Pulix Delenda Est
A Flea Whines
A Flea is slapped
Flea returns for more
Flea gets more
Did he really say that?
Laws of War
The Plame kerfuffle
What was Able Danger
Why It Matters
on the Frontier
of the Copy Book Headings
of the Hundred Head
Copyright © 2008 by Rodney G. Graves, all rights reserved.
Which ably demonstrates that no argument is too baseless, too idiotic,
too pernicious in foreseeable long term effects, for the those of the left
to brandish it as a club against their political rivals. Rob has noted the
outbreak, and I see no reason to link to the ass hats who continue to
forward this idiocy.
I had thought I was done with this issue when I posted
on it nearly three years ago. Sadly I see that the calumny lives on
and that its champions
are still spreading it,
and thus need to be answered. Just to make my overall opinion of the matter
and my starting position absolutely clear, I offer the following to the
proponents of the Chicken Hawk meme:
And yes, I am laughing at them, not with them.
Now, for those interested in the actual issues, I offer the following.
The general form of the Chicken Hawk slur is that the opinions of those who
have not served (or are not presently serving, or who are not serving in combat,
or who are not serving in the infantry, or who have not been wounded...[it’s
truly amazing how many conditions some of these 'patriots' can, and do,
assemble.]) can and should be dismissed out of hand when it comes to matters
of national defense and war.
The first objection to this line of 'reasoning' is that we live in a
Constitutional directly elected representative Republic which offers unlimited
franchise to all of its adult citizens. Thus all adult citizens have a say in
the election of representatives (directly in the case of Congressional
Representatives and Senators, and indirectly [via the electoral college] in the
case of the President) who determine national policy. Certainly some are better
qualified in their opinions on certain matters than are others. Were it not so
we'd all be seeking the legal advice of our barbers and the medical advice of our
automobile mechanics. Yet neither barbers nor mechanics are denied the right to
express opinions beyond their professional expertise. Do the proponents of the
Chicken Hawk meme intend to carry it to it's logical conclusion and exclude all
the non-veterans from the electorate? Do they intend to allow only veterans to
run for elective office? How do they plan on selling that Constitutional
Amendment to the requisite 2/3rds of the states given that it will disenfranchise
about 80% of our citizenry?
The second objection is one of logical consistency. We find ourselves
currently fighting wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As a consequence it would
logically follow under the Chicken Hawk theorem that only a veteran would be
qualified to be President in such a time of war. Have the proponents of the
Chicken Hawk meme all (mostly, at all) endorsed the only veteran remaining
in the race? I, for one, haven't heard any cries of "Ave, John, Imperator"
from the sinistrosphere...
It thus follows that the proponents of the Chicken Hawk meme are not
really interested in a debate of the issues. Nor are they troubled by
consistently applied logic. They in fact are seeking to shut down debate
(which makes sense given how poorly they do in open debate).
I find that despicable.
Ó 2007 by Rodney G. Graves, all rights reserved.
What price will
for forgoing the study of war?
Education is the Achilles heel of democratic systems of government. A
people who do not understand the historical outcome of bread and circuses
will vote themselves just that. A people who have no understanding of the
long term effects of appeasement will gladly pay
What then of a people whose academe has decided that they will study war
Victor Davis Hansen
Military history teaches us about honor,
sacrifice, and the inevitability of conflict.
Try explaining to a college student that
Tet was an American military victory. You’ll provoke not a counterargument—let
alone an assent—but a blank stare: Who or what was Tet? Doing interviews about
the recent hit movie 300, I encountered similar bewilderment from
listeners and hosts. Not only did most of them not know who the 300 were or
what Thermopylae was; they seemed clueless about the Persian Wars altogether.
It’s no surprise that civilian Americans tend to lack a basic understanding
of military matters. Even when I was a graduate student, 30-some years ago,
military history—understood broadly as the investigation of why one side wins
and another loses a war, and encompassing reflections on magisterial or
foolish generalship, technological stagnation or breakthrough, and the roles
of discipline, bravery, national will, and culture in determining a conflict’s
outcome and its consequences—had already become unfashionable on campus.
Today, universities are even less receptive to the subject.
This state of affairs is profoundly troubling, for democratic citizenship
requires knowledge of war—and now, in the age of weapons of mass annihilation,
more than ever.
The academic neglect of war is even more acute today. Military history as a
discipline has atrophied, with very few professorships, journal articles, or
degree programs. In 2004, Edward Coffman, a retired military history professor
who taught at the University of Wisconsin, reviewed the faculties of the top
25 history departments, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. He
found that of over 1,000 professors, only 21 identified war as a specialty.
When war does show up on university syllabi, it’s often about the race, class,
and gender of combatants and wartime civilians. So a class on the Civil War
will focus on the Underground Railroad and Reconstruction, not on
Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. One on World War II might emphasize Japanese
internment, Rosie the Riveter, and the horror of Hiroshima, not Guadalcanal
and Midway. A survey of the Vietnam War will devote lots of time to the
inequities of the draft, media coverage, and the antiwar movement at home, and
scant the air and artillery barrages at Khe Sanh.
What, one may well ask, has filled the void? If the academe no
longer teaches the history of warfare, what do they teach?
Or, as a companion piece in City
Journal describes it:
We need to make two points about this
movement at the outset. First, it’s opposed to every value that the West
stands for—liberty, free markets, individualism—and it despises America,
the supreme symbol and defender of those values. Second, we’re talking
not about a bunch of naive Quakers but about a movement of savvy,
ambitious professionals that is already comfortably ensconced at the
United Nations, in the European Union, and in many nongovernmental
organizations. It is also waging an aggressive, under-the-media-radar
campaign for a cabinet-level Peace Department in the United States.
Sponsored by Ohio Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich (along with
more than 60 cosponsors), House Resolution 808 would authorize a
Secretary of Peace to “establish a Peace Academy,” “develop a peace
education curriculum” for elementary and secondary schools, and provide
“grants for peace studies departments” at campuses around the country.
If passed, the measure would catapult the peace studies movement into a
position of extraordinary national, even international, influence.
The people running today’s peace
studies programs give a good idea of the movement’s illiberal,
anti-American inclinations. The director of Purdue’s program is coeditor
of Marxism Today, a collection of essays extolling socialism;
Brandeis’s peace studies chairman has justified suicide bombings; the
program director at the University of Missouri authorized a mass e-mail
urging students and faculty to boycott classes to protest the Iraq
invasion; and the University of Maine’s program director believes that
“humans have been out of balance for centuries” and that “a unique
opportunity of this new century is to engage in the creation of balance
and harmony between yin and yang, masculine and feminine energies.”
(Such New Age babble often mixes with the Marxism in peace studies
The ancients (Flavius Vegetius Renatus) warned us: Si vis pacem,
para bellum (If you would have peace, prepare for war). The
world has not become a more peaceful place in the intervening sixteen
centuries. The study of peace prepares one only for the grave, or
2006 by Rodney G. Graves, all rights reserved.
Recent events have given me cause to ponder.
What Does it Mean to be an American?
Being an American is more than an accident of birth. More than a few who were born within the territorial limits of the United
States of America, and who are citizens in the eyes of the law, frankly are not Americans. The fault, and it is indeed a grave
fault, is entirely their own.
Americans are self selected.
Americans, or their ancestors, chose to come here. More importantly, Americans choose to identify ourselves as "Americans."
Just that, and no more.
Theodore Roosevelt famously and brilliantly stated that:
There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to
naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad.
But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts "native" before the hyphen as of
the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the
soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other
allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an
American as any one else.
Truer words were never spoken.
Americans are those who choose to be Americans. They are Americans without hyphen, caveat, or exception.
Their sole allegiance is to the United States of America.
Nothing else matters in that regard. Not color of skin, nor nation of birth, nor gods worshiped, nor mother tongue.
And I will go one step further.
The only distinction I will recognize between Americans is this: Any American who supports, if needs be with their very life, the Constitution of the United States
( as it is, not as it may be) is my brother or sister.
They are mine and I am theirs.
To those who live within the borders of these United States, I have a message: Be an American, or be something else somewhere else.
Expanded from a piece originally posted on Baen's
2006 by Rodney G. Graves, all rights reserved.
First published on Bayosphere.com
The Last Helicopter; the true legacy of the
The Generation which fought and won the Second World War has been (appropriately) memorialized as "The Greatest
Generation." What then of their children, the Baby Boomers?
If we know them by the fruits of their labor, history will not be kind to their memory.
Indeed, large segments of the world even now see their impact upon the United States symbolically as the Last Helicopter.
Sadly, Abbasi and those of like mind have a historical case to support their position.
The litany is certainly long; Vietnam, Mayaguez, Desert One, Beirut,
Mogadishu. Yet even so Mr. Taheri is less sure of the strength of that precedent:
Hassan Abbasi has a dream--a helicopter doing an arabesque in cloudy skies to avoid being shot at from the ground. On board are the last of the "fleeing Americans," forced out of the Dar al-Islam (The Abode of Islam) by "the Army of Muhammad." Presented by his friends as "The Dr. Kissinger of Islam," Mr. Abbasi is "professor of strategy" at the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guard Corps University and, according to Tehran sources, the principal foreign policy voice in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new radical administration.
For the past several weeks Mr. Abbasi has been addressing crowds of Guard and Baseej Mustadafin (Mobilization of the Dispossessed) officers in Tehran with a simple theme: The U.S. does not have the stomach for a long conflict and will soon revert to its traditional policy of "running away," leaving Afghanistan and Iraq, indeed the whole of the Middle East, to be reshaped by Iran and its regional allies.
The reason was that almost all realized that the 9/11 attacks have changed the way most Americans see the world and their own place in it. Running away from Saigon, the Iranian desert, Beirut, Safwan and Mogadishu was not hard to sell to the average American, because he was sure that the story would end there; the enemies left behind would not pursue their campaign within the U.S. itself. The enemies that America is now facing in the jihadist archipelago, however, are dedicated to the destruction of the U.S. as the world knows it today.
Those who have based their strategy on waiting Mr. Bush out may find to their cost that they have, once again, misread not only American politics but the realities of a world far more complex than it was even a decade ago. Mr. Bush may be a uniquely decisive, some might say reckless, leader. But a visitor to the U.S. soon finds out that he represents the American mood much more than the polls suggest.
For the sake of both my Republic and the world, I pray that Mr. Taheri's observation proves more accurate than that of
Hat Tip: Powerline
Originally posted on Bayosphere
2005 by Rodney G. Graves, all rights reserved.
Democratic Patriotism returns to Civil War standard
During the American Civil War there was a body of Northern Democrats who actively supported the
South. These traitors became known as
Copperheads, after the poisonous
snake (Agkistrodon contortrix)
found throughout the region.
Exemplars of the treacherous breed included:
Representative Clement Vallandigham, Democrat of Ohio
Representative Fernando Wood, Democrat of New York.
The Copperheads championed the following positions:
The historical parallels between the Civil War era Copperheads and the current Anti-War Democrats
(and their supporters) are noteworthy.
- The North was responsible for pushing the South into secession
- The Republicans were committed to establishing racial equality, a prospect opposed by many working class immigrants who
wanted to protect their low-paying jobs and by racists
- Lincoln had become a tyrant and was bent upon destroying civil liberties
- The war was a national tragedy and must be ended, even if that meant granting independence to the Confederacy.
It is certainly possible to disagree with the President's war policies
without being a traitor. But the combination of factors above
demonstrates a reckless disregard both for the truth, and for the National
Interests of the United States.
It is time and past time that this parallel be shouted from the rooftops and corners.
Anyone who satisfies in their public writings or utterances three or more
of the four tests above is a Copperhead.
These snakes have no honor and are
actively working to the detriment of our nation. Let us call them on
it. When you see someone pass three of the four tests above, name them
Copperhead. Repeat the naming whenever and wherever they repeat
these calumnies. Dog their every public appearance and utterance
with the name Copperhead such that all may
see them and know them for what they are.
recognition of the deeds of the brave
Class of 1987
Ex scientia tridens.
"It's not the years,
it's the mileage."
Looks so Peaceful
But it's not, and
never has been.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.