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Arkin to U.S. Soldiers: You’re Arrogant and Ignorant

UPDATE I: Here is an example of the type of response Mr. Arkin received from our soldiers, their family and friends and their supporters among the civilian population.  Thank you to Glory Rebel for posting this in a bulletin.  Also, once again, you will only find these things on Conservative Blogs and Military Blogs, because the “mainstream” media and liberals don’t give a rats rear-end about supporting the troops, at least none of the ones who support the mission and want to stay and complete their mission in Iraq.

Mr. Arkin-I am an officer in the United States Army. I have deployed to Iraq twice, and been wounded once. I have had my soldiers killed and wounded, I have killed and wounded other human beings. I have carried wounded soldiers and civilians in my arms; crying in pain. I myself am permanently physically damaged by my experience.

Through all those events, I never shed a tear. Yet I sit here today crying; reading your original article and your rebuttal to the overwhelming response.

I am proud of what I do, what my soldiers do, the freedoms we defend, and everything we stand for. I proudly defend your right to publish your article, and it actually warms my soul to see free debate and discourse about any topic, because this is the only nation in the world where such completely unbridled discussion and opinion rage on in an organized fashion. That is the United States I am proud of, the one that has given me so much.

I decry and am ashamed of my fellow warriors who have lost their thin veneer of civilization and chosen to engage in the atrocities committed in Iraq. May God have mercy on their souls.

I have chosen to shelve my right to have an opinion on the war in Iraq. I support our effort to help the Iraqi people, depose Saddam, and promote a free(er) Iraq. Are we (or can we) still doing that? I don’t know anymore. I have an opinion, but it is too visceral to be truly rational anymore, so I keep it to myself.

Overall, it does not matter. My country, almost unanimously, asked me to refresh the tree with my blood in Iraq/Afghanistan 6 years ago. That was this country, by referendum. As my country comes to terms with what she has done, and possibly chooses a different path, I will soldier on. I will guide and inspire my Soldiers to do the same. But, it saddens me to see so many of my brothers and sisters killed and maimed, only to find out my country either didn’t mean it or had no stomach for it.

None of these are the reasons I cry. I cry for the lack of purpose, the apparent lack of caring, the lack of compassion you displayed in your original article and in this subsequent failure to apologize to me, my fellow warriors, and all those who came before me. Here’s why.

1. I am not a mercenary. You could make me work two jobs and this would still be one of them, because I am that passionate about defending you and your rights. Many in the National Guard and Reserves do just that. My country needs professional warriors to do her bidding, and he is me, and thousands like me.

2. I have the right to express my opinion within the bounds of the UCMJ, as do my Soldiers. How dare you imply that I do not, or that I should reprimand them? We already accept an abbreviated set of rights willingly. Do not attempt limit my liberties that I have already willingly limited while I defend without complaint the unabridged version you are so rightly entitled to.

3. As an officer, my needs are met. However, in the three months leading up to my first deployment and the entire 13 month adventure, my pay amounted to 173 cents an hour. My friends and I logged our hours as a joke, but $1.73 is the reality. That equates to 19-20 hour days, 7 days a week, for 16 months. That’s with the relatively lavish bonuses and benefits we receive while deployed. And I am an officer. Think of our junior enlisted, and find someone else in our great country that is willing to work so hard, day and night, no weekends, under fire, threat of death over their head, for so little? Find me one and I will retract this comment graciously. Of course, even when not deployed, it takes my wife and me quite some time to get through the line at the grocery store. That’s because we get in line behind one of my fellow warriors, who with shame in their eyes and faces flush with embarrassment fill out their WIC paperwork because they don’t make enough to support their wife and two kids (an average sized family).

4. This response is taking an inordinate amount of time to type, because I have only one functioning hand after being wounded in Iraq. I am trying as quickly as possible to use the medical system your (and my) taxes paid for to recover, so I can go back to Iraq and continue to fight for what you don’t believe in, because I believe in you and my Soldiers. Still, I count myself lucky, as I received my Purple Heart next to a 19-year old warrior with both his legs amputated above the knee. No matter how wrong the majority feels the decision was at this juncture, that Soldier gave (I use the word gave deliberately) his legs at his nation’s calling. Not for money. Not because he was too stupid to get into college. Not for the great benefits. Just because you asked him to. Please don’t imply that this fallen hero is not entitled to the basic medical care he receives.

5. Given the opportunity, I would fight the Germans in 1944. Oh, to have that definition of purpose, that sense of righteousness! But, that is not to be. This is the war that this country has chosen for me, my peers, and my Soldiers. With its vagueness, dirtiness, ambiguity, undefined enemy, amorphous center of gravity, and undefined purpose. The actions of our administration, the decisions higher-echelons of our military, the blunders of the CPA, (I could go on) etc. aside; it comes back to one thing. America chose this fight for me, and I will fight it with all my skill and might until she tells me to stop. The woes and throes of the majority, hawks, doves, liberals, neocons, etc. mean nothing to me or those Soldiers you quoted. What matters to us is that you told us to be there, 3000+ of our brothers and sisters have died there, and we are still there. Change that – in reality, not in the abstract – and we will gladly leave and prepare ourselves for the next challenge and opportunity to defend your freedoms.

I am a Warrior, a Soldier, a Scholar, and a Patriot. This country has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to train and educate me. I am well-versed in our government, our demographics, our history, and our Constitution. Perhaps I am an idealist. To the end of my life or capability I will defend your rights and this country. I am proud that I live in a country where a free-thinker such as you can write an article so critical of current policy. But I am deeply hurt by the insinuations and accusations listed above. I request an apology, on the behalf of all the Armed Forces, for your insensitive and boorish comments. I only wish I could communicate with your entire readership the bitter taste of betrayal that is in my mouth as easily as you communicate your speech and thoughts.

With Respect,

A United States Army Officer “Army Strong”

Posted by: Army Officer | February 1, 2007 04:43 PM

*****

As I said in the original post (It’s Official: Liberals Have Gone to War… Against the U.S. Military (UPDATED!)), this is only going to get worse and uglier.  The liberals have shed their phony “We support the troops” mantra and are in all out war against the U.S. military, because the vast majority of the soldiers in the military support the mission in Iraq and want the American people to support them by supporting their mission.

Well, after getting beatdown all throughout the military blogs for the better part of two days after his original post, Mr. Arkin decided to respond to all his e-mail from soldiers, soldiers’ family and friends and military supporters by calling them all arrogant and ignorant.

And then went on to say they were not mercenaries, but WORSE than mercenaries.

As I said, they have declared all out war, ladies and gentlemen.

Via Michelle Malkin.  Also see AllahPundit at HotAir: Audio: William Arkin supports the troops in his own funny little way

The title of his latest post: “The arrogant and intolerant speak out.”

He’s talking about you, not himself:

The Arrogant and Intolerant Speak Out Well, one thing’s abundantly clear about who will actually defend our rights to say what we believe: It isn’t the hundreds who have written me saying they are soldiers or veterans or war supporters or real Americans — who also advise me to move to another country, to get f@##d, or to die a painful, violent death.

Contrary to the typically inaccurate and overstated assertion in dozens of blogs, hundreds of comments, and thousands of e-mails I’ve received, I’ve never written that soldiers should “shut up,” quit whining, be spit upon, or that they have no right to an opinion.

I said I was bothered by the notion that “the troops” were somehow becoming hallowed beings above society, that they had an attitude that only they had the means – or the right – to judge the worthiness of the Iraq endeavor.

I was dead wrong in using the word mercenary to describe the American soldier today.

These men and women are not fighting for money with little regard for the nation. The situation might be much worse than that: Evidently, far too many in uniform believe that they are the one true nation. They hide behind the constitution and the flag and then spew an anti-Democrat, anti-liberal, anti-journalism, anti-dissent, and anti-citizen message that reflects a certain contempt for the American people.

Allah’s got some choice Arkin audio and asks: “I wonder what Maureen Dowd and the rest of the patriotic dissent crew who granted Cindy Sheehan absolute moral authority because her son died in Iraq would say about this?”

If you have not yet done so, go read what those in the military are saying about this jackass:

Matt at Blackfive: Tripe-Meister William Arkin in the WashPo
Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive: A hearty F*** You to William Arkin
The Wolf at Blackfive: They want it, lets give it to them…
Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive: William Arkin video beatdown
Matt at Blackfive: I’m out of it for 24 hours and look what happens…
Curt at Flopping Aces: Screw the Troops!
Jules Crittenden: Jackass, The Columnist
Power Line: The Peril of Newspaper Blogs…
Michelle Malkin: WaPo Math: Troops = Mercenaries
Hot Air: WaPo blogger to U.S. troops: Be thankful we don’t spit on you, mercenaries

Charles Johnson: Anti-Military Screed at the Washington Post
Riehl World View: It’s Official: The Press Has Gone To War
Blue Crab Boulevard: The Difference
Wizbang: Arkin: The Troops Need to Shut Up and Take the Insults
Brutally Honest: The Washington Post’s William Arkin fires on U.S. Troops
Ace of Spades HQ: WaPo Blogger: Soldiers Are Lucky We “Indulge” Them For Their Rapes And Murders, And Be Happy We Don’t Spit On Them

cdr salamander: Arkin shows his a55

Neptunus Lex: No free speech for you, sojer!

Far East Cynic: Joining the Pile On

February 2, 2007 , 4:20PM Posted by | American History, Anti-War Groups, Iraq, Leftist Groups, Media Bias, Military, Military History, Terrorism, War Effort in Iraq, William Arkin | Comments Off on Arkin to U.S. Soldiers: You’re Arrogant and Ignorant

U.S. Troops Say Iraqi Army in Baghdad is Filthy with JAM?

For those who don’t read military blogs and are not informed about Iraq, JAM does not refer to a tasty alternative to Jelly being smeared all over the IA’s uniforms after eating PB&J’s, but is the acronym given to al Sadr’s Mahdi militia, Jaish al Mahdi (JAM).

Now, this is why I never read or watch any “mainstream” media outlet for my news and haven’t for years and only get my news from Conservative blogs and Military Blogs.  I am sure many liberal blogs will be running with this story and having orgasms about what bad news this is and happily cheering on the struggles our military is having in Iraq.

However, what you will not get is the other side of the story.  Bryan Preston provides that at Hot Air.  It is good commentary such as this which is why I trust Conservative Blogs and Military blogs to keep me informed about military matters and progress and success in Iraq and putting all struggles and setbacks into proper context.

AllahPundit has posted all the bad news here:  US Troops Say Iraqi Army in Baghdad is Filthy With JAM

Here is the added commentary by Bryan Preston to put this all into perspective.  Something you will never get from the “mainstream” media (who supports the terrorists and is at war with the U.S. military) or any liberals’ blogs.

Update (Bryan): In the interests of braking the panic that this story is creating a little bit, the troops at FOB Justice were candid with Michelle and I about the state of the Iraqi security forces. Are they “filthy with JAM?” In the case of the police, yes. In the case of the army, less so. That’s one of several reasons that the IA tends to be more effective and more trusted on the street than the police. The US troops on FOB Justice share their base with both Iraqi Army and police, both of which they are training, so they are in a position to know about the infiltration and to be aware of what can be done about it.

The fact is, our troops are attempting to create legitimate Iraqi security forces in the middle of a war, and in a country where security forces were an arm of Saddam prior to 2003. So history is against us being able to create hermetically sealed security forces from scratch. The war these forces are being stood up in the midst of includes a whole lot of factions who all have an interest in infiltrating the forces that we’re trying to stand up, so it shouldn’t be a total shock that they’re trying and in too many cases succeeding. The troops are the least shocked. That doesn’t mean that they don’t see infiltration as a problem; they do. But they’re aware of it, they’re not panicked by it as far as I can tell and they are working to weed out the bad guys. That takes time, something Congress seems increasingly of a mind not to grant.

The case of JAM is, as I’ve mentioned before, not as simple as the press usually makes out. Of the entire JAM militia, probably half are truly loyal to al-Sadr. The other half joined up for various reasons from needing the money to being threatened if they don’t join to having a grudge against Sunnis to wanting to tamp down local petty crime, etc. JAM isn’t a monolithic force in the way that Al Qaeda is, all joined by one ideal. There are factions within it, and those factions can be and are being exploited politically by the US forces. That also takes time. I will say that all the panic in Washington these days strengthens the hand of Sadr, since he seems to be on the winning side right now and everyone who chose to side with us seems to be on the losing side. The momentum right now is undoubtedly with the Sadrists, not because of the infiltration, but because anyone who is on the fence in Baghdad is being compelled by events to choose a side, and one side appears to be running away. The rational choice for an awful lot of people will be to join the side that is staying and looks like it will have a great deal of power after we’ve withdrawn. Had we stayed and not shown so much panic over the years, those who sided with us would be in a stronger position in Iraqi society than they may be in the coming months and years–if they survive that long.

None of this is to minimize the threat of militia infiltration into the ISF. But stories like the one above present the negative gotchas–see here, the whole Iraqi military is nothing but JAM–while leaving out the positive things our troops might have said about the ISF or how they see the infiltration being dealt with. The same troops at FOB Justice who were candid with us about JAM infiltration in the ISF also noted that some units are standing up fairly well and some are taking their missions very seriously and doing them well. You’ll hear about that in a bit more detail in tomorrow’s Vent, actually.

February 2, 2007 , 4:16PM Posted by | Iraq, Media Bias, Military, Terrorism, War Effort in Iraq | Comments Off on U.S. Troops Say Iraqi Army in Baghdad is Filthy with JAM?

It’s Official: Liberals Declare War… Against the U.S. Military

UPDATE II: Former Army Major Matt Burden of Blackfive rips Mr. Arkin on FOX News’ The Big Story.

UPDATE I: Via Charles Johnson at LGF:

William Arkin, the former “military affairs columnist” for the Los Angeles Times, has a first-class hard left pedigree, having also worked for the Institute for Policy Studies (an affiliate of the Workers World Party and International ANSWER), Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Human Rights Watch — none of which, oddly enough, is mentioned in his biography page.

So this latest blast of hatred shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Previously at LGF:
Who Is William Arkin?
Connections

*****

Yes, I am painting with a broad brush. But from what I have seen, read and heard, any self-described liberal who denounces this tripe from William Arkin in the Washington Post is either lying or an exception to the standard of liberal hatred, disgust, disdain and utter lack of respect of the members of the U.S. military.

If you do not know to what I am referring, you obviously do not read Military Blogs. Every single one that I read has at least one or two posts completely dismantling this anti-America, anti-Military jackass, William Arkin. His blog post, published in the Washington Post, is entitled: “The Troops Also Need to Support the American People”. He wrote it in response to the NBC News story during which some soldiers in Iraq expressed their frustration with the American people for not supporting them in their mission in Iraq.

I posted this story with the YouTube video here: Soldiers in Iraq Call BS on Leftists’ So-Called Support of Troops

Here is what the soldiers had to say in that news item:

First up was 21 year old junior enlisted man Tyler Johnson, whom Engel said was frustrated about war skepticism and thinks that critics “should come over and see what it’s like firsthand before criticizing.”

“You may support or say we support the troops, but, so you’re not supporting what they do, what they’re here sweating for, what we bleed for, what we die for. It just don’t make sense to me,” Johnson said.

Next up was Staff Sergeant Manuel Sahagun, who is on his second tour in Iraq. He complained that “one thing I don’t like is when people back home say they support the troops, but they don’t support the war. If they’re going to support us, support us all the way.”

Next was Specialist Peter Manna: “If they don’t think we’re doing a good job, everything that we’ve done here is all in vain,” he said.

Before I show you the disgusting, military-hating tripe from Mr. Arkin, I will give him credit for this little bit:

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.

Most liberals just dismiss out of hand anything good the soldiers have to say about the mission as just being “right-wing” propaganda or as coming from tools of the Administration or just dismiss the soldiers as ignorant dupes. Or they say that they do not represent the majority of soldiers. So I give Mr. Arkin credit for at least acknowledging this. However, that is where the credit ends and the disdain and utter disgust with him begins.

Here are some examples of what Mr. Arkin had to say in response to those soldiers:

* “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.” [In other words, unless you are standing up at Communist Anti-War rallies saying President Bush is an idiot and the war effort in Iraq is illegal and immoral, shut your traps, you don’t have the right to speak.]

* “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.” [In other words, Mr. Arkin is saying that Abu Ghraib and Haditha were not exceptions to the high standards of the moral code of the U.S. military, but are the rule for the majority of those who wear the uniform of the United States soldier. I have seen this view expressed many a time in the comment sections of Military Blogs by ignorant liberal jackasses. We now see it in a major “mainstream” media newspaper.]

* “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 don’t see very many “baby killer” epithets being thrown around these days, no one in uniform is being spit upon.” [This guy is obviously absolutely clueless, has never talked to anyone in the military and has never been to an “anti-war” protests. These things are happening all the time, most notably this past weekend in Washington D.C.]

* “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,. . .” [“Obscene amenities? Oh yeah, sleeping on a cot in a tent in the middle of the fucking desert is just like sleeping in one of the mansions of a U.S. Senator. And “support them in every possible way”? Calling them babykillers, calling them torturers, calling them Nazis, calling them terrorists. Calling them broken. Calling them cold-blooded murderers. Never reporting on all the progress they make and the successes they have had. Yeah, I can see how that is supporting them. Fucking jackass.]

* But it is the United States, and the recent 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. [And here we go again. Calling them torturers, Nazis, terrorists, cold-blooded murderers and babykillers is not enough. They are now mercenaries.]

* 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 naive 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. [And again the opinion of liberals that the members of the U.S. military are simply young, na..ve idiots who have no idea why they are fighting in this war. Not to mention, “lack of progress” and “never changing situation”? This ignorant ass obviously lives with his head up the ass of the “mainstream” media, who gets their stories from terrorists and reports nothing of the facts of the progress and success that can be found each and every day from talking to soldiers in and returning from Iraq and by reading Military Blogs.]

* America needs to ponder what it is we really owe those in uniform. [And there you have it in a nutshell. We owe our lives to those in uniform, past and present, and yet liberals think we need to ponder if we really owe them anything at all. The truth of liberals’ hatred, disdain and utter lack of respect for the military is finally out there for all to see.]

As I mentioned earlier, the Military Blogs are all over this jackass the last two days. I encourage you to go read them all. Liberals, you have your General to lead you in your war against the U.S. military. Congratulations. You have declared war. Prepare for battle. It has just begun…

Matt at Blackfive: Tripe-Meister William Arkin in the WashPo
Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive: A hearty F*** You to William Arkin
The Wolf at Blackfive: They want it, lets give it to them…
Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive: William Arkin video beatdown
Matt at Blackfive: I’m out of it for 24 hours and look what happens…
Curt at Flopping Aces: Screw the Troops!
Jules Crittenden: Jackass, The Columnist
Power Line: The Peril of Newspaper Blogs…
Michelle Malkin: WaPo Math: Troops = Mercenaries
Hot Air: WaPo blogger to U.S. troops: Be thankful we don’t spit on you, mercenaries

Charles Johnson: Anti-Military Screed at the Washington Post
Riehl World View: It’s Official: The Press Has Gone To War
Blue Crab Boulevard: The Difference
Wizbang: Arkin: The Troops Need to Shut Up and Take the Insults
Brutally Honest: The Washington Post’s William Arkin fires on U.S. Troops
Ace of Spades HQ: WaPo Blogger: Soldiers Are Lucky We “Indulge” Them For Their Rapes And Murders, And Be Happy We Don’t Spit On Them
cdr salamander: Arkin shows his a55
Neptunus Lex: No free speech for you, sojer!
Far East Cynic: Joining the Pile On

February 2, 2007 , 3:10AM Posted by | Iraq, Leftist Groups, Media Bias, Military, Military History, Terrorism, War Effort in Iraq, William Arkin | Comments Off on It’s Official: Liberals Declare War… Against the U.S. Military