That "chickenhawk nonsense"

An apologist for the Iraq war explains why he can't be bothered to serve.

Published May 9, 2005 4:36PM (EDT)

At least eight U.S. troops were killed in Iraq over the weekend, taking the U.S. death toll well over the 1,600 mark.

But the real news from the weekend? The National Review Online's primary Iraq apologist, Jonah Goldberg, finally explains why he can't be bothered to put his own life on the line in the war he believes is so critical. In response to repeated questions about why his "sorry ass isn't in the kill zone," Goldberg ticks off a list of reasons -- "I'm 35 years old, my family couldn't afford the lost income, I have a baby daughter, my a** is, er, sorry" -- but says that "no answer" he gives would "ever seem to suffice."

Not to pile onto the "chickenhawk nonsense" that Goldberg finds so offensive, but . . . he's right.

As Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas Zuniga notes today -- and yes, he did serve in the U.S. Armed Forces -- any number of the soldiers who have fought and died in Iraq could have offered up the same litany of excuses Goldberg provides: The eligibility age is now 38, there is almost always financial hardship associated with serving, lots of fallen soldiers have left young children behind, and we're betting that not everyone who turns up at the local recruiting station is in fighting shape.

So "chickenhawk nonsense"? Sure, Jonah. Tell us all about it as soon as you're back from the front.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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