Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, May 30, 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 bookAWOL: 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."


Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

That's right - like I've said before, there are PLENTY of liberals serving in the U.S. military, and very few rich kids. I knew a few, but I could count them all on one hand. It is time for the priveleged amongst us to step up and volunteer to pull their weight.

On on the "yellow (blue, white, or whatever) ribbon" folks - SCREW THEM. When I got back from the Desert, I had to commute back and forth to a stateside air base for a couple of months, in uniform. Just for a personal experiment, every time I saw one of those ribbons in traffic, I'd look at the driver, who almost ALWAYS either looked at me with complete disinterest, and in many cases, even disdain. Out of HUNDREDS of these observations, ONE GUY gave me a thumbs up, and only one or two more of these people even nodded or smiled. And remember, I live way down in Dixie in one of these "Red States". I'd expect better TRUE support of the troops in a "Blue State", frankly.

I wasn't looking for recognition, I was looking for sincerity, so I could one day blog about my experience. The fact is, this is about as close as I've come to blogging about it - in this comment to this post, and I am so disgusted by these pretentious bastards that I won't devote one more second to them, here, or on my own blog.

To HELL with 'em. They can shove their fad where the sun don't shine as far as I am concerned. Oh well, on the positive side, nobody called me a "baby killer"...

May 30, 2006 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

GTL: Great comment; it should be a post. That's too bad you got such indifference from people with yellow ribbons on their vehicles. I always suspected most of those people were doing it just for show, or political correctness, but I'm sorry to have it confirmed so clearly.

Operation Yellow Elephant is full of anecdotes about the reactions they get when they ask gung ho pro-war college students to enlist. Sometimes they get indifference, sometimes hostility, sometimes fury.

The "Ugly American" was talking about experiencing that same indifference (in a comment at another blog). Oh well, be grateful that nobody called you a baby killer :)

May 30, 2006 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

I think of "the elites" as a parasitic class of people who view the rest of us as their life-sustaining hosts. They feed off of us in order to live in the style to which they have become accostumed. In other words, these blood suckers are the worst kind of addicts known to mankind (such creatures do not occur elsewhere in the animal kingdom). Of course they and their families do not partake in the armed conflicts that they create and perpetuate - their offspring must survive to power the war machine through the future for generations to come.

To gun-toting liberal...I am surprised at the results of your experiment. Wow. I would have flashed you a peace sign. It is a habit that I have retained from the Vietnam era. Most of us in the military back then flashed peace signs to indicate our support for each other and for the anti-war movement. For more on this era be sure to catch the newly released film, Sir No Sir.

May 30, 2006 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Kitchen Window Woman: That's an excellent description. They're the parasites and the rest of us are the hosts. I haven't heard of "Sir No Sir" but I'll have to check it out.

May 30, 2006 at 12:34 PM  
Anonymous James said...

The rich dont care about issues they care about being in the clique that appears to care. Basically their support of anything ends at wearing a ribbon.

Troops in war....Yellow ribbon
Aids.............Red Ribbon
Breast Cancer....Pink Ribbon

To bad all the problems we face cant be solved through ribbons, we'd all be set wouldnt we.

Maybe we should all wear ribbons to protest their hypocrisy...green no doubt.

May 30, 2006 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

James: Yup, a ribbon for every occasion. It must be nice to be able to solve every problem just by displaying a ribbon and a bumpersticker, and yelling out the right slogan.

May 30, 2006 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger PoliShifter said...

Elites don't serve because they can't afford to lose their heirs.

Those that served and later become elites tend to prevent their children from joining or in the case of Bush, help them avoid actual combat.

May 30, 2006 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

wow, what a graet quote:

"we suggest they take the magnetic yellow ribbon off their SUV and rethink their position."

May 30, 2006 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

Tom, you're right of course - it was a post, and I shouldn't have taken the unsolicited liberty to do that in your blog. FWIW - it felt good to get that off of my chest. Thanks for that, Sir.

Kitchen Window Woman, your comparison with the parasites was SPOT ON! Yeah, I'd have LOVED to see a peace sign or two. Frankly, that would have been even better than the two thumbs up thingie. Like I said, I didn't do it out of a huge need for attention, or you'd see more of my military experiences posted on my blog. I did it for the reasons I said I did - an "experiment". The ribbon bearing public failed MISERABLY.

James, I've never thought of it that way, but now that you mention it, you are correct. We've got a ribbon for every problem it seems. A great way to plop down a couple of bucks, then display to the world "See - I once cared enough about this issue to go out of my way to spend $2.00" - and most likely, at a "convenience" store for just a little bit more irony.

May 30, 2006 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

PoliShifter: Yeah, the Bush family is a great example of that. Get Daddy's little progeny into the National Guard. Even though there's a 3-year waiting list -- Presto! We have an opening for Little Georgie.

Mike: Yup, that's a great quote. And coming from the American Legion, of all groups. Their magazine is so gung ho and pro-war and "support our troops" -- it's staggering to have them say something like that.

GTL: I meant that as a compliment. That was a great comment.

May 30, 2006 at 11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where was this report 30+ years ago during Vietnam when we had a selective classist, racist, draft that only sent poor boys of color to war and made tons of loopholes for people like Dan Quayle and Phil Gramm to exploit?

Y'know I have a friend I grew up with that used his fathers influence to stay out of Vietnam and he had the gall to accuse Bill Clinton of being a draft-dodger. I reminded him he was no different and now he makes sure not to accuse Clinton with me around.


May 31, 2006 at 3:12 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: And don't forget our badass warrior Dick Cheney, who got five deferments during the Vietnam war because he "had other priorities."

May 31, 2006 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

Yep, slap a little yellow magnet on the ass end of your suv and proudly support the troops. As if.......

Slap the ass end of Jr in the back of plane and send him out to war to be supported by your yellow magnet.

The wealthy often benefit from war while the less well off carry the load.

May 31, 2006 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Pissed Off Patricia: Hey, that sounds like a deal. If anyone in the Bush family (or Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rove...) enlists, I'll slap yellow ribbons all over my car.

May 31, 2006 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger dusty said...

God..its so nice to see it in print..the rich don't serve their country! and by the american legion no less!

thanks for this post:)

May 31, 2006 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger dusty said...

They drum up business in the poor neighborhoods, schools and shopping centers. Its appalling what they will accept into the military now..autistic boys..seriously.i blogged about it last month. They only require a passing grade of: 33%..I shat you not.thats it..where in real life do you pass ANYTHING with a score of 33%??? NO WHERE.

May 31, 2006 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Dusty: Yeah, that's something when the gung ho American Legion says this.

I've heard all kinds of stories about their enlistment standards. High school dropouts, people with criminal records, people who are way too out of shape to do any situps or pushups. Plus the enlistment age keeps going up and up.

May 31, 2006 at 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Penny said...

Reinstate the draft, get everyone with an equal stake in the daily death & we'd have a fairer picture of the cost of war.

May 31, 2006 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Penny: The draft would make everything a lot more fair and equal, but I'm still glad it got repealed. I'm old enough to remember it. But there's some sick part of me that almost wishes they'd reinstate it, just for the pleasure of watching all the Yellow Elephants squirming and scrabbling to get out of it.

May 31, 2006 at 7:29 PM  
Anonymous James said...

Maybe instead of a draft notice just send them a little ribbon in the mail.

May 31, 2006 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Or maybe a draft notice AND a yellow ribbon.

May 31, 2006 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger The Cranky Insomniac said...

I'm just curious: Do y'all just feel this way because you oppose the war in Iraq, or would you be equally upset if people with no military experience supported what you believe to be a just war?

In otherwords, in y'all's opinion, is it ever possible to support a war if you yourself haven't served?

June 4, 2006 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Cranky Insomniac: Good questions. I was somewhat in favor (with mixed feelings) of our Afghanistan invasion in late '01 and Clinton's airstrikes in Kosovo. But never to the point of feeling that anyone who was against the war was un-American or unpatriotic. I can't imagine ever feeling that way about a war.

I was in the Navy from '69 - '73.

June 4, 2006 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger The Cranky Insomniac said...

Tom: I agree with you on the issue of patriotism: for example, I would never say that you're unpatriotic for not being in favor of the war in Iraq.


That said, I'm still curious whether you, or James, or GTL, or KWW, or Mike V., or Polishifter, or anyone else who's commented here about "chickenhawks," would feel differently if these people supported a war you all considered to be "just." Or are y'all saying that if you haven't served in the military you can never support a war?

June 4, 2006 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but as for me: I'm against the Iraqi invasion, period, and that colors most of my judgments. If it was a war I thought was necessary (I don't think there's been a necessary war since WWII -- maybe Korea) I wouldn't have the opinion that only military veterans should be in favor of it.

In other words, no, I don't have a flatout viewpoint that only people who have served in the military should have the right to support a war.

The only reason I'm always going on about chickenhawks -- I've done quite a few posts on this theme -- is the glaring contrast between our understaffed army and the millions of able-bodied males who shout out "support our troops!" while contributing absolutely nothing themselves. Obviously not everyone can enlist in the military, so I don't think that each individual who isn't a soldier or a veteran should just keep quiet. But our military is stretched way too thin, and this could be rectified instantly if just a tiny percentage of the yellow elephants, chickenhawks, whatever you want to call them, would back up their slogans by enlisting.

June 4, 2006 at 10:57 PM  

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