Generation Chickenhawk: The Unauthorized College Republican National Convention Tour

(The Huffingtonpost has had technical issues all day. I will have a Youtube link available shortly.)

On July 13, 2007, I visited Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, where the bodies of American soldiers killed in Iraq were freshly interred. Afterwards, I headed across the street to the Sheraton National Hotel, owned by right-wing Korean cult leader Sun Myung-Moon, to meet some of the war’s most fervent supporters at the College Republican National Convention.

In conversations with at least twenty College Republicans about the war in Iraq, I listened as they lip-synched discredited cant about “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.” Many of the young GOP cadres I met described the so-called “war on terror” as nothing less than the cause of their time.

Yet when I asked these College Repulicans why they were not participating in this historical cause, they immediately went into contortions. Asthma. Bad knees from playing catcher in high school. “Medical reasons.” “It’s not for me.” These were some of the excuses College Republicans offered for why they could not fight them “over there.” Like the current Republican leaders who skipped out on Vietnam, the GOP’s next generation would rather cheerlead from the sidelines for the war in Iraq while other, less privileged young men and women fight and die.

Along with videographer Thomas Shomaker, I captured a vivid portrait of the hypocritical mentality of the next generation of Republican leaders. See for yourself.

74 thoughts on “

  1. Gabe

    This is just so painful to watch, but it’s an important reminder of who the republican party really is. It’s these elitst assholes who have duped nutjob christians into an unholy alliance that has taken this country down the drain. why the right never takes cheney, bush and others to task for never serving in the military or in a war (and if you believe bush actually did anything in the texas air national guard, you are sadly mistaken) and putting so many young lives on the line is beyond me.

    real working families out there who have loved ones in Iraq need to see more footage like this and remember that the GOP does not have their best interest at heart. according to these douchebags, wars are to be fought by those who aren’t priveleged like them. i guess they think working class and minority kids are expendable, no?

    what it must be like to be these guys.

  2. Bubbleburster

    I have two questions for Max:

    1. During the Bosnia war, a draft dodger President
    sent the air force to bomb Serbs. Were liberal
    supporters of these operations also “chicken
    hawks”?

    2. Instead of bashing these Republican “chicken
    hawks”, why not support a universal draft for everyone,
    regardless of political opinion?

    In a few years, a Democratic President may wage war
    or initiate limited battles, just as FDR, Truman,
    Johnson,and Clinton did.

  3. Michael

    As a Military Officer who has served in Afghanistan, I applaud your video. I get sick of listening to Chickenhawks and their pampered kids about how the sacrifice and the sacrifice of my friends isn’t commensurate to the sacrifice of previous generations. These people are unthinking capitalist wannabees.

  4. Gabe

    Max –

    You know you’ve backed people into a corner when all they can throw at your are some of the weakest comments/counter-arguments I’ve read in on a political blog for some time. This Clint guy should be embarrased to even think his comment to you is even close to discrediting what you did. Not that I’ve ever found young Republicans to ever really debate an issue, but that’s beside the point. So he’s faulting you for coming into their sheltered world under false pretenses? So what? So he’s mad because you caught them as they really are rather than what they would have presented to you? Also, he’s faulting you for not serving yourself while asking them why they aren’t? LAME, my friend, but no surprises here from the chickenhawk generation. We aren’t the ones who wanted to go to war and aren’t the ones who want us to continue in this disaster, so you really can’t point the finger back at liberals for not wanting to serve. This is YOUR president and YOUR war, so why don’t you get out there and fight it?

    I hope Clint lets us know if he actually does apply to be a jag officer. Easy thing to say, but let’s see if he actually follows through. Could you let us know, Clint? We’d be thrilled to know one of you actually did do something useful for your war.

    Finally, to Jone, who gets the prize for the weakest comment of all on this: how exactly is asking these guys why they won’t fight the same as asking young democrats why they won’t go to Iraq to ask militants to stop hurting innocent lives? again, this is not our war, and any ensuring chaos is this administration’s fault. why would anyone opposed to this disaster be asked to do that? Max’s point here is that the next generation of GOP leaders are just as full of it as the one leading this country right now. And they need to be seen for the elitist cowards that they are.

    Tell a single mom barely making ends meet with a son in Iraq that you’re not going to serve in Iraq even though you believe 100% in the decision to go there (and want to keep the troops there in harms way) that you aren’t serving because of your bum knee or because you just can’t pass up the chance to attend the country’s #1 business school. you wouldn’t be able to do it face-to-face, i promise you that.

  5. oolitic

    #45 Lizard.
    It appears that anything you disapprove of is “treasonist”.
    Do you, per chance, avidly watch Bill O’Reiley?
    You might find some common ground on his show as he too
    is a jackass.

  6. simuvac

    This video scared the fuck out of me. Not so much because it revealed a collection proto-fascist youths about as stupid as they are hypocritical, but because I know those stupid fascist kids have no counterpart, no countercultural movement to oppose them. The opposition is largely absent. While College Republicans devote themselves to empty slogans and aggressive careerism, most of the other college kids drown themselves in self-pity and lethargy instead of confronting the source of their oppression. This young generation contains largely two types: fascists and neurotics. For every Bible-thumping maniac there is an emo kid drugged up on Ritalin. If some of these kids don’t smarten up and fight back, we will be totally screwed. The bogus War on Terror is going to be escalated by its sponsors in the National Security Complex, and these little Eichmans from the College Republican ranks will be lining up to persecute anyone who stands in their way.

  7. PJ

    Sorry, but your video just reminded me why I’ve dumped a whole lot of left-wing blogs from my regular-check list.

    You begin with a stroll through Arlington. Doesn’t that make you as unprincipled an opportunist as anyone else building reputations on the bodies of the dead?

    You denigrate an entire cohort with silly or misguided comments from a few.

    You got yourself hustled out of the place — as nearly as one can tell from the edited version of the video — primarily for playing the fool. (For similar behavior, you’d have been booted from more than Young Republican meetings.)

    You present no data, not even speculation, that you’d have found more noble or heroic behavior and comments from a group of similarly-well-off young Democrats.

    Sure, those are the Republicans of the future, some of whom may turn out no better than Bush or Wolfowitz. But if you are the future of journalism, that too is bad news.

    And just out of curiosity, have you served in the military? If so, you ought to have indicated it; if not, you ought to keep you mouth shut.

  8. David Bee

    The “Draft College Republicans” bumper sticker is available here:

    cafepress.com/sloganeerinc

  9. Mr Kennedy

    Interpretive dance–how childish. And why did you hit that old lady in the back of the head?

    I’ll nver understand the Chicken Doves. They will vandalize military recruitment stations and smear feces all over the office, but only after hours when the center is closed. They burn American soldiers in effigy, but never when a soldier is nearby. It is clear to see that they hate the American soldiers, as they openly aid and abet the enemy, but these Chicken Doves lack the guts (like their draft-dodging icon Bill Clinton) don’t have the courage to go to Iraq and fight the American troops. These are the types who, if their family was attacked, would run away. They’re nothing but cowards.

  10. Queer Vegan

    Awesome video!

    These children have no idea what they are talking about. Too bad they are not using college to expand their minds.

    I wonder what the fine Americans at http://www.iava.org/ think of these young pro-war, anti-service views?

    Whenever g.w. bush or any of his war profiteering administration visit Arlington or any soldier’s grave to feign concern or gratitude we should all be disgusted with the disrespect and defilement.

    Keep up the good work Max!

  11. Bobby

    Hey Max!

    Saw your video on the recommended list at Dailykos. I love it!
    So funny! Brilliant! Thanks for doing it. Keep up the good work!

    Bob

  12. Steve F

    I really loved the video, but just out of fairness, how many College Republicans did say there were gong to join the military with the intention of fighting in Iraq?

  13. Charlie

    Judging from Lizard’s numerous and largely incoherent posts, the suppressed guilt of supporting Bush’s illegal war of conquest must be taking its toll on his mind.

    Great doc Max!

  14. suburban bushwacker

    Dear max
    I’d not encountered your work before i saw the video on milk and cookies this evening.
    You are a genius! Your contribution to the war on stupidity is much appreciated.
    These conservative lackwits must be mocked at every opportunity.
    Please sue for the assault and spend the settlement on further acts of mockery.
    As we say in england ‘well played sir’

  15. Koulo Johnson

    I’m so glad I found your blog! Max Blumenthal has a
    place to stay in California if needed. I was at an
    Anti War demonstration (2 years ago) when the war in
    Iraq still had strong public backing. I could see
    some people (of draft/war fighting age) going about
    their business just like any other day while their
    fellow countrymen died. It was a candle light vigil,
    on the Corner of Ocean Ave and Wilshire in Santa
    Monica. An SUV with about 4 military aged, able
    bodied men drove by, and shouted out, “Get a job!” to
    people participating in this vigil…to him I screamed,
    “Put your ass in uniform!” “IF YOU’RE FOR THE WAR,
    THEN JOIN IT!” I did get some strange stares from
    more peace loving people in the group, but it was
    at that moment I realized that many at the time who
    were saying they were for the war, were only for it..
    as long as they didn’t have to sacrifice anything. Any
    able bodied young Republican who is truly for the US
    and it’s war in Iraq should be just as able as someone
    his/her own age to drop everything they are doing, to
    support the US. To his credit, that’s what Pat
    Tilman did. Perhaps they are afraid of what might
    happen to them if they really put their body where
    their mouth is. Until we see these war loving young
    Republicans do that, it’s nothing but misdirected
    talk and no action. The only thing they prove are
    their hypocrisies. The problem Bush faces is that
    none of these kids are really thinking about Iraq or
    the soldiers outside of their group meetings. If it
    was such an important issue, then the armed forces
    wouldn’t be facing such a shortage of people. These
    should be the first to go when and if a draft is
    called for.

  16. Robert Salazar

    It always amazes me how you attempt to smear Republicans as hypocrites.

    The left is more so. For instance, why don’t the liberal left donate 75% of their wealth and give iit to the poor? Instead of giving concerts for Katrina victims, why didn’t any liberal left wingers open their homes to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Also, why is that the liberal left refuse to fly their private planes and join the rest of the people flying commercial jets, in coach.

    Liberals! You are all a bunch of hypocrites!

  17. Dandy Walker

    I served in the military, am I allowed to support the Iraq war? Is it okay to be against house fires and not be a fireman? Too bad for you and your kind that the surge is working. As House Majority Whip James Clyburn said it would be “a real big problem for us” if General Petraeus had a positive report of life in Iraq during his September report to Congress. But of course he is just a right-wing stooge, isn’t he?

  18. Danny Fields

    The person who wrote that
    you waisted time w. your
    (nevertheless) enchanting
    dance were right. you’are
    indeed on the way to being
    as brilliant as John Stewart
    and Michael Moore. Keep it
    up, and think of most min-
    utes alloted to you to be
    effective. Brilliant,
    brilliant stuff.
    Danny

  19. sidney moss

    Dear Max; I am very impressed and am deeply appreciative of your high investigative skills.I agree with you that Lieberman and his followers willing to joing the right wing of Hagee,De Lay, Family Research Council are moving in a dangerous direction for the Jewish people. Please keep me posted and a chance to comnent without the difficulty I have right now.

    Sid Moss Aug 12, 07

  20. Operation Yellow Elephant

    Mr. Blumenthal-

    Thanks so much for “Generation Chickenhawk.”

    We warmly welcome you to Operation Yellow Elephant, a non-partisan grass roots citizens initiative to Support Our President by encouraging his strongest supporters, if qualified [healthy heterosexuals 41-or-under], to volunteer for military service.

    One technical point: While the College Republicans are undoubtedly future Chickenhawks, there’s still time for at least some of them to find the courage within themselves to Be A Man! Enlist! That’s why we call them “Yellow Elephants.” “Chickenhawks,” on the other hand, are too old to serve; what they did or did not do decades ago has less direct relevance to our military’s urgent recruiting needs, because they’re not eligible to serve.

    That’s why we focus on encouraging all those healthy heterosexual young men at pro-war rallies to Man Up and volunteer.

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