The Bully And His Mercenaries
Words of Support From Those Politically Invested In Their Defeat
By Steve Schippert | February 2, 2007
Two things in Iraq are certain: Iranians are killing Americans, Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi civilians without prejudice but often with operational preference. Al-Qaeda is killing Americans, Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi civilians without prejudice but often with operational preference. Yet, grab a paper, watch a newscast or browse the web and the consumer is provided a swift education on how the Bush Administration is “bullying,” “saber rattling,” “threatening” and “escalating.” Consider Thursday's New York Times editorial aptly titled “Bullying Iran.”
Two weeks ago tomorrow, four American soldiers were captured and executed with single rounds into their skulls. A fifth soldier was killed and three others wounded in the highly professional snatch operation that led to their executions. All known data points to an attack carried out directly by Iranian Qods Force members. None of the data serves to directly contradict this.
Iran has been embedding its Qods Force members within Iraq – including throughout all levels of Iraq’s government – since the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Through this network, it has supplied both Sunni terrorists and insurgents as well as Shi’a militias and death squads with cash, training and weapons, including the milled explosive charges and infrared triggers that have been employed in roadside bombs.
These IED’s have accounted for 70% of US casualties in Iraq and Iran has perfected the weaponry for maximum carnage. For the jihadiyun, they truly are the MVP of global jihad. One would think that such deadly weapons shipped in from Iran would be the bane of those who so support the troops. Yet, in truly revelatory fashion, barely a word condemning Iran for such “escalation” is heard in network newscasts or seen in New York Times editorials. Perhaps that is because Iranian ayatollahs do not vote in American presidential elections.
As clearly as one can remember what was eaten for breakfast today, the relentless and passionate condemnation of insufficiently armored HMMWV’s putting the troops at increased risk can be recalled with clarity. The Bush Administration, it was assured, was at fault for callously endangering the lives of our troops, most of whom, after all, merely enlisted for college tuition or were otherwise unemployable. Recall the ‘hick-ification’ of Jessica Lynch and her college tuition-themed editorial biographies as a prime example. Not a victim of war or even a brutal enemy, but rather one of a long list of victims of exploitation by a reckless president that simply must be removed.
Well, now that Hummers have been up-armored – a tactical equipment modification that the US military enduring such losses did not need assistance from the New York Times to arrive at, thanks – the troops are still victims of IED’s that improve as our defenses evolve. But rather than condemn the enemy still killing us, the sitting president and his administration are blamed for provoking such attacks in their attempts to eliminate them.
The Bush Administration has left the ugly fact of Iran’s lethal activities in Iraq unaddressed until recently, albeit in very measured and tepid ground actions, including the capture and subsequent release of a handful of Qods Force operators – among them the Qods Force Operations Director and #3 general.
Yet when President Bush finally steps up to take some measure of action against the enemy killing our men, the same men whose lives the New York Times cared deeply about when it came to championing armor, he is derided and criticized without reservation once again. Even though the president's directives on action against Iranians killing us are wholly inadequate thus far, he is nonetheless somehow callously protecting the lives of our troops. He is “saber rattling” and “threatening” and his plan to secure Baghdad and Anbar with the very recommendation these same critics demanded previously – more troops – is thus “escalating” the “violence.”
Two things in America are certain: The majority of those in the United States Congress are irretrievably and irrevocably invested in an American defeat in Iraq and do not support the troops. The major media outlets and their editorial boards are irretrievably and irrevocably invested in a shared agenda with said Congressional majority and do not support the troops.
Take the beauty of the latest from the Washington Post’s William Arkin, who simply speaks what most in the dominant media outlets also think but only lack the courage to utter overtly. Driven to uncontainable ire after watching an NBC Nightly News broadcast that featured troops in Iraq lamenting the perceived lack of American public support for their mission, Arkin is as equally revelatory as the New York Times editorial board. In arrogantly stating that the American soldier “should be grateful that the American public… do still offer their support to them,” he reveals the true nature of his condescending glance, which is consistently directed downward upon them. He is not alone, for it was on the floor of the United States Senate that those same ungrateful troops drew comparisons to Hitler’s SS and Pol Pot while seamlessly being accused of running “Soviet gulags.” Arkin is kinder, preferring "mercenaries” as the choice descriptor.
And, just as was the endemic media treatment of Jessica Lynch and many, many others, the “mercenaries” are just too dumb and uneducated to rise to the intellectual level of William Arkin and the New York Times editorial board. Even still, Arkin comes to our ready defense in saying, “Cut off from society and constantly told that everyone supports them, no wonder the debate back home confuses them.”
Put a magnifying glass to the words “and constantly told that everyone supports them…” Why on earth would that ever confuse us unless it were untrue?
We mercenaries are neither dumb nor ignorant and we most certainly are not "confused.” For it’s not the debate which was lamented by those soldiers aired on NBC Nightly News and elsewhere unseen by those so far removed from the military to miss it yet, apparently close enough to serve as ‘subject matter experts’ for major publications. Indeed, as Admiral Mark Fox said just this morning from Baghdad in a conference call, that very debate is explained to concerned Iraqis in their infant democracy as how we Americans use “words and not weapons, ballots and not bullets” to settle our differences.
No, we’re not confused at all.
The ungrateful “mercenaries” are intelligent enough to decipher feigned support. In fact, we’ve had enough practice at it to be true ‘subject matter experts.’ We watched and understood with unmistakable clarity as the Speaker of the House of Representatives sat idly on her hands when the Saber-Rattling Bully asked her support for victory where we are, but leapt to her feet to be the first in nationally televised applause to ‘support the troops’ whose victory she so disdains.
Perhaps we should all be grateful that Arkin and his fellow ‘supporters’ sacrifice so much to provide serving mercenaries “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 perhaps we should thank them for the brilliant idea of up-armoring our Hummers. We automatons would have never figured that out without their support.
In the end, we are left with the indelible mark that our “bullying” Commander in Chief continues to endanger us in our otherwise placid mercenary profession complete with social services and government health care, that the Honorable James D. Baker will successfully negotiate our deliverance, and that the “force that thinks it is doing the dirty work” could use a little enlightenment.
To be certain, it is William Arkin and the editorial board of the New York Times that are doing the real dirty work. For, after reading both of their contributions to this war, American mercenaries everywhere are overcome with the urge to shower. But some of us will just have to wait for them to “ship obscene amenities into the war zone” for the soap to lather up with. We’ll be sure to send back a yellow ribbon to show appreciation for their sacrifice and inconvenience.