By Lex, on Thu – August 11, 2005
And an equally improbable night. Cheerleaders, it is. Which is a gerundive with an entirely different psychic evocation than it ever had before, when it’s your youngest daughter who’s becoming the noun. For the love of God and it’s sure to be the death of me.
So I’ll keep this short. Sweet I can’t promise.
But short, yes. One soldiers on when one must.
And I was driving home today, on the usual commute. And since the highway, for all it’s ability to move vehicles from one spot to another resembled nothing more efficient than the blood platelets attempting to move through the desiccated veins of an Egyptian mummy, I had rather more time available to me than I am used to. The bike tomorrow. Oh yes, very.
Still, it gave me the leisure to reflect upon what I believe to be a certain… inconsistency: I’ve noticed a tendency of certain of the anti-war set to label those who dare to have a pro-liberation viewpoint, and who themselves lack military service, as “chickenhawks.” Stupid, I know – everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and there’s no inherent value which adheres to the purely political side of a military decision, merely because it came from a military mind: If there are fewer idiots in the military than in the society at large, it’s as likely due to the fact that we have a smaller pool to choose from, than from any special selectivity. Ideas have value independent of the value of the opinion holders, or else they are well and truly worthless, nu? Marketplace of ideas, and all that. And it didn’t seem fair that an anti view could be held without service, but that a pro view was otherwise inauthentic. But there it is…
But I’ll admit that it’s mildly reassuring to realize that as a military man and veteran of the outer arc, I am to a degree insulated from such a cheap and juvenile brand of ad hominem.
But then I couldn’t help remembering how many of those who essentially told non-veterans to put up or shut up were the same crowd that pretended to be shocked, shocked do you hear: To find out that certain of the soldiers behaved badly at Abu Ghraib. Oh, not many – not many indeed, taking into consideration how very many have served over there in the last few years. But enough apparently to keep waving the bloody shirt in the air, like that was the defining moment.
And so I wondered, if it’s essential to have served in combat to have a valid opinion on the GWOT which supports our national strategy, how can someone simultaneously and consistently hold the idea that military service is not required to evaluate the actions of those who were the warriors, and had to fight it?
In the coming months and years, I suspect that non-veteran anti’s will recuse themselves from any further discussions along these lines. Just to be consistent.
And now I’m off, to watch Pop Warner cheerleading, and wonder how it all came to this.