On Tuesday morning, Arkin wrote essay titled Early Warning on the Post's website that has to be read to be believed. Subtitled "The Troops Also Need to Support the American People," the post comments on an NBC program in which soldiers expressed dismay at the lack of support for their mission manifested by some people back home.
I've been mulling over an NBC Nightly News report from Iraq last Friday in which a number of soldiers expressed frustration with opposition to war in the United States .... I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also 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.That’s only the beginning; it rapidly degenerated into what can only be described as foaming-at-the-mouth insanity. I won’t comment on most of Arkin’s rant; others who write much better that I have already commented. PowerLine’s reaction is here. Instapundit wrote this. Michelle Malkin had this to say. Mudville Gazette comments. Blackfive’s reaction is here. And Don Surber wrote this.
I’m only going to comment on this one small part of Arkin’s descent into insanity (emphasis added).
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?Obscene amenities? Whatever could Arkin mean by that? Posh quarters? Well, this is the trailer I shared.
And I was lucky -- the trailer I shared is top-of-the line by local standards. The Commanding Officer (an O-6, or Navy Captain) of the unit I was attached to shared a shipping container. Yes, you read that right - a 12x20 foot shipping container! And it was posh by comparison with those assigned to his command. These are 40-person tents, by the way.
Well, the first thing I did when I returned was to send coffee to the Command Master Chief at my squadron. His response: “[Y]ou didn't have to send any coffee but I appreciate that more than you can know (it's the little things as you're well aware).” Five pounds of coffee -- an "obscene amenity"?
William Arkin owes the servicemembers he slimed an apology. But he won’t, so I will.
To all of you who wear our nations uniform: I deeply regret that by an accident of birth, William Arkin can claim membership in the human race. His foaming at the mouth does not represent my opinion, nor does it represent the opinion of any sentient being of whom I am aware.