Well, William M. Arkin proved today that he, not those of us who disagree with him, is “arrogant and intolerant”. After all, he seems a little bit miffed that after using his First Amendment rights to bash the troops and spew his moronic views, some Americans (including some of those same troops, their families, and veterans) would dare to use their rights under the First Amendment to respond and to criticize. Indeed, he seems to believe that harsh responses are a threat to the First Amendment.
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.
Excuse me, Comrade Arkin, but it seems to me that you are the one who doesn’t believe in the right to say what one believes. After all, are we to remain silent and bow down before the Almighty Wisdom of William M. Arkin, Journalist and Demigod? Are you immune from criticism and critique, or even vitriol, after you have insulted our troops? No one is stopping you from speaking – but you seem to wish to delegitimize any speech that you disagree with. You know, just as you argued it isn’t legitimate for soldiers to disagree with the all-wise and knowing public opinion polls when you stated in your earlier column that you “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.” Or more accurately, the views of an ignorant and ill-informed (thanks to folks like you and your employer).
Of course, now he defames them even further, after implicitly calling them over-privileged mercenaries with fascist tendencies. Now he has gone and said it flat out.
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.
In other words, Arkin objects that those who are in Iraq have an opinion that he disagree swith, and he want to do his damnedest to make sure that they understand that only he, and those who think like him, have the right to an opinion – precisely what he object to in the comments, blog-posts, and emails he complains about.
They don’t like the cut-and-run Democrats – how dare they, after that party won the last elections!
They don’t like liberals – who do they think they are, objecting to folks who have been out to undercut their mission since before it began.
They don’t like journalists – don’t they understand that reporters are High Priests of the First Amendment and immune to criticism?
They don’t like dissent – even though what they are complaining about is rhetoric that gives aid and comfort to the enemy (a phrase I intentionally use) while they are in the field.
And they don’t like citizens – even though they are citizens, and are simply exercising their rights as citizens to be critical of Arkin and his ilk.
And then there is the grand finale to his comedy of errors.
The notion then that we should defer to the military to fight when and how and where they want is absurd. As the debate about the Iraq war demonstrates, war-making is a shared endeavor and the arrogant and intolerant few who think they are above the people seem to be those who are wearing the uniform.
I’ll agree – deferring to the military is not a value I espouse. But I consider that to be closer to American values than the contempt that Arkin has shown the troops in these last two pathetic excuses for political commentary. They are angry and frustrated that their viewpoint doesn’t get out, while wing-nuts and moonbats on the Left are given plenty of ink and air time by the MSM. For them to argue that too many Americans are ignorant of what is going on in Iraq is not arrogant and intolerant – and for Arkin to again argue that the troops are a threat to American values and freedom places him beneath contempt and beyond serious consideration.
Oh, and this little update tidbit – Arkin has apparently wimped out and taken down this post from his front page on his WaPo blog. Unfortunately for him, it still appears if you have the permalink. I wonder how long until he scrubs this cowardly piece from that location, too. Don’t worry, Billy-boy – bloggers worldwide have the page cached and saved and will preserve your trash for posterity.
UPDATE: Arkin has since returned the post to his frontpage.
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