Andrew Sullivan -- Whiskey Tango ...?
One of my favorite "big media" bloggers, Andrew Sullivan, has a post up today that I cannot figure out. His "Quote of the Day I" for January 4th has a quote from a Navy helicopter pilot, which basically says:
"I'd much rather be doing this than fighting a war," - helicopter pilot Lt. Cmdr. William Whitsitt, helping the survivors of the south Asian tsunami. Earth to Whitsitt: you're a soldier.
(I replaced Andrew's link to LCDR Whitsitt's quote with one that actually links to the quote; it appears Mr. Sullivan's link is old).
I have two problems with Sullivan's "Earth to Whitsitt" line; number one, "Lt. Cmdr" Whitsitt is a Sailor, not a soldier. That might not be that big a deal, but if you're going to insult someone, at least get the insult right. Number two, and most important, is Sullivan's apparent belief that if you're in the military, you should enjoy going to war more than anything (at least that's what I would infer from his sarcastic comment). Speaking only for myself, I'm actually happy that I was never involved in active combat in my 21+ years; everyone else should be too, since any war involving submarines fighting each other would be pretty bad. Mostly, though, I don't see why a Sailor saying, basically, that he likes helping people more than killing people is a reason to hold him up to public ridicule, which I believe Sullivan attempted to do. Marines and O-6s can say all they want that our only job is to "kill people and break things"; however, in real life, some of the million plus people in the armed forces sometimes want to do more than that. I'm proud of warriors like LCDR William Whitsitt, who carry out their lawful orders with pride and honor. The fact that they enjoy one part of their jobs more than another is no reason to diminish their contributions.
Edited to correct mis-spellings...
Update: Andrew Sullivan responds to a similar complaint, in "E-mail of the Day" for January 4. (Sorry, I'm not able to link to the specific post, just his blog... my "skilz" aren't up to the task...)