Why people become chickenhawks – U.S. Military | All about American forces, Afghanistan, Iraq – Salon.com

30 Jun

Chicken-hawkery thrives in a post-universal-draft world where elites and their progeny don’t have to face the prospect of front-line duty.

For years, chickenhawkery’s roots in this culture of unshared sacrifice have been a matter of theory — albeit a logical, well-grounded theory. But now, thanks to a comprehensive new study, we have concrete data underscoring the hypothesis. It suggests that many Americans’ aggressively pro-war ideology may fundamentally rely on their being physically shielded/disconnected from the human cost of war.

To document this connection, Columbia’s Robert Erikson and University of California at Berkeley’s Laura Stoker went back to the Vietnam War — the last time Americans faced wartime conscription. The researchers analyzed data from the Jennings-Niemi Political Socialization Study of college-bound high schoolers and subsequent interviews of those same high-schoolers from 1965 onward. In the process, they discovered that men holding low draft lottery numbers (and therefore more at risk of being drafted into combat) “became more anti-war, more liberal, and more Democratic in their voting compared to those whose high numbers protected them from the draft.” Importantly, for these men “lottery number was a stronger influence on their political outlook than their late-childhood party identification.” …
No doubt, the antiwar voices who have recently argued for the reinstatement of a draft will find fuel in this Berkeley/Columbia report. They argue that viscerally connecting the entire nation to the blood-and-guts consequences of war will make the nation less reflexively supportive of war — and the new data substantively supports that assertion. That’s why in the midst of (at least) three U.S. military occupations, this report is almost sure to be ignored by our chickenhawk-dominated political class — because it too explicitly exposes the selfish, self-centered and abhorrent roots of the chickenhawk ethos that now plays such an integral role in perpetuating a state of Endless War.

via Why people become chickenhawks – U.S. Military | All about American forces, Afghanistan, Iraq – Salon.com.

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One Response to “Why people become chickenhawks – U.S. Military | All about American forces, Afghanistan, Iraq – Salon.com”

  1. Planck Brandt June 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    The study confirms what the shareholder campaign donors wanted to achieve. By eliminating the draft, they created a society that will support their foreign wars for business. They knew they were in big trouble the last time. That will never happen again. PACs, “money as speech”, and Citizens’ United mean never again will the Mass Democracy threaten the dividends of military shareholders or any other extraction, oil, manufacturing shareholders who rely upon compliant peoples abroad in weak or non-existent democracies to make their quarterly numbers year in and year out. That the top shareholder family offices pay on average 16% effective tax rates for all these expensive military support services for their global businesses, is even more icing on the cake. The joke is on the rest of us as it should be!

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