The reaction of the right wing blogosphere to the Scott Beauchamp (aka Scott Thomas) affair has been taken to extreme proportions. Watching the so called “troop supporters” turn on one of their own is like imagining a school of piranha feasting on a new born lamb.
1) WingNet accuses soldier/journalist of being an impostor.
2) WingNet proven wrong.
3.5) Developing: WingNet completely loses narrative; forms digital lynch mob; redefines success to mean utterly destroying the targeted person by any means available, short of leaving the safety of their heavily-farted computer chairs.
4) Upcoming: WingNet brags about triumphant victory over forces of anti-American calling-them-wrongness which are blatantly in league with the terrorists, enjoys brief period of tumescence, finds new victim.
For a more detailed rundown, see Jon Swift:
But after some clever sleuthing by conservative bloggers, it turns out that Scott Thomas is Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp, who is, in fact, a soldier in Iraq. Although Beauchamp actually outted himself, it was no doubt because conservative bloggers were closing in on his identity, despite the clever way he threw off the keyboard detectives by actually using his real name as a pseudonym, which would have fooled anyone. But even if Beauchamp really does exist and really is a soldier that still doesn’t mean he isn’t lying. As Hugh Hewitt reveals after a thorough investigation of Beauchamp’s blog, Beauchamp is a fan of On the Road, a book I have not actually read, but which, according to Hewitt, “is thinly fictionalized autobiography,” a damning piece of evidence Hewitt puts in boldface type. People who read fiction, especially autobiographical fiction, certainly can’t be trusted to tell the truth.
Justin Raimondo gives us a peek into the mind of the War Party.
Militarism really is a religion with these people, and they reacted to the debunking of their gods with all the vehemence and shocked outrage that the Islamists directed at Salman Rushdie – immediately declaring a holy war against the blasphemer and his editors. With one voice, the right-blogosphere rose up, declaring the whole thing to be a hoax before having evidence of any such thing.
You see, they don’t need evidence: after all, we’re talking about an ideology that has degenerated into a faith. They know it isn’t true: they know the “surge” is working; they know the “real” story of how we’re winning in Iraq is being blocked by the MSM, which is reporting only the bad news. In the overwhelming face of evidence to the contrary, all they have to do is slip into their alternate universe and deny everything. That’s the psychological mechanism that produces both suicide-bombers and our suicidal foreign policy: the ability to block out all but a carefully pre-selected slice of reality, one that rationalizes and even glamorizes the gritty, bloody, messy reality of war.
Digby theorises that the source of this angst is produced during the formative years.
I hear so much from the right about how they love the troops. But they don’t seem to love the actual human beings who wear the uniform, they love those little GI Joe dolls they played with as children which they could dress up in little costumes and contort into pretzels for their fun and amusement. If they loved the actual troops they wouldn’t require them to be like two dimensional John Waynes, withholding their real experiences and feelings for fear that a virtual armchair lynch mob would come after them.
Thank God Joseph Heller and James Jones and Erich Maria Remarque and countless others aren’t trying to write their books today. They’d be burned as heretics by a bunch of nasty boys and girls who have fetishized “the troops” into a strange form of Boy Band eroticism — that empty, nonthreatening form of masculinity the tweens use to bridge the scary gap between puberty and adolescence. Private Peter Pan reporting for duty.