New attacks

With JamilGate blown off its hinges the wingnuts have 2 new targets. A few days ago they started their campaign against CBS’s Lara Logan. With absolutely no evidence they claimed she used Al Qaeda propaganda video in a piece at took Malkin and the gang apart so enough said on this one.

But now the wingnuts (warning Malkin link) have attacked WaPo’s William Arkin for a column in which he raised this question…

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 think this is a valid question though I would not have stated it as Arkin does. But he raises a substantive issue which ought to be questioned and I’d simply put it as…When did  troops on the ground gain the authority to determine US policy?

That has never been their role and it is not to this day. They have every right to their opinions but those opinions do not determine US policy. Our system does not work that way and never has. That isn’t bashing or not supporting the troops as the wingnuts exclaim. That use to be obvious. It is just reality. Deal with it.

4 thoughts on “New attacks

  1. You neglected to mention when Arkin called the troops “mercenaries”.
    You have every reason to be upset that honest dissent is suppressed with calls to ‘support the troops’, but that does not justify the vitriol with which Arkin wrote his column. And trying to paint the bad reaction he has caused as unjustified by overlooking the most inflammatory parts of his column doesn’t make you look very good, either.
    There seems to be this common stereotype that the troops are either a) poor kids desperate for a job, b) naive citizens who believe the lies the government tells or c) bloodthirsty warmongerers who like killing.
    None of them are very true, but Arkin’s column seems to fit in perfectly with these common perceptions. When the troops don’t seem to support what he wants, then they have to be ‘mercenaries’ who should quit complaining about the lack of support when they are so amply compensated. In his mind, at least.

  2. Why would they mention the Constitution? Not only are they completely ignorant about it, but they have a sneaking suspicion in their dark hearts that if they looked at it, it would not support their arguments.
    I never swore any allegiance to “our troops.” I never swore to support “our troops.” When I became a lawyer, I swore to uphold the Constitution. Our troops weren’t mentioned in that oath at all, and I have no obligation to support them at the expense of the Constitution.

  3. Is it just me, or do these people very seldom mention the Constitution?
    Instead they whip out well-worn “you/they/it does not support the troops” canard – one of their trusted fallbacks.
    Ah well, luckily, this is all completely irrelevant, since according to Dr. Kissinger, the Chimp in Chief has a secret plan in his pocket.
    I usually want to slap Dana Milbank, but his piece today about Kissinger meeting with the Foreign Relations Committee is very entertaining. Basically, Kissinger as Chauncey Gardiner.
    “Kissinger responded with a guttural sound that the transcript labeled “(inaudible).”

  4. I think it’s part and parcel of the subtle militarization of society: the idea is that only the “experts”, who happen to either be in the military now or who have been in the military in the past, are capable of deciding whether particular decisions should be taken in wartime. Anyone who is a civilian is presumed to be incapable of understanding the details of military strategy (which, you will notice, means that most women, who are less likely to have served in the armed forces than men, are automatically excluded from such discussions).
    This is so far from what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Of course, they didn’t have any idea of a standing army or permanent war, either. You can argue about the extent to which circumstances have changed since those days and the extent to which the actions of American presidents have caused those changes, but there is definitely something to be said for the notion that this country was not designed to have a standing army, that the idea was that war would be an infrequent event, entered into only when absolutely necessary when other efforts to resolve problems had failed, and only when the vital interests of the country were clearly at stake. Just putting the matter in those terms sounds alien to someone like me, who grew up in the Cold War and now the War on Terra.
    I would also like to note that this respect for “experts” does not extend to real experts, like climate scientists talking about global warming, or biologists talking about evolution. There, the average American is presumed to be equally well informed and capable of deciding issues of scientific fact as any actual scientist.

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