No, You Don't Have to Join the Military if You Support the Airstrike that Killed Soleimani

A soldier throws a training hand grenade during training to qualify for the Expert Infantryman Badge at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany, Oct. 20, 2016. Army photo by Spc. Nathanael Mercado

CREDIT: 130401-A-MX357-061 by US Army Program Executive Officer Soldier, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original.
Sgt. Joshua J. Clark, from Elkhart, Ind., with the 591st Engineer Company (Sappers), provides over watch security for Air Force Explosive Ordinance Disposal personnel outside an Afghan Border Police checkpoint near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border April 1 in Spin Boldak district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann, 102nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.)

 

Of all the asinine arguments in all of the news cycles in all of the media universe, they are using this one. I’m talking about an annoying tendency of some who oppose the airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. For some reason, they have chosen to use the tired, “If you support the airstrike you should be willing to join the military” trope. 

That’s right folks. Many on the left — and some on the right — are eschewing nuanced and well-reasoned argumentation regarding the president’s airstrike for the intellectually bankrupt implication that those supporting it should don a uniform, grab a rifle, fly to Iraq, and get their John Wick on. 

So let’s say I was a 67-year-old woman with arthritis, but I happen to think Trump’s airstrike was a novel idea. Am I supposed to somehow do my part in the fight against Iran and terrorism? Should I go to the front lines with a weapon and start shooting? 

What about you, dear reader? If you happen to think President Trump made the right decision in killing Soleimani, are you ready to suit up and report for duty? 

Does this argument make any sense at all?

Of course it doesn’t. It’s just something people say when they don’t know how to address your opinion. It’s a lazy form of virtue signaling, a way to let the world know that they would not advocate for military action unless they damn well mean it. And the only way to prove their sincerity would be to enlist, isn’t it? 

But this type of rejoinder is notable in its versatility;  it can be used with other issues as well. Men can’t comment on abortion because they don’t have uteruses. Or wait, some men have uteruses. Ahem, allow me to restate. Men who are actually men can’t comment on abortion because they lack a womb. But a woman who identifies as a man can comment because she is not uterustically-challenged. Did I just invent a new term?

This type of assertion is fatally flawed in that many people on both sides advocate for issues in which they are not personally involved. I’m against human trafficking and sex slavery. Does this mean I should be investigating and capturing human traffickers? I don’t like the fact that some people suffer from addiction. Does that mean I have to make it my responsibility to end addiction? I’m against crime, and I have no problem speaking out against it. Does this mean I have to join the police force?

Of course, the answer to each of these questions is “no.” Now, if someone wishes to enlist in the military so they can fight for the United States, that’s their prerogative. Most of us would salute them for making that decision. But this does not mean that one cannot express support for military action without actually serving in the military. 

Of course, as I have stated previously, one can make valid and worthwhile arguments against the airstrike. It is reasonable to be concerned about the potential blowback. But the progressive punditry class does not seem willing to engage in principled debate. Instead, they seek to embrace emotional arguments designed to make their opposition seem insincere or as if they have evil motivations. But, what else would you expect? 

 

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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