William M. Arkin, the Washington Post's National and Homeland Security expert, is crying foul over the recent onslaught of negative publicity he's attracted due to his rather unflattering commentary on American troops. In a story entitled (with much chutzapah), "Demonization and Responsibility":
I'm trying to make sense of the worldview of those who have responded. For the critics, I have become the enemy and have been demonized. In that process, I have ceased being a person, an individual, or a human being, all essential to justify the campaign to annihilate me. I'm not trying to offer myself up as victim here, nor do I expect the critics to change their view. I'm merely pointing out the process and the implications of the dehumanization.
Mr. Arkin, you're a sad, weak man. Do you want an idea of what dehumanization really is? Look no further than your employer, who has spent seven years giving it to President George W. Bush, working feverishly to turn him into un diablo. And now you claim to suffer? This is what your medium has wrought; you cannot complain when your are tormented by the very beast you set free, and fattened.
Let's review quickly what Arkin said that has caused him to suffer the greatest injustices, by his accounting, since the Crucifixion itself:
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...
I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to them why it wasn't for them to disapprove of the American people."
"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?"
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. 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
Arkin here is not under attack by zealots who misunderstand him; in fact, he is understood too well. Thus the revulsion visited upon him. But Arkin does not even have the moral strength to search his soul for what he may have done to so inflame his fellow man - instead, he climbs on the liberal escape rope of victimization; claiming he has been "demonized". Look! How He Suffers So!! Can't you See he is being Oppressed?
Of course, Arkin as a victim is now spared the responsibility for any of the venom being hurled at him. How convenient.
Arkin's tortured "explanation" is almost as bad as his original transgression...well, at least he claims he's going to drop the issue now (can he dig himself any deeper of a ditch at this point anyway?)...Maybe Sean Penn (seen here at al-Jazeera, "supporting the troops") can step in and guest-blog for him next week.....