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"A word means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less"
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, July 31, 2006

I've been out of town for awhile, but I can't let the recent 'chickenhawk' eruption escape unnoticed. It is positively disgraceful.

Not content with inaccurately smearing Patterico and Glenn Reynolds (read Greenwald's comment and OXR's response), Glenn Greenwald has turned his attention to Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe, who had the temerity to define 'chickenhawk' as the notion that "only those with combat experience have the moral authority or the necessary understanding to advocate military force." To which, Greenwald said that "Jacoby completely distorted what it actually means" and that "it is less than forthright of Jacoby to mis-define the concept".
Democrats have long shared this "less than forthright" definition of the term.
Nevermind that this is pretty much the universally accepted definition, and that Jacoby's usage accords with the earliest citations of the term. Nevermind that there's a google's worth of evidence that Democrats have long shared this "less than forthright" definition of the term.

Greenwald didn't seem to mind that at all. He was framing, baby!

After acknowledging that "there are those who mis-use the term that way" — you don't say — Greenwald finally deigns to offer his own personal definition of the term which we have been so egregiously misusing all these years. Greenwald didn't seem to mind that at all. He was framing, baby!
Chicken-hawkism is the belief that advocating a war from afar is a sign of personal courage and strength, and that opposing a war from afar is a sign of personal cowardice and weakness. A "chicken hawk" is someone who not merely advocates a war, but believes that their advocacy is proof of the courage which those who will actually fight the war in combat require.
Now, I think that's an interesting concept that Greenwald has brought up, and I think it might even be worth some exploration. God knows the insipid 'we gotta have the intestinal fortitude to get the job done' mantra has has been disturbingly ascendent lately. This "name it and claim it' theory of foreign policy seems to have replaced modesty, conservatism and serious foreign policy thought among many Righties in the punditocracy, and the recent Israeli conflict has brought it out in spades.
This "name it and claim it' theory of foreign policy seems to have replaced modesty, conservatism and serious foreign policy thought
So, yeah, perhaps we should explore the concept Greenwald offers. We should also come up with a name for it, because it damned sure isn't 'chickenhawk'.

Divider



For a more serious discussion of the concept of 'chickenhawk', see this very productive conversation that liberal blogger 'Neil the Ethical Werewolf' and I had a few months ago. Essentially...
This is pretty standard "veil of ignorance" stuff. Original position. Would you support a specific policy if you didn't know how that policy would affect you? A person who would support a war, unless he had to fight it personally is subject to the chickenhawk label. A person who supports a war but chooses not to fight it is not necessarily subject to that label.
The whole conversation was good, and we managed to get through it without personalizing the dictionary.
 
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This is an odd post, Jon. You come out of the gate talking like Greenwald is scum, committing terrible smears, but you think his basic idea and cleaned-up definition of chickenhawk might have something to it.

So, do the people Greenwald has accused of chickenhawkdom indeed fit his more specified definition?

But more to the point, do you also feel that you have sort of done a bit of a loop-de-loop here?
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
But more to the point, do you also feel that you have sort of done a bit of a loop-de-loop here?
No.

It is positively absurd that Greenwald would try to co-opt the word and then argue that Jacoby is being dishonest by using the standard definition. I can’t even imagine the intellectual gymnastics somebody would have to do to invent a whole new definition and then accuse his opponent of being dishonest for not using it.

Separately, the concept he tried to call ’chickenhawkism’ is an interesting one and might be worth some discussion. But it’s not chickenhawkism.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
God knows the insipid ’we gotta have the intestinal fortitude to get the job done’ mantra has has been disturbingly ascendent lately.
God knows that as soon as I read that tripe, I didn’t need to look at the by-line to know that I would find the word "Henke".
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I don’t presume to speak for Jon, but I think I understand his thinking here, and it is not at all a "loop-de-deep". Greenwald has put his finger on something, and it would be convenient to put a label on it so that it could be discussed.

Unfortunately, Greenwald has chosen to appropriate an existing term for his new idea, which will only muddy the waters. To make matters worse, he adopts the de rigueur Left-wing rhetorical posture of accusing anyone who would differ (in this case, anyone who uses the term in the conventional sense) of deliberately lying:

"it is less than forthright of Jacoby to mis-define the concept".


I wish the internet Left would mature to a point where they could acknowledge that their political opponents might be sincere in their beliefs, so we could skip these tiresome boilerplate accusations of dishonesty.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
There is an interesting background that provides some additional context for Greenwald and his take on the "chickenhawk" idea: Right Wing Nuthouse

 
Written By: Chtorr00
URL: http://
Jon: I agree with you as to the "chickenhawk" thing. (But not about supposedly smearing Glenn Reynolds.)

I don’t get the sense that Greenwald particularly approves of the conventional meaning of chickenhawk, but the solution is not to pretend that isn’t the definition most people, myself included, think it is. Jeff Jacoby drives me nuts, but not for his understanding of that word.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
I’ve always been disgusted with the Marxist, Marcusian, and now Leftist/liberal Democratic tactic of not arguing the case for or against an issue, but in efforts to impugne motives or create the argument that all the public can be on the Left’s side...but only a small group in the opposition, if any, has the "moral authority" the "legitimacy" to speak out.

We see this in a lot of hot debates like abortion and affirmative action. Only women may argue against abortion, only blacks have the right to criticize affirmative action. The etiology of Chickenhawk is it falls right into Marcuse’s counsel to "speak to motive", not "tolerate" opposition views as moral or proper to make. The idea is that anyone can be against "war" or "blood for oil" especially when they know deep down they will be protected anyways and that Courts would block any effort by Red energy-producing states to cut off Blue energy-dependent states if we lost our energy imports through the fault of liberal Democrats to keep those supplies available. Yes, everyone is permitted to be against "war", but those allowed to speak "for" war are subject to an insipid Leftist "definitional test". Only those in the military or Vets are allowed to speak "pro-war", and only those Vets who were "in combat" not "draft-dodging" National Guard or in mechanized divisions facing the Soviets or NORKs, or those cowards hiding out in submarines. The Left tries this "moral authority" crap all the time on the opposition and it’s laughed off by everyone but fearful young people led by their teachers to believe they are "allowed" to be pacifist, but hypocrites if they favor military service.

Any who do see that we are in what appears to be a conflict where we must defend ourselves are subject to the usual brainless Lefty maxims that "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel", the "Traitor is the one that would send America down the slippery slope to Nazism by denying Unlawful Islamist combatants their absolute US Constitutional Rights and POW protections" and "Remember, there is nothing more patriotic than having the moral courage to dissent and condemn America!"

We must add into this the Cult of Victimhood that now is mainly used by the Left and liberal Democrats, though the Bushies and Republicans occasionally stoop to pander off of those they designate as "victims" or "hero-victims". Cindy (MOther) Sheehan is supposed to have the "absolute moral authority" to command Presidents and Senators to grovel to her and supposedly cheer Hugo Chavez and denounce the "Jew warmongers". The 9/11 Victims were annointed by "victimhood" with the moral authority to demand whatever money and bennies they felt they deserved for America for their "unique suffering" by being the only families in history to have a member die unexpectedly and tragically. Moreover, as the Greatest Victims ever, they became the Experts on Skyscraper design changes needed, the air cover requirements over all US cities, the guilt or innocence of Bush, the CIA, FBI and what reorganizations were needed, how many billions had to be spent at their silly-named "Ground Zero" on KALOZHURE remains, Freedom Towers, America’s Greatest Memorial ever. Totally supplicated media journalists had them on giving advice on what military tactics we should employ in Afghanistan, pilots having guns on planes, profiling, policy on Iran, the way to discover the Anthrax killer, and how to find the Head Evildoer - all of which the silly housewife ninnies had no problem with expounding at length on.

Bush loves his Flight 93 "hero kinda guys" [who had the "courage" to get up and try not to die once they knew they were doomed unless they overpowered the Islamoids onboard] - and was steered by Giuliani to be a cop and firefighter worshipper and actually initially built his "War on Terrorism" on "Hero First Responders". Bush, all the little Bushies and half of Congress make the pilgrimage to safe rear echelon bases, the Green Zone in Iraq and pay homage to the "heroes" - who as my 2X in Ramadi once in Afghanistan gunny nephew says "are the people that have never been within 3,000 yards of an unsearched Iraqi and at bases the PR people think are "safe" to visit.

That said, Greenwald is onto something, not chickenhawks when he gives the basic spiel on a person that seeks to build themself up as tough and courageous when they speak with certitude that their saber rattling will never impact their tax cuts for the wealthy, never embroil family members in military risk, require nothing in the way of any sacrifice - but gain them lots. I am convinced that if Bush asked his "support the troops" cheerleaders in Congress to back a war tax to pay for the Iraq clustergrope or a supplemental Draft to ensure at least some kids of multimillionaire oilmen and trial lawyers serve - the howls of reticence from "hawkish" politicians would be considerable.
Chicken-hawkism is the belief that advocating a war from afar is a sign of personal courage and strength, and that opposing a war from afar is a sign of personal cowardice and weakness. A "chicken hawk" is someone who not merely advocates a war, but believes that their advocacy is proof of the courage which those who will actually fight the war in combat require.
But while there is truth to that, Lefties of course will never object to parasitic people who pay no taxes and incur no sacrifice demanding government goodies, their every need provided in a "victimhood" situation, or set asides that have no rational basis other than in identity politics. Their liberal Democrat friends will NEVER recommend limiting voting to people that pay taxes and contribute to society rather than leech off it all their lives. Or slam people that denounce the burden of having a power plant nearby them, a factory - but expect their neighboring community to pick up the slack...

Nor will they admit that many if not most of the "pacifists" are self-centered cowards or appeasers who think their little tushies are best saved if we give the radical Islamists what they want plus all the court "Rights" they think they are entitled to, count on Red Staters and minorities to be in the military instead of them, think no goal of saving others in Bosnia, Rwanda, Korea, Darfur is worth it if it inconveniences or endangers them in any way, or think that the personal risk to them is lowest if America becomes more neutral, more like Belgium.

 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
Far as I can tell, these defintions pretty much amount to the same thing - a chickenhawk is a person who advocates war in the full knowledge that they themselves will not be exposed to combat. This makes them both a hawk and a chicken. Am I missing something ?
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://blewog.blogspot.com
I see the Chickenhawk arguement in whatever form dying a quick death.

Although this isn’t necessary part of the definition, this is an extention of it. A President must be able to call for war. It is his job. Depending on the definition, only former or currently militarily connected people can make that call. Well that just shrank the candidate pool to a fraction of its former size. The Democrats will soon run low on their stocks of politicians with military history. Another 20 years will skew it heavily to a handful of mostly Conservatives being able to ’morally execute’ the full responsibilities of the President.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Look you guys are making it more complex than it needs to be. Its really quite simple. I am of an age when there were no wars fought by the United States when I was in my twenties. I never felt the need to join the military, and at any rate the pay and morale then was terrible (pre Reagan). However, I have always supported the military.
I am knowledgeable about history and I have OPINIONS about foreign policy. Just because I did not serve in the military means nothing. I can have an opinion.

Furthermore. My current opinions about the middle east are quite belligerent.
That comes from my knowledge of history and human nature which tells me that islamo fascism has to be confronted and defeated, it cannot be appeased.

Therefore calling me a name only proves that you are the idiot not me.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
"A word means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less"


An apt title for a post concerning Glenn Greenwald. But, really, why bother? Hasn’t Greenwald so discredited himself that he doesn’t deserve the attention of this blog?
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
But, really, why bother?
I’m there. Especially since Greenwald threads bring out trolls such as Blewyn above.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
a chickenhawk is a person who advocates war in the full knowledge that they themselves will not be exposed to combat. This makes them both a hawk and a chicken. Am I missing something ?
Are we supposed to answer that question politely?

If everyone "who advocates war in the full knowledge that they themselves will not be exposed to combat" is a chickenhawk, that makes the vast, vast majority of America ineligible to make decisions about war or national security. If civilians are not the legitimate decision-making body about when to go to war, they are by definition also not the legitimate decision-making body about when to avoid war. Who are they, after all, to make the decision to avoid war, when the situation may worsen and ultimately cause more soldiers to lose ther lives?

It’s an insulting principle. It’s also a dangerous one to the American constitutional identity, because it denies the legitimacy of civilian control of the military. Is that what proponents of the chickenhawk meme really want to sell? Something akin to a Starship Troopers-esque service requirement for citizenship and voting rights?

Let me be absolutely clear: the U.S. Army is not the Praetorian Guard. They do not choose their Commander in Chief (except insofar as they can vote like the rest of us). We the people do. And we also choose the people who decide to fund or not fund the war, and who practice oversight of the military and the Commander in Chief. Furthermore, it is altogether proper that we have an all-volunteer military whose job is to enthusiastically defend us and our interests so that we never do have to be exposed to combat. That’s the point.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Note: I should have followed the link to Jon’s conversation with Neil the Ethical Werewolf before I commented here. He made the same damn points!
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
I’m sure that, for some, "advocating a war from afar is a sign of personal courage and strength." By the same token, for some, advocating the taxation of others in order to create bureaucracies to help the poor is a sign of compassion.

If the anti-war movement spent half as much effort arguing against the merits of the war itself as they spend arguing against the supposed psychological motivations of the war’s supporters they might be more successful.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
It is refreshing watching the scales drop from Jon’s eyes, but apart from that ephiphany it seems like another day, another Greenwald lie, and another lame, predictable (albeit partial) defense from Mona. And yes, it was a lie on Greenwald’s part, not just a lame "error" like smearing Patterico, Glenn Reynolds, Dean Esmay, Jeff Goldstein, and whoever else he thinks he can generate some cheap traffic by smearing. I don’t use the L-word lightly, but sometimes it needs to be said, and Greenwald knows damned well what the word "chickenhawk" means:
Now, none of this means, at least not for me, that there is something inherently corrupt or improper about supporting a war even if you never fought in one. In fact, I find that line of argument to be inane on its face, which is why I do not like the "chickenhawk" label and reject that argument. A country needs a majority of its population to support a war if it is to win, and the notion that nobody can support a war unless they fought in one is illogical and self-defeating. Roughly 90% of the country supported the war in Afghanistan, obviously including huge numbers of Democrats, ever though only a tiny fraction of that group even served in the military.
[Emphasis added.]
Greenwald was right then, of course, but this time he’s right about one thing and one thing only: someone in this discussion has indeed been "less than forthright."
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
If everyone "who advocates war in the full knowledge that they themselves will not be exposed to combat" is a chickenhawk, that makes the vast, vast majority of America ineligible to make decisions about war or national security.
The reverse of this states that unless you’re an Iraqi who suffered under the yoke of the Saddam regime, you have no business pontificating on the correctness of removing it. According to polling, 77% of Iraqis think it was worth doing. So, unless you’re willing to get in line and have your tongue cut out, or have your wife and children be raped while you watch, you’d have to be a coward to suggest that Saddam should have been left alone.

As for Greenwald, this is his typical dishonest behavior. That he misrepresents virtually everything he ever references is immaterial. What he says is true and if you’ve got a problem with it, you’re either jealous of his awesomeness, or homophobic, or ensnared in the Neocon mind control apparatus. So sayeth Greenwald. And Thomas Ellers. And Rick Ellensburg, Wilson, Ellison, etc...

Greenwald is a complete waste of time.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
I’m sure that, for some, "advocating a war from afar is a sign of personal courage and strength."
Any idea who these delusional people are?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
and another lame, predictable (albeit partial) defense from Mona.
That’s just ridiculous. As I wrote before, I agree with Jon’s rather strongly stated rejection of Greenwald’s most recent "chickenhawk" post. That’s not a "defense," lame or otherwise. That Greenwald post was just plain wrong, and I don’t see how I could more clearly state that.

Greenwald’s comments section largely applauded his argument, however, and I was rather bemused to see that. It’s the flip side of what one can see here, with accusations that Jon posts constitute "tripe." Jon deviates from unswerving loyalty to the neoconservative POV on some matters relating to national security and foreign policy, and for that thought crime he — the most cerebral of the three authors here, altho McQ clearly best knows his military doctrines and options — is regularly denounced for posting arguments that are something less than "stay the course, and by any means necessary" blather so agreeable to the Bush right. Many of Greenwald’s commenters eagerly and uncritically lap up whatever he, as a severe Bush critic, serves up, for the same reasons so many here revile Jon’s partial deviationism, namely, ideological tribalism.

Mindlessly embracing or rejecting ideas and arguments because one finds them congenial is not a hallmark of either civic virtue or intellectual rigor. I read across the spectrum and don’t confine myself to echo chambers which don’t challenge my own positions. As a consequence, I have been known to change my mind, when the "other side" makes a better case. Jon would appear to have the temperament to behave the same way, and that is why partisans here give him so much grief.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
"Jon: I agree with you as to the "chickenhawk" thing. (But not about supposedly smearing Glenn Reynolds.)"
Well, OK! It is really good to know where Mona stands on these two issues. Also, it is good to find out the answer to the question: "What idiot would deny that Mr. Greenwald repeatedly tries to smear Mr. Reynolds?"

 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
Robert Fulton: If one fails to confine oneself to only those blogs, libertarian and otherwise, that support George Bush’s foreign policy, one will encounter a good number who criticize Reynolds and believe he is intellectually dishonest. Posts and comments at Reason will reflect this POV, as will discussions at sites such as, say, Jim Henley’s.

Denominating all such persons as "idiots" is one way to handle these criticisms, but not a compelling one.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
That’s just ridiculous. As I wrote before, I agree with Jon’s rather strongly stated rejection of Greenwald’s most recent "chickenhawk" post. That’s not a "defense," lame or otherwise. That Greenwald post was just plain wrong, and I don’t see how I could more clearly state that.
Simple. All you needed to do was say this:
Jon: I agree with you as to the "chickenhawk" thing.
And leave it at that, rather than qualifying it with this:
(But not about supposedly smearing Glenn Reynolds.)
Greenwald hasn’t "supposedly" smeared Reynolds; he has lied through his teeth about Reynolds and countless others. You may not care that he does so, or you may even harbor enough anti-Reynolds animus yourself to be glad that he does, but it’s one thing to be OK with Greenwald smearing Reynolds, and quite another to deny the obvious and pretend that he doesn’t do it. That other dishonest jerks at "Reason" and in other fora also engage in the same sleazy and dishonest argument tactics as Greenwald does not make Greenwald’s actions any less sleazy or dishonest. If we all joined hands and started telling the same exact lie about Reynolds in unison, then guess what? It would still be a lie.
Denominating all such persons as "idiots" is one way to handle these criticisms, but not a compelling one.
Denominating them as liars makes more sense, since it is their honesty, not their intellect, which appears to have been compromised. If identifying liars as "liars" and smear merchants as "smear merchants" is not your idea of a compelling argument, let’s just say it’s a lot more compelling than merely pointing out that certain people exist, and expecting that to translate into their views having any merit.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
God knows that as soon as I read that tripe, I didn’t need to look at the by-line to know that I would find the word "Henke".
Because you think "blow sh*t up faster" is the summation of good foreign policy? Naturally, determination is an important component of good foreign policy, but of late, the tendency has been to applaud sheer force, as if that is, in itself, sufficient.
Jon: I agree with you as to the "chickenhawk" thing. (But not about supposedly smearing Glenn Reynolds.)
Supposedly? He directly misrepresented the context of Reynolds comment about the Times. The Times asserted that we sided with the Sandinistas, and Reynolds correctly noted that they didn’t even know which side we were on in that war. Greenwald pretended that Reynolds had said something completely different.
Far as I can tell, these defintions pretty much amount to the same thing - a chickenhawk is a person who advocates war in the full knowledge that they themselves will not be exposed to combat. This makes them both a hawk and a chicken. Am I missing something ?
I think you are missing the distinctions, but if we assume—arguendo—that they are the same thing, then why is Greenwald calling Jacoby dishonest for his usage?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
But, really, why bother?
Because the ideas involved are important to me; because I had something to say about those ideas.
I’m sure that, for some, "advocating a war from afar is a sign of personal courage and strength." By the same token, for some, advocating the taxation of others in order to create bureaucracies to help the poor is a sign of compassion.
Excellent point!
It is refreshing watching the scales drop from Jon’s eyes,
(sigh) I’ve spent as much time criticizing Greenwald as I have supporting him—probably more. And yet, just about every time I criticize him, people act like I’ve just done a 180. I’m not sure why you guys think I must either be a fan or foe of Greenwald, with no other options. I’m not playing that game.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
But, really, why bother?

Because the ideas involved are important to me; because I had something to say about those ideas.
What "ideas" are they? Misdefining a common term like "chickenhawks" to score cheap shots? Even if you had a desire to adddress the "chickenhawk" matter, there was simply no need to base your post upon what Glenn Greenwald wrote. All you have done by posting about Greenwald’s "ideas" is given him more of the attention he craves. In doing so, you have elevated the status of a self-promoting fraud, which is something I have not heard you come close to criticizing Greenwald for, even though Greenwald has unleashed his ferocious sock puppets in your very own blog. I should think you’d be offended; apparently not. Finally, if I wanted to know what Greenwald wrote I’d go to his blog.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
Jon says:
Supposedly? He directly misrepresented the context of Reynolds comment about the Times. The Times asserted that we sided with the Sandinistas, and Reynolds correctly noted that they didn’t even know which side we were on in that war. Greenwald pretended that Reynolds had said something completely different.
That controversy either by-passed me, or I don’t recall it. Nor do my googling skills seem sufficient to locate this post. Do you have a link?

Xrlq: You very obviously loathe Greenwald, and aren’t liking me too well, either. Fine, but I don’t engage the political conversation at the level of ranting that people are "douchebags" and such, and don’t care for those who do.

The fact is, many libertarians hold Reynolds in contempt. These are not raging moonbat lefties, but rather are people who have conlcuded that Reynolds is a shill for Bush who has consumed vats of neoconservative foreign-policy Kool Aid. You will never begin to see why some of us have come to that position because it greatly conflicts with the worldview to which you are harnassed. And, you have at your disposal an endless supply of childish, sewer-level epithets to fling at people, so I expect you will carry on.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Fine, but I don’t engage the political conversation at the level of ranting that people are "douchebags" and such, and don’t care for those who do.
Mona, that completely dismisses Xrlq’s entirely valid, well documented point. You’re trying to resolve the difference with ad hominem. What would Glenn say? How about Thomas Ellers?

What about the merits?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Pablo writes:
You’re trying to resolve the difference with ad hominem.
Now that is rich. He dismisses everyone who criticizes Reynolds and who finds Reynolds to be intellectually dishonest as "sleazy liars." In every instance — whether Greenwald was right or wrong about whatever this Sandinista and NYT kerfuffle involves, and I’m just not familiar with it, he represents only himself and not all others who share some of his perspectives.

Some of you are wedded to a version of reality in which Bush’s foreign policy cannot, will not fail or be disastrous. Failure, and the possibility that the Iraq invasion has actually made things worse in terms of U.S. national interests and the Middle East, is not a notion you can allow into your heads, and you don’t. Instead, you react with shrill and ad hominem denunciations of those who either always have been skeptics, or who modify their views as the unpleasant evidence becomes available.

Right blogistan has become increasingly angry and petty in the last months as Bush’s poll numbers have gone to the basement and the Middle East becomes a conflagration in progress. We are not hearing much any more about purple fingers, Cedar Revolutions and democracy spreading by benign infection throughout that region. No. We are, however, seeing a whole lot of temper tantrums and digging in of ideological heels.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Aldo,
Your post is way too subtle. To get any discussion on this blog, you either need to take no prisoners or take everybody prisoner.
I tried to rewrite it (humorously), but I can’t come up with anything I would actually submit as a post.
 
Written By: anomdebus
URL: http://
Because you think "blow sh*t up faster" is the summation of good foreign policy? Naturally, determination is an important component of good foreign policy, but of late, the tendency has been to applaud sheer force, as if that is, in itself, sufficient.
With all due respect, Jon, and although I don’t know if you’re referring to a particular statement here, but I think you generally mischarcterize calls for war as calls for random, wonton violence. The vast majority of the time I see someone advocate "blow(ing) sh*t up faster," it carries with it the implicit premise that "sh*t" means "the enemy," not mosques and elementary schools and baby milk factories for their own sake. These comments are almost always reflective of the belief that the enemies we face are implacable and committed to aggression, precluding any meaningful negotiated outcome.

As usual, the disagreement isn’t rooted in differences in reasoning, but differences in premises.

yours/
peter
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
...whether Greenwald was right or wrong about whatever this Sandinista and NYT kerfuffle involves, and I’m just not familiar with it...
Mona, that is rich. I wasn’t familiar with it, but I caught myself up in about 90 seconds. The notion that you would be unfamiliar with a Greenwaldian blogspat is simply delicious. I chuckle, deeply. But I’m referring to Greenwald’s redefining of "chickenhawk" in order to slam Jacoby, after having written about his understanding of the accepted definition on his blog as Xrlq noted and linked above. And then calling Jacoby "less than forthright"

Isn’t that entirely duplicitous? Isn’t it obvious that he just makes stuff like this up on the fly?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
BTW, Mona? WTF did anything in either of your last two paragraphs have to do with anything I’ve said here?

Did you waste all those words in an effort to tar me as a psychologically disturbed Bush cultist so that you might look as though you responded to what I said without actually having to do it? I ask because I think I’ve seen that trick recently.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Mona:
You very obviously loathe Greenwald, and aren’t liking me too well, either.
Apples and oranges. My beef with Greenwald is simple: he’s a liar. I don’t deal well with liars. I’ll happily debate ideas with anybody, on any topic, as long as they’re sincere and civil. Greenwald is neither. I can forgive the incivility, but not the dishonesty. Lest you mistake my complaint about dishonesty for an objection to the fact that he also holds political views I find abhorrent, feel free to peruse the "Non-Liberal Morons" category on my blog. I think you’ll find that if anything, I go harder, not easier, on conservatives who commit the same fouls as Greenwald does. The reason is simple: as a conservative, I can rest assured that nothing Greenwald can say or do has the potential to make me look bad. I don’t have the same luxury when dealing with the likes of Debbie Schlussel, Pat Robertson, Liberty Counsel, etc.

By contrast, I have no quarrel with you, Mona. I find your defenses of Greenwald annoying and predictable, and your eagerness to endorse other people’s baseless accusations of dishonesty to be rather lame, but these are rather minor offenses, if indeed they should be considered offenses at all.
Fine, but I don’t engage the political conversation at the level of ranting that people are "douchebags" and such, and don’t care for those who do.
That’s true, you don’t. What you do engage in - falsely accusing others of dishonesty - is much worse. If I call someone a douchebag, all I’ve really said is that I don’t like the guy, which is true. That’s quite different from calling someone intellectually dishonest, when there’s no evidence that he is. Add to that the fact that I didn’t just call Greenwald a douche; I painstakingly documented the many, many willful misstatements of fact he made in the span of a single post. So even if "douche" is interpreted as a rude synonym for "liar," I didn’t make any accusations against Greenwald that I couldn’t or didn’t back up. You, by contrast, implicitly call Reynolds dishonest simply because he disagrees with you.
The fact is, many libertarians hold Reynolds in contempt. These are not raging moonbat lefties, but rather are people who have conlcuded that Reynolds is a shill for Bush who has consumed vats of neoconservative foreign-policy Kool Aid.
They haven’t "concluded" anything. These guys are spouting the LP party line, which has been around long before Reynolds or the blogosphere came into being. Reynolds hasn’t said anything contemptible or dishonest; he’s merely expressed views that don’t jibe with theirs - and probably annoyed them even more by holding generally libertarian views himself, on other topics. If your point is that libertarians can be every bit as knee-jerk idiotarian as their liberal counterparts, particularly on matters such as foreign policy, then you’ll get no argument for me. That issue is one of the reasons I am no longer a Libertarian, but I don’t accuse my former fellow travelers of dishonesty solely for believing it. I call them wrong, and leave it at that. It’s too bad you and they can’t offer the same courtesy in return, but then again, maybe that’s too much to expect from a movement once led by Ayn Rand, one of the most intolerant people ever to walk the planet.
Now that is rich. He [meaning me] dismisses everyone who criticizes Reynolds and who finds Reynolds to be intellectually dishonest as "sleazy liars."
Not exactly. Rather than take on your multiple assertions as a set, let’s deal with them individually:
Now that is rich. He [meaning me] dismisses everyone who criticizes Reynolds ... as "sleazy liars."
Hogwash. I’ve criticized Reynolds myself on occasion, but sure as hell don’t recall dismissing myself as a sleazy liar. I defy you to produce a shred of evidence that I have ever accused anyone of dishonesty solely because he disagrees with me, Glenn Reynolds, or anybody else. That’s Greenwald’s style, and to a lesser extent, yours. It’s not mine.
Now that is rich. He [meaning me] dismisses everyone ... who finds Reynolds to be intellectually dishonest as "sleazy liars."
That’s basically right, for the simple reason that neither you, nor Greenwald, nor the "Reason" drones, nor anyone else of whom I’m aware has provided any credible evidence that Reynolds believes anything different from what he says. Failing that, the charges that he is dishonest are completely frivolous, and unlikely to be sincerely held by those leveling them. Calling someone a liar solely because he disagrees with you is both sleazy and dishonest, so I make no apologies for using those words to identify those who engage in such gutter tactics.
Some of you are wedded to a version of reality in which Bush’s foreign policy cannot, will not fail or be disastrous. Failure, and the possibility that the Iraq invasion has actually made things worse in terms of U.S. national interests and the Middle East, is not a notion you can allow into your heads, and you don’t.
While others of you ... e.g., you ... appear equally wedded to a version of reality in which isolationism must be right, and therefore, an interventionist foreign policy must fail and cannot possibly be anything but disastrous. Like everything else, lame attempts at psychoanalysis are a two-way street.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
Mona, that is rich. I wasn’t familiar with it, but I caught myself up in about 90 seconds. The notion that you would be unfamiliar with a Greenwaldian blogspat is simply delicious. I chuckle, deeply. But I’m referring to Greenwald’s redefining of "chickenhawk" in order to slam Jacoby, after having written about his understanding of the accepted definition on his blog as Xrlq noted and linked above. And then calling Jacoby "less than forthright"
I’m so very sorry, but in the last 60 days I’ve been in the hospital twice, once for a week. Whatever spats were going on the blogosphere then would have been ones I missed and didn’t follow. Further, I don’t keep track of every single point Greenwald makes and who takes issue with him and for what reason. Until today, I do not recall ever hearing that there was a dispute over something he said about Reynolds that involved Sandinistas and the NYT.

Moreover, I did not recall that Greenwald had ever posted an accurate understanding of the "chickenhawk" term, but I otherwise had reason to believe he knows what it is. My own view is that when he gets into highest polemical gear, he can display a capacity for convicing himself of the truth of the worst possible spin on the neoconservative he is pillorying. He has to really believe it at the time, tho, because it is idiotic to post blatant distortions with a whole blogosphere out there ready and more than willing to fact check his @ss. And whatever else he is, he isn’t an idiot. He’s a missionary and crusader, and sometimes his zeal takes over. I’m not defending that, I’m expressing an opinion as to why he does stuff like that "chickenhawk" post.

He goes overboard sometimes, and I’ve said so at his blog, as well as by email. This isn’t an opinion I’ve ever hidden, least of all from him.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
I’m so very sorry, but in the last 60 days I’ve been in the hospital twice, once for a week. Whatever spats were going on the blogosphere then would have been ones I missed and didn’t follow.
Sorry to hear about the hospital stays, Mona. I hope you are feeling better.

I really don’t know why I am bothering with this (other than boredom) but with respect to your excuse above, I have to call B.S.

You realize that you not only commented here at QandO on July 17th about Greenwald, but that you also offered testament (scroll down about half way) as to what Greenwald was blogging about on July 16th, the date on which this whole things began?
As one who has been reading Greenwald’s blog since its inception last Fall, I know that he approvingly links to libertarians with frequency. Including Reason, Jon here at QandO, Orin Kerr, and The Cato Institute. Yesterday [July 16], he [Greenwald] linked to another libertarian, Arthur Silber, whose blog I then explored.
You were actively reading Greenwald’s site on the date in question. I find it hard to believe that you missed this particular post.

It’s even more incredulous when considering the matter-of-fact statement you made here today:
Jon: I agree with you as to the "chickenhawk" thing. (But not about supposedly smearing Glenn Reynolds.)
How could you possibly make such a statment unless you knew what the alleged smear of Reynolds was? Do you simply reflexively agree with everything that Greenwald says? Or is it not possible to smear Reynolds in your mind?

The way I read your statement, at appears that others took it this way as well, you not only were aware of the "smear", you disagreed that it was a smear, and instead found it to be an accurate statement about Reynolds.

However, let’s leave all that aside for the moment and give you the benefit of the doubt that you, indeed, did not know anything about the Reynolds smear. As you stated above:
Jon says:

Supposedly? He directly misrepresented the context of Reynolds comment about the Times. The Times asserted that we sided with the Sandinistas, and Reynolds correctly noted that they didn’t even know which side we were on in that war. Greenwald pretended that Reynolds had said something completely different.
That controversy either by-passed me, or I don’t recall it. Nor do my googling skills seem sufficient to locate this post. Do you have a link?
,and:
Until today, I do not recall ever hearing that there was a dispute over something he said about Reynolds that involved Sandinistas and the NYT.
OK. We’ll accept that. It’s not like anyone in their right mind would expect you to keep abreast of all the rhetoric going on in either the left or right blogospheres.

However, Jon linked the specific comment (and a response) about which he was writing. All you had to do was click it and you would have been fully apprised of the matter at hand. With your new found knowledge you could have come back and commented intelligently.

Instead, according to you, not only were you not aware of the particular smear, you had no idea what it was about until today, and you proceeded to comment as to whether or not it was in fact a smear anyway. Moreover, you went even further and lambasted Reynolds, using your nebulous army of libertarians, all marching in lock-step as libertarians are wont to do:
The fact is, many libertarians hold Reynolds in contempt. These are not raging moonbat lefties, but rather are people who have conlcuded that Reynolds is a shill for Bush who has consumed vats of neoconservative foreign-policy Kool Aid. You will never begin to see why some of us have come to that position because it greatly conflicts with the worldview to which you are harnassed. And, you have at your disposal an endless supply of childish, sewer-level epithets to fling at people, so I expect you will carry on.
Do you even know how often you claim to speak for "libertarians" or those emanantly-right-thinking people at Reason? This little tic of yours really belies a deep sense of inadequacy as to your skills of persuasion.

Nevertheless, after bestowing upon us the libertarian line on Reynolds, you then have the temerity to chide Xrlq for saying:
That other dishonest jerks at "Reason" and in other fora also engage in the same sleazy and dishonest argument tactics as Greenwald does not make Greenwald’s actions any less sleazy or dishonest. If we all joined hands and started telling the same exact lie about Reynolds in unison, then guess what? It would still be a lie.
Your "retort":
Now that is rich. He dismisses everyone who criticizes Reynolds and who finds Reynolds to be intellectually dishonest as "sleazy liars." In every instance — whether Greenwald was right or wrong about whatever this Sandinista and NYT kerfuffle involves, and I’m just not familiar with it, he represents only himself and not all others who share some of his perspectives.
So let’s recap:

(a) Mona holds up a group of, supposedly credible, people as agreeing that Reynolds sucks.

(b) Xrlq answers by pointing out, whether you like Reynolds or not, a lie is lie no matter who like it.

(c) Mona finds it just he-LAR-ious that Xrlq would call that group of people she previously claimed to speak for (because they too hate Reynolds) "sleazy liars" just because they agree with a sleazy lie.

And to top it all off, this entire exchange involved a smear you claim to know nothing about?

"Now that is rich."
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
My own view is that when he gets into highest polemical gear, he can display a capacity for convicing himself of the truth of the worst possible spin on the neoconservative he is pillorying.
So, when he sits down to blog, he has no trouble bullsh*tting himself? He lets his biases talk him into making stuff up? I think I can accept that.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Mona,

I find this rich, since I remember going round and round with you on this in relation to a post by Greenwald that included a link to exactly this issue. At the time one of the arguments was that if you followed the links in Greenwalds post they didn’t remotely support his point. So all I can deduce from this is that you do not follow Greenwalds links. Virtually every time Greenwald comments on Reynold’s he characterizes Renold’s arguments by selectively quoting him and misrepresenting what he says in the links and of course imputing things the people Glenn links to say as being Glenn’s own opinion. That is Greenwald’s style style. It is very Coulteresque. Her entire book "Treason" was an exercise in that same kind of thing. Instead of links she put in lots of footnotes, but other than that all the techniques are the same. It is contemptable. As for Reason, just because writers are libertarian that hardly makes their arguments about issues which are not inherently libertarian of note. We libertarians can be as close minded and willing to misrepresent things as the next guy. That goes even for people at Reason I have long read. If Greenwald is a libertarian, and I see little evidence he is, he serves as exhibit A.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Jon, I wonder if you and Greenwald are aware that the behavior described by the two of you was common among our women before Vietnam. Especially in the South during the Civil War. Puts another perspective into "chickenhawkism," doesn’t it?

As far as ’we gotta have the intestinal fortitude to get the job done’ goes, I would submit to you that unless Hezbollah/Iran beats either Israel or the US, everything we say and do is automatically blessed with the imprimatur of being the correct way. This is what winning on a consistent basis does for you, and nothing that the Internet impowers can stop that.
 
Written By: Brad S
URL: http://
So, yeah, perhaps we should explore the concept Greenwald offers. We should also come up with a name for it, because it damned sure isn’t ’chickenhawk’.
That topic seems to have gone by the wayside, so I revived it here.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
Question for Mona:

I have a hypothetical.

A blogger does a post about a famous blogger, calling him a "douchebag." To keep it hypothetical, we’ll call the famous blogger "Mr. G."

Now, an enemy of Mr. G — call him "Glenn" — links the "douchebag" post. He doesn’t call Mr. G a douchebag, but he clearly endorses the post, which does.

Your assessment of Glenn’s behavior, please.

P
 
Written By: Patterico
URL: http://patterico.com
I have e-mailed Mona a link to the thread so she’ll be sure to see this question.
 
Written By: Patterico
URL: http://patterico.com
In that case, I’m sure she’ll be responding Real Soon Now.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/

 
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