Thursday, February 01, 2007

Arkin shows his a55

It is a normal human reaction to frustration and an anger that happens when other people hold beliefs or describe facts that are 180 degrees out from the world view you have cultivated and know in your universe to be true. You have one of two Courses of Action when confronted by information that is opposite to that which you believe to be true – reassess your beliefs, or attack the other person.

Arkin chose plan COA BRAVO.
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.
Well, well, well. We have the mask coming down a bit, don’t we? At least, we know what you think of us. Gee thanks. I think this quote is telling,
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.
Actually, I think Arkin has some frustration issues he should perhaps look at before throwing that comment out there. A large reason that Arkin is frustrated is that the American public gets very little of what caused his outburst: the facts on the ground that the vast majority of those who are on there see everyday – but rarely to never reported by the press.
Friday's NBC Nightly News included a story from my colleague and friend Richard Engel, who was embedded with an active duty Army infantry battalion from Fort Lewis, Washington.

Engel relayed how "troops here say they are increasingly frustrated by American criticism of the war. Many take it personally, believing it is also criticism of what they've been fighting for."

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.
In some way, I feel sorry for William Arkin. He swims in a sea of a world into itself – The Washington Post – but that is an sea he is comfortable in. That is who the Soldiers are talking about – the press, talking heads and Leftists that get all the air time in their nice little echo chamber.

I don’t know about you, but I can almost feel the spittle coming out of his teeth as he writes this.
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.
And I think Uncle Jimbo and TheWolf over at BLACKFIVE may have a thing or two to say about this quote.
We just don't see very man "baby killer" epithets being thrown around these days, no one in uniform is being spit upon.
Instead of going the with COA B, and fit the cliché I described in last September – take a while to examine COA A and perhaps spend some time with more people that do not hold the WaPo worldview – and stop showing your a55.
PS: If you want to know the real Arkin – just read Hugh Hewitt’s bit from ’04.
Arkin is a veteran of four years in the Army (he served from 1974 to 1978) … His employment since leaving the service is easier to trace. Arkin cut his teeth with the lefty Institute for Policy Studies, and went from there to positions with Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Human Rights Watch. He has been a regular columnist for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
It should be much clearer by now. Move along.
UPDATE: Lex, "FbL, Allah, CAPT Ed, Michelle, and PoweLine are all over it. I bet Col. Jessep would have something to say if he were with us too.
UPDATE II: Electric Boogaloo Arkin keeps digging.

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