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I was expecting to come in today and find news on the wires that Sen. Barbara Boxer had apologized to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

No dice. No apology either. In fact, Boxer says her words were twisted by the likes of me and she has nothing to apologize about. Lots of e-mail to that effect also.

Let me put a finer point on it, if I must. Or give a new reason for those who didn't buy the reasons I set out last week.

Barbara Boxer should apologize for making the same argument I get here in my e-mail quite frequently, which goes something like this: If you haven't served in the military you shouldn't call for war.

Now the corollary to that argument is that if you haven't served in the military you can call for no war. But if you think the country is in danger and needs to protect itself, you have to have served in the military in order to call for the military to take action.

Boxer set out the female version of that argument. That is, if you don't have a kid who might be asked to go fight, you shouldn't be asking anyone's kid to go fight.

The country may be in danger, so all citizens have something to say. Someone has attacked us, so all citizens have something to say about it.

The issue of whether it is the right time or the wrong time to use the military strikes me as one all citizens should have a voice in, not just those who served, or to use the Boxer model, just those mothers who have sons and daughters in the military.

There are people who have never served who are arguing our military should not have been used against Iraq. Fine. They are welcome to their opinion.

But why does the opinion of someone who never served have more weight than that of someone else who has never served if the only difference is one says no war and the other says war is a must?

Tricky stuff, this logic.

It's the same deal with Boxer. She wants a rule imposed on this particular secretary of state. No kids to send to war? Then she has no right to send kids to war.

If my reasons for an apology last week weren't good enough, this one ought to be.

That's My Word.

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