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FYI: I am no neo-con or bush supporter by any means. But i did see Donald Rumsfeld in the chickenhawk list. I don't support him either. But i am pretty sure he served in the military. As i understand chickenhawk, they are ready to bomb anybody, as long as they don't actually have to serve. His name should be removed from your list. Not out of any admiration for him, but to help see the SourceWatch has accurate info.

Here's how Rumsfeld is listed in the "Chickenhawk database":
Name: Donald "The Don" Rumsfeld
Born: 1932
Employer: The U.S. Taxpayer
Conflict Avoided: Korea
Notes: When the shooting started in Korea Rummy here was either 18, or about to turn 18. Not to worry for him, though -- he spent the war at Princeton, wearing a ROTC uniform. Once the war was over he flew jets for the Navy for a few years. Defenders of Rumsfeld will say he's no chickenhawk -- he served, and it's not his fault the war ended before he got his commission. To which others answer, "plenty of farmers and mechanics and kids just out of high school served. Anyone as full of whatever that stuffing in him is, could have tried out for a battlefield commission."
Based on this description, I'd say the question of whether he qualifies as a "chickenhawk" is open to debate, but he is listed in the Chickenhawk Database. If someone thinks his name should be removed from the SourceWatch listing, I have no objection. I don't have an opinion one way or the other. --Sheldon Rampton 03:52, 22 Jul 2004 (EDT)

I think that anyone in the chickenhawk database should be very pro Bush War on terror and has never served in the military. That would be my definition. Sheldon, Rummy was also a pilot trainer in the navy reserves until at least the the Nixon presidency. No, not a chicken-hawk. Rummy has been since Nixon the Republican goto guy when they need an official comfortable shaking hands with devils who presently are the enemy of my enemy. He is a harnesser ot evil that blows into the face of the current adversary. I believe there is one or twoparagraphs in The University of Virginia, Miller Center of Public Affairs' exhibit; The Nixon Presidency — 30 Years After which indicate this, when i run into it again, i'll toss the refs with urls your way. As i recall, my passing thoughts were tangential, but i was there intending to dig up pointers to Nixon evil, so it may have just been obtuse to my purpose, not the article's.

Most of my adds were straight from a NH Gazette chicken hawak DB from a bout a year ago, but i think they are wrong with a few of their listings. I also tried to make sure that the person's added had a pre-existing S/W stub, with a few notable exceptions. I did fudge a bit on referencing Ted Nugent, although I believe he has strongly defended the "war on terror", ascribing a lack of patriotism to its dissenters, and he loves to kill things with his guns, LaPierre because it is humorous that th ehead of the NRA never served in th military. Rep. Chris Cox is an add of mine, i've never seen anywhere else. I did a bit of research on him right when the CBS fakes were coming out, this is recollection only but he was born in 52, which made him 19 in 71, i crosschecked what his lottery number would have been if he was exposed and it was well above what the lottery draft took that year, but he fast-tracked USC straight to Ivy League East coast and springboarded onto Reagan's staff as a soviet wonk. He probably blames Clinton almost entirely for bin Laden and 911, and the only time i visited his site it had a lame reagancomic poll asking voters which of three major American tributes to previous presidents Reagan should overshadow with his own tribute. The truman nickle, An extra head on Mt Rushmore and I can't remember the other one. None was winning by a large margin, and Cox represents Orange County CA, a base of Reagan's. Cox has certainly never apologised publicly for any of Reagan's or his policies that contributed to 911, and he is a very pro war guy. A chicckenhawk.

--Hugh Manatee 06:12, 7 Apr 2005 (EDT)

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-- 13:43, 27 Jun 2005 (EDT)

--Hugh Manatee 13:45, 27 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Relocated the following Chickenhawk "edit" substituted by User:JimmyCarter for original article which I have reinstored. Although it may be accurate in substance, it lacks sourcing. Additionally, User deleted all previous material to substitute his own unsourced article. Artificial Intelligence 04:58, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)

Chickenhawk is an epithet used in United States politics to criticize a politician, bureaucrat, or commentator who votes for war, supports war, commands a war, or develops war policy, but has not personally served in the military, especially one who opted out of a previous war on dubious grounds. The term is generally used in the ad hominem circumstantial context: since a so-called "chickenhawk" has not served in war, the implication is that that person is ill-equipped to support a war. This is usually argued to be the case because of the "chickenhawk's" lack of experience with the true costs of war, or the "chickenhawk's" perceived hypocrisy and lack of moral standing to force others to risk death or injury when they were not willing to risk their own life and limb when given the chance.


Chickenhawk is a compound of "chicken" as in "coward" and "hawk" as in "pro-war," thus a chickenhawk is someone who is in favor of a war as long as someone else does the fighting and dying. While the term may have been used as early as the World War II era, its use was revived circa 1992 in a newsgroup post and later in the printed media on November 15, 2000 article by journalist Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times. He criticized what, in his opinion, was George W. Bush's "chickenhawk stance on the Vietnam War." The term may have been used before that date during campaigning for the 2000 U.S. Presidential election—opponents of Dick Cheney, who never served in the United States armed forces, were upset by his criticism of the Clinton Administration's military policies. Coincidentally Bill Clinton himself not only never fought in combat, he is actually the only U.S. president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt to never have served in the military at all.

Chickenhawk counterarguments

War supporters who have not served in the military have made a number of counterarguments that, they claim, expose fallacies in the chickenhawk argument. Among these points are

  • The Founding Fathers explicitly designed the government of the United States of America so that the military would be subordinate to the will of the people through their elected representatives and the President of the United States of America who are answerable to the ordinary citizenry and the clear implication of the chickenhawk argument is that there ought not to be civilian control of the military.
  • The idea that a veteran would have an inherent moral superiority with regard to military matters is baseless because a veteran could be guilty of war crimes.
  • If only veterans can advocate war, then only veterans have the experience and moral standing to oppose war.
  • The Chickenhawk argument does not, by its nature, respond to the substance of the hawks' arguments.
  • That civilians who are explicitly targeted in war should have the right to voice their views on the conduct of war regardless of whether or not they have served.
  • That a majority of the voting public is ineligible or unlikely to serve in combat, as it includes women, the elderly, men over age 50, the disabled, and homosexuals. Using service as a litmus test for voicing a viewpoint would invalidate the views of most of the nation.
  • That Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt proved capable leaders of the military in wartime, despite having no personal military experience.
  • That extending the Chickenhawk argument into other American political debates would mean that only women should comment on ovarian cancer, only men on prostate cancer, and so forth.
  • Double standard. Many point to the fact that use of the term is applied hypocritically and not equally by political liberals, notably as to Bill Clinton who avoided the draft during the Vietnam War by literally leaving the Western Hemisphere but ordered US soldiers to fight in numerous armed conflicts. (It should be noted that many have argued that Clinton's presidency proves that the American voters do not care about a politician's military service or lack thereof since Clinton defeated two World War Two war heroes despite his complete lack of military service and intentional avoidance of the draft.)

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