Native Americans have a very long tradition of naming their offspring after familiar animals. Hence, Running Bear and Soaring Eagle.
President Donald Trump has tried to get into the spirit of things by bequeathing the appellation of Pocahontas upon Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who, according to family lore, is of Native American heritage. Indeed, DNA testing has revealed that Senator Warren does have some far removed Native American forebearers.
But Crooked Hillary Clinton, Lyin’ Ted Cruz, and most recently, Congressman Adam Schitt will testify that these nicknames are hardly terms of endearment. And so, in the same spirit, I would like to suggest a nickname for our nation’s commander-in-chief, who shall henceforth be known as Chief Chickenhawk.
What, exactly is a chickenhawk? Perhaps, more than any other American, former Vice President Dick Cheney personified that title. As a graduate student in the late 1960s, he received four student draft deferments. An ardent supporter of the Vietnam War, Cheney was asked why he did not enlist. He replied that he had “other priorities.”
Cheney, perhaps more than any other advisor, was responsible for convincing his clueless boss, President George W. Bush, that it would be a great idea to invade Iraq, largely to avenge the attacks of 9/11. Of course, no proof was ever found that Saddam Hussein was at all responsible. Nor did he possess any weapon of mass destruction
Karl Rove, another draft dodger, referred to Congressional opponents of the war – many of whom had served in the military -- as craven cowards who, at the first opportunity, will just “cut and run.” Meanwhile, when the war quickly went badly, Cheney, Rove, and a few other non-veteran war advocates became known as “chicken hawks.” They were the folks who had had no problem sending off others to die, while they themselves had been too chicken to serve.
Now we come to our current commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump. Here is a man who professes to know more about the military than General Jim Mattis, his own Secretary of Defense. How did Mr. Trump acquire such a vast store of military strategy and tactics?
Well OK, he never did get around to serving in the military. While Dick Cheney was dodging service in the Vietnam War, Trump was classified 4F for having bone spurs on his heals, poor thing!
Still, today he is managing our war efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and accomplishing all of this without bothering to read his daily briefing papers, but rather by watching Fox News. Maybe, after he rids himself of Mattis, Trump can persuade one of the station’s news anchors, or perhaps even the great Sean Hannity to run the Department of Defense.
But I am being unfair and perhaps even little unbalanced. Mr. Trump certainly is a big advocate for the military, and has managed to get huge defense appropriations through Congress. And while he might occasionally slip up by denigrating the valor of such military heroes as the late Arizona Senator John McCain, there is no questioning the personal bravery of our commander-in-Chief.
Perhaps more than anything, Mr. Trump has proven his devotion to the military by his demands to have a huge military parade held in Washington. This would be his way of honoring our troops, although we’d all know who really was being honored.
Indeed, all of this makes the fact that our commander-in-chief has not yet visited our troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria all the more puzzling. How could he pass up the opportunity to exhibit his bravery while there was an actual chance of coming under enemy fire? Only someone much more impolite than I would even imply that just maybe Mr. Trump was “chicken.”