2005/08/23

Gotta love a good history discussion

Having been a history major back in college and having read quite a number of history books for the sheer pleasure of it, I greatly appreciated the following discussion. Ben, who revels in his status as a virgin (Hey, to each his own, I'm way too liberal to have practically any opinions about people's sexual preferences.) is awfully upset that people call him a chickenhawk for 1. Supporting the Iraq War, 2. Publicly advocating that other Americans fight in that war but 3. Refusing to sign up to take part in the war himself. He names other folks who have allegedly done the same as he has:

By the leftist logic, here are some other "chickenhawks": John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and Bill Clinton.

The delightful blog World O' Crap skewers Ben's argument, pointing out that:

Roger, like I told Ben the other day, you can express your opinion on anything you want. Feel free to talk about the glories of war while you stay safe at home -- it's free country, so knock yourself out. In fact, if you want, you can even preach about how young people should remain pure until marriage, while you visit hookers on a nightly basis. But just realize that you open yourself up to charges of hypocrisy if you do that. And also realize that other people have the freedom to express the opinion that you are a pussy for saying that you fervently believe in bringing freedom and democracy to the Iraqis through war, while also claiming that you are too busy arranging for Affirmative Action Bake Sales to actually join the military.

In the comments, one of WOC's readers points out that:

Once again, I just have to marvel that when it actually gets right down to factual argument the Wingnut Formerly Known As Precocious flails away like a first-grader in a recess slapfest. This guy is now a Harvard 2L (?) and all he can come up with is another "The Constitution says..." line? If this is the best he can do at changing the subject when the heat is on his own self, I sure trust he's not planning on going into trial law, though I think that's a safe bet.

And research, Ben. Research. Lincoln was a rather famously incompetent captain of the militia in the Black Hawk War, and Franklin, though a Quaker, served the Pennsylvania militia. Madison was physically unfit for service in the Revolution. Wilson was a child during the Civil War and a middle-aged man (and President of Princeton) by the Spanish-American war. Jefferson, I suppose, could have grabbed a musket at the close of the French and Indian War, though the major fighting was over before he turned 18 and it was taking place in Canada by then. And in early middle age he could have resigned as Governor of Virginia to serve as an incompetent infantryman. Bill Clinton opposed the War in Vietnam. Maybe you've heard tell of that.

That leaves Adams and Hancock, both of whom could have served in the French and Indian War or resigned responsible positions during the Revolution. So two of the wealthiest men in Massachusetts could have signed on to fight for the British on the frontier, but didn't. Wow. I guess that excuses you sitting out the Global War on Terror to stay home and ghostwrite anti-pornography screeds.

Doghouse Riley • 8/23/05; 8:51:45 AM #

And another reader adds:

Also, let us not forget that Madison went into the field and commanded troops at the Battle of Bladensburg, making him the only president ever to command troops in combat AS president.
Jim Madison's Dog • 8/23/05; 11:41:15 AM #




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