Another chance for a chicken hawk

Good news for aging supporters of the Iraq war: The Army is raising the maximum age for active-duty recruits.

Published January 19, 2006 4:06PM (EST)

Poor Jonah Goldberg.

The National Review editor and Los Angeles Times columnist has taken a lot of grief for advocating the war in Iraq without volunteering to fight it himself. Goldberg has defended himself -- "I'm 35 years old, my family couldn't afford the lost income, I have a baby daughter," he wrote last year -- but his only real friend is time: Goldberg turns 36 in March, which would put him beyond the Army's cutoff age for new active-duty recruits and out of the path of continuing scorn.

Or at least it would have. As the Associated Press reports today, the Army's recruiting woes have led to a new law that will raise the top age for active-duty recruits from 35 to 42. That gives Goldberg and other chicken hawks his age six more years in which they can sign up for the war they've been happy to have others fight.

But really, why wait that long? Forty-two U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq already this month, and recruiters are waiting by their phones to hear from their replacements.

By Tim Grieve

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

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