Alpine Summit

Friday, July 29, 2005

Academic Bias?

I know I talk a lot about liberal media bias, but there's also academic bias. Even here at the University of Wyoming, a conservative campus by most rights, has plenty of liberal influence. Anyway, Blackfive linked to an op-ed piece by a professor from Stanford who says our troops are nothing but bloodthirsty mercenaries.

THE United States now has a mercenary army. To be sure, our soldiers are hired from within the citizenry, unlike the hated Hessians whom George III recruited to fight against the American Revolutionaries. But like those Hessians, today's volunteers sign up for some mighty dangerous work largely for wages and benefits - a compensation package that may not always be commensurate with the dangers in store, as current recruiting problems testify.

Neither the idealism nor the patriotism of those who serve is in question here. The profession of arms is a noble calling, and there is no shame in wage labor. But the fact remains that the United States today has a military force that is extraordinarily lean and lethal, even while it is increasingly separated from the civil society on whose behalf it fights. This is worrisome - for reasons that go well beyond unmet recruiting targets.

Blackfive looked up the definition of "mercenary" and both definitions mean someone who is solely motivated by money and one who fights in a foreign army. Neither definition applies to our troops. Because our military is purely voluntary, a reaction from the hippy movement against the draft, and get paid anything is proof that they're mercenaries. It's a no-win situation for the military with liberals. They're either forced to serve their country against their will and how could this happen? Or, they're only in it for monetary gain. The common denominator here is that the military is evil according to liberals.

Kennedy also says in his next breath, "I'm not questioning their patriotism and motivation..." that's true, except for the part where he questions their patriotism and motivation. By merely suggesting that our troops are mercenaries, he is saying they have no loyalties. If they have no loyalties, how can they be patriotic? If their only driving purpose is to make money (according to the definition of mercenary), then he is in fact making a statement as to their motivation. This was thrown in because he knew people would question his statements.

He also makes a final jab in the last part of that second paragraph: "even while it is increasingly separated from the civil society on whose behalf it fights." The military is distant from the CIVIL society. So what's most distant from "civil?" Barbaric would be a good antonym I'd say. So, our military is growing more barbaric because it's moving further from a CIVIL society. But he still likes our troops... don't you dare question his patriotism.

Some will find it offensive to call today's armed forces a "mercenary army," but our troops are emphatically not the kind of citizen-soldiers that we fielded two generations ago - drawn from all ranks of society without respect to background or privilege or education, and mobilized on such a scale that civilian society's deep and durable consent to the resort to arms was absolutely necessary.

I imagine some would find it offiensive to call today's armed forces a "mercenary army." Starting with the members of said military, followed closely by her veterans. Mr. Ken- oh, I mean DOCTOR Kennedy seems to forget that during WW2, the military was still segregated.

Blackfive has his own thoughts here. Also, if you care to e-mail the good professor; his e-mail, along with a brief history of his career, can be found here. Keep it civil, though, lest he think you're a mercenary.

UPDATE: While looking for trackbacks on this post, I came across a TON of good blog posts from the trackbacks on Blackfive. I highly recommend you check them out. Linking them all would take too long. Many of them are from military vets. As I predicted, they weren't too happy with Kennedy's characterization of them as mercenaries.