Despite the left's implicit assumption that any soldier who sees live fire immediately transforms into Mahatma Gandhi, military members, by and large, are hawksBen Shapiro points out.
In truth, the left would regard military control of foreign policy as an unmitigated disaster. In the view of those like Michael Moore, the only good American soldiers are those who are unemployed or dead. Soldiers are only good if they aren't fighting, since America's wars are always wrong and America's soldiers are war criminals. (An added side benefit: If those soldiers never see combat, they, too, can never be foreign policy hawks -- service in non-active combat roles doesn't count in the leftist view.) Dead American soldiers are good since they can be used as pawns by foreign policy doves: body bag pictures and grieving mothers -- all of it undermines American morale and support for strong foreign policy. Dead soldiers can be cast as "victims," and their corpses cynically used as clubs against America's foreign policy. In holding itself up as the great defender of victimized military members, the left denigrates the courageous choices made by military members every day. Deciding to enter the armed services isn't a choice the left understands, but it is a choice -- an honorable, brave, praiseworthy choice. The leftist claim that soldiers are victims means that they are boobs and ignoramuses, incapable of choosing a lifestyle that risks death in defense of American freedoms.
Implicitly, then, the "chickenhawk" argument rejects all options aside from civilian pacifist control of American foreign policy. If all soldiers are victims, too stupid or ignorant to make up their own minds about joining the military, how can we trust them with foreign policy? And according to the "chickenhawk" argument, civilian hawks cannot control foreign policy. The only ones left are complete pacifist loons like Michael Moore and Arianna Huffington. How convenient!
And convenience is what the "chickenhawk" argument is really about. Pacifists don't want to discuss real foreign policy issues -- they want to call names. If you can't win over the populace at large, the only solution left is to stifle the argument. That's what "chickenhawk" is about. At the end of the day, "chickenhawk" is morally and intellectually chicken.