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Friday, June 19, 2009

Chicken hawks

If only there were a way to arrange it so that the people who want a war could be the ones to have to actually serve in the infantry for it, that would seem like a much more equitable arrangement.

I know, such a situation would be unworkable. Armies are made up of young men who volunteer for service and who know what they're getting into. And you have to have a chain of command, not a situation where soldiers can effectively pick and choose which wars they will fight in.

Still, it seems unjust to have old men order young men into battle to possibly die, when the old men themselves don't have to put their lives at stake. It's worse when they never did.

John McCain is certainly no hypocrite that way. I would never vote for him because he's a hawk. But since his own youth was spent fighting (and being imprisoned) for his country, at least he's not asking anybody to do anything he himself didn't do.

And it seems fitting that a Barack Obama, who never served in the military, would present himself as a man of peace (although that promise, like so much else he said during his campaign, seems to have been made purely for political gain, and is falling by the wayside in Afghanistan).

Dick Cheney, on the other hand, received five separate draft deferments from military service during the 1960's ("I had other priorities in the 60's than military service"). Yet he has been -- and is still -- very eager to send young men off to war, to fight and possibly die for their country. This is unseemly, to say the least.

So unseemly as to be infuriating.

At the very least, it seems that people who really want war should have their own children in the Armed Forces. Of course, it rarely seems to work that way. Again, I know it's unworkable, but it would certainly seem fairer.

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