Chickenhawk Smear

Capt. Ed describes one of the techniques of dishonest argument that has been quite popular since the Vietnam war protest days.

The Left has tried for months now to smear supporters of the war as “chickenhawks”, people who encourage the war but do not want to fight it themselves. On its face, this rejects the entire notion of civilian control over the military and foreign policy. It also assumes a callousness on the part of those who advocate for military action when needed, that men and women somehow hold no value to us as Americans unless they happen to be us. Such perso attacks completely avoid having to argue the merits and disadvantages of military action as opposed to other strategies, reducing the intellectual level of the anti-war advocates to mindless namecalling.

Note the inherent negative presumptions. The idea is that the ‘privileged’ are doing unpleasant things to the underclasses. Manipulation. Conspiracy. Aloofness. This was used in the Vietnam war with a draft to assert that blacks and the poor were “cannon fodder” out of proportion to their representation in society. The cannon fodder carelessness idea is still seen in the obsession with war casualties.

But as far as the ‘direct experience’ thing – that has the gross error of dismissing all education and training as being worthless. History is replete with examples of where it is not. People can and do exercise good judgment even if they haven’t direct experience, didn’t learn the ropes from the ground up.

Again, another example. “Mindless namecalling” and dishonest argument. Digging up points to argue no matter their merit, veracity, or quality. Not a way towards constructive debate.

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