UPDATE: Bob Owens says the New Republic could clear all this up by answering two little questions.
While I breathlessly await the investigation done by The New Republic's crack staff of military experts, the same ones who bought this BS hook, line & sinker, I think the rest of us have come to a fairly obvious conclusion.
Scott Thomas is a lying sack of shit. Every unit has a Scott Thomas, the whiny pissant whose brilliance is never recognized and who is always being abused by the chain of command for stuff that's not his fault. It would be normal to hear folks telling him to STFU and do his damn job.
The stories he peddled were easy to believe if your mindset starts with soldiers as knuckle dragging, jack-booted barbarians barely held in check by the enlightened scrutiny of a vigilant press. Sadly that is the status quo among most of the media and gives us "reporting" colored darkly by the biases of these people. They have their narrative down and it involves US military barbarity so when they got a big plate of scrumptious horror they scarfed it right up.
Now I am not saying that US troops are not capable of horrifying depravity, the cells at Leavenworth show otherwise. But see, that is just the point, we punish the evil amongst us. We have a stake in the reputation of the US military and the overwhelming majority of us would never tolerate the acts described by this chump. I can imagine someone with so little compassion that they would openly mock a burned female. I can also easily imagine the bullet-headed First Sergeant who would have jerked a knot in his tail quicker than suddenly, and if perchance a punk ass Private found a piece of skull and decided to use it in place of a helmet, he would last about 30 seconds before his squad leader was chewing his ass threatening to "beat him like a wet dog in a dry house". I also think we heard from enough real Bradley drivers to front out his dog-killing exploits.
So how does absolute horse shit like this make it into what should be a respectable magazine? Well first you will notice that this was the New Republic, not National Review, and while this mag has plenty of fabulist issues they are emblematic of the chattering classes as a whole. While the left makes noises that they think mean they support the troops, they don't really, and they do believe the dregs of society theory of military recruiting. Jon Carry didn't misspeak when he said those non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in his beloved cultural elite, will end up stuk in Irak. He was simply stating the common wisdom on the left, our troops are killers, sometimes under orders, sometimes just to satisfy their blood lust.
Well there is also a bit of assumed wisdom on our side as well. That is that most journalists are gutless weasels possuming a ride on the backs of better men and women than themselves. They are parasites whose sole function seems to be advancing a narrative of evil America, cause of all that is ill with this world. There is no problem they are unwilling to lay at the feet of greedy rapacious America, busy killing brown people all over the planet, and now even slaughtering Gaia herself. Damn us!
Well I for one am sick of it. I've had a bird's eye view of how our military operates and for an instrument of war it does one hell of a lot of good. Obviously it is a killing machine, but it is the most finely calibrated one ever deployed, and one that takes enormous steps to ensure that civilians are not harmed by it's actions. That alone distinguishes us from the rest of the world's armies. Look at the excremental record of UN "Peacekeepers" in comparison. The one thing the UN guarantees is a huge increase in child rape. Our forces on the other hand will likely be found giving vaccinations, digging wells or building schools. So Bite me Franklin Foer, not only are you a crap editor by even the low standards of journalism, but you are an ill-informed punk who allowed yourself and your rag to be used to smear a group of people who collectively and individually dwarf your moral and ethical stature. And as for Scott Thomas, I won't bother to do more than call you a liar and a remind you that eventually you will brag about this to someone and you will be unmasked. Just keep that in mind as you look over your shoulder for the rest of your miserable life. I sense some old school wall to wall counseling in your future troop.
JD Johannes calls the little puke out personally and has some decent logic putting him in A Co. 1/18th at Falcon. Well A Company who are your dirtbags?