Response to William Arkin Washington Post opinion - 2.7.2007.1
Have you read the comments by William Arkin? Published by the Washington Post on January 30, 2007, Arkin blathers on with one of the most insulting displays I have seen in quite some time. His comments are disrespectful, ignorant, disloyal, and incendiary. It is comments like this that give me concern both in the next election and the future of this nation.
The words of this individual are crass and smug. Perhaps he thought that only he and his friends could understand his words and their barely implied meanings. Perhaps he felt that those of us that are, or were, in the Armed Forces could not understand his insults. If that was the case he is sorely mistaken.
When he states in his article, “I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army” he either thinks he is being witty or we the readers are not. By making this statement he has implied that he is not for those who are in the military expressing their ideas. He would not have to make the emphasis if that were the case, nor would he exclude the Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force and Navy as well as the related reserves. From this alone he makes his position absolutely clear, and it is far from one of tolerance.
He later goes on to say that soldiers should be grateful that the public “still offer their support to them, and their respect.” He then purports that the American public should not support or respect the Armed Forces because, “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.”
Perhaps Arkin was never taught a lesson I learned long ago from my father, a Viet Nam Marine, that respect is something that is earned. The entire American military has earned the respect of the citizens in the Revolution, War of 1812, Korea, Viet Nam, World War I and II, Gulf War, and now in Iraq and Afghanistan (it seems that the latter was completely forgotten about) among multiple other engagements around the world. Our Armed Forces have earned respect around the world for protecting the values and goals of our nation, and for defending the Constitution and Amendments that allow Arkin to make such comments. Were this another nation, perhaps like Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) or North Korea or Venezuela, Arkin would have the local secret police drop by and shoot him dead without repercussion or perhaps poison him with radioactive isotopes to keep him silent.
In addition, the Armed Forces are not pillaging rapists Arkin asserts. To my knowledge there has been one such occurrence of the accusations he mentioned, not the hundreds or more he barely implies. In the years of war we have currently gone through, with hundreds of thousands of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, there have barely been any incidents that do not express the efforts and actions to improve the lives of the Iraqi and Afghan people. For a purported ‘military analyst’ (that has never served in the military) located in Washington, D.C. I would expect he might have read that, or seen it on the news.
As for, “But even at anti-war protests, the focus is firmly on the White House and the policy. We don't see very many "baby killer" epithets being thrown around these days, no one in uniform is being spit upon,” perhaps Arkin failed to hear of the recent protest (where Mr. Tim Robbins and others were at) where protesters did spit on a serviceman [as reported on Fox News]. Perhaps Arkin is unaware of the violent protests at universities by students that have caused the cancellation of Career Days there. In both cases it is violence against the Armed Forces, reminiscent of what was done to our soldiers returning from Viet Nam. In addition even one ‘baby killer’ comment or epithet is far too much in my opinion. Were it not for these men and women, doing a job no one wants to have done and guided by the Commander-and-Chief for the benefit of the whole nation, there would be no such thing as Freedom of Speech.
Continued in part 2...