Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dog bites man: Radley, 17-25 year old "Young Republicans" can rarely explain why they do anything. They are, as their name suggests, young. I don't think it's fair to use the statements by a few kids with no experience or really much understanding of the issues at hand (with exceptions among the age group, to be certain) to implicitly support an argument ("chickenhawk") that is a lot more complicated.

Many young people don't always know why they make certain choices, to go to college, to war, to follow Phish. Often, in fact they find out down the road they wish they had made a different choice. One need not, then, have served in the military to make judgements about military matters, as those decisions are made in youth, on the advice of parents, teachers, and a host of other influencers. I think there's an argument to be made that civilians, both current and lifelong, may be better qualified to make final judgements about going to war - they may be better and more broadly educated, they don't have as much potential for bias towards particular branches, divisions, or individuals within the military as a whole, they haven't been "scarred" by emotional trauma that, due to its personal and tragic nature, is not helpful in rendering sound judgement on use of force.

I gather you disagree, and that's fine. I think there's plenty of genuine hypocrisy worth pointing out, and there may be some who fit the chickenhawk description. But it's not fair to use a bunch of dopey, MTV-addled teenagers as examples of the larger pool of Iraq war supporters who don't/didn't serve in the mlitary. Use them as cause to raise the voting age, maybe.

1 comment:

Razor said...

Yeah, I've never agreed with the rationale that you can't be a true supporter of a war/conflict unless you enlist. It's similar argument that you can't criticize military strategy unless you've served. One has very little to do with the other. If we all had to be experts on every topic we had an opinion on, well...what would Eno do with himself? Hmmm?