Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck
I would prefer to have a leader who can muster up some appreciation for what war actually means.
I don't disagree with this at all (in fact, I completely agree with it), but I don't think you actually have to have military experience to do it.
Again, when you look at what Nixon, Carter and Reagan did with their military service, it was all honorable, but they didn't experience being shot at
or have to tread past a multitude of dead, mangled, disgusting human bodies with a cloud of flies buzzing all around them. And even if they did, they
very well might have reacted completely differently. They all would have thought it was a tragedy, but one might have thought it taught him that war
should be a last resort, while another might have though just the opposite, that "if we had committed to military action sooner, this would not have
happened." Still another might have just shrugged and said that was the nature of war and while we don't want to be eager for this stuff, we also
can't let it be a bully. And you mention the chicken hawks. But remember, those are people in the cabinet of the current president, who did
have military experience, however superficial it might have been.
I believe some people who have never served have a better grasp on what war really is than some people who have served. I'm not dismissing McCain's
military experience and saying it's worth nothing,
just questioning the value of that experience. Remember, everybody's experience is
different, and I think there are some situations where a particular person's military experience might have prejudiced him/her so much that it's
actually a negative,
not a positive. I question the idea that military experience is always
going to make you a better president or
commander-in-chief. I can definitely see situations where military experiences, especially traumatic ones, might make somebody paranoid.
I agree that the opposite is also true -- that a lack of military experience might make somebody naive and prone to use -or not use- military power
inappropriately. But that's the point. Military experience might be a positive or a negative, and the lack of military experience might be a
positive or a negative. It depends on the individual.
And here's one thing to consider: Nixon ended the draft in 1972. That means most people under 53 do not
have military experience. So the
vast majority of future presidential candidates will not
have military experience. Yet they'll still have to be CIF as president. Are we
going to dismiss them all as unqualified because they lack military experience? Is that wise?
[edit on 23-8-2008 by ClintK]