Most liberals are quite adept at hiding their disdain for the U.S. military. Don't count William Arkin amongst them. What follows are excerpts of his screed he wrote in reply to the NBC report I highlighted here yesterday:
The Troops Also Need to Support the American People
I've been mulling over an NBC Nightly News report from Iraq last Friday in which a number of soldiers expressed frustration with opposition to war in the United States.
I'm sure the soldiers were expressing a majority opinion common amongst the ranks - that's why it is news - and I'm also sure no one in the military leadership or the administration put the soldiers up to expressing their views, nor steered NBC reporter Richard Engel to the story.
I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to them why it wasn't for them to disapprove of the American people.
Note the arrogance here. Is the man actually attempting to say that U.S. soldiers can't voice opinions? And is he attempting to say that all Americans oppose the war? But it gets better (or worse, depending on your perspective)
These soldiers should be grateful that the American public, which by all polls overwhelmingly disapproves of the Iraq war and the President's handling of it, do still offer their support to them, and their respect.
Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform, accepting that the incidents were the product of bad apples or even of some administration or command order.
Note the two pronged arrogance here... the American public indulged... through every rape and murder... were the product of... even som administration or command order... Clearly, someone in the military has peed in Arkin's corn flakes...
Sure it is the junior enlisted men who go to jail, but even at anti-war protests, the focus is firmly on the White House and the policy. We just don't see very man "baby killer" epithets being thrown around these days, no one in uniform is being spit upon.
So, we pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?
Obscene amenities? What obscene amenities are being shipped to our troops in the war zone? And I watched the NBC piece and not once did any soldier, airman, sailor or marine say anything about our need to give up rights and responsibilities... at this point, you can simply taste the disdain Arkin has for the military.
I can imagine some post-9/11 moment, when the American people say enough already with the wars against terrorism and those in the national security establishment feel these same frustrations. In my little parable, those in leadership positions shake their heads that the people don't get it, that they don't understand that the threat from terrorism, while difficult to defeat, demands commitment and sacrifice and is very real because it is so shadowy, that the very survival of the United States is at stake. Those Hoover's and Nixon's will use these kids in uniform as their soldiers. If I weren't the United States, I'd say the story end with a military coup where those in the know, and those with fire in their bellies, save the nation from the people.
But it is the United States and instead this NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary - oops sorry, volunteer - force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.
Can there be any doubt now of Arkin's hatred for all things military? Mercenary force? What an a**hole.
The notion of dirty work is that, like laundry, it is something that has to be done but no one else wants to do it. But Iraq is not dirty work: it is not some necessary endeavor; the people just don't believe that anymore.
I'll accept that the soldiers, in order to soldier on, have to believe that they are manning the parapet, and that's where their frustrations come in. I'll accept as well that they are young and naïve and are frustrated with their own lack of progress and the never changing situation in Iraq. Cut off from society and constantly told that everyone supports them, no wonder the debate back home confuses them.
America needs to ponder what it is we really owe those in uniform. I don't believe America needs a draft though I imagine we'd be having a different discussion if we had one.
What a disgusting piece of sh*t this is... how low can the once highly esteemed Washington Post go to allow this bilge to be printed under their banner? Incredible.
I want to hear what leading Democrats have to say about Arkin and his mindset. Someone should be shoving microphones in the face of every one of them asking for a reaction.
And Arkin ought to be grateful that someone doesn't shove something else into one of his bodily orifices in retaliation.