Originally posted on February 1, 2007. Former Washington Post military affairs writer William Arkin was a repeat target of mine back then. Don’t hear much from him anymore. I used to think that he was antiwar and anti-troops, but now I’m not so sure of things as I was back then. Okay, I am sure he hates the troops, And one wonders were all the antiwars protests are in 2014, but…anyway, here’s the old post. Happy Veterans Day to my fellow veterans!
Washington Post military affairs writer William Arkin says that the “mercenary – oops sorry, volunteer – force that thinks it is doing the dirty work” ought to be grateful for civilian support and need to shut up when the civilian doesn’t give the troops any support, because
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.
Better Arkin: “So shut up you chickenh-…er, you rapists and murderers (and we know you really all are rapists and murderers, even the she-GIs). Shut up because we’ve been looking for a reason to tell you to STFU and looking for a reason to heap scorn upon you just like we did to your daddies and uncles.
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
Better Arkin: “You have no right to tell us to shut up so shut up telling us to shut up because we pay your salary. What? You pay your own salary too? So what; you still should shut up because you’re wrong!!!! Everything about you is wrong; everything you believe in is wrong!! And I know that your uniform gives you credibility when you say that you believe in what you’re doing in Iraq, but I don’t want to hear it and don’t want to understand. I just know you’re wrong and because you are wrong I’ll do everything I can to make you shut up or shame you into shutting up. Now SHUT UP!!!”
Seriously, here’s the bottom line for those like Arkin: it matters not whether you’re an Iraq War Veteran or whether you’re a civilian who doesn’t know a helmet from a hole in the ground. All of the insulting and mendacious digs in Arkin’s op-ed are merely the opposing side of the Chickenhawk sword (wielded ad nauseum by Tim Robbins to one of Bill O’Reilly’s reporters during last weekend’s antiwar rally).
Such people don’t care whether you’ve been in the military or not. All they want is for you to agree with their position and if you don’t, it’s “what the heck do you know, Chickenhawk?” and soon it will be “what the heck do you know, Baby-killer?” They’re working up to it, trust me.
So don’t be to hard on Arkin. He finally screwed his courage to the sticking place and said this out loud. Why? Because he believes that the time is right–just as last weekend’s antiwar types thought it was the right time to trot out that old anti-war horse, Jane Fonda.
Oh, everyone is in an uproar just like they were when Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) compared the military to the various fascists of the twentieth century or when 2004 presidential candidate [then] Senator John Kerry (D-MA) botched his joke, but I’m beginning to think that we ought to be grateful to such people.
After all, how would you know who they were if they didn’t occasionally drop the mask?
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her second novel, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015.
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