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Thursday, August 18, 2005


Brown Diaper Babies

Steve Gilliard posted, then eviscerated these comments by fascist savant Ben Shapiro:
The "chickenhawk" argument is dishonest. It is dishonest because the principle of republicanism is based on freedom of choice about behavior (as long as that behavior is legal) as well as freedom of speech about political issues. We constantly vote on activities with which we may or may not be intimately involved. We vote on police policy, though few of us are policemen; we vote on welfare policy, though few of us either work in the welfare bureaucracy or have been on welfare; we vote on tax policy, even if some of us don't pay taxes. The list goes on and on. Representative democracy necessarily means that millions of us vote on issues with which we have had little practical experience. 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.
Gilliard doesn't need much help putting young Mr. Shapiro in his place, but my reaction is that all the talk of "voting" is irrelevant, a pathetic dodge because the kid has no good answer to the Operation Yellow Elephant critique. Talk minus action equals shit. It says so right in the liner notes of my Brian Jonestown Massacre album. That's why the 101st Fighting Keyboarders have had to convince themselves that talk is action, that they are in fact materially contributing to the war effort by using their amazing rhetorical talents to protect the homefront. Well, if the polls turning decidedly against the war are any indication, they've failed in their daring mission.

Ben and his ilk have the right to their opinion. They have "freedom of choice about behavior". However, having the right to an opinion doesn't absolve you of behaving like a snivelling coward hypocrite for shouting an opinion that you have no intention of backing up, that you presume will be backed up by your inferiors, and that considers all who disagree to be traitors.

Ben's central problem is that this piece of shit war was sold in apocalyptic terms: the Islamofascist boogeyman under the Western world's bed wants us all dead or under its theocratic, totalitarian bootheel. Only war in Iraq, we were told, will begin to turn the tide against the evildoing haters of freedom. Of course, if this is true, every able-bodied American ought to sign up, but especially those who profess to believe with every fiber of their being that this is truly the war to end all wars. That so many of them sit on their hands in the face of abject ridicule, as the blood of "volunteers" flows daily on the streets and sands of Iraq is telling. At long last, they have no shame.

While things are going poorly right now for Ben and his fellow troops in the propaganda trenches, outflanked by a specially-trained team of Gold Star parents, there is a silver lining: in a few short years, young C.S. will be old enough to sign up for the War of Words. So bring it on!

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