Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Defending Chicken Hawks

On more than one occasion, I have indicated measured support for our military entanglements throughout the world. Then comes the question, why don't you enlist?

The reason for the question is, I think, to undermine my argument by suggesting that I am either a coward, a hypocrit, or more charitably, an inconsistent thinker. One can't really support a military engagement without having enlisted in the military, right?

Now consider how flawed this "why haven't you enlisted" argument really is. Think of how many ideas or policies that you might support or oppose.

For example, I support vigorous efforts to clamp down on organized crime. I support the teaching of chemistry in high school. I oppose the sex trafficking in Thailand. I support drilling for oil in ANWAR.

Yet I am still waiting for someone to ask why I have not joined the police force, why I don't teach chemistry, why I am not rescuing teen prostitutes in Thailand or why I'm not digging holes in Alaska.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

...still waiting for the supposed flaw...

Denis Navratil said...

The flaw that I have tried to demonstrate is that one is not neccessarily cowardly, inconsistent or stupid because they don't directly participate in an activity, idea, or policy that they support.

My guess is that other readers will be able to comprehend the argument.

Denis Navratil said...

OK anon, let us try this a different way. Do you oppose the war in Iraq? If the answer to that is yes, please share with us the physical actions that you have taken to further your goal. Have you gone to Iraq and stolen munitions from our troops? If you have not attemted to physically impede our troops, you must be a coward or a hypocrit, right?

Anonymous said...

extremely weak argument. and the condescending tone illustrates that even further.

You love your country very much i'm sure, just not enough to volunteer yourself to actually be the one fighting, don't worry, somebody else will fight and risk their life for you so you can have time to contemplate that tough balcony-or-no-balcony in your condo decision.

Since you do support the war, would you encourage other family members to fight the battle?

colt said...

Far easier for the left to bitch and drink coffee then do anything what is even more amazing is how the left can quickly morph into their enemies for example look how THe Racine Post has turn from a Paper that would cover news that the J-T would never print to what I now call the J-T Lite.

Anonymous said...

Colt, this entire blog is about bitching, no solutions, just whining mostly about bullshit.

A forum for depressed, middle-aged white guys on the verge of mid-life crises and unsuccessful sci-fi film festival productions to find others to sulk in their miseries....on their condo balconies over looking downtown of course.

Anonymous said...

Depressed and middle-aged? Have you been stalking us? You forgot bald or balding too.

Now go bitch about rich guys some more while you drain their cash to finance your attempt to beat the world record in number of children with different mothers.

Denis Navratil said...

anon 7:43, if my argument is so easy to refute, why not take a stab at doing so? Calling an argument weak is no substitute for actually refuting an argument.

I will gladly answer your questions when you answer my question about what physical steps you have taken to impede our war efforts.

Anonymous said...

Well, he doesn't have to work so he doesn't pay taxes so that kind of hurts the war effort.

The original Anon said...

so what makes you assume that i don't have to work anon?

Profiles in Courage said...

When you advocate the group take on a risky endeavor, but as an individual you avoid sharing the risk, your advocacy comes off as disingeneous, insincere, or less credible. An argument often times does not rest solely on its logic, but on the credibility of its advocate also.

Anonymous said...

You don't work because you hate capitalism and people "with money", so you can't be a business owner or employer or you would be a hypocrite. You can't work for The Man, propping up his usurious system, or you would be a sell-out. The only logical conclusion is that you are a college student who doesn't work, depending on the friends and family (and government) program, or you are a stay-at-home welfare recipient, a quite honorable liberal profession.

Denis Navratil said...

profiles, there are many risky endeavors that are worth undertaking but it is impossible for one person to do them all. According to your logic, everyone is then insincere and disengenious.

For example, as a computer user, you obviously advocate the use of electricity, most of which is generated by the burning of coal. I will have to assume that you are either a coal miner (a risky job) or you are insincere, disengenious, or hypocritical. Would that be a fair discription of you profiles?

Anonymous said...

colt..err, anon, you're actually wrong about all of your stereotypes of me. You'd be quite surprised if i told you about my employment status, educational attainment and personal life.

But since this blog is about none of those, it really doesn't matter. So back to the issue at hand, Denis engages in double-talk. If someone asked him, what do you do to express your opposition to too much government oversight and spending, what do you suppose his response would be?

Anonymous said...

I would not be surprised a bit about your education, profession or personal life. However, I was not describing stereotypes of you -you hate capitalism and therefore should not support it. So are you a hypocrite or sell-out? As for double-talk, your only retort to Denis was "weak argument", so I'll ask - what is it that you do to hinder the war effort besides bitch on this blog (which, by the way, is what you accuse everyone else of)?

Denis Navratil said...

anon 8:34, you are confused. I am not suggesting that one must engage in direct action in support of ones favored ideas, policies etc... Quite the contrary, I am suggesting that it is physically impossible for any person to do so. As such, I think it is a faulty argument to suggest that a person is either a coward or a hypocrite if they support a war but do not enlist. Why is this so difficult for you to understand?

So I am not engaging in double talk at all. I am being consistent while you apparently have one standard for war supporters (that they must enlist or be a coward or hypocrits) and another for war opponents, electricity users etc... (that they need not participate directly in mining for coal or physically obstructing the military). It is you anon that is engaging in double talk.

Why not just admit it and offer your reasoning. My guess is that by tossing out the "why not enlist" argument, which is nothing more than an ad hominem attack, you can avoid the actual subject at hand; that is, the war and whether or not it is neccessary.

profiles in courage said...

You can keep spinning this and rationalizing all you want. War is a far different endeavor than anything else you are trying to make analogies to, to clear your concience I guess. It is violent by definition and lives most assuredly will be lost, many injuries will be inflicted, and families damaged. It should be an option of last resort. If you're going to advocate for it, the least you can do is share the risk. You're right, you can't contribute to all community affairs. But when you advocate for war you should be prepared to participate or your advocay doesn't mean much.

Caledonia Unplugged said...

Denis, I would argue that you have participated, though obviously not to the extent or with the risk of an enlisted man, but a little less directly through commentaries on your blog.

After all, advocacy can take shape in many forms and winning the war on terror, in the longterm, is going to be more about winning the "war of ideas" than winning the actual "physical" war.

Denis Navratil said...

Well profiles we can agree on one thing, that is that some people seem to think that advocacy for war doesn't mean much without enlisting, while all other advocacy is exempt from actual physical participation. Personally I find this odd and illogical. Obviously I agree with Calunp, that our struggles with Islamic extremists is ultimately a "war of ideas".

Of course you are free to phsychoanalize my "rationalizations" (I would call it clear logic) and an attempt to "clear my conscience" but these ploys hardly enhance your illogical and inconsistent conclusion.

Anonymous said...

Denis, you lack credibility on the subject of war, stop digging. Understand you like a good argument and usually quickly rule yourself the winner, but you don't have standing on this subject. Cluck away if you must, but there's little point.

Anonymous said...

Yes Denis - stop arguing with a higher intellect or he will start calling you names and maybe come and pull your hair.

Discriminator said...

Rational post.

Anonymous said...

138

Anonymous said...

I hear that line of crap all the time - and I served my country for ten years.

Invariably, the d-bag making the comment is a pansy-@ss who wouldn't make it past the bus ride to the reception station.

I served. My dad served. My uncles served, and one of them died serving. My brothers-in-law, and one of my sisters-in-law, all served. My son wants to serve when he is old enough.

We all support the war, even though we understand, certainly better than those who protest it, the cost of war. More importantly, we understand the cost of not fighting a war when it's necessary to do so.

mczet said...

The flaw is that while you have an opinion, it is empty of meaning as you have nothing at stake. You support the sacrifice of others from a position of complete safety.

Your justification little more than frequently shouting - Look over there! or What about that! You have taken a position that is the equivalent of "It seems so to me, therefore it must be so".

There is a large difference between the concept of - 'War of Ideas' and warring ideologies. In a war of ideas, is is permissible to disagree, there is open debate and in most cases, each side, if honest, will concede that the other has at least a few valid points. In a war of Ideology, everything is approached from the concept of having been absolutely right from the very beginning. Flaws in logic are dismissed as flaws of faith or effort, for the Ideology itself, cannot be wrong.

There is persuasive evidence for anyone who wishes to examine it, to argue that a large military is ineffective at fighting small stateless, goal-less groups such as Al-Queda and that the only effective security measures are those that are not obvious. Because if they are obvious to the general public, they are obvious to those who will seek to commit acts of mass murder, and it is astoundingly foolish of us to assume that murders will throw up their hands and say - "Well, they blocked our only idea, so I guess we'll have to give up."

So, one is left to contemplate ones own true feelings with regard to war. Is ones support for just war in general as means of national unity? Of, does one contemplate that there must be an end of this conflict, and, as there has been, and really cannot be, any clearly defined condition of victory, we are left to consider how best to return responsibility over to Iraq and at what point our continued presence becomes a hindrance to that process and we become nothing more than a crutch for lazy rulers seeking to clinging to power