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Wednesday, January 31, 2007


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One of the subtle mistakes this 'person' makes is the insinuation that our fighting forces are "young" and "unformed". These aren't 19 year old forces as in Viet Nam. A large part of this fighting force are National Guard and Army Reserve troops. Average age of the person on the ground in Iraq is something like 26...not an uniformed youth.

To refer to our volunteer forces as "mercenary" is...I don't know...

Wonder what our country and world would be like without them? I could make a guess but you probably wouldn't want the rape and plunder by the marauding righteous radicals described on these pages. It would be "obscene."


Joe Taylor

I think Arkin's calling our soldiers mercenaries is a slight distortion, but it's pretty slight.

Im my opinion, and it's only an opinion based on not much evidence, just a hunch really, I think most people in the military are in it for job training, education benefits, a chance to travel, and other benefits not directly related to the central mission of the military. Note that I did not say all troops, I said MOST troops. Our volunteer army is composed mostly of poor and working class folks seeking a way to better themselves. Nothing wrong with that. I doubt that most of them are motivated by patriotism and a sense of duty, a sense of obligation to a country that has given them so much. Mostly because this country has not given them so much. There are exceptions, like the son of Jim Webb and the son of Tony Blankley, who come from privileged backgrounds, but the exceptions are probably few. If there were more exceptions, we probably would not be fighting in Iraq now. The parents of the wealthy would not put their children at risk.

So I would say what we have in our all- volunteer army is a mercenary force.

I don't know what Arkin meant by "obscene amenities" but I doubt that he just invented the term out of thin air. He must have something specific in mind. How can you condemn his statement without knowing what he was referring to? A reasonalble response to him would be: Mr. Arkin what do you mean by "obscene amenities"? Can you honestly say that you are aware of every amenity supplied to every soldier including the officers and that none of them received anything that could be called obscene? Maybe he was referring to some of the highly paid private security forces that are over there, the Blackwater folks.


Actually, the military isn't a primarily poor endeavor. While I agree that many people go into the military looking to better their lives (if not all of them), there IS among most of them, a general pride in America, and a sense of mission. It goes against human nature to get involved in something as huge as the military, regardless of benefits, without believing at least partially in what you're risking your life for. So they're not mercenary. They'll certainly benefit from being in the military, and for what they do, they should, but in general they carry themselves loyally, with few exceptions do they show lack of discipline on a large scale, and they can be counted on to get the job done with little pay. That is basically the opposite of a mercenary force. Not to mention that the military is made up in large part (and maybe a majority, but I don't have a study right here to quote) of middle-class to upper-class people. The whole "poor, discriminated soldiers" bit died with the draft and Vietnam.

This post is disgusting, and while I'm all for debating everything, including the military, to call anything the military gets in a warzone "obscene" is wrong. FOr what they do, I wouldn't even call giving them a waterpark in every base obscene.

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