Christs Of The Left
The posts examine the political climate that can produce not only a Scott Beauchamp, but also an environment where his deceits are championed by an organization with an ostensibly credible record.
What would motivate a person to make a false confession? Ordinarily, one (or some combination) of the following: the need to expiate guilt over some other offense, real or imagined; the desire for attention, even if negative; and/or the delusion that the false confession is actually true.
Beauchamp’s stories, if false, would almost undoubtedly fall under one or several of these headings. I will speculate that the second one—desire for attention—is the most likely motivator for Beauchamp, although that doesn’t rule out any of the others. But publication in TNR is certainly a plum for an aspiring writer (I wouldn’t mind that gig myself). He’s already revealed that he initially went to Iraq in order to write a book about this “misguided” war, so it’s clear that—whatever else may or may not have occurred to him after arriving there—he came there already having an antiwar agenda. It would stand to reason that Beauchamp also came to the Iraq war with the template set down by My Lai and the Winter Soldier testimony about the US military (as well as Abu Ghraib) set firmly in his mind.
Neo's earlier observation sets the stage:
What interests me most about this story are two questions: even if true, why was it considered worth telling in the first place (Part I)? And if false, what was the motivation for the lie (Part II)?
After all, Beauchamp’s allegations are hardly on a par with those of My Lai, or even Abu Ghraib. The former was an extensive war crime with a group of perpetrators, well documented even before the story broke in the press, and already the subject of an army investigation (and whitewash) at that point. The latter involved mistreatment of prisoners by a group of guards, and was complete with corroborating photos, and an army investigation that was already underway when the press made it public.
Beauchamp’s war stories, even if true, involve something else. They are mostly anecdotes of pranks that are in abominable taste: (a) the mess hall mocking of a burned woman (soldier or contractor) (b) playing around with a dug-up skull fragment (c) the deliberate killing of dogs with a Bradley vehicle. The first is a story about hurt feelings, the second about desecration of human remains (rather than live human beings), and the third about animal abuse.
None of these are commendable and all are deeply objectionable, but they do not rise to the level of true atrocities. The first involves two perpetrators (and one is Beauchamp himself), the second and third each involve a single perpetrator, with any group participation alleged to be limited to either laughing or winking at the offense.
Indeed. What is it about the Scott Beauchamp/TNR story that sends so many people into a frenzy that resembles religious rage? As neo notes, the events reported by Beauchamp are barely significant. Why then, is the left (and TNR) responding with the same kind of fury (sans violence, of course) way so many Muslims did when the Danish cartoons were published?
We noted in a comment that
...Beauchamp is the modern leftist equivalent of the religious penitent, more than willing to self flagellate as a public demonstration of piety.
There will be a strange competition as to who best represents American ‘evil.’ After My Lai, the search for greater and even more horrific examples of American misdeeds became a leftist obsession.
That obsession has resulted in a strange world where there is no evil as great as an American evil and no crimes against humanity as great as American crime- which of course are usually invented as a part of hidden conspiracy. The leftists who can repent for the greatest sin or evil, has become a source of great competition, with every day bringing more wild eyed claims of American conspiracies and perfidy. Each leftist claimant can then bask in the warmth and recognition their ‘confessions’ have brought them.
Tens of millions have been slaughtered by the ideologues the left supports, but that is of little consequence.
As long as America remains the Great Satan, the leftist penitents have a reason to live.
Many of today's leftists (as distinguished from classical liberals), empowered with self esteem trophies and scoreless soccer games as a part of their 'identity,' view themselves as modern day Jesus Christs, each so precious that they are willing to die for your sins. Of course, those 'sins' are whatever they say they are and their crucifixions must be public and hopefully, covered by the media.
These leftists live in a ideological twilight zone where the Lord's Prayer is amended. They see no reason to ask forgiveness from anyone. As saviors, they are free from sin. The murders and death of hundreds of millions that have been the result of the ideology embraced by the left are of no consequence- the desired end always justifies the means. This is the same kind of ideology and thinking that drives the Palestinian and Iraqi terrorists. No matter that tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been deliberately murdered in an attempt to incite sectarian violence. No matter that the vast majority of Iraqis want to live in peace. As there are Americans nearby, murderous behavior is justified and even celebrated. No matter that generations of Palestinians have been relegated to a hell by their own rejectionist leadership (what is it about the cessation of hostilities and terror, secure borders and diplomatic recognition of Israel that is so vexing to the Palestinians? Those are the minimum requirements as noted by Israel, the UN, the US, and the EU. Which of those requirements are too onerous for the Palestinians and the Arab world?)
These latter day Christs actually believe that their ideas and not their actions, entitle them to a sacred status. They have no need for good works, prayer or forgiveness. Like Muslim extremists, they see themselves as the only purveyors of 'truth,' no matter how bigoted, racist, murderous or immoral.
America is by no means a perfect nation. We are however, a nation that seeks to elevate itself. No matter how much the Christs of the Left would like you to believe that we are the same as the other nations they see as ideologically 'pure', that just isn't so- and that will not change no matter how many murderous tyrants and regimes the Christs of the Left embrace.
What these Christs of the Left, in their hubris do not understand is humility. They cannot ask, 'Forgive them, for they know not what they do.'
Their sacred mantra is, 'The ends justify the means.' If that means supporting groups that execute gays, perpetrate honor killings, ignore FGM and persecute women, for example, so be it. TNR, Kos, et al, have replaced the bible.
It isn't as if their rights and freedoms are being trampled on- as long as attention and cameras are focused on them, nothing else matters. The TNR/Scott Beauchamp story is testimony to that.