Friday, June 27, 2008

Max Boot and the Tendencies of Chickenhawks

Over at Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall points out the idiocy of Max Boot:

It's sad to see articulate and intelligent, if terribly misguided, writers still trying to justify their Iraq catastrophe by claiming its no different from World War II and our decades' long stationing of troops in Germany and Japan.

Today we have the instance of Max Boot ...

I could just imagine an Andrew Sullivan of the 1940's writing something similar about Harry Truman's crazy idea to station troops in Germany and Japan without an exit strategy: "In fifty years' time, the West Germans will not be able to defend themselves against the Soviet Union? Or East Germany? Please." As it happens, the West Germans wouldn't have been able to defend themselves against a broad array of enemies without a long-term American troop presence. That presence has served other important goals too, namely reassuring Germany's neighbors that it would never threaten the peace of Europe again and fostering Germany's internal democratic development. But just because we've had troops in Germany and Japan for 60 years-and in South Korea for more than 50 years-doesn't mean we're occupying those countries. We are there are the request of democratically elected governments.

I wouldn't include Max Boot in the "articulate" or "intelligent" groups because he's clearly just another wingnut trying to tap into that feel-good sentiment about the only war we're allowed to admire. That's why the wingnuts also love comparing everything to the War of Northern Aggression. Max Boot is a wingnut welfare candidate--if it wasn't for the newspaper paying him, some wingnut organization would cobble together a salary for him and simply ask him to put up with smelly guys in cheap suits who sound a lot like Ron Paul. Nothing he says stands up to any kind of informed scrutiny. If you've just watched Saving Private Ryan, you can read what he's said and yell your approval and wait for the next war movie to come on AMC.

What I want to add is this--conservatives are informed by movies and television programs, not by experience. A scarce handful have seen military service while the rest avoided military service when their nation needed them. Those "chickenhawks" are able to squawk because they're in no danger of having to serve. The media is full of chickenhawks--and that amplifies the message of other chickenhawks. If the media actually were "liberal" you'd hear viewpoints that the media was comfortable presenting to people. Instead, you have a social strata of men in this country who control the media who deliver a message to the American people that help absolves them of their inherent chickenhawk tendencies. Fred Hiatt, are you listening? They can comfortably sit on their collective asses and sell their war by the turn of clever marketing--make THIS war just like World War II and, by extension, make THEM the the heroes of the war they feel like they should be because they sat on the dead asses and advocated it.

It's time to restore sanity in this country, and we need to stop listening to men who have never served calling for war. It should be a no-brainer. I won't be satisfied til these men are laughed out of the discussion every time they pipe up.


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