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Chickendove is an epithet used in United States politics to criticize an "anti-war protester who will only protest against "safe" protest targets (usually democratic free countries)--even if the "unsafe" target is truly the one at fault. For example, (at the time) protesting against U.S. or British involvement in World War II but not protesting German or Japanese involvement" in the war;[1] or protesting against retaliatory strikes by Israel but not protesting against terrorist actions by groups such as Hamas or Hezbollah.

The term was also used to describe the "human shields" who travelled to Iraq from western countries in 2003 with the intent of protecting hospitals and civilian infrastructure from supposed coalition attacks. When these "human shields" discovered they would be used to protect military targets, realizing they would be put at genuine risk, they deserted their mission. A newspaper article by former shield Daniel Pepper, "I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam" appeared in the March 23, 2003 edition of the UK's Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

The term has also been used to describe Congressional Democrats who attack the Iraq War but refuse to withhold funding for it.


  1. chickendove - Definition. (2006) The Urban Dictionary Retrieved 21 July 2008.