FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE

Thursday

Supporting the Troops

The troops in Iraq are mercenaries. They are simply hired guns. They don’t have a true desire to protect their country. They don’t have a true desire to fight for justice. They fight for personal financial gain. They are rapists and murderers who are lucky that the American public still supports them. They are well-paid. They have their every need taken care of. They even have obscene amenities provided to them. They are lucky that we don’t spit on them the minute that we see them.

This is the message that the Washington Post wants to communicate to the American Public. William Arkin has written a disgusting, vile, anti-military editorial. And the Washington Post was compelled to print it. It is entitled “The Troops Also Need to Support the American People.” He is writing in response to NBC interviews of American soldiers responding to American citizens who disapprove of the war.

According to Arkin, these “mercenaries” should know that it is not their place to question the American Public. These rapists and murderers are lucky that we still support them, and don’t spit on them every chance we get.

Read it in its entirety. But, here is the bulk of it:

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 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.

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 many "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?

If I weren't the United States, I'd say the story end with a military coup where those in the know, and those with fire in their bellies, save the nation from the people.

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.

The notion of dirty work is that, like laundry, it is something that has to be done but no one else wants to do it. But Iraq is not dirty work: it is not some necessary endeavor; the people just don't believe that anymore.

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.

America needs to ponder what it is we really owe those in uniform.


We support the troops! We support the troops! We spit on them at our “peace” rallies, yank their funding while there are still on the battlefield, call them uneducated underachievers, and label them “mercenaries.” But, we still support the troops! And, don’t you dare question that.

This is the message of the left.

Mr. Arkin, you ask what it is we really owe those in uniform. Those in uniform are sacrificing their very lives to protect your freedom to spew this retched, hate-filled, repulsive crap. They lay down their lives to protect your right to be a total jackass.

I'd say that you owe them a hell of a lot.

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