The Chickenhawk Counterargument

Ken AshfordRepublicans, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

TBogg examines one neo-con’s attempt to defuse the chickenhawk meme:

Rusty at The Jawa Report attempted a statistical study on chickenhawkedness and didn’t get enough reponses to make a valid judgement…so he went and make a wholly unsupportable one anyway:

An oft heard accusation is that of chickenhawk being leveled at supporters of the Iraq War who have no prior military service. Bloggers with no prior military service are called members of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists on almost a daily basis by Markos Mulitsas’ Daily Kos, himself a veteran of the U.S. Army. The phrase is used to shorten discussion about the war by making a personal attack and delegitimizing the person’s credibility. It is easy for you to be for the war when you are not fighting it, is the crux of the chickenhawk argument.

The Right has no identity phrase to delegitimize left-wing bloggers’ anti-war stance equivelant to chickenhawk. But we on the right often resort to other personal attack tactics. Although we have no phrase to wrap the idea in, there is a glaring suspicion to many on the Right that many on the Left never served in the military because they hate it and our soldiers. They are against the Iraq War, we think, because they are against all war and the military men that fight them.


While the N of the survey is too small to produce a statistically significant regression model, there are a few noteworthy observations from the initial round.

Of the 11 bloggers who responded from the Left, 2 of them–or 18.2%–had been in the military.

If you just look at the top 12 bloggers from the Right, none of them had served in the U.S. military.

However, of the top 21 bloggers who responded from the Right, 6 of them–or 28.6%–had been in the military.

The further down the TTLB Ecosystem rankings you go among bloggers on the Right, the more likely they will have been to have served in the military. The further up the TTLB Ecosystem Traffic Rankings you go among bloggers on the Left, the more likely they will have been to have served in the military.

So, among the top bloggers on both the Left and Right, only a minority have ever served in the military. Are bloggers on the Left draft-dodging haters of the military? There’s no evidence to suggest that. Are bloggers on the Right warmongering chickenhawks eager to send others to war but not face that risk themselves? There is certainly no evidence to suggest that either.

Well, there you have it, although the logic and conclusion seems pitched at that level where only dogs and chickenhawks can hear it.