Attacking the Military

In a stunning display of hatred, NBC News military analyst William Arkin wrote two Internet columns chastising members of the United States Armed Forces for daring to criticize civilian dissenters of the Iraq war.

The columns appear on The Washington Post's Internet site and said in part:

"I've been mulling over an NBC Nightly News report from which a number of soldiers expressed frustration that with opposition to war in the United States.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. 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.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. [This] NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for mercenary — oops, sorry, — volunteer force."

It is hard to believe that any responsible person would attack the military in this very personal way. Arkin implies that Abu Ghraib and Haditha define how Americans have performed in Iraq and flat out calls our military people mercenaries. That is, folks who fight solely for money, have no patriotic intent at all.

Ironically, the American military has fought for centuries to allow Arkin the right to say these vile things. We invited Arkin on "The Factor." He, of course, declined. So FOX News producer Jesse Watters went to him:


JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS PRODUCER: Bill Arkin, how are you doing? FOX News. How's it going? Mr. Arkin, can we talk to you about some of the comments you made?


WATTERS: Actually, no, we'd like to talk to you for a second. How could you say what you said? I mean, don't you think it was really hurtful and harmful to the military families, to the soldiers serving in Iraq?

Let's address this. I mean you called these people "mercenaries." They're serving in harm's way in Iraq and you called them mercenaries, sir. Let's address this. You also said they were "pawns" and "naive." How could you say that?

ARKIN: Can you give me a business card?

WATTERS: I'll go get you the business card.

ARKIN: I don't believe you're with FOX News. Go get me one and then I'll talk to you.

WATTERS: Well, I'm — are you calling me a liar? Mr. Arkin, you said the soldiers.


WATTERS: All right, thank you very much. You said that the soldiers should be grateful...

ARKIN: I told you I wanted a card.

WATTERS: You said that they should be grateful that people aren't spitting on them.


O'REILLY: Mr. Courage, huh? William Arkin has been a military hater for some time. He wrote a book called "Code Names," where he exposed more than 3,000 coded titles, some of which were still classified.

So there's no question, Arkin is an agenda driven guy. The question is why would The Washington Post and NBC News hire a person like this?

As you know, "Talking Points" believes NBC News has taken a sharp turn the left. It is a business decision made by three men: NBC Universal executives Robert Wright, Jeff Zucker, and Steve Capus, with their approval elements at NBC News, spew out far left propaganda on a daily basis and direct vicious, personal attacks at people with whom they disagree.

Wright, Zucker and Capus believe this is a responsible way to run a news division but students of journalism know this kind of garbage is unprecedented at the network level.

We asked NBC News for a statement regarding William Arkin and here it is. "The comments in question were made by Mr. Arkin in his Washington Post column. He does not speak on behalf of NBC News."

We'll deal with The Washington Post tomorrow. But notice how NBC didn't criticize Arkin's comments. Hard to believe.

Now there's no sense in confronting the NBC News people about this situation. They're in too deep. They will not change course because that would expose them. But NBC's parent company, General Electric, makes billions of dollars off government contracts including military work. Its CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, is aware of the Arkin problem and the tone of NBC News in general. It is Immelt who is responsible for this debacle, because he has the power to change it.

Fair minded Americans can dissent from the Iraq War. We all know that. The war has not been waged effectively because of poor post-Saddam planning and the failure of the Iraqi people to put aside religious hatreds and fight for democracy.

But clear thinking people also understand that deposing a murderous dictator and trying to bring freedom to millions of oppressed people is a noble endeavor. —Just ask the marsh Arabs or the Kurds.

The United States military has performed heroically in Iraq and Afghanistan in brutal environments. For any American, any American to accuse them of being paid agents of oppression is disgraceful and far over the line of rational thought.

NBC News and General Electric and The Washington Post will be forever tainted by this situation. Like William Arkin, they can run, but they can't hide. Enough is enough. All Americans, all Americans should condemn this.

And that's "The Memo."

Most Ridiculous Item

As you know, there's an alligator problem in Florida. Some alligators down there have been eating dogs and generally misbehaving. Occasionally, they'll attack a person.

In Australia they have problems with crocodiles. -- Look at this guy! -- Which are larger and more dangerous than 'gators. And apparently, if he sees a pool he likes, he's going to do a few laps. And who's going to go in and tell him he can't?

This croc was found in Darwin, Australia . And I have been to Darwin. There are lots of critters there, believe me.

Finally, the animal control people — this looks like a baby croc — pulled him from the pool, toweled him off, and I don't know what happened to him.

And it may be ridiculous, but not if you can answer this quiz question. What's the big difference between the lifestyles of alligators and crocodiles? Answer: crocs live in salt water, 'gators in fresh water. There you go.