us.  I don’t care if you’re Dem or GOP… 90% of the time, the folks in Congress vote exactly the same way.  It’s only on the ‘wedge’ issues where you get a substantial difference.  The priveledged declared war on the rest of us back in the ’60’s and have been concentrating wealth and power amongst themselves ever since.  If it takes an issue such as military service for those who lean more to the right to finally realize this fact then so be it.  We all should welcome this wholeheartedly and try to find the common ground as much as we can.  We have to unite to protect ourselves, the middle-class, before we become extinct and this country turns into a third-world banana-republic. 

  8. Smack Says :

    fattkidd says “…before we become extinct and this country turns into a third-world banana-republic. “

    Too late Kidd.

    As for ‘chickenhawks’…

    “War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it.” Desiderius Erasmus Dutch author, philosopher, & scholar (1466 - 1536)


  9. billyvol Says :

    Are you ready to bow to Teddy Kennedy for he served in the army as an enlisted man from 1953 to1955.

  10. liberal vet Says :

    The fat kid is right. These fuckers are stealing my country, I am sick of it! LV

  11. MrEMan Says :

    This was a refreshing story.  I live in the midwest and I have witnessed a lot of buyer’s remorse among Republicans - former Bush supporters.  I’m not a big fan of the Democratic leadership in DC, but the painful truth for the 29%’ers out there is that the neocon agenda is dead.  This war has put our brave soldiers in horrific situations that were ultimately avoidable.  

     I completely agree with the notion that this is no longer a red vs. blue issue.  It’s an issue that we as Americans must rally around and unite to find a solution. 

  12. Buford Says :

    We need to reinstate the draft - like NOW! Only when citizens have some skin in the game will we put a stop to pet-project wars like Iraq and return to considering war as a last resort.

  13. Tom3 Says :

    Only a Republican hack would try to pin this one on the liberals.

    Besides, if the liberals don’t believe in the war, we don’t have to go or send our kids.

    You Republicans believe in this war… but you are not signing up.  If you were, there would be no recruiting shortages.

    Don’t blame the Democrats for this, thats just another Republican LIE.

  14. Tom3 Says :

    “the “privileged” and “”educated” referred to in the article are overwhelmingly Democrats?” LIE.


  15. NavyVet Says :

    Where are all these wealthy and privileged Democrats the right wingnut shills are talking about? They certainly don’t live in my neighborhood.

  16. ninewands Says :

    It is well known that the majority of those politicians who have evaded military service are NEITHER Democrats nor Liberals.

    BTW, Smack, I prefer this quote to yours from Erasmus:

    No one hates war like a soldier hates war.

    – Wm. Tecumseh Sherman 


  17. Swill to Power Says :

    Here’s another good one from Erasmus, especially suited for conservative Catholics who support the war: “You cannot conceivably address a credible prayer to the Father of all men when you have just driven a sword into your brother’s guts.” 

  18. Keith Says :

    Or, how about this quote from my grandfather who served in WWII (he was shot twice in the leg early on and still managed to rack up quite an impressive assortment of medals), kept a framed picture of Nixon on his living room wall well into the 80’s, and would tell me every Sunday morning when he came to visit that I should make him proud and enlist in the military. 

    Well, he said this to me while lying in his bed in a Veterans Center shortly after the Iraq war began:

    “Please, please, don’t ever enlist. I thought they sent me to Hell when they sent me to Europe, but Iraq is going to be different. It’s going to be worse. You’re Grampa’s boy. Don’t ever let them send you over there.”

  19. lavida13 Says :

    Furthermore, Kennedy did NOT vote to authorize this war~

  20. CHZBOY Says :

    Navy Wife:

    John F. Kennedy served in the Navy in WWII.

    Robert F. Kennedy served in the Navy in WWII.

    Edward M. Kennedy served in the Army in the early 1950s.

    You were saying?


  21. Jon Says :

    I think anyone who supports the war should support a tax to pay for it.  We have never gone to war without taxation to pay for it.    And if you support the war-and don’t encourage your kids to join the army-you’re just a hypocrite.  The question, before going to war, any war, must be, would you sign up?  The evil genius behind this administration is they got the country just excited enough to go to war, but not vested enough in it, either through conscription or taxation,  to make it hurt or really affect most of the day to day lives of the people of this country.   

  22. SW Says :

    Also, the Kennedy’s lost a son in WWII, Joe Jr., a pilot I believe.

  23. Ruth Lopez Says :

    Kerry, Gore, Biden, Clelland - all servd in Vietnam.

    Maybe now would be a good time to think back to the last campaign and how the non-serving right used every filthy trick to smear the liberals who did serve.

    The non-serving rightwingnuts have to tear down anyone who is braver and more courageous than they are. We let them get away with it then. It’s time now to be unrelenting in rubbing their miserable lying faces in the mess they have made until they cry uncle and crawl back under the slimy rocks they crawled out from. 

    No mercy, otherwise they’ll keep on and on until they make this country, and the world, look like post-war Germany, or the killing fields of Cambodia.

    They don’t understand decency and they will never stop willingly. 




  24. John Hogan Says :

    I’m a former Marine officer and Reagan Republican. I’ve voted Democratic in the last 3 presidential elections because I’ve watched the wingnuts take over the GOP. The chickenhawks make me want to puke.  They give the term hypocrisy a whole new meaning. Why do they suppose that the vast majority of Iraq and Gulf War veterans who are running for office (10 out of 11 at last count) are running as Democrats?  I’m sure they think it’s just a coincidence. Hey folks, we need to take our country back from these corrupt, fascist, war-mongering cowards.

  25. bridgehome Says :

    Maybe the American Legion should stop inviting Chickenhawks like Bush and 5-time deferred Cheney to speak at their grand events.

  26. Steve G Says :

    The priveleged and educated referred to in this story are Democrats? So Honza, do you just wake up in the morning and say “today I’m going to go on a bunch of websites and just make up bullshit”? Name one god damn person in this administration that served and didn’t go AWOL. Man you guys are evil. By the way, Chicken Dove doesn’t make any sense. If you can’t figure out why, I’m sure you’ll be voting for another Bush in the future. 

  27. How2Sites Says :


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  28. 4Truth Says :

    LAW, you take Kennedy out of that list. Kennedy family sacrificed more than any American.

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