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Trying to shut up the troops

Posted by Richard on February 2, 2007

The "chicken hawk" meme that’s long been popular with the left is bad enough. It’s the contemptible claim that only those who’ve been in combat are entitled to support the war, and that those of us who support the war and haven’t served either need to enlist or shut up. But now we have a new anti-war meme — courtesy of Bill Arkin, a journalist and "military analyst" for NBC News who blogs at The Washington Post — that’s stunningly vile and disgusting.

Apparently, Arkin noticed that the vast majority of military people do support the war (we Fighting Keyboardists pointed this out a long time ago). He’s sick of listening to them and thinks they should shut up. He cited a few examples —  soldiers in Iraq speaking out in a recent NBC Nightly News report — and responded with ill-concealed contempt and loathing (emphasis added):

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.

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?

I can imagine some post-9/11 moment, when the American people say enough already with the wars against terrorism and those in the national security establishment feel these same frustrations. In my little parable, those in leadership positions shake their heads that the people don’t get it, that they don’t understand that the threat from terrorism, while difficult to defeat, demands commitment and sacrifice and is very real because it is so shadowy, that the very survival of the United States is at stake. Those Hoovers and Nixons will use these kids in uniform as their soldiers. If it weren’t about the United States, I’d say the story would end with a military coup where those in the know, and those with fire in their bellies, would save the nation from the people.

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.

First of all, only a postmodern leftist worshipping at the feet of Chomsky and Said would interpret a soldier’s simple criticism of his viewpoint as a demand that "we should roll over and play dead, and give up our rights …"

It’s clear that Arkin despises people in the military and suspects that many of them are bloodthirsty goons who enjoy murdering and raping civilians and would be happy to turn the U.S. into a military dictatorship. His hatred has become so intense that he can no longer heed the advice he gave himself when he began the blog (emphasis added):

My basic philosophy is that government is more incompetent than diabolical, that the military gets way too much of a free ride (memo to self: Don’t say anything bad about the troops), and that official secrecy is the greatest threat citizens actually face today.

Mind you, I think he was off to a bad start with that philosopy. It starts out all right, but "official secrecy" (whatever that means) is our biggest threat? Not the people who want to blow up our airplanes, trains, and buildings? Not the movement that wants to subjugate us all under its 7th-century laws, turn women into chattel, and stone homosexuals and adulterers to death? Interesting perspective you have there, Arkin.

So, according to Arkin and his leftist friends, who has moral standing to comment on the war? Those of us who haven’t served have no right to speak out because we’re chicken hawks, hypocritically asking others to do what we haven’t done ourselves. The troops have no right to speak out because they’re mercenaries lusting for blood and ready to institute a fascist dictatorship. The people who served in the past and support the war have no right to speak out because … well, I’m not sure, exactly, but I think it’s because they’re still mercenaries at heart, lusting for blood and dictatorship.

Apparently, Arkin and his friends think that only those who’ve served in the past, but who now oppose war, are entitled to voice their opinions — people like Jack Murtha and John Effin’ Kerry.

And he has the gall to worry about us silencing him?
 

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One Response to “Trying to shut up the troops”

  1. Jan said

    It takes my breath away.

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