Posted by: quiscus | June 9, 2011

June 9, 2011



“The “Cheney Brigades”: A Second Chance for War Advocates to Fight


My friend and colleague Ted Galen Carpenter suggests creating a system of conscription based on implied consent. Favor launching more than one war every five years and you get drafted into the armed services, proposes Ted. Since we are all living longer, he advocates raising the eliibility age to 50.

But the idea of a draft seems so, well, ugly. Service should be forced, since people, like Mr. Cheney, often don’t recognize what is good for them in time, but it would be better to give the system an upbeat name, such as the Military Extended Service Opportunity. That sounds too bureaucratic, however. It is a noble enterprise, creating “second chance brigades” for those who found themselves too busy promoting wars to serve in them when they were young. Congress might want to name the program after a figure who inspires us all–giving honor where honor is due, you might say–and call them the Cheney Brigades.

A person should be called up for service in a Cheney Brigade if he or she has not previously served in the armed forces and has:

• supported any war which manifestly had no possible, plausible, or conceivable relationship to American security, such as World War I, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Kosovo, or Libya;

• advocated going to war “for democracy,” to “spread democracy,” or to “make the world safe for democracy,” as in World War I;

• urged intervening or extending intervention to reconstitute a central government, rebuild a nation, or remake a society, as in Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan;

• promoted “mission creep” in a military operation originally sold as limited or not even a real war, such as Somalia and Libya;

• promised that invading another nation or overthrowing another regime would be a “cakewalk” or otherwise simple, short, easy, and quick, as in Iraq and Libya;

• pushed for a war using lurid but exaggerated or false atrocity stories, as in the Spanish-American War, World War I, Iraq War I, Kosovo, and Libya;

advanced a militaristic and interventionist foreign policy with thoughtless bromides and clichés, such as “if America doesn’t do it, who will,” “what’s the use of having this wonderful military if we don’t use it,” “we spent a larger share of the GDP on the military before,” “we have vital interests there (and everywhere),” “we have the responsibility since we have the ability,” “we must destroy the nation to save it,” “all we have to do is cut entitlements,” “it’s a dangerous world,” “defense is in the Constitution,” and “kill them all and let God sort them out.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: