Several hawkish bloggers have embraced the chickenhawk image. Why, you may ask? Because red-tailed hawks, AKA chickenhawks, are pretty vicious predators that eat chickens, rats, and mice. I had to defend my chickens from one when I was in high school. It wasn't a pretty sight. It would have been tough to deal with if it hadn't injured a wing on the barbs at the top of the fence on its way in. It succeeded in killing two hens and turning a third into a skinhead for the rest of her life before we got out there and let the dogs into the fence to chase it out. It didn't get to eat any, at least, but it did get away from the dogs once it was free of the fence that it couldn't fly over with its wing injury.
The first thing that occurred to me when I first heard the term 'chickenhawk' as a pejorative political term (whose first use, by the way, seems to have been long before the war on terrorism in 1986) is that only a sheltered city slicker who doesn't know what a chickenhawk is really like could come up with such an ignorant mismatch. They must have thought it was funny to speak of those who are hawkish on the war on terrorism as if they're really chickens, since chickens often represent cowardice. But choosing one of chickens' most vicious predators doesn't have quite the same effect as calling someone a chicken. It's hard to find a good analogy, but it involves two mistakes. One mistake is analogus to calling someone a sloth-killing jaguar because they're lazy. The other is analogous to using the butterfly as an image of ugliness on the ground that flies are ugly, and the word 'fly' is part of the word 'butterfly'. It sounds pretty stupid in those cases, but somehow when both errors are combined people will find it more plausible, since the two mistakes mask each other.
It never occurred to me to start a movement embracing the chickenhawk as a symbol of hawkishness, but I guess it's fitting given how much more sense it makes to use a vicious predator as a positive symbol of effectiveness in battle.