Douglas Kern has a great new meme over at Tech Central Station. Behold, the chickendove!
Military service would give peace-lovers a chance to prove their pacifistic mettle. You want to stop the fighting in Iraq? Want to prevent American soldiers from executing their imperialistic policies of building schools and sewers and hospitals? Stow the goofy signs, soulpatch. Forget that petition. Don’t send that whiny e-mail to Fox News. I have a better way: snip off your ponytail, drop thirty pounds, and enlist. With all of those master’s degrees in Folklore Studies, you’ll be a shoo-in to make Officer Candidate School. In no time you’ll be a Platoon Leader, responsible for the combat readiness of dozens of men. When the moment is right, and the bullets start to fly, you can order your men to stand down and Give Peace a Chance. For that brief, shining moment, you will have brought peace to the Middle East and halted the genocidal policies of George W. McHitler. Admittedly, your platoon sergeant will buttstroke you to the head at the first opportunity. After a quick court-martial, you’ll spend the remainder of your adult life making big rocks into little rocks in beautiful, scenic Leavenworth, Kansas. But so what? You gotta walk the talk. If you’re willing to send chickenhawks off to die in order to earn the right to support war, surely you’re willing to send yourself off to incarceration and dishonor in order to earn the right to support peace.
Military service is also an excellent sincerity check for peaceniks who have belatedly discovered the joys of protecting innocent Muslims. Many of us suspicious-minded pro-war types can’t help but notice that many war protestors didn’t lose much sleep over the lives of Iraqis and Iranians when Saddam Hussein was slaughtering both. And back when the kum-ba-yah set admitted to resenting our action in Afghanistan, they fretted over the fate of Afghanis whom they were more than happy to entrust to the tender ministrations of the Taliban before 9/11. And what about our defense of Muslims during our Bosnian action? If, chickendove, you’ve developed a strange new concern for the fate of Muslims worldwide, take notice: the one military in the entire world that has taken up arms in the last fifty years to defend Muslim life is the American military. Feel like enlisting yet? Or is your Ph.D. proof enough of how gosh darn much you care?
To be clear: the entire notion of “Chicken______” is absurd. A free society should act on the assumption that citizens can reason about military issues without personal military experience, just as they can reason about any issue without needing a doctorate degree to do so. If you can’t trust citizens to reason intelligently outside of their personal fields of expertise, you’ve ceded political control to the experts. A strong insight into human nature gives citizens the capacity for reasonably wise decisions on all subjects. And insight into human nature doesn’t require military discharge papers.
Moreover, we constantly make political demands on each other that don’t affect us personally. We raise taxes that we ourselves don’t pay. We pass environmental regulations that don’t affect our businesses. We support novel educational policies while we send our own children to private school. So what? Do we demand that leftists form their own multinational conglomerates before protesting at WTC meetings? Do we require conservatives to date within their own sex before opposing same-sex marriages? Why have we singled out a pro-war stance as the one instance in which the mere possession of an opinion isn’t good enough?
RTWT, as the cool Chicken______s say.