This, of course, is a point I have brought up many times and the Milblogs when crazy then. You, the military, are the servants of the people. That is what you signed up for. We send you to war and we bring you home. We tell you when to wake up and when to go to bed. If you do not like that, GET OUT. But, that is the life you chose.
The next thing the milblog right wingers were upset about was when Arkin called our Military a mercenary force. Well, guess what, it is!! To get people to fight this war we have had to add all sorts of additional benefits, bonuses, insurance etc. The only way to get people to go was to pay them a lot more - the definition of a mercenary. Also, if you count the 100,000 or so "contractors" over there, that is even more evidence of a mercenary force. I called it at this post last year.
If the military is going to "take on" the American public by saying we have no right to change how we want to deploy them then they have joined the fight. I have said all along, and in the book, The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War the idea that the American military has lost contact with the United States Citizens has been proven. They have. Arkin called it right!
Arkin went on to respond to the overwhelming "Milblog" criticism he received for this. And, rightfully so, he stood his ground. He had some great quotes. When he discussed where the troops should point their anger if they are, in fact, losing he points them right to where the blame should go: The Bush Administration:
"But if those in the military are now going to argue that we are losing
in Iraq because the military has lacked for Ssomething, then the
absence of such support should be placed at the feet of the Bush
administration, Rumsfeld and company, and a Republican Congress -- not
on the shoulders of the American public, who have been nothing but
supportive, even those who have opposed the war."
He also raises a great point that the issue at hand may be that the soldier has immediate media access to our debates at home. This is not something they had in WWII and to some extent they did not have it even in Vietnam (certainly, they did not have the internet). I can only say to this: Tough luck. We will not stop democratic debate just because you now get to hear it in the military. Here is what Arkin says:
"In our instant and globally wired world, these very men and women
are additionally burdened by their access to our debates and words.
This is a difficulty of our modern world, but I completely reject the
notion though that we undermine them or support the enemy by debating
I also reiterate my core point, which is that military attitudes
should not serve as a censor of the civilian debate at home, either
literally or through intimidation."
So, the bottom line is that even under intense pressure by the Military gang of writers, Arkin has held his ground. Congratulations William Arkin.
Linked to Master Gunner
The right wing is going nuts over this at LGL.
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