Roast the chickenhawks

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Posted by andreas from ( on Wednesday, October 02, 2002 at 5:28AM :

Creative Loafing

Roast the chickenhawks

Chambliss wants you to make the supreme sacrifice he dodged


Down in SOUTH-CENTRAL Georgia, among the rattlers, boll weevils and other vermin, is a breeding ground for what once was an endangered species of foul fowl -- a flock that has found new life after discovering that its favorite food, carrion (preferably dead children and women), would soon be in more than ample supply.

This bird can easily be recognized by its bright plumage, all yellow, its propensity to turn tail and run at the slightest threat, and its trademark screech, "saaacks-BEE! saaacks-BEE!"

Its Latin name is opportunisticum cowardisien," but it is, of course, best known as the ... chickenhawk.

Nourished by fantasies a la John Wayne (a world-class chickenhawk in his day), the heady aroma of war profiteering and faux patriotism, the breed is no longer in peril of extinction. Indeed, watchers (but hardly any in the mainstream media, especially the sad AJC, which, apparently, hopes cheerleading the neocon War Party will boost circulation after all else has failed) report that the nation's capital is butt-to-belly with chickenhawks, many roosting at the White House and in Congress.

These birds are defined as creatures who belligerently advocate violent military solutions to political problems, but who dodged opportunities to serve in uniform during wartime. In some cases, offshoots of the breed were forced into fatigues, but used influence to keep them far away from the bombs and bullets. In all cases, DNA tests show the birds to be congenital cowards in the face of fire.

As you read this, Congress is being bullied into granting aspirant world emperor George Bush (see "Chickenhawk Headquarters" below) a blank check to go to war with Iraq and against any other "threat" (as determined solely by those who have so, so much to gain politically and financially from a permanent global conflict). A vote is possible as early as this week.

For senators and representatives, the club cynically wielded by the White House is the dilemma of either handing Bush what amounts to dictatorial power or being subject to charges of lack of patriotism.

It's bullshit, of course, and morally bankrupt (do you think the Lord would bless the high-altitude bombing of a city, killing tens of thousands of innocent civilians, to win an election?).

When the vote comes in the House, Chickenhawk First Class Saxby Chambliss will salute and help lead the charge. "I fully support the president," the goldenrod-hued Chambliss blustered in a statement Sept. 12.

Like all chickenhawks, Chambliss believes that you should be willing, even grateful, to make the supreme sacrifice so that voters will overlook a crumbling economy, mega-billion-dollar thievery in corporate boardrooms, the corruption of the public sector, the gang-rape of the nation's and world's environment, and, most urgently, an administration whose culpability (at the very least, extraordinary negligence) in contributing to the carnage of 9-11 becomes more apparent with each day's headlines. Not to mention such ditties as the failure of the "war against terrorism" and little blemishes like the mass-murder war crimes of our Afghan allies, long reported in the world media and belatedly noted this month by the U.S. press in a Newsweek report.

So, you see, a grand and spectacular war is something for which you should be willing to lay down your life -- or that of your children.

But among those who Chambliss and other chickenhawks exclude from the holy privilege of horrible death on the battlefield are, well, themselves.

Chambliss' opportunity came during the Vietnam conflict. This super-patriot, kick-ass, all-American guy could have signed up and found glory in the rice paddies. Un-unh. Not Saxby. He cowered behind student deferments and then a football injury to his knee (that somehow never much interfered with his athletic endeavors).

Moreover, he wasn't exactly forthcoming about his "send the other guy" ploys, which certainly raises questions about his integrity as he seeks to move his chickenhawk-feathered rear end to the U.S. Senate.

The unheroic conduct "is absolutely not an issue," Chambliss has pouted, and I'm sure he wishes his was the last word on the matter. In lieu of actually putting his quivering flesh on the front lines, Chambliss offered the lame defense to the Chattanooga Times Free Press that "nobody has been a stronger supporter of the men and women who wear the uniform than Saxby Chambliss."

In other words, good ol' Saxby is steadfastly behind our soldiers and sailors -- way behind them, like thousands and thousands of miles behind them. When the boys and girls come home in body bags, Saxby will be the first to shed a tear (making sure the photographers get a good shot of his sorrow).

But, since he is trying to unseat a true American war hero, Democratic Sen. Max Cleland, Chambliss' yellow stripe is very much debatable. Chambliss himself elevated the squall to hurricane strength when he claimed Cleland violated his oath to protect and defend America in a 1997 vote on a chemical weapons treaty.

The senator's vote did no such thing. (At stake was a scheme by the radical Jesse Helms to undermine sane disarmament. Cleland voted with a 56-44 majority that included 20 military heroes and 11 Republicans.)

More important, for Chambliss to challenge Cleland's patriotism is just pure odorous offal.

It's not that I totally agree with Cleland. Indeed, while many Democrats have expressed skepticism, concern and outrage at Bush's ultimatum, Cleland last week generally supported the congressional resolution -- but laudably added that he opposed unilateral U.S. action. That's wise considering what Bush seeks is much broader power (endless war) than his dad had in 1990 or that even LBJ achieved via the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.

I wish Cleland -- like his former boss, Jimmy Carter -- had urged that America cease being a rogue power, and stop threatening "first strike" holocaust to any nation that challenges our imperial will.

Saddam Hussein is a loathsome human being. But every argument for invading Iraq (inevitably leading to the need to assert ourselves militarily in a series of wars) falls before real evidence. (See Web links below.) Bush has repeatedly dealt in fears, ignorance and falsehoods to stampede the nation into war. Cleland should have confronted that.

At least, however, the senator has a lifetime of honor, and his position deserves respect. He knows what battle means.

Chickenhawk Headquarters

There's no shortage of chickenhawks in Washington and in the bellicose blowhards in the media. Here's a sampling:

George W. Bush. Dubya lied repeatedly in the 2000 campaign about his "service" in the Texas Air National Guard. The truth is that his family's influence got him into the Guard, jumping over about 100,000 men on the waiting list. Once in, he disappeared from duty -- in military jargon, he went AWOL. And, documents show that he fibbed when he claimed he volunteered for overseas duty -- he specifically refused to volunteer. See:

Dick Cheney. He, too, could have served in Vietnam, but claims he "had other priorities."

John Ashcroft. He was engaged in a nationally critical pursuit of teaching business education during Vietnam.

Administration insiders: Spencer Abraham, Elliott Abrams, Ken Adelman, John Bolton (the most "kill 'em all" fellow at the State Department), Andrew Card, Asa Hutchinson, Richard Perle (leader of the War Party and advocate of regime-changing wars throughout the Middle East), Harvey Pitt (corporate scandal cover-up guy), Paul Wolfowitz (vice-leader of the War Party, who bellows for military dominance of most of Eurasia).

Presidential anointers: Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas.

Sampling of other pols: Lamar Alexander, Tennessee ex-governor, now running for U.S. Senate; soon-to-be ex-Congressman Bob Barr; Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas; ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich; Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas; current Speaker Dennis Hastert; Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn.; Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.

Bloodthirsty pundits: Roger Ailes (Fox), Wolf Blitzer (CNN), Sean Hannity (Fox), Charles Krauthammer (columnist), Bill O'Reilly (Fox), George Will (columnist). And Atlanta's own beloved Neal Boortz (WSB radio; he claims his eyes kept him from flying, but he showed no enthusiasm to join the infantry)

Two others are worth noting.

Generally women don't make the chickenhawk list. But blood-and-guts Barbie doll columnist Ann Coulter, who (among other atrocities) has advocated killing all Arab leaders and forcibly converting their citizens to Christianity, is in the age bracket of Desert Storm veterans. Needless to say, she never risked her own behind.

And, my personal favorite is the Most Devilishly Rev. Pat Robertson, who wants to see Armageddon erupt in the Middle East so he can ascend to the Heavenly Throne and tell The Big Guy what's what. Robertson was a lieutenant during Korea, but his daddy, a U.S. senator, ensured that when his unit went to battle, Pat had duty that kept him in Japan.

For more information on why the imminent war in Iraq is illegal, and on the Bush administration's lies about the conflict, see: -- details how the "regime change" was planned long before Bush was elected. gorman0913.html -- Bush's half-truths, outright falsehoods and illogical statements in his Sept. 12 address to the United Nations. -- Excellent article in The Nation that rebuts the eight principal arguments put forward by Bush for invading Iraq. Also, at are links to protest against the war. -- A Libertarian (as opposed to Boortz's statism masquerading as L-ism) website.

Lest you forget, Senior Editor John Sugg is also 7th District Congressional candidate John F. Sugg. You know Sugg is neither a chicken nor a hawk. Contact him at or at 404-614-1241.

-- andreas
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