From William Arkin, Washington Post:
"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?
I can imagine some post-9/11 moment, when the American people say enough already with the wars against terrorism and those in the national security establishment feel these same frustrations. In my little parable, those in leadership positions shake their heads that the people don't get it, that they don't understand that the threat from terrorism, while difficult to defeat, demands commitment and sacrifice and is very real because it is so shadowy, that the very survival of the United States is at stake. Those Hoover's and Nixon's will use these kids in uniform as their soldiers. If I weren't the United States, I'd say the story end with a military coup where those in the know, and those with fire in their bellies, save the nation from the people.
But it is the United States and instead this 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.
His Follow up to "apologize" for use of the word "mercenary" -
The Arrogant and Intolerant Speak Out
"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.
Contrary to the typically inaccurate and overstated assertion in dozens of blogs, hundreds of comments, and thousands of e-mails I've received, I've never written that soldiers should "shut up," quit whining, be spit upon, or that they have no right to an opinion.
I said I was bothered by the notion that "the troops" were somehow becoming hallowed beings above society, that they had an attitude that only they had the means - or the right - to judge the worthiness of the Iraq endeavor.
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."
My son joined the Army about 2 years ago.
He is not a mercenary. He is
not suddenly rich. (We had to
help pay to help move him to his
new posting in fact!). I can guarantee
his IQ is FAR about Mr. Arkin's (probably far
above the MSM's collective IQ in fact!).
Pax, mom to soldier U.S. Army