July 26, 2007

You Say "Tomato", I Say "Worthless Cocksucker With No Honor Whatsoever"

You've probably heard about the "Scott Thomas" affair, even if you don't recognize the norm-de-ploom. The New Republic published supposed first-hand accounts of alleged abuses by US troops in Iraq under the title "Shock Troops".

As you would expect, people across the spectrum reacted in accordance with how well the described actions fit their preconceived notions about the military. Certain shrillbots screamed vindication because this proved what they'd been saying all along. Others on the other end immediately called bullshit.

I am firmly in the "bullshit" camp, mainly because the stories don't pass the smell test. Parts of the story don't add up, and corroborating witnesses are as anonymous as "Scott Thomas". Just in case you haven't heard, here are the three alleged "eyewitness" accounts: 1. Soldiers in a chow hall make fun of a female contractor who has been facially disfigured by an IED. 2. Soldiers uncover a mass grave full of children's bodies and one soldier wears part of a skull like a hat for the remainder of the day. 3. In a Bradley fighting vehicle, the driver purposely and repeatedly swerves to run over dogs. In each of these cases, "Scott Thomas" gives a first-hand account, placing himself as part of the act. Not as an observer, but as a participant.

Over at QandO, like many places on the 'net, the fact checking has begun in earnest. You can follow links as well as anyone if you want to know more about the specifics, but that's not my point for this post.

What has become clear is that too many Americans today lack honor. Furthermore, they have no concept of what honor is or understand why it is such a powerful motivator for those with it.

A quote from the comments at QandO:

Honor or dishonor is irrelevant and a matter of opinion.

That's from a college professor, by the way.

Here's the reply:

No. NO it is not. That you can even make such a claim just shows that you donÂ’t understand what honor is, which probably means that you have none.

Honor isnÂ’t about opinion. It isnÂ’t about supporting someoneÂ’s narrative. It isnÂ’t about speaking truth to power. ItÂ’s not about agreeing with someone or not. Honor is about honesty, responsibility, integrity and true compassion.

"Scott Thomas" was a participant in these horrible (and alleged) actions. An honorable person would have reported the second and third to their superiors. In the first case, he would've stepped in and stopped the cruel teasing immediately.

So if what he claims is true, then he is just as dishonorable for his actions during as he is if he's lying about it all.

Honor is something found in greater concentration in the military than anywhere else in society. Those who have never served may never be able to grasp what honor is, why it is important, and how it motivates those "poor stoopid kids" to keep volunteering. They will never understand the lofty ideals that honor inspires, the willingness to risk everything to protect even those who refuse to acknowledge it, and the optimistic belief that by performing their mission they are giving each and every one of us the opportunity to thrive and achieve greatness.

Honor isn't an exclusive trait of conservatives or liberals or white people or the left-handed. It doesn't matter if you agree or disagree or like or dislike an honorable person. You will always know in every situation how that honorable person will act. With "honesty, responsibility, integrity and true compassion."

Thanks Michael.

Posted by: Ted at 08:05 PM | category: Links
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1 Well said. And inasmuch as the guy said something to the effect that he signed up in the first place to reinforce his dubious notions, it's obvious what his word (specifically, the oath he took when he joined) is worth.

Posted by: CGHill at July 26, 2007 07:41 PM (bVW+e)

2 He isn't anonymous any more. This story could get really weird if he still claims everything he wrote about was true.

Posted by: owlish at July 26, 2007 10:05 PM (j0JKI)

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