The Chicken Hawk Fallacy
Jeff Jacoby takes on this continuing nitwit meme
.``Chicken hawk" isn't an argument. It is a slur -- a dishonest and incoherent slur. It is dishonest because those who invoke it don't really mean what they imply -- that only those with combat experience have the moral authority or the necessary understanding to advocate military force. After all, US foreign policy would be more hawkish, not less, if decisions about war and peace were left up to members of the armed forces. Soldiers tend to be politically conservative, hard-nosed about national security, and confident that American arms make the world safer and freer. On the question of Iraq -- stay-the-course or bring-the-troops-home? -- I would be willing to trust their judgment. Would Cindy Sheehan and Howard Dean?
Exactly. If we follow the logic here, only those who've served in the military can support sending our troops abroad. But if that's the case, then only those who've served in the military can be in Congress or the Presidency, because we all know that eventually our leaders may be forced to send us to war. Of course, that means that those who use the chickenhawk formulation cannot support Russ Feingold for President, since he never wore the uniform. Bill Clinton should never have been elected to the Oval Office, because he ran against two men who fought in World War II.