I don’t often get aggravated at editorial pieces, but this one recently appearing in the Washington Post by William M. Arkin is unbelievable. The title of the piece is “The Troops Also Need to Support the American People.” It starts with Mr Arkin stating “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.”
Further down in the article he states “But it is the United States, and the recent 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...The notion of dirty work is that, like laundry, it is something that has to be done but no one else wants to do it. But Iraq is not dirty work: it is not some necessary endeavor; the people just don't believe that anymore. 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...
America needs to ponder what it is we really owe those in uniform.”
I have to take a deep breath after reading the opinion piece…For all that I despise the tone and overall message of the article, I have to say that I respect Mr. Arkin for having the stones to man-up and say what the rest of the left-leaning media have been wishing they would say if they would only sum up the courage to print it.
As a retired Reservist and a soldier that deployed to Iraq I am annoyed at Mr. Arkin's opinion that soldiers are mercenaries and/or tools of the Republican party. I firmly believe they are doing a service to the American People they swore an oath to defend at the orders of the Commander in Chief. Our soldiers are serving this country - every citizen - every politician - and every pundit regardless of their personal politics. Our soldiers are not foriegn, they are also Americans and citizens. They will receive my whole hearted support regardless of my opinion of our leadership's decisions. Taking aim at soldiers and telling them they should be grateful and support people of his ilk is distasteful.
I swore to uphold and defend the constitution of this country - and that includes the rights of people such as Mr. Arkin to voice their opinion. I believe the Washington Post has every right to publish Mr. Arkin's opinion and I have every right to voice mine that Mr. Arkin is wrong, The Paper should be viewed as participating in his distain for soldiers in allowing his opinion to see the ink from the press. I suspect that money drives the collective effort of The Washington Post and Mr. Arkin to gain notice via the article - its up to us in the public to see they don't profit from it if we disagree with their sentiments.