Republican Chickenhawk Hall of Fame

Chickenhawk Hall of Shame

When an American male (or an especially belligerent female) makes the challenging transition from late adolescence into early adulthood, he is faced with many decisions. One certain, specific combination of choices will result in his becoming a chickenhawk: choosing to “support” war, while also choosing not to serve in the military. His motto becomes: “Let’s you and him go fight; I’ll hold your coat.”

Depending on external circumstances, such an individual may become one of three varieties of chickenhawk: • If there is no draft, and the nation is at peace, the individual becomes a Common Chickenhawk; • If there is a draft, and the nation is at peace, the individual becomes a Chickenhawk First Class; • If the there is a draft, and the nation is at war, the individual becomes a Chickenhawk First Class with Distinguished Fleeing Cross.

We currently have 154 Chickenhawks listed in our database.  Here they are, listed alphabetically. Click hereto see them listed by date of birth.

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Meet the Republican Chickenhawks

by , December 22, 2011

Nearly all the Republican presidential candidates are showing their muscles, supporting the war on terror and a robust military while also vowing to do whatever it takes to disarm Iran. They know that it is essential to play the jingoistic“American exceptionalism” card, and they understand that being president also means becoming commander in chief of America’s armed forces with the responsibility for committing U.S. soldiers to die for their country. But how are they qualified to do that? Of the sorry lot on display, only Ron Paul and Rick Perry have ever served in the military in any capacity, Paul as a U.S. Air Force medical officer and Perry as an Air Force pilot. The dramatically bellicose Newt Gingrich, who wants to coordinate a joint military operation with Israel to attack Iran, did not serve during the Vietnam War. He received deferments because he was a student and because he was, at the time, married to his first of three wives. Other candidates, including Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman, are too young to have been subject to the draft, but neither volunteered for military service. Santorum entered a law firm, and Huntsman went to Indonesia as a Mormon missionary before stepping into the business run by his father.

But perhaps the most spectacular chickenhawk of all is Mitt Romney, frequently cited as the likely Republican candidate, who alone among GOP aspirants to the highest office in the land has advocated increasing the size of the Defense Department. Romney apparently is not aware of the foreign policy misadventures of the past 10 years and is eager to double down on a formula that has not worked very well. He believes that the correct response to the many threats in the world is to throw more money at the Pentagon. He also apparently has not noted the sinking economy, which might suggest to anyone but the politically ambitious that retrenchment would be preferable to more interventionism. But as an experienced self-described “businessman” he is not afraid of running up a little more debt.

Romney has several times declared that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon if he is president, suggesting that the other candidates are pusillanimous on the issue and implying that he alone will attack the mullahs “preventively” if such a development appears to be imminent. The willingness to start a war with a country that can hardly threaten the United States is the cornerstone of his foreign policy, which he describes as dealing with the world from a position of strength. If that sounds a bit like the Bush Doctrine, it should.

Romney’s personal history suggests, however, that his hawkishness might well be a recent affectation, carefully crafted to suit the presidential persona that he would like to present to the voting public. In particular, he has never been inclined to place either himself or anyone close to him in harm’s way to advance the wars that his country has been fighting, wars that he defends both in principle and in detail.

Mitt Romney was born in 1947, the son of George Romney, a former senior General Motors executive and governor of Michigan. The birth date means that he was eligible for the Vietnam War draft when his student deferment ran out upon graduation from Brigham Young University. But, before he graduated, instead of being drafted or enlisting in one of the military services, he obtained a two-and-a-half-year deferment to leave school temporarily and go to France as a Mormon missionary. The deferment described him as a “minister of religion” even though he had received no formal training as a clergyman. At the time, large numbers of young Mormons avoided military service in that fashion.

While in France converting the heathen Roman Catholics, Romney clearly learned a lot about foreign cultures, something that undoubtedly will stand him in good stead as president. He recently described his astonishment when encountering an old-style toilet that had the tank up on the wall and was activated by pulling on a handle connected to a chain that released the water. Romney had never seen such a device, which probably means he had never traveled to New Jersey or other backward regions during his formative years.

Toilet hydraulic engineering aside, Romney managed to avoid the Vietnam draft. His father, George, apparently had become an opponentof the war, though he did not speak out openly against it, and Mitt might have also quietly opposed it. He then went into business and founded Bain Capital, which is certainly worth a separate story all by itself. He went from being a rich man’s son to becoming a very rich man in his own right. Eventually, he followed in his father’s footsteps and wound up in politics, first as governor of Massachusetts and later as head of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics Committee. Now he wants to become president.

Along the way, Mitt fathered five sons: Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben, and Craig. You might have thought that at least one of the sons of a man with national political ambitions would opt for either a tour in the military or government service of some kind. At a minimum, it would demonstrate a tad of respect for and engagement in the state’s institutions. None did. Mitt was challenged on the campaign trail about the lack ofnoblesse oblige exhibited by his offspring, and he replied that“one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected.”

All of this is not to pick on Mitt Romney, though his family’s avoidance of military service is notable particularly when measured against the candidate’s own willingness to use force around the world when the United States is not actually threatened. It has often been suggested that if the children of leading politicians and neocon pundits were required to take up arms to carry out the schemes concocted by their parents, the desire to engage in frivolous wars would quickly vanish. Be that as it may, Romney is far from unique in that one does not see the children of Huntsman, Santorum, Bachmann, and Gingrich rushing off to enlist either. To give Sarah Palin her due, her eldest son did join the Alaskan National Guard and did do combat duty in Iraq, so she, at least, put her money where her mouth most assuredly was.

One can easily argue that President Barack Obama is even worse than the Mitt Romneys of this world, because he was elected in large part by antiwar voters but he has brought more war and a frightful expansion of the state security apparatus, including the indefinite military detention and even assassination of American citizens. But that is to avoid the issue of how a country that so desperately needs peace and reconstruction can produce so many clueless but hawkish politicians who are themselves completely ignorant of war and soldiering except insofar as they follow the Gingrich model of reading about it in books. Nevertheless, the poor fools persist in mouthing the slogans of empire. And it has consequences. Constant warfare might well mean the end of our experiment in republican government and could quite possibly bring about the impoverishment and death of many of us.

 

About jimcraven10

About jimcraven10 1. Citizenship: Blackfoot, U.S. and Canadian; 2. Position: tenured Professor of Economics and Geography; Dept. Head, Economics; 3. Teaching, Consulting and Research experience: approx 40 + years all levels high school to post-doctoral U.S. Canada, Europe, China, India, Puerto Rico and parts of E. Asia; 4. Work past and present: U.S. Army 1963-66; Member: Veterans for Peace; former VVAW; Veterans for 9-11 Truth; Scholars for 9-11 Truth; Pilots for 9-11 Truth; World Association for Political Economy; Editorial Board International Critical Thought; 4.. U.S. Commercial-Instrument Pilot ; FAA Licensed Ground Instructor (Basic, Advanced, Instrument and Simulators); 5. Research Areas and Publications: International law (on genocide, rights of nations, war and war crimes); Imperialism (nature, history, logic, trajectories, mechanisms and effects); Economic Geography (time and space modeling in political economy; globalization--logic and effects; Political Economy and Geography of Imperialism); Indigenous versus non-Indigenous Law; Political Economy of Socialism and Socialist Construction; 6. Member, Editorial Board, "International Critical Thought" published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; International Advisory Board and Columnist 4th Media Group, http://www.4thMedia.org (Beijing); 7. Other Websites publications at http://www.aradicalblackfoot.blogspot.com; wwwthesixthestate.blogspot.com;https://jimcraven10.wordpress.com; 8.Biography available in: Marquis Who’s Who: in the World (16th-18th; 20th; 22nd -31st (2014) Editions); Who’s Who in America (51st-61st;63rd-68th(2014) Editions); Who’s Who in the West (24th- 27th Editions);Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (3rd to 6th, 8th, 11th (2011-2012) Editions); Who’s Who in Finance and Industry (29th to 37th Editions); Who’s Who in American Education (6th Edition). ------------------- There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state, to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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3 Responses to Republican Chickenhawk Hall of Fame

  1. Pingback: WHAT IF THEN SENATOR NOW SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY HAD A SUDDEN ‘ATTACK’ OF A COMPULSION TO TELL ONLY THE TRUTH AT A PRESS CONFERENCE: A THOUGHT EXPERIMENT |

  2. Neville Ross says:

    You do know that Obama is basically trying to put out the fire(s) started by Bush, right? Or are you one of those emoprogs who believe in an ‘all or nothing’ way of solving problems and ruling a country? No matter what he did/does, it seems that nothing will ever please you.

    I’d tell you to go to a certain website and get a better view of things, but something tells me you’d just call what’s said on it propaganda that exonerates Obama, so I won’t bother.

    • jimcraven10 says:

      We at STTPML get stuff like this all the time. First, we have noted that we are a collective of Indigenous veterans of the U.S. military and/or government service, we represent diverse paradigms ideologically and spiritually, we publish articles from diverse perspectives for their content, hard facts and data, formerly classified documents as we seek truth from facts. Then we get some troll like this, not specifying what article he or she takes exception to and why, suggesting that he or she would give us the real truth about Obama or whatever, but will not bother because he or she just KNOWS we would be as indifferent to counter-reason or counter-evidence as the troll alleging that is what we are–Freudian projection. We take time to publish this kind of snotty polemic because these types provide lessons from their own behaviors and demonstrated inabilities to offer reason, evidence, law in opposition to something on this site that has struck a raw nerve in them. We understand the concept of “the perfect as the enemy of the good”, tactics and all that; we just do not believe that one wing of neo-imperialism and the national security state trying to “clean-up” the messes of the other wing of the state, messes in which both have been complicit, not only makes it worse when the US and its allies are the problem or a significant part of it never any solution, as part of a cover-up and another search for “exit with honor”, then Obama is worse than Bush because at least Bush was and is an open, bombastic, unapologetic imperialist, American exceptionalist and imperialist who used fewer extra-judicial assassination drones in 8 years than Obama ordered in two years.

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