Slap Down

"Scott Thomas" gets a smackdown from a literary insider....
I think I have a pretty good guess as to who "Scott Thomas" is – not his identity but what sort of person the Thomas-hunters should be looking for -- based mainly on looking at his writing and at the social context of The New Republic from my unique perspective....."Scott Thomas", however, writes exactly like the mid-20s macho MFA student who is lying about an adventurous background.
The analysis is very interesting and as one of the commenters notes, not one I would have ever considered.

The author also rightly observes the following:
It is quite possible that somewhere in Iraq American soldiers have done (or are doing right now) things fully as noxious as what "Scott Thomas" describes. With 160,000 people, mostly young men, many armed, many beyond the eyes of authority, there will be some thuggery and sadism and it is doubtful that superior officers will be devoting any large amount of time and effort to finding or suppressing it. And despite the pleas of the war's apologists, yes, it is certainly relevant that some American troops, some of the time, are behaving badly (just as it should be relevant to the war's detractors that many American troops, much of the time, are engaged in things of lasting benefit to the people of Iraq).
Though I would argue two small points. One, the young men are ALL armed, and none are really outside the eyes of authority. Every unit, platoon, flight, squad, etc has leadership. Whether it is a Field Grade Officer, an LT, or an NCO. As the author implies, 99% of these leaders would not tolerate the actions that "Thomas" describes. Those that would are not leaders....

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