Our friends on the port side of the blogosphere have had quite a time tossing around funny little nicknames for those of us who support the war on terror and use our blogs to express our convictions about it. We've seen the names here at CQ in the comments section -- the term "chickenhawk" has appeared more than once, and others in the blogosphere have assigned us to a unit called the 101st Fighting Keyboardists.
I've thought about that for a while, wondering what exactly about both epithets appear so fascinating to left-wing bloggers. As a middle-aged grandfather supporting a chronically ill wife, I have few options for doing my part in the war on terror. After 9/11, I spent weeks looking into different options for service while trying to balance my family obligations. Our family found out just three weeks after the attack that the Little Admiral would soon join us, and the implications of terrorism and war weighed heavily on my mind. I resolved to use the skills I had -- writing -- to make the case for fighting a forward strategy against terrorists. Eventually that led me to this blog, but in the interim I argued for a continued muscular offensive against the Islamofascists that had murdered thousands of our fellow Americans.
Is that the same as military service? Of course not. The men and women of the military do the real fighting, and we salute them and support them by supporting their mission. Milbloggers give us the best of both worlds by not only defending our nation and fighting (and beating) terrorists around the globe, but also by reporting on the fight first hand. There is honor in engaging in public debate for policies which we believe are in our nation's best interest as well. For many of us, we know that without presenting our arguments in the national forum, many in the media and the public will quickly overpower the debate and threaten the policies we feel give us the best long-term opportunity to defeat terrorism and the states that fund and shelter them.
Many on the left disagree, however, and often they provide challenging arguments and valuable perspectives on policy and the manner in which it gets implemented. However, many more do little but make ad hominem attacks on those with whom they disagree. They spend a great deal of effort labeling people rather than providing rational arguments on policy, and even the labels they select don't provide much more than amusement.
That's why Frank J of IMAO, Derek Brigham of Freedom Dogs, and I have decided to create -- for real -- the 101st Fighting Keyboardists and adopt the chicken hawk as our mascot. First of all, the term "fighting keyboardist" describes our efforts pretty well, and we think the pseudo-military terminology is pretty danged amusing. Derek himself designed the logo.
All well and good, and I support what Ed, Frank and Derek have started. There's absolutely no reason that civilians shouldn't be able to take a position on the military actions of their country, and the namecalling is nothing but childish. For me, the only time one's lack of military service may be relevant is if one is in a position to make decisions that affect men and women in uniform, someone like, say, the Secretary of Defense (to pick someone at random) and yet one tends to not listen to or care about the opinions of one's military advisers. Just sayin'.
Here's the thing, though. FIAR, over at Radioactive Liberty, has a post noting that a lefty commenter named "barfly" posting the following:
Evidently you don’t know the other definition of chickenhawk. A chickenhawk is also someone who hangs around bus and train stations looking for kids who’ve run away to the big city, so they can hook them into prostituting for them. In other words, a pimp; or in your case a “war pimp” who doesn’t mind talking up a bullshit war on their website in the hopes of “hooking” someone into enlisting in your stead.FIAR says he's never heard of this definition, and Fmragtops chimes in with the comment that barfly left the exact same comment on his blog. They both agree barfly is an idiot, which I have absolutely no doubt he is.
You guys are idiots if you didn’t know this, and we are going to make you regret this little tactic, war pimp. So go ahead and wear your urine-stained t-shirts, so we can point at you and laugh!
But now we come to the big HOWEVER!
However, chickenhawk most definitely does have a sexual connotation, although barfly is wrong about the actual definition.
In fact, Chickenhawk is gay slang that started out being a pejorative term for adult men who liked boys*, but has morphed into a not-so-pejorative term for older men who like younger men. (I believe, though I'm not positive, that the old meaning is still used, too.)
So while barfly is wrong (something I'm sure he's used to), it's still sort of a valid point that calling yourself a "chickenhawk" could be misinterpreted.
I'm not advising any course of action for the Fightin' Keyboardists: I post merely as a broker of information.
And I'm straight, by the way. I feel it's important I point this out only because I don't want to upset the ladies.
(Personal note to FIAR and Fmragtops: I think it's adorable that you would pretend that you've never heard of chickenhawk being used this way, but c'mon, you're not fooling anyone!
*I don't mean to imply here that the gay community has an approving term for adult men who like boys.