There seemed to be surprise mixed in with the anger that Baby Barry ignored the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan–other than the ones specifically vetted for him, black ones for the most part–and skipped the wounded in Germany altogether, during his world tour to create ad spots for his fall campaign. But there shouldn’t be any surprise. His own party is doing the best it can to hold down the voting of soldiers overseas. They apparently understand that not many of them would vote Democrat.
William M. Arkin is the WashPost’s homeland security writer. What a hoot. Then they gave him a blog and he decided to let loose his anti-American spleen on the troops:
"Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform, accepting that the incidents were the product of bad apples or even of some administration or command order…[recent report troops are upset about opposition to the war is] an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary – oops sorry, volunteer – force that thinks it is doing the dirty work."
So the elite blogosphere went ballistic, here, here and especially these milblogs here and, for the profane version, here. Actually, I think we owe Billy a round of applause. He’s dropped the "oh-so-objective" pose he learned to do in journalism school, and told us what he and his media buds really think. And it’s ugly and sneering which, of course, fully explains their negative reporting on the war and the military itself. Something tells me your editors won’t like being exposed like this, Bill. Write when you find another job.
UPDATE Arkin had already made a name as the Greenpeace alum, far left, anti-military activist "military affairs" writer for the LATimes. So maybe his WaPo editors won’t care after all. They knew what they were getting when they hired him.
More dispatches from Walter Reed by J.R. Salzman in his recovery from losing his right arm and ring finger of his left hand in an IED explosion in Iraq last fall. His wife is doing the typing in this amazing and poignant kind of blogging:
"I realize there are a lot of other people out there who are worse off than me. I am not asking for sympathy here. All I am trying to do is let you know what it is like to experience this. I have constant phantom pain in my arm where it feels like my hand is still there, and someone is sawing on it with a knife."
My Confederate great grandfather lost the lower part of one leg to a cannon ball in the Wilderness battle, May 6, 1864, went home and spent much of the rest of his life wearing a wooden peg while plowing behind a mule. I always wondered what that was like. J.R. brings that and many other things into clear focus.
Via Black Five
More on the interesting phenomenon of some civilians and their political and media backers agitating to pull out while the all-volunteer troops want to stay, via the chief findings from a new Stars & Stripes survey of troops in Iraq:
"In the third year of the war in Iraq, with debate flaring in the U.S., American troops surveyed by Stars and Stripes overwhelmingly said the war is worth fighting. Seventy-four percent of Stripes military readers in Iraq who responded to a readership survey said fighting the war for America was ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ worthwhile."