New version of Toledo Talk

    July 18, 2007

Generation Chickenhawk: the Unauthorized College Republican Convention Tour - On July 13, 2007, I visited Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, where the bodies of American soldiers killed in Iraq were freshly interred. Afterwards, I headed across the street to the Sheraton National Hotel, owned by right-wing Korean cult leader Sun Myung-Moon, to meet some of the war's most fervent supporters at the College Republican National Convention.

In conversations with at least twenty College Republicans about the war in Iraq, I listened as they lip-synched discredited cant about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here." Many of the young GOP cadres I met described the so-called "war on terror" as nothing less than the cause of their time.

Yet when I asked these College Repulicans why they were not participating in this historical cause, they immediately went into contortions. Asthma. Bad knees from playing catcher in high school. "Medical reasons." "It's not for me." These were some of the excuses College Republicans offered for why they could not fight them "over there." Like the current Republican leaders who skipped out on Vietnam, the GOP's next generation would rather cheerlead from the sidelines for the war in Iraq while other, less privileged young men and women fight and die.

Along with videographer Thomas Shomaker, I captured a vivid portrait of the hypocritical mentality of the next generation of Republican leaders. See for yourself.

posted by SensorG to politics at 3:48 P.M. EST     (26 Comments)

Comments ...

I should have used italics on the above post as it is not first person. I realize that isn't as important as Al Gore's daughter having sea bass at her wedding rehearsal dinner, but it's a great story anyway. Very telling...

Remember Republican set the rules...
Gore can't talk about global warming because he drives an SUV.

Moore can't talk about health care because he is fat and unhealthy.

Edwards can't talk about the poor because he is rich.

So Young Republicans can't talk about the war unless enlist... your rules not mine.

posted by SensorG at 03:54 P.M. EST on Wed Jul 18, 2007     #

As a member of the military, I could care less if they enlist or not. To be honest, I don't want anyone serving under me who doesn't want to serve. But then you don't have to enlist to SUPPORT A CAUSE.

I am gratefull these young people have their heads on straight and are supporting the WAR ON TERROR. I agree with them, keep the fight overseas.

SensorG... sorry... I don't see your point.

posted by NAVYLT at 05:04 P.M. EST on Wed Jul 18, 2007     #

"Generation Chickenhawk"

{falls off chair, laughing helplessly}

To be fair, most of the Congress is pro-war. Any "anti-war" sentiment or rhetoric out of the Repubs or Dems is largely just for public consumption, since when it comes time to STOP THE WAR BY STOPPING THE FUNDING, they cave and vote YEA. Of course, it's not caving at all; they love this war and have no intention of stopping it. I guess the Dems MIGHT (only might) put a temporary hold on combat actions in Iraq, if it were all part of some larger political maneuver to advance their huge War on the Middle Class ... but that won't last since after such a maneuver is over and the requisite disadvantage is laid upon the middle class, either the funding or troops will re-surge and we'll be back in the same muck and mire ... except that more of us working class will either be paying more tax or will have less wealth (likely, BOTH).

I'm sure the Young Republican types are disgustingly pro-war. However, there are a sufficient number of Young Democrat types that are pro-war, also ... and even if they are a hypo-minority, their leaders are quite in the pro-war super-majority.

Remember, Murtha effectively said "let's get the hell out of this quicksand" and when forced to take such a stand, the House voted 403 to 3 against leaving Iraq. THAT tells you everything you need to know about what photographs the Representatives masturbate to: shattered Humvees, dead children, bombed buildings, bloody GIs, etc. No wonder the alleged Young Republicans feel so shameless about promoting a war that they have no intention of risking their lives in. There's no political or social cost to such shame.

posted by GuestZero at 05:14 P.M. EST on Wed Jul 18, 2007     #

And, NavyLt: There is no "war on terror". THAT was hijacked by your beloved President and his Neo-Con cabal. The rest of the world is quite simply not confused by a side by side comparison of photos of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein; however, apparently Americans largely ARE.
posted by GuestZero at 05:17 P.M. EST on Wed Jul 18, 2007     #


From MSNBC...
Senate Republicans defeat Iraq withdrawal bill

The Democratic proposal, by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., would have required President Bush to start bringing home troops within 120 days and complete the pullout by April 30, 2008. Under the bill, an unspecified number of troops could remain behind to conduct a narrow set of missions: counterterrorism, protecting U.S. assets and training Iraqi security forces.

Not perfect but Reid in the Senate is at least trying to have a debate...

posted by SensorG at 06:00 P.M. EST on Wed Jul 18, 2007     #

We will be fighting them here, BECAUSE we are fighting them over there.

Note that the renewed terror threat in this country is expected to be connected to the "Al Qaeda in Iraq" wing of the movement, the wing we essentially created. You tear apart a country and make a terrorist playground, what do you expect the result to be?

posted by thetoledowire_com at 06:52 P.M. EST on Wed Jul 18, 2007     #

1. Agreed with GZ that far too few Democrats have had the nerve to stand up against the war. Most of the loudest anti-war Dems these days voted for the 2003 invasion.

2. Agreed with ToledoWire about how post-invasion Iraq has become a haven for terrorists. Remember one thing, kiddies: Saddam Hussein had problems, but terrorism was not an issue while his iron fist gripped the presidential thrones.

3. When I saw those fresh-faced College Republicans, I couldn't help but think of the names Gregg Marmalard, Douglas C. Neidermeyer, and Chip Diller. I'm just sayin'...

4. Word of the day: Sonderweg. No, I'm not employing Godwin's Law, just link-pimping an essay I wrote some weeks back.

posted by historymike at 07:11 P.M. EST on Wed Jul 18, 2007     #

Well, at least a proposal was submitted and a vote was taken, rather than poo-poo the entire idea thinking "ah we can't win anyway". That's more Dem spine than I've seen in a while.

Of course, I don't think that you need 60 votes to pass another one of those huge war-funding bills. There's the real test of anti-war mettle.

In the larger picture, however, American stupidity and amnesia will extend the process of leaving Iraq out to a limit only suggested by the Vietnam War fiasco. "Official" US involvement was a 9-year affair, involving 2 Presidents and 3 bordering nations. I can imagine that tangling with the Tar Babies of Iraq and Iran can be extended up to 2012 and beyond. We can blow through 2000 American dead and 10000 more wounded, each year, too. After all, if the Congress won't stop it and in fact will continue voting for funding for it, then it may NEVER stop, and Orwell's demented imaginings will become reality.

posted by GuestZero at 09:39 P.M. EST on Wed Jul 18, 2007     #

Here is the last line of HistoryMike's article on Sonderweg:

The geopolitics of the twenty-first century provide many examples of authoritarian regimes seeking rapid industrialization and in possession of a bourgeois class more concerned with individual fortunes than with egalitarian ideals, and perhaps history is capable of repeating itself.

Individual fortunes. Seems to me that this is pretty much what America has been all about and that knot of politicians in Congress 'serves' this interest quite well.

Egalitarian ideals seem to have been trampled on the floor of Congress as these men and women kowtow to their special interest contributors at the expense of their sworn patriotic duties. They are an insult to the ideals of the Founding Fathers.

This fact along with the ever-expanding Executive Branch power grab is twisting our republic into something unrecognizable to those brave men of the Revolution. Their hard work and bloodshed have been usurped by self-serving power-seekers disguised as representatives of We the People.

posted by Man_with_the_muck_rake at 07:24 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #


I am both in college and a Republican. I supported the war as well.

Because I am a veteran am I suddenly ENTITLED to have my opinion?

NavyLt, don't worry about GZ. He's strongly opinionated but I doubt he's ever made a sacrifice. I don't doubt that you and I have seen and felt the effects of the war on terror being that we have put our lives on the line for it.

posted by MikeyA at 08:19 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

NavyLt, don't worry about GZ. He's strongly opinionated but I doubt he's ever made a sacrifice

Actually, if memory serves me correct, I've seen posts, or perhaps just a post, from GZ where he referred to himself at one time "being in the service, or "when I got out of the service", or something along those lines. I'm not going to search through his many posts to verify this, and if I'm wrong I apologize (especially to GZ).

The Max Blumenthal video snippet was entertaining but if you want to watch something with real guts and juice see the film "Iraq For Sale", as mentioned on historymike's blog.

This has become, or perhaps always was, a war about profiteering from said war. It's beyond sickening and it should be beyond whatever political party you might be affiliated with.

posted by McCaskey at 09:51 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

I am both in college and a Republican. I supported the war as well.

Because I am a veteran am I suddenly ENTITLED to have my opinion?

I'm just following the rules that Republicans have set for Gore, Moore and Edwards...

posted by SensorG at 10:14 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

I'm just following the rules that Republicans have set for Gore, Moore and Edwards... most Republicans don't believe that you have to serve to have an opinion. Those that do are an ignorant few because there are more than enough Republicans out there who set military policy without having served.

McCask - Notice my wording. I said "I doubt". I never said he didn't. There is a difference.

posted by MikeyA at 10:29 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

It is statements like the following that disrupt any hope of positive communication between Americans who have differing views on political issues:

McCask - Notice my wording. I said "I doubt". I never said he didn't. There is a difference

Actually, there is little difference because the intent of your statement was crystal clear.

posted by Man_with_the_muck_rake at 10:51 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

Actually, there is little difference because the intent of your statement was crystal clear.

muck don't try to put words into my mouth.

I said what I said because I do doubt GZ has sacrificed for anyone other than his family or himself.

At no time did I say he didn't served in the armed forces. He directly challenged NavyLt's statement. Taking issue with those who have served on this board seems to be GZ's specialty. At one point his words to Paul Hem were so offensive JR had to remove them. That's a fact.

If GZ is a veteran then guess what I still have an issue with him. If he is a veteran he knows full well the rules under which we operate and he should at least show some respect toward that. I work with a few veterans groups and despite the differences in ages and wars we all should respect the inherent fact that we served under the rules of war.

What McCask was implying was that I was denouncing GZ for not having served, not the case. McCask was, I believe, in a way trying to give GZ's statements credibility to where no one would challenge them. Well guess what I challenged him. He has done it to enough people on here so since he opened Pandora's box then he should feel it's wrath as well.

GZ throws a lot of libelous words on here and is often not challenged. Today I challenged him. I challenged his level of sacrifice. He often berates others but gives little in the form of solutions. Typical of most Toledoans I know.

So don't try to accuse me of not communicating positively when I was merely coming to the aid of someone who was attacked by another, who seems to only ever attack.

Good day sir.

posted by MikeyA at 11:27 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

My military service (4yr USAF, 3yr ANG) has nothing to do with my status as a citizen nor about the validity of my judgment about military matters. You could say that I was sacrificing something, for all those years I spent under 1600FT of rock (i.e. Cheyenne Mt.) in NORAD. I was hardly safe under all that rock, since one minor, nuclear-tipped cruise missile from the Soviets could have easily winged its way into the open tunnel and then brought the mountain down on my head.

But all that's irrelevant. I was engaging in defense (against a Soviet missile barrage), which is the only, morally valid way to conduct a military operation. What possible defensive action is occurring in Iraq? There is none. The USA invaded without any real justification, and then uses other faux justifications to remain there. Meanwhile, GIs are getting their balls shot off by running them back and forth outside the Green Zone like target chickens in some sick circus game. That's not a sacrifice, since a sacrifice is defined as fulfilling some purpose. Those soldiers don't believe they're being sacrificed for OIL, but they are.

Getting the troops OUT of that meat-grinder is the ultimate expression of respect. In fact, I have a plan for those 150K troops ... they should be sent to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia to apprehend bin Laden and the entirety of his Al Qaeda organization. Do any of you remember Osama bin Laden? 911? World sympathy? Ring any bells?

Of course, that's not aligned with the goal of stealing oil from Iraq and Iran, now, is it? So that will never happen. That's why we have 10 TIMES AS MANY troops in Iraq (where bin Laden has never been) instead of Afghanistan (which has admitted harboring him).

What WILL happen is an eventual withdrawal of troops and other personnel sometime after 2012, much in line with the scurrying around in the Fall of Saigon. The Empire never learns. It only hates and acts.

posted by GuestZero at 11:28 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

Here's Iraq for Sale in it's entirety.

I saw this film at the library last year at a public screening. What struck me most is that I was probably the youngest person there by 20 years for a film that is timely, relevant both now and in the future, and compelling. It was also a somewhat sparse turnout compared to other films I've seen there.

This film and Why We Fight are worth watching more than once:
Why We Fight

posted by charlatan at 11:33 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

(Sorry, Mikey. I was writing my posting while you were posting yours. I need to learn to reload the page right before I post.)

Mikey, you can toss out legalistic terms all you want. There's no libel in my statements and I frankly dare you to assert the contrary in a court of law instead of the court of public opinion.

I've already proposed many times the solution to the Iraq Problem. The problem is us. You don't "negotiate" the end to a rape; you remove that dick and submit to justice. The US must pull out, so to speak.

Instead of raping Iraq and setting lustful eyes on Iran's phat booty, the USA needs to go after bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network. PERIOD. That is NOT what is going on in Iraq. By virtue of the unwarranted invasion and occupation, Iraq is just turning into another lawless and violent Middle Eastern territory that is so useful to terrorists, in their goal of obtaining and training recruits. Note well that a lawless Iraq is also useful to Western oil companies as they essentially steal Iraq's oil. After all, there's no Hussein regime to sell oil in the Euro, now, is there?

Of course, none of that realignment of the US military will happen since our Beloved Leaders are thoroughly corrupted financiers who love warfare and oil. Human life means nothing to them -- only money and power do. A moral people would at least have removed them from various offices by now. Since Americans are no longer a moral people, the farce continues.

P.S. Thanks for the ref, Char. I did see "Why We Fight", which is available in the Toledo / Lucas County Public Library (for the folks like Mikey who seem to not understand). I watched Ike sit there and explain his possible future, which became our present. He explained that we had to avoid being dominated by military-industrial complex if democracy in the USA was to survive. Unfortunately, Ike should have been better read or something, since earlier social commentators and philosophers well noted that once the people could be bribed with their own tax money, the end of the Republic was achieved. American Fascism was essentially born in the organizations that Ike saw first hand. WWII allowed American industrial leaders to assume complete control over American socio-economics. What has happened past that point is merely a matter of keeping scores and tallies. The Republic died and what was left in its place was a bloodthirsty Empire that would kill anyone for what it wanted.

posted by GuestZero at 11:52 A.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

NavyLt, don't worry about GZ. He's strongly opinionated but I doubt he's ever made a sacrifice

If you weren't referring to his possible military service (and now we all know he did in fact serve and sacrifice) what other possible 'sacrifice' could you be questioning?

posted by McCaskey at 12:05 P.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

I watched Ike sit there and explain his possible future

Funny that if Ike said those things today, he'd be labeled as a "looney leftie". GZ did you pick up any of John Perkins' books yet?

posted by Chris99 at 12:12 P.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

McCask, I am glad you asked.

GZ was referencing the War on Terror. Something that NavyLT and I had to serve through.

Our sacrifice is uniquely different. Yet GZ is convinced it doesn't exist and the term has been hijacked.

The truth is it is real. I was never stationed on a forward base, yet I felt the effects of the GWOT. I had my office evacuated due to an unmarked package. I've had days where I could not go into my barracks (a low level security area) without showing my I.D. card.

Instances such as these are not the same as it was 7, 10, 20 and 30 yrs ago in the service.

As far as sacrifice I'm talking about the GWOT as it pertains to home. He refuses to sacrifice what he views as a right (which most times isn't) for the good of the many.

He feels he's entitled to walk across bridges and enter heightened security places without giving up any "rights". This was from a debate earlier on the new bridge opening.

NavyLt understands that the GWOT will affect everyone and means in order to remain safe EVERYONE will have to sacrifice.

That is what I meant by sacrifice. Not military service.

But knowing now he has served and treats service members with the gall he does makes his actions even more disgusting.

posted by MikeyA at 03:19 P.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

The truth is it is real. I was never stationed on a forward base, yet I felt the effects of the GWOT. I had my office evacuated due to an unmarked package. I've had days where I could not go into my barracks (a low level security area) without showing my I.D. card.

You really think that you felt the effects of the war on terror because you had to show your ID for a few days to get into you military barracks?

What a joke...

posted by SensorG at 04:06 P.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

A few thoughts:

1. The original point of the post was to point out the hypocrisy of well-heeled young College Republicans - tomorrow's political leaders - being gung-ho for a disastrous war based upon deceitful premises for which they will never see action. America saw much the same sorts of pious-but-clueless college-age elites in the early years of Vietnam, pontificating about sacrifice whilst hiding behind a college deferment.

2. Most patriotic citizens serve the country in the manner for which they are most capable. Sometimes that takes the form of an overseas military deployment, sometimes it means a stateside military period of service, and sometimes it is found in non-military actions in our own neighborhood. This whole "MY form of civic duty is better/more manly/of greater merit than YOURS" reminds me of kids on a playground. Heck: I saw combat duty in the North Toledo riot in 2005 - do I get a shiny medal? (Note: sarcasm alert - I am not equating the daily dangers faced by military personnel in Baghdad with me dodging bricks and teargas on Mulberry).

3. I have never served in the military, though with my 20/600 uncorrected vision I doubt they would want me. Still, if my country was under attack, I would find a way to defend it, even if this was of the pitchfork-and-Molotov-cocktail variety against invaders. Unfortunately, we are not under invasion, although there is a very real threat that the Iraq War will be responsible for an exponential increase in the number of fanatics who now have concrete evidence (in their eyes) of American imperialism for their acts of terror. If you doubt that, ask yourself this question: "How many terrorists were in Iraq under Saddam Hussein?" Answer: zero.

4. While I disagree with GuestZero on a few issues, he always provides well-reasoned, insightful, and well-cited arguments, and it is a pleasure to know that there are more than a few non-partisan free thinkers in this area.

posted by historymike at 08:23 P.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

You really think that you felt the effects of the war on terror because you had to show your ID for a few days to get into you military barracks?

What a joke...

First off Sensor. I ASKED to go to Iraq at the begining of the augments for OIF 2. I was respectfully denied.

You think of things such as those two examples I gave (and there are more) as just inconveniences. Well let me tell you they aren't. Guys like me and NavyLt have to live under a larger banner of terrorism.

Bases that were once considered "safe" are no longer. Just ask any family of a soldier in New Jersey after they found out they were very close to becoming a target. That was my point in my original post to NavyLT.

The point was that he and I both can realize that the GWOT DOES EXIST because we both lived with it.

Have you ever been told what to and what not to travel in because you may be specifically taken hostage? Have you ever gone overseas but before you go they tell you "Hey don't take off your shirt because if they see the Eagle Globe and Anchor on your back they'll know you're a Marine and kill you."?

For us the GWOT has and still is a part of our daily life. GZ, being a veteran, should understand that we follow orders whether we like them or not. Instead he chose to marginalize our service and the threat we face in our DAILY life.

You think of what guys like NavyLt, my brother, and everyone else serving as an inconvenience but the truth is sometimes it's scary going to work. Sometimes it's scary putting on our uniform. We can't show that. We have to show to our wives and children that the reason we do it is bigger and better than the fear. That even if the worst were to happen our sacrifices would be worth it.

I know I don't look at being called up in the middle of the night because the base was told through the chain of command that a "credible" threat had been found and our base (which was normally a safe base) was the target and you'd have to get up and stand at the gates as extra security. I know my wife didn't think so when she waited up all night wondering if and when something would happen. So excuse me if I am a little offended at the comments of some on this board. Why, because my family has lived it.

posted by MikeyA at 09:06 P.M. EST on Thu Jul 19, 2007     #

" Like the current Republican leaders who skipped out on Vietnam, the GOP's next generation would rather cheerlead from the sidelines for the war in Iraq while other, less privileged young men and women fight and die."

What were the draft dodger Clintons doing when Vietnam was in full force?Republicans weren't the only ones avoiding military service during that time!

posted by buckeye277 at 01:28 P.M. EST on Sat Jul 21, 2007     #

Along the lines of Iraq for Sale and Why We Fight, this is slated for release end of July:

posted by McCaskey at 06:16 P.M. EST on Sat Jul 21, 2007     #

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