Thursday, February 01, 2007

William Arkin: Jackass

Caught this yesterday at Powerline. This guy is a true jackass.
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.

Nothing like starting off with a conspiracy theory when you are writing an article about the troops.
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.

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?

Grateful? Why, because the public gives lip service to supporting the troops? Then their representatives continually undercut their actions because those representatives haven't the resolve to finish the job. You'd think the citizenry were the ones under fire. And why should they be grateful for the "good pay" etc. that isn't good at all?

As for deferring to the Generals letting them fight the war, that's their profession moron. The civilian control of the military decides where and why the military fights and the generals decide on how. If Arkin isn't intelligent enough to realize that, maybe he should crawl back under that rock he came from. Idiot.
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.
What a surprise. Wasn't expecting that bit of sophistry to rear its ugly head. He must be right though, he's a columnist. He has much more understanding of reality than we could. The troops must be mercenaries, because they are only there for the pay and no other reason. Did I mention how good the pay is? JACKASS!
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.
Right. Young and Naive, meaning stupid in the best John Kerry manner. Not that Arkin isn't naive in his expectations for the effects that will be seen if we fail in Iraq. I'm sure his confidence in the terrorists leaving us in peace is tops.

This jerk has earned the Jackass of the week award.

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