Here’s the man of the hour, playing softball last night with Alan Colmes about the WaPo column heard ’round the blogospheric world. Well, the right side of the blogospheric world, anyway.
N.B.: The clip has been heavily edited.
Update: He’s got a new post up at WaPo. I wonder what Maureen Dowd and the rest of the patriotic dissent crew who granted Cindy Sheehan absolute moral authority because her son died in Iraq would say about this?
Contrary to the typically inaccurate and overstated assertion in dozens of blogs, hundreds of comments, and thousands of Emails I’ve received, I’ve never written that soldiers should “shut up,” quite 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.
And then the crux of it: creeping military dictatorship by authoritarian robots, whom he’s certainly not calling authoritarian robots even though he pretty much is.
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…
[S]omething is inculcated into the minds of military members from day one of duty. It is not just defense of the Constitution, it is also unanimity of thought and an unwavering regard for hierarchy. Without this, you can’t have a military and you can’t expect human beings to go against their instincts to put their lives on the line.
I’m not saying that this makes people in the military automatons, or that they are stupid. But this unanimity of thought and this absolute allegiance to a hierarchy of ideas is and should be foreign in the civilian world. That’s what makes the two different.
Update: A reader e-mails to say that Arkin’s new post, from which I quoted above, doesn’t appear on the front page of his blog. Only if you use the permalink can you see it. Just a glitch or did he try to remove it?
Update: One of Ace’s readers did some Lexis-Nexising and pulled a few profiles of Arkin from the online archives. Seems he has a habit of disclosing secrets.
Update: Good question:
I’m especially taken by [Arkin’s] central complaint about the connn-unnn-drumm that the US military no longer (as if it ever did) perfectly represents the broader beliefs and traits of American society.
Question: What about the connn-unnn-drummm that the US media represents the broader American society even less?