Listening to Markos “Kos” Moulitsas wax indignant on his Daily Kos blog about critics of the Taliban “prisoner” swap is like déjà vu all over again. Two thousand four is back, y’all!
Kos, who has never been as relevant since those early days of the Iraq War, dragged out the old “chickenhawk” epithet again to describe anyone who thinks it’s kind of a raw deal, not to mention illegal under the circumstances, to swap five Taliban heavy-hitters for one traitorous soldier who risked the lives of his brothers in arms on several occasions. Said Kos on his blog: “It’s been a while since we’ve heard the squawking of those chickenhawks, always eager to send our people into combat, yet unwilling to serve their nation themselves.”
It would be rather difficult not to know that Markos Moulitsas is an Army veteran since he hasn’t missed an opportunity to mention it in every media appearance he has made since becoming a powerful voice on the blogosphere, circa 2003. He even selected the screen name “Kos” because it was a nickname he picked up during his Army days. Kos spent three years (1989-1992) as an Army medic during which he served at a hospital in Bamberg, Germany. His service is very honorable indeed, and he deserves the same thanks as millions of others who wore the uniform.
Someone ought to tell him, however, that he’s gotten enough mileage out of a three year enlistment that didn’t involve any actual combat. It’s not like he was at Khe Sanh. A man who never fired a shot in anger should probably avoid puffing his chest out as if he were Alvin York.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for him to show a little humility. “I was in the Army!” is his way of saying that he’s got bigger cajones than the next guy. It’s become his retort to everything and it’s wearing quite thin. I was in the US Army too, Kos. So were a lot of people.
His “chickenhawk” comeback is really just a warmed over version of every liberal’s response to well-considered arguments. Though it may take different forms at different times the gist is always the same: Shut up!
Shut up about the administration’s evolving rationale for the trade. Shut up about the illegality of releasing prisoners from Gitmo without congressional oversight. Shut up about an apparent attempt to cover up the fishy circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance. Shut up about the likelihood of these Taliban commanders returning the battlefield. Just shut up already, you chickenhawk!
Kos is not a combat veteran. There’s nothing wrong with that; he claimed to have “missed deploying to the Gulf War by a hair.” He stayed behind in Europe because that’s where the Army wanted him to be.
You know who didn’t miss deploying by a hair? John McCain. He’s been a critic of the Obama-instigated Taliban jailbreak. Said McCain: “Do not trade one person for five hardcore, the hardest of the hardcore murdering war criminals who will clearly reenter the fight and send them to Qatar, of all places, where they will be free to roam, including to the Taliban headquarters there, and then after a year they will be allowed to go back into the fight in Afghanistan.”
I’m not suddenly becoming a latter-day acolyte of John McCain. Though I think he’s been wrong on a number of issues, he still has my respect. The senator earned a spot in the pantheon of American heroes before ever seeking office. As a young Navy pilot he flew dangerous missions over North Vietnam and, like many of his brother aviators, was shot down over enemy territory. For the next five and a half years he endured unthinkable torture and deprivation at the hands of the North Vietnamese. At one point his captors offered to release him on account of his father being a four star admiral but Lieutenant Commander McCain said that he would not accept repatriation unless every other American at the Hanoi Hilton came home with him.
A message to Kos: Don’t get in a cock-measuring contest with this guy. You’ll lose.
Another six men who didn’t miss deploying by a hair were those members of Bergdahl’s platoon who recently told FOX News’s Meghan Kelly that Bergdahl should be court-martialed as a deserter. His battle buddies identified by name six other men who later lost their lives in a fruitless search for Bergdahl. One of them was Lieutenant Darryn Andrews. When Andrews’s family first learned that their son had been killed in action they heard nothing about a search and rescue mission. They were later contacted by other soldiers in the platoon who told them that Lieutenant Andrews had died looking for Bergdahl. They suspect a coverup.
Josh Fuller, an Afghanistan veteran, has now come forward to say that his chain of command enjoined soldiers to lie about Bergdahl’s disappearance. I wonder if these are the “chickenhawks” Kos was referring to.
Shannon Allen, wife of disabled SFC Mark Allen, has blasted the administration’s decision to swap Bergdahl for high-ranking Taliban members. Her husband will never walk or talk again because he was wounded by a sniper’s bullet while searching for Bowe Bergdahl. “Meet my husband, injuries directly brought to you by the actions of this traitor,” she said on Facebook.
Chickenhawks! All of them! Now, granted, SFC Allen didn’t pull dangerous duty like screening sick call patients in Bamberg, but his contribution was enough, I think, not to be called a chickenhawk. Ditto the other members of Bergdah’s unit and Josh Fuller.
Markos Moulitsas became one of the world’s biggest bloggers when he did precisely because the Left needed a war hero on their team to call other people cowards and traitors. It is a sad commentary on the Left that the best they could come up with was Kos and, of course, John “Christmas in Cambodia” Kerry. Moulitsas’s service was honorable but not particularly remarkable or heroic, which makes his ten year marathon of macho posturing rather painful to watch, mostly for his sake. Obviously, no one has told him yet that he looks foolish.