Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Response to Barnacle Bob on The People's Republic of Seabrook

Barnacle Bob commented on the People's Republic of Seabrook blog entry (excerpt from his comments):

Operation Yellow Elephant is nothing more than a single, flimsy talking point taken to ad nauseum extremes. The purpose of their existence is to loudly and rudely allege hypocrisy, but they seek to stifle the free expression of any student who both supports the war, yet chooses not to volunteer. They are in fact practicing hypocrisy themselves. I support a woman’s right (and a man’s) to choose not to volunteer for military service and I support their right to express their opinions on world affairs. Apparently these Operation Yellow Elephant people don’t.

It’s one thing to criticize other students’ views or engage in an intelectual debate over political opinion. It’s a different story when one’s argument begins and ends with “If you’re going to say that, you shouldn’t be here.”

The comment period on the blog has expired, so here's our response:

barnacle bob-

Well, Operation Yellow Elephant disagrees with you. We include conservatives, liberals and everything in between, because our goal is to save our governing party as well as the current Administration and, indeed, our great nation.

A short, catchy motto doesn’t include the fine print: While we support everyone’s right to share their opinions, if they are eligible to serve and support the war, we also Ask The Question of whether they have considered serving in our military. [The key word is “consider.”]

Everyone has a right to express an opinion, but respect for one’s opinion is not a right; it must be earned. Part of earning that respect is full disclosure of relevant personal conflicts of interest, to wit: Do you support the war only if “other people” actually fight it?

You should know that very few College Republicans we contact actually have the guts to Answer The Question once we’ve asked it. If they are too ashamed of themselves to state whether they have considered military service, or to explain why they chose not to volunteer, well, they’re not working too hard to persuade America to support their point of view.

And that’s their decision, not Operation Yellow Elephant’s.


At 12 April, 2006 19:46, Blogger drieux said...

It is such an amusement to watch the Victims of ChickenHawk Angst Syndrome whine about the fact that some times some of us didn't debate whether we should do the right thing. We Just Did It.

But then again, we came from a culture where you lead from out in front...

At 12 April, 2006 20:05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well this is a shame:

Military recruiters, confronted by crowd, leave campus job fair

Four military recruiters hastily fled a job fair Tuesday morning at UC Santa Cruz after a raucous crowd of student protesters blocked an entrance to the building where the Army and National Guard had set up information tables.

Members of Students Against War, who organized the counter-recruiting protest, loudly chanted "Don't come back. Don't come back" as the recruiters left the hilltop campus, escorted by several university police officers.

"The situation had degraded to the point where there was a possibility of injury to either a student or law enforcement officer. We certainly didn't want that to happen,'' said Capt. Will Griffin, one of the Army recruiters.


At 12 April, 2006 21:40, Blogger Mr. Ed said...

Anonymous, it is a shame.

1) The recruiters are just ordinary guys like anybody else. It's not right to threaten them or hinder them in any way, they're just doing their job. I'm a vet and I don't like any protest against the war being carried out against the military - it's our executive and to a lesser degree legislative branches of government that set these policies.

2) How will chickenhawks find out how to join up?

I'm proud of my service and glad I did.

Mr. Ed

At 13 April, 2006 03:58, Blogger Karl said...

Anonymous, Mr. Ed-

I don't have a problem with protests of any type, but forcibly blocking access to a building does not facilitate the free exchange of ideas.

Having lots of self-declared GLBTQ students attempting to enlist - with flair! - is much more effective.

On the other hand, if the College Republicans can't find the recruiting office downtown all by themselves, it's not as if we're really missing out on an essential military capability.

At 13 April, 2006 04:00, Blogger Karl said...


Mr. Ed is right, however, that the recruiters are just real Americans doing their job. My remark was focused on protest as political theater directed to political leadership that actually sets policies, rather than the real Americans doing their jobs by loyally carrying them out.

At 13 April, 2006 20:52, Anonymous bob said...

I don't recall ever posting here, but thanks (I guess) for your reply to a comment I made over at The Peoples Republic of Seabrook six months ago. I think TPRS is a very good blog, and is high on my top ten list of blogs I try to visit daily. I frequently disagree with the viewpoints expressed there, but enjoy the thought provoking posts and commentary from the well informed host and intelligent readers. (I also enjoy the vast archive of Ann Coulter Naked pics. ;)

Operation Yellow Elephant is... (gee, how do I put this) well, I'll start by saying that it's a lot different than The Peoples Republic of Seabrook and other blogs I frequent.

I spent quite a bit of time reading your blog before composing the referenced post six months ago. After TPRS posted a link to the belated reply you made today, I again reviewed it at length. (Obviously, I saw no value in returning in the mean time.)

I stand by each and every word of my original comment. Operation Yellow Elephant is no less hypocritical today than it was six months ago, and remains on my top ten list of the most shallow, superficial, and downright dishonest blogs I've ever had the misfortune of reading. (But hey, at least you're consistent!)

Consider your reply:

"Well, Operation Yellow Elephant disagrees with you. We include conservatives, liberals and everything in between, because our goal is to save our governing party as well as the current Administration and, indeed, our great nation."

You may as well have included "Save the Whales" too, for that noble goal is equally (non-existantly) represented in the archives of your blog.

What is more frequently represented here is a blatant and directed effort to harass people simply because they dare to express a view that you disagree with. Frequently, email addresses of targets who are posed with THE QUESTION are posted without prior permission. (To your credit you do remove upon request, but only after the damage is done.) If the candor of the general comments and the token admonishments against sending hate mail are any indication, numerous students on multiple campuses have received unsolicited and offensive mail from total strangers as a direct result of your efforts. Gee, you must be proud. Keep up the "good" work!

At 19 April, 2006 08:02, Blogger Karl said...

Regarding the last paragraph, "unsolicited and offensive e-mail from total strangers," characterization of which depends on the context, don't military recruiters also invite people to consider military service?

I'm amazed that a polite suggestion to a healthy heterosexual young man eligible for military service who supports the war that he consider serving in our military himself is considered "offensive."

Somebody hates America and it isn't Operation Yellow Elephant.


Post a Comment

<< Home