Whenever I see Dean Barnett’s byline, I know whatever verbiage is dribbled under it will be raging, five-alarm, neon-lit stupid. And I have to look; it’s so ghastly it’s compelling. Sorta like three-day-old road kill.
Here; you can look for yourself, if you dare. You might want to keep some Pepto-Bismol handy.
The basic premise of this monstrosity is that the “9/11 generation” is more patriotic than their dirty bleeping hippie parents.
In the 1960s, history called the Baby Boomers. They didn’t answer the phone.
Confronted with a generation-defining conflict, the cold war, the Boomers–those, at any rate, who came to be emblematic of their generation–took the opposite path from their parents during World War II. Sadly, the excesses of Woodstock became the face of the Boomers’ response to their moment of challenge. War protests where agitated youths derided American soldiers as baby-killers added no luster to their image.
Few of the leading lights of that generation joined the military. Most calculated how they could avoid military service, and their attitude rippled through the rest of the century. In the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, military service didn’t occur to most young people as an option, let alone a duty.
But now, once again, history is calling. Fortunately, the present generation appears more reminiscent of their grandparents than their parents.
Then he goes on for a bit about how he’s been talking to young folks who have enlisted, and then he says,
One of the excesses of the 1960s that present-day liberals have disowned and disavowed since 9/11 is the demonization of the American military. While every now and then an unrepentant liberal like Charlie Rangel will appear on cable news and casually accuse U.S. troops of engaging in baby-killing in Iraq,
There’s no documentation of Charlie Rangel or anyone else on cable news saying any such thing, but let’s go on …
the liberal establishment generally knows better. They “support” the American military–at least in the abstract, until it does anything resembling fighting a war.
In search of a new narrative, 21st-century liberals have settled on the “soldiers are victims” meme. Democratic senators (and the occasional Republican senator who’s facing a tough reelection campaign) routinely pronounce their concern for our “children” in Iraq. One of the reasons John Kerry’s “botched joke” resonated so strongly was that it fit the liberals’ narrative. The Democratic party would have you believe that our soldiers are children or, at best, adults with few options: In short, a callous and mendacious administration has victimized the young, the gullible, and the hopeless, and stuck them in Iraq.
Barnett really hates it when somebody reminds us that the soldiers are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, parents, or have any other identity outside of “soldier.” Awhile back he threw a snit when Nancy Pelosi referred to a 22-year-old Marine as a “young man.”
Then he speaks to some young enlistees who have served in Iraq. I don’t doubt these are fine young people. Oops, excuse me, I’m not supposed to call them “young.” Or “people.” At my age everyone under 40 is “young,” but to acknowledge a soldier is actually human does vex Dean Barnett so. I guess that makes supporting a stupid war that is wasting their lives so much easier. Then he concludes:
It is surely a measure of how far we’ve come as a society from the dark days of the 1960s that things like military service and duty and sacrifice are now celebrated. Just because Washington and Hollywood haven’t noticed this generational shift doesn’t mean it hasn’t occurred. It has, and it’s seismic.
At no point in this mess does Barnett acknowledge that a lot more young Boomer men actually served in Vietnam than are likely to ever serve in Iraq. At no point does he mention there was a draft then and there isn’t now. At no point does he offer actual data to show that fewer Boomer men enlisted for Vietnam than are enlisting today. Lots of young men enlisted back then, actually, and recruitment quotas are not being met now. Why is Barnett so sure Boomer men didn’t enlist at least as often as young folks do today? Did he check? And has anyone ever explained to him that 58,209 Boomers were killed in Vietnam, 305,000 were wounded, and approximately 2,000 remain missing?
Did I mention this is published by the Weekly Standard? Barnett probably got paid for it.
That’s why it’s so easy being Right. Righties doesn’t have to provide documentation. They don’t have to provide data. They don’t have to check facts. They can drool out whatever hate and prejudice and stupidity is clanking about in their squishy little brains, and be rewarded for it.