Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Squawk-back at the Chickenhawks II

Here are more of my responses to this blog. Here's what Dave P. posted Dec. 9 1017:

Karl: If YOU have not served in the war, then by your own logic YOU have no right at all to speak out AGAINST the war as only someone who has served can understand the issue . . . right?

What makes you think I'm speaking out against the war? Operation Yellow Elephant, and my initial comment, focus exclusively on those who are eligible to serve and support the war, but refuse to consider [repeat: consider] actually serving themselves. If the war is indeed worth supporting, and if you are eligible to serve, why won't you even consider [repeat: consider] volunteering? There's a real credibility problem here.

And if fighting in Iraq is so unpopular with the soldiers (who, by your logic, have the ONLY right to speak out for or against the war) . . . how do you explain the very high levels of reenlistment among the combat arms?

In my humble opinion, there are several reasons for the healthy reenlistment rate among the combat arms, including unit cohesion, belief in the mission [especially at the tactical level], good leadership [especially at the tactical and operational levels] and the significant incentives being offered, as well as the threat of stop-loss (without a bonus) for those who choose not to reenlist. But the new recruits at the bottom of the pyramid are not joining up in the numbers needed to sustain this effort. And the future leaders of our governing party are conspicuous by their absence.

Or the fact that the military as a whole and the combat arms in specific [sic] voted Republican (i.e., 'pro-war') by a three-to-one margin, higher in absentee ballots from Iraq?

Well, I don't believe the preceding sentence, since in America - and Iraq - how citizens (including soldiers) vote is supposed to be secret. But let's assume you are correct. While the sum of servicemembers' personal choices tends to favor our governing party over the loyal opposition, so what? The war was not the only issue in the campaign; what about abortion, taxes, gay marriage, Terri Schiavo, etc.?

Don't forget: The fact that military servicemembers have voted Republican does not mean that a significant proportion of Republicans are military servicemembers or veterans.

The serving men and women have spoken, Karl . . . and they told you and your ilk to shut up and stop undercutting them. Will you obey your own principles and follow their wishes? Or prove yourself a hypocrite by continuing to undermine them?

'Sorry, but I fail to see how an effort to boost recruiting among well qualified, motivated patriots, such as College Republicans and Young Republicans, can ever constitute "undercutting" our troops. But if you really want me to believe that, let's get some quotes from real combat arms troops in Iraq fully approving of Jenna's boyfriend Henry Hager working in an office at the Commerce Department instead of Supporting The Troops by serving in Iraq.

Comment: Wow! They really get into it. 'Almost like combat, I guess, for the 101st Fighting Keyboarders.

Update: Here's the link in Jack's comment (scroll down to the third one).


At 03 January, 2006 17:59, Blogger Blogenfreude said...

He assumes that most Republicans don't support our noble mission. I'm not so sure ...

At 03 January, 2006 19:02, Blogger Mellow Yellow said...

Did you know your blog requires a Blogger identity in order to post comments? I don't appreciate being forced to sign up for a service I don't want just to post a comment. How do I know they're not going to start spamming me?

Anyway, to the point. The person you were answering said:

[T]he military as a whole and the combat arms in specific [sic] voted Republican (i.e., 'pro-war') by a three-to-one margin, higher in absentee ballots from Iraq,

And you responded:

Well, I don't believe the preceding sentence, since in America - and Iraq - how citizens (including soldiers) vote is supposed to be secret.

Have you forgotten about exit polls? How many people do you think lie to the exit pollsters about who they voted for? Some almost certainly do, if only because they don't want to admit in front of their friends that they voted for that guy. But most people tell the truth, and so the exit polls that break down the vote into various categories (male, female, how many children, ethnicity, average income, military status) are generally accepted as accurate to within a few percentage points. If you think demographic voting patterns are completely bogus, you're the first political commenter I've ever heard of who does so.

Secondly, I wouldn't be surprised if absentee ballots were reported by country. If so, it would be pretty easy to get hold of the absentee ballot results from Iraq (although I'll admit I personally wouldn't have a clue where to go looking for that information). And how many non-military people were voting absentee from Iraq? A lot fewer than 100,000, I'm sure. So the claim that military ballots from Iraq were more than three-to-one for Bush should be easy to verify or refute.

Finally, about your main argument, that those who haven't even considered military service are ineligible to opine on its merits. Um, you have realized that your entire argument is just one huge ad hominem, haven't you?

Address the issue, not the person.

At 03 January, 2006 19:34, Blogger Jack said...

Check this out; you might enjoy it...and you deserve part of the credit for it:


At 04 January, 2006 01:57, Blogger L.J. Abershawe said...

Well, I would just like to say I am one soldier currently serving in Iraq who appreciate the efforts of Operation Yellow Elephant. Keep up the good work guys!

Furthermore, the idea that "you aren't in the military so you can't be anti-war" is so bogus it makes me want to scream. The fact is that you should stand up for what you believe in. If you believe in what we are doing in Iraq then so us the courage of your convictions. I never understood people who talk of sacrifice and the good fight, but never sacrifice or lift a finger to join in.

As far as the "anti-war" people have to serve, the logic behind that arguement is so flawed it gives me a headache. You don't believe in armed conflict, so you have to join in the military and fight in the conflict to prove you have a right to be anti-war???? hmm...that would be like saying...pro-lifers have to get an abortion to be pro-lifers.

At 04 January, 2006 05:27, Blogger Karl said...

mellow yellow-

Thank you for your comment and I'll check with the founder to see if we can allow anonymous comments. With word verification we can avoid spam even while accepting anonymous comments.

I've never said that those who are eligible to serve and support the war but won't even consider serving are "ineligible to opine on its merits." They remain quite free to opine on anything they want. However, their own status remains a relevant part of their opinion. If they are so ashamed of themselves that they can only remain silent, well, that's their decision, not mine.

An excellent example is Jonah Goldberg of National Review. He's publicly admitted that his "a** is sorry," which frankly has a lot more guts than the ad hominem talking points I'm seeing from those who refuse to Answer The Question.

If the war is worth supporting, but only from a distance, it must not be worth that much.

At 05 January, 2006 16:02, Blogger markg8 said...

Hell of a job Karl. Keep up the good work.


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