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.
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
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