Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wingers Turn on a US Troop

I read this article written by a US Soldier, Scott Thomas Beauchamp, currently on active duty in Iraq, for the current edition of The New Republic when it came out in print. (I'm a TNR subscriber.)

At the time, I found it disturbing, but not unbelievable.

However, the Rightwing blogosphere has gone berserk over this story, challenging both its factual accuracy as well as whether such seedy stories can even be possible within the U.S. military. For a sample of the apoplectic head-popping, see here, here, and here.

I'll wait until the investigation by the military into the incidents described by Scott Thomas Beauchamp before I make any judgments on his claims, but I want to pose a couple of questions to my readers out there who have any kind of military or combat experience:

1) How unusual is it for fellow soldiers or commanding officers to turn a blind eye towards stupid behavior from soldiers like chasing dogs with a Bradley instead of reporting such incidents to the proper investigative authorities?
2) How cruel can soldiers be to one another regarding gross bodily disfigurements caused by IEDs?
3) How unbelievable is it to imagine anything what Thomas describes as completely outside of the realm of the possible within the military?

As I said, I found what Thomas wrote to be disturbing, but I certainly didn't put such behavior beyond the realm of the possible.

Then again, I've never served in the Military nor have I been in Iraq during the war, so my understanding of what is possible or even believable is conditioned by what I read in the news, hear from friends who have served there, or see on the news.

I would appreciate any honest thoughts from folks with such experience, but NOT on the specific veracity of Beauchamp's particular claims. Rather, I just want to know if it is foolish of me to think that such things are even within the realm of the possible.

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