Carronade The Yankee Sailor Carronade

The Sea is a choosy mistress. She takes the men that come to her and weighs them and measures them. The ones she adores, she keeps; the ones she hates, she destroys. The rest she casts back to land. I count myself among the adored, for I am Her willing Captive.

I've relocated to a new Yankee Sailor.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The False Logic of the Left & the "Chickenhawk Debate"

I've tried to avoid commenting on the "chickenhawk debate" because of the adequacy of other blogger's efforts to refute the argument and point out that it's a poorly disguised tactic to silence actual debate, but there's one angle I haven't seen anyone else cover.

For the uninitiated, the latest invective hurled by opponents of the war in Iraq to silence supporters is the accusation that supporters, particularly high-profile supporters, are "chickenhawks" because they haven't enlisted in the service themselves, or forced their children to join up for the cause.

There are a number of reasons why this argument doesn't work, besides the obvious point that you can't force anyone old enough to enlist to make their beds or cut the lawn, much less enlist in the military. Christopher Hitchens did a fair job of exposing these flaws in Slate recently, so I won't rehash them here.

The flaw that was immediatly apparent to me, that no one else seems to be noticing, is how inconsistent this argument is with the traditional logic of Liberalism. We're told again and again, "don't knock it until you try it", with respect to behaviors like recreational drug use and every variety of deviant sexual behavior, but the Liberals don't seem to be taking their own medicine when it comes to spreading democracy.

Logic, unfortunatly for most at the far extreme of both the Right and Left, is a two way street. If it's true that you cannot support something without having a tangible, personal stake in the outcome, it's also true that you cannot oppose it either. So, to apply their own logic, when the Left starts enlisting en masse to pay their entrance fee to join the debate, I'll start giving real consideration to their opinions.

To get the full background start here or here and follow the links through the whole sordid history.

Trackbacked to Outside the Beltway and Mudville Gazette.