Column: College Chickenhawks

By Eric Naing

This past weekend marked the 56th Biennial College Republican National Convention in Arlington, Virginia. While I don’t have anything against this convention (where else could you see anyone under the age of 80 wear a seersucker suit?), it seems like all these Tucker Carlson wannabees should be meeting in a different place – namely Iraq.

If these College Republicans have enough time to hold conventions every two years (or is it twice a year? I’m too lazy too look up the word “biennial,” but it sounds a little gay to me), then they should have more than enough time to fight the good fight in the Sunni Triangle. The military is in need of troops and seeing as how it’s these young conservatives that always declare their love for this war and for the troops, it seems right that they should enlist immediately.

This past April, the Army missed its recruitment quota by 42 percent while the Army Reserve fell short 37 percent. The Army National Guard missed its recruitment goal by several thousand and the Marine Corps missed its own goal repeatedly for four consecutive months (the last time this happened was ten years ago). From 2003 to 2004, the military’s re-enlistment rate fell by 11.6 percent and 8.7 percent of Army lieutenants and captains left in 2004.

At the convention, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council addressed his audience of young Dick Cheney devotees about the Iraq War saying, “There are some things that are worth fighting for.” He then compared the College Republicans to the troops in Iraq saying, “They’re giving their lives as you’re giving your time.” Amazingly, Mr. Perkins actually managed to say this without a black hole of irony opening up in his mouth and swallowing the entire convention hall.

The troops in Iraq are sacrificing not just their lives, but their families, their health and happiness all to defend this country. But yes, Mr. Perkins, organizing a bar crawl or holding Friday happy hours is pretty much the same thing. Instead of avoiding car bombs, College Republicans avoid hippie drum circles. Instead of fighting against radical, Islamic fundamentalists they fight against radical, left-wing professors. Making the switch from walking to class to walking through Najaf should be easy as pie.

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    The College Republicans attending this convention who cheer the war and call liberals wimps and traitors should be chomping at the bit to sign up for a tour of duty in Iraq. They are all healthy, of military age and seem to really believe in the war. Of course, the College Republicans are not the only chickenhawks amongst us. President Bush famously used his father’s connections to protect the shores of Texas from the Viet Cong in the Air National Guard. And according to Vice President Cheney, he “had other priorities in the ’60s than military service.” Conservative radio king Rush Limbaugh avoided the draft citing medical reasons, namely an “inoperable pilonidal cyst” and “a football knee from high school.” I repeat: Rush’s excuse was his anal cyst and an old football injury.

    Over 1,700 Americans troops have lost their lives in Iraq since the initial invasion. It is downright disgusting that the very people that started this war chose not to help out their own country when they could have. The College Republicans who serve as cheerleaders for the Iraq war still have time to follow their own advice. In this modern day and age, all it would take is a few minutes enlisting on to show how much they truly love their country.

    Recently, a conservative student organization raffled off an AK-47 on this campus. While I was disturbed and angered at the time, I’ve come to rethink my position. These students deserve to have all the assault rifles they want and I know how they can get them – by enlisting in the military. These people wanted this war. These people insist that the war is going great. So, it is only fitting that they should be the ones who fight it.