Jan 31, 2007

William Arkin is an asshat 

I had never heard of William Arkin until about five minutes ago when I read Blackfive. And then I read the piece he wrote for the Washington Post, and that was all it took for me to instantly label him as an asshole. Sure, I put “asshat” above, but that’s only because I didn’t want “asshole” in the post title. By the way, if you’re concerned that your eyes may burst into flame due to reading foul language, skip the rest of this.

Arkin’s op-ed encapsulates the standard “we support the troops but not the war… and only because we think they’re all under-educated simpletons who deserve our sympathy in much the same way we’d feel sorry for (but not really give a damn about) somebody we don’t know’s kid who has Down Syndrome” attitude that permeates the American media and the more mellow portion of the left side of the American electorate. I say the “mellow portion” because you can also find the “screw the troops portion” without looking too hard. I’ve heard it all before dude, nothing new.

What tipped my scale from “move along, nothing to see here” to “who the hell do you think you are” happened right when I read this part:
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.

Suffice it to say that if ol’ Billy’s lungs were removed from his body through his nostrils, I would support his killer but oppose the crime… or some other nonsensical statement that implies I wouldn’t give a shit…

So I’m a merc, huh? Why? Because I receive pay for what I do? What does that make you? What does that make ANY of us? I won’t try to cloud your picture of me as a mercenary by saying that I would be willing to do what I do for free if I had to… I’m sure that realization might cause your lungs to actually shoot out of your nostrils all on their own. No, instead I’ll just sit here and drool on myself, while I’m schooled on why Iraq, Afghanistan, and the whole fight against America’s enemies isn’t, in fact, “dirty work.”

But at least he’s spot on with the rest of the article:
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.
Yep, through all those Abu Ghraib incidents (all one of them) and “Hadithas” (wherein no one has yet proved that anything other than a horrible accident occurred), and rapes and murders by the US Armed Forces (of which I recall hearing of TWO) the American public has done me a solid and “INDULGED” me by accepting that those weren’t the norm. “INDULGED.” Thank Christ the military has been so “INDULGED,” because I’d hate to see what it would be like if those events pissed everybody off and were reported at a ratio of roughly 97,000:1 when compared to everything the military does RIGHT on a daily basis. And the level of “INDULGENCE” with the Spanish Inquisition that’s being carried out at Guantanamo is really striking… thanks for that, too. And of course, no one is being called a “baby killer” and “no one in uniform is being spit upon” according to ol’ Billy. Spit AT maybe, but that’s not the same thing, obviously...

And this part is REALLY fun:
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?
YOU DOUCHE. You want to cut my pay? Fine. You want to tell me to get my own health plan, fine too. Nobody in the military EXPECTED or even ASKED FOR a Burger King to get built on their base in Iraq, and I’m sure if you asked most soldiers and Marines, they’d rather have more ammunition than a Whopper with cheese. I’ll grant you that all that stuff gets done on the tax-payer’s dime. But don’t confuse MATERIAL support with “supporting me in every possible way,” you self-indulgent ass. You can take every tangible thing that you – the taxpayer – have granted me as a military member and light it on fire for all I give a damn. What would mean a hell of a lot more would be if you actually cared about me, my job, and the fact that I am doing “dirty work” that you deem “unnecessary.”

Was your time at the intel shop in West Berlin “unnecessary” too, Billy? Yeah I read your bio… And the only thing I found more frightening than the fact that you were anywhere near the Iron Curtain (possibly getting too “Comradely” with the East German border guards) is that somebody made you an adjunct professor at the U.S. Air Force's School of Advanced Airpower Studies. Jesus H., what a knob.

So, to sum up, I’m a mercenary whose more questionable acts have been indulged by a weary public - which has given me all the riches of King Solomon by the way - as I fight a war that no one wants me to be in because they care deeply about me, and I ought to lend my support to the civilians back home who are the ones bearing the brunt of the war on terrorism, which really doesn’t need to be fought anyway because it’s unnecessary. That about right?

William Arkin is an asshole of the first order.

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

Well here’s your out, Billy. YOU don’t owe me a Goddamn thing. Take back the pay, the health care, and the “indulgence” and, instead, do this: SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT ME. Don’t insult me by pretending you give a rat’s ass about me or anything I do. You want to rip on DC policy, fine. Knock yourself out. Every American’s God-given right, and all that. But DO NOT try to sell me on the concept that I owe YOU anything, you tool. I gave at the office, and I’m not paying twice to make up for your share. I signed it on the line for America, and for society, and therefore for YOU. It wasn’t for cash, or benefits, or socialized health care (which is what military medicine really is). It was to protect the things that I hold dear from people that would like to destroy them. As a former soldier, I’d have thought you’d understood that. But then what the hell do I know?

…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.
Yeah, that’s what I got out of your column… you support me. Thanks ever so much. It’s only because I’m home right now that I can even appreciate HOW VERY MUCH you support me, because if I were deployed I’d be a little too busy trying to support YOU (in that whole ‘life and death’ sense) to notice. But don’t sweat it… I’d know that those “obscene amenities” you paid taxes for were filled with all the “support” you could bear to send.


The last time Americans actually supported a war effort, it probably looked something like this.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us


Others who agree that Billy is an ass:
Uncle Jimbo
Michelle Malkin

UPDATE: Billy strikes back, fails miserably. Allah has the audio. Money quote:

"... it seemed to me that maybe the troops needed a little re-education."

And, according to his new piece, I'm the "arrogant and intollerant" one. But I will grant that this is the best non-apology I've ever read:

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...

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com