|Chickenhawks As Defined By James Wolcott|
If you were to look up "chickenhawk" in the dictionary, you'd see this face:
That's the haggard visage of Michael Ledeen, neocon luminary and pro-war draft-dodger, famous for the following pro-war sentiment:
'Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.'
Nice. As Wolcott notes, the term shouldn't be used gratuitously, but it should be saved for men like Ledeen, who are not only ecstatic about the "progress" in Iraq, but are also gleefully violent in general...
For me, the working definition of a chickenhawk is--a chickenhawk is a cheerleader. A cheerleader for war. And not necessarily just the war in Iraq, or regional war in the Mideast, but war in general. A chickenhawk glorifies war as an enterprise, enjoying the heroics inside his or her head, mocking those less enthusiastic about military aggression as pacifists, appeasers (Michael Ledeen's pet word), even traitors. Who patronize anyone with qualms, from the Quakers to the Chuck Hagel, with edgy impatience and disdain. Who treat the destruction of human life as a stupendous flourish as long as it's the US doing the destroying--who, that is, propose "creative destruction" on a geopolitical scale as an instrument of transformation. Not to mention an opportunity to teach those desert folks in sandals a lesson upside the head.
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