The latest inane comments deserve a response:
In the middle of all of this are the troops, the pawns in political battles at home as much as they are on the real battlefield. We unquestioningly "support" these troops for the very reasons that they are pawns. We give them what we can to be successful, and we have a contract with them, because they are our sons and daughters and a part of us, not to place them in an impossible spot.
In our instant and globally wired world, these very men and women are additionally burdened by their access to our debates and words. This is a difficulty of our modern world, but I completely reject the notion though that we undermine them or support the enemy by debating at home.
I also reiterate my core point, which is that military attitudes should not serve as a censor of the civilian debate at home, either literally or through intimidation.
Note he seems to absolve the anti-war movement of its complicity. Remember how Joe Wilson peddled his phony story, and then when the Bush Administration tried to fight back, they became the bad guys?
And with the changes in communications technology, Mr. Arkin, don't you think that there is a responsibility to carefully consider the words one uses? Instead of accusing Bush of lying, why wasn't there instead just the effort to find out what went wrong? Same sort of thing, but there would not have been the kind of statements that would have encoruaged our enemies.
I do not believe for a moment that the military wants to censor debate. But they do have a right to request that people conduct the debate in a manner that does not encourage those they are locked in battle with. It is a very reasonable request, and the fact that Arkin and others refuse to grant the troops even that consideration speaks volumes.