The New Republic has published an article entitled "Shock Troops" which paints a most unflattering pictures of our troops in Iraq. The problem is that it seems to be the work of another fabulist who like Time's McGirk was telling a story about soldiers "too good" to be checked.
PERSONALLY, I FIND THIS TO BE ONE OF THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS incidents of the war. I've spent much of the past couple of weeks speaking to men who have served in Iraq to prepare a piece for the next issue of the Weekly Standard about what I call the Next Greatest Generation. These are amazing men, doing amazing things. The TNR piece has maligned every individual who is serving our country in Iraq, including all the men I've spoken with.
So what exactly happened here? There are three possibilities, and none of them paint TNR in a flattering light:
a) The soldier is not a soldier at all, and made up stories out of whole cloth.
b) The soldier is a soldier, but made up stories or embellished them to such an extent that they ultimately bore only a passing resemblance to reality.
c) The soldier is a soldier, and what he said is completely true.
Let's start with the last one. Even if everything happened exactly as TNR's pseudonymous scribe relayed it, running a story like this one is astonishingly unfair. The story's publication, without rebuttal, redress, comment or any attempt to put into context of the tens of thousands of soldiers who are serving their country honorably is unconscionable. The obvious desired effect of the article is to paint our soldiers as a roving band of sociopaths and lunatics. It remains an oddity that despite how much the media and the press support the troops, they still revel in stories like this one and rush to print them.[/quote]