My dear friend Alex of Sooner Thought engages in misguided cooing over the bizarrely incomprehensible blitherings of poor Sen. Murtha. (As Ann Althouse notes, Murtha sounds like he's (badly) going through talking points someone gave him before the show.)
But mocking decorated Marine veterans is wrong, even when they're wrong. So let me focus on something else: in the comments, Alex engages the tired meme: chickenhawks are BAD! (I love Alex but he got some bad Kool-Aid from the PBS minions he hangs around with.)
Which leads me to an inquiry. It's asserted, by many-most of those in the antiwar camp, that a person with no military background who is pro-war – us chickenhawks, in other words – ought to stand down. If we're the president, we ought to refrain from getting into wars. If we're advisers to the president, we ought to advise against war. If we're bloggers or media figures, we ought to shut up. The reason being – we don't know what we're talking about. We've never been in a war. We've never fought, bled, risked all, died.
I have come to the conclusion that this is exactly correct. Everybody with no military experience or background should stand down on the conduct of the war – questions concerning war should be handled solely and exclusively by those who have fought.
Which leaves my friend Alex silenced, and me as well. It tells our friends in the Congress to – mostly – sit down and shut up. It tells pretty much everybody in the mainstream media (with some honorable exceptions) to stop writing editorials, stop doing analysis, stop doing everything except transmitting raw footage and descriptions of events. Only military veterans get to opine; only military veterans get to decide.
Do anti-war people want to take that deal?
Or do they want to go the opposite route and acknowledge that in a civil society, even people without direct experience of things get a vote, and get a voice?
Because the middle ground – YOUR ignoramuses must be silent, so that OUR ignoramuses may speak – doesn't seem to hold water.