The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Friday, July 27, 2007
UPDATED Glass, Beauchamp, and The New Republic: Losers on Parade
Any way you look at it you lose..." -- Paul Simon
Those lyrics from Mrs. Robinson could not be more appropriate to the situation with The New Republic and it's "embed" in Iraq, now revealed as Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp. Jack Kelly discusses the case and finds that it is a no win situation for TNR's anti-war "plant" :
Now that they've demonstrated their diarist is a real soldier, the New Republic's editors feel vindicated. But the issue is not whether Pvt. Beauchamp is a soldier. It's whether he's telling the truth or not. And his story stinks to high heaven. No one else at the base ever seems to have a seen a woman who fits the description of the woman in the chow hall. No mass graves have been discovered during the time Pvt. Beauchamp has been at FOB Falcon. It is physically impossible for the driver of a Bradley to see a dog to the immediate right of his vehicle.
It would be better for Pvt. Beauchamp if he made his stories up. It breaks no military rule to BS gullible liberal journalists. But if Pvt. Beauchamp is telling the truth, he and his buddies have broken so many articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that I haven't space to list them all.
It isn't only Pvt. Beauchamp who'd be in trouble. If the latter two stories are true, then his fire team leader, squad leader, platoon sergeant and platoon leader either witnessed them, and did nothing about them, or were negligent in supervising their soldiers. And if I were his company commander, I wouldn't be expecting below the zone promotion to major anytime soon.
His superiors won't be happy campers, and neither will his fellow troops, to whom he has brought unwanted scrutiny, deserved or not. I suspect Pvt. Beauchamp soon will be the guest of honor at a blanket party.
That he is Pvt. Beauchamp suggests this is not his first brush with the UCMJ. He called himself PFC Beauchamp on his Web site last September, which indicates he's been busted a stripe. He's been in the Army long enough to be a Spec 4.
On his blog (Sir Real Scott Thomas), Pvt. Beauchamp indicates he's an aspiring writer who joined the Army to establish credentials for voicing his liberal political opinions.
"I know that NOT participating in a war (and such a misguided one at that) should be considered better than wanting to be in one just to write a book," he wrote May 18, 2006. "But...maybe I'd rather be both."
But is Pvt. Beauchamp telling the truth about what he sees in Iraq?
In a blog entry for May 8, 2006, Pvt. Beauchamp describes an atrocity: "'Put a 556 in his head.' (The caliber of an M-16 rifle is 5.56 millimeters.) On the street below, the man's brown face dissolves in a thick red mist. The lights in the city's houses shut off in unison. Electricity rationing. Water rationing too. You ever tried to survive for more than a few hours in 120 degree weather?"
On May 8, 2006, Pvt. Beauchamp was in Germany, where temperatures rarely reach 120 degrees, and the electricity and water work just fine.
My guess is that these are not the only things that Pvt. Beauchamp made up. And it appears that TNR's scandal with Stephen Glass may just be the tip of the iceberg for that left-wing rag. So is anyone asking the forbidden question: why is it that a large majority of the "made up" news only seems to come from the Left? Could it be a natural result of a bankrupt ideology with no long-term historical "success stories"--because Marxism does not work and never has worked as an economic/political model--or is it the fact that the Left (aka "World Socialism") already has the blood of over 200 million political murders (and counting) on its hands?
Chalk up another big "win" for the blogosphere (especially Ace); but it isn't like the Left has made it hard or anything... they don't seem to get it that in the age of the Internet and the blogs, you can't just roll out lies and automatically have it accepted as gospel anymore. To many so called "journalists" that is a bad thing--but real journalism needs to be about getting the story right. And the fact that bloggers like Ace are making that happen can only be good for a democracy in the long run.
UPDATE: John Hawkins offers a refresher course on the evils of Communism (which = "Socialism"):
Communism is a system that forces human beings to behave in a method that runs contrary to human nature and as such, is always destined to fail, impoverish the people living under it, and crush the human spirit. Communism is all about forcing people to work for the state, stealing the fruit of their labor, and giving faceless bureaucrats unlimited power and control over every aspect of the human existence.
That's why Communist nations always end up being totalitarian. Because when the people see what a nightmare communism is, they reject it, and then the elitist left-wingers who implemented the system in the first place have to use force to maintain the system.
The free press has to go because it'll report the truth about how terrible communism is for the people. Real, honest elections are out because the people would vote to get rid of communism. The communists always end up turning to secret police, gulags, non-stop government propaganda, and murder, sometimes on an almost unimaginable scale, to keep the people under control.
In the 20th century, communist regimes killed more than a hundred million people including (rough estimates that vary a lot depending on whose work you believe)
Mao: 77 million
Soviet Union: 61 million
Pol Pot: 2 million
Kim Il-Sung: 1.6 million
The Nazis were lightweights compared to the communists who killed far more people, enslaved far more people, and held power for a much longer time.
If you want to know why Communism has never been treated with the utter disdain of Nazism in the United States, it's because liberals have always been sympathetic to commies. Liberals flirted with Communism in the forties and fifties and vigorously defended the communists who moved into positions of power in Hollywood and even the communist spies in our own government. Even today, you have liberals slobbering over that evil old monster Castro and wearing Che Guevara t-shirts.
But, despite the liberal comfort with Communism, it is an evil system with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.