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Weird coincidences, part II

Haven't posted much on politics lately, but this was an interesting convergence of topics. Yesterday there was a colloquy on Instapundit about Army recruiting shortfalls, with comments from Steven denBeste and Floyd Clark, the latter of whom compared what the Army is doing WRT use of civilians to what the Mobile Infantry of Heinlein's Starship Troopers did, i.e using civilians for a lot of noncombat roles formerly filled by troops assigned to headquarters and service units.

Remainder below the cut to spare those not terribly interested in politics.

I note that this discussion came about less than a week after the chickenhawk argument broke out again thanks to Atrios, who caught flak from (among others) Blackfive and Reverend Sensing of One Hand Clapping. Tigerhawk made the point that Atrios was essentially buying into the argument underlying the society Heinlein described in Starship Troopers, namely, that nobody besides veterans deserved a voice in how the government is run or what policies it follows. Pretty weird argument for a lefty; most folks on that side of the political fence in fandom usually condemned Heinlein as a fascist for that book, after making the classic critical error of conflating the author's views with those of his characters.

I've had the "chickenhawk" argument thrown in my face before, and it tells me that I'm not dealing with someone interested in a serious discussion of the issues, because as Christopher Hitchens pointed out, it's an absurd argument that has no logical underpinning whatsoever. The fact that's it's being trotted out again as a way of "shaming" pro-war conservatives doesn't make it any more logical or convincing.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 11th, 2005 05:28 am (UTC)
Worth noting is Heinlein's statement that the word 'veteran' in that novel is not limited to people who have served in the Military. In one of his essays (can't remember off the top of my head, and besides, it's 0130, gimme a break) he states that anyone who worked civil service for a required length of time could be considered a 'veteran'. I was gonna post more, but I can't think right at this hour.
Jul. 11th, 2005 11:30 am (UTC)
This is true, but the civil service jobs were just as dangerous as the military...and most of Heinlein's critics couldn't be bothered to read that closely anyway.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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