An etherealgirl's Adventures in Cyberland

Thursday, July 21, 2005

generation chickenhawk

No substance, questionable style: Max Blumenthal dissects generation chickenhawk.

Raising the musical question: What if they gave a morally bankrupt and highly unethical war and all the rabid supporters of it lacked the cojones to put their bodies where their substantially obnoxious mouths fearlessly tread?

Ummm, that would be... right about where we are now. That's right you neocon privileged kids, you go right ahead and head off to your business and law schools and do your fighting with your words and your keyboards. Just leave the dirty work to the poor and the truly patriotic who dared believe in this bankrupt administration enough to give their very lives for it.

You just keep right on going where you are going because you can run but you can't hide. And I wouldn't for all your trust funds and perks, for one minute trade places with you on the day your conscience catches up with you and you hit that wall of self-revulsion and shame.

And if you really want to know what that looks like, just take a look at the illustrious generation that preceded you. Some of them are still in denial and it is just going to be that much worse when the kool-aid wears off and they have to finally face their part in this God~awful mess.

As for the rest of us who have spent our days in various stages of apathy and slow awakening from this bad dream, we don't get off so easy either. We should have awakened much sooner and fought even harder to keep this mess from happening.

In the end, we are all going to be left with the bill and it is going to be a test of our collective wills trying to get it together enough to pay the collective karmic debt we owe.

I find it fascinating that the right much prefers to compare this debacle to WWII rather than Vietnam despite the obvious. But it is worth noting that the one Republican I hold in the highest esteem of that era was:

1) a hollywood actor

2) technically ineligible due to an under~weight regulation issue

3) who literally had to fight with studio heads and government to fight in that war

You see, nothing, no priority of any kind would keep him from that war because as far as he was concerned there was no higher priority.

That man was Jimmy Stewart. Part of the Hollywood Elite, a man who could have easily opted out due to weight issues and for being a celebrity, but who would not have been able to live with himself if he had done so; in other words, a man of true integrity and honour:

Stewart's life off-screen was as interesting and demanding as his career in films. While he was building his reputation as an actor, the rest of the world was about to go to war. German occupation in numerous countries in the early part of 1940 led Congress to pass the Selective Service Bill — the draft — on September 16, 1940 which called for 900,000 men between the ages of 20 and 36 to be drafted each year. Stewart's draft number was 310. When his number was called and he appeared at his draft board - No. 245 in West Los Angeles - in February 1941, he weighed only 138 pounds, five pounds under the acceptable weight level, but he was able to convince his draft board to accept him. While others tried to avoid the draft, he actually cheated to get into the military. Later, he would actually campaign to see combat.

Jimmy was already a pilot. He bought a plane when he first arrived in Hollywood both because he loved aviation and because he wanted to be able to visit with his family in Pennsylvania between films. He flew cross country many times, navigating by the railroad tracks. In the military, he was to make extensive use of pilot's training. In March 1941, at age 32, he reported for duty as Private James Stewart at Fort McArthur and was assigned to the Army Air Corps at Moffett Field. Throughout the war, he continued to send his agent $2.10 a month (10% of his military pay of $21 a month). He had been earning $200,000 under contract with MGM in Hollywood.

Within a few months, Stewart was promoted from private to commissioned officer. He flew BT-13s at Mather Field where he was transferred in April 1942 as a flight instructor. Later, he achieved the following ranks: Lieutenant, July 1942; Captain, July 1943; Major, January 1944; Lieutenant Colonel, August 1944; and Colonel, March 1945.

Much to his dismay, Stewart stayed stateside for almost two years, until commanding officers finally yielded to his request to be sent overseas. In late 1943, he arrived in Tibenham, England to serve with the 445th Bombardment Group. He was later moved to the 453rd Bombardment Group at Old Buckingham, where Walter Matthau, who was later to become an actor, also served. He flew B17s (The Flying Fortress) and the B24 (Liberator).

Stewart's war record included 20 dangerous combat missions as a command pilot. After another promotion to squadron commander, he became operations officer and from 1944 to 1945 served as chief of staff, 2nd Combat Wing, 2nd Division, 8th Air Force. He so distinguished himself as an officer that he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Clusters, the French Croix-de-Guerre and the Air Medal. After the war he remained active in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and in 1959, was promoted to Brigadier General. Finally, in 1968, he retired from the service, with honor.

While I do not for one minute, believe that the pre-emptive strike that we made (and the aftermath that has followed) towards Iraq in any way compares to the dire necessity of our ultimate involvement in WW II, I have heard this comparison made over and over again by Neo-cons.

If any Neo-con of eligible age truly believes this, then they should be ashamed of themselves for not moving every mountain the way Jimmy Stewart did, to be a part of this effort.

James Maitland Stewart: real men walk their talk

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:55 PM :: 7 Comments:

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