The posters at the FreeRepublic thread are very rough on the soldier, but most of the ire should be directed at the Beltway geniuses at the New Republic who allowed this young man to publish a column that would obviously lead to the controversy it quickly ignited, as well as to the blowback from his fellow soldiers for the general slander he perpetrated. Having to use a pseudonym in an era of milblogging was the obvious giveaway that the piece would start an investigation.
Sliming the war and the people fighting it requires sacrifices, of course, and the New Republic’s editors were willing to let Beauchamp make his on behalf of their cause.
I note that the second post on a blog believed to be Beauchamp’s, the soldier notes “I’m reading On The Road again.” Amazon.com notes that this book “is not only the soul of the Beat movement and literature, but one of the most important novels of the century. Like nearly all of Kerouac’s writing, On The Road is thinly fictionalized autobiography, filled with a cast made of Kerouac’s real life friends, lovers, and fellow travelers.”
The shade of Walter Lippman has suffered enough in recent years, but here’s another chapter in the decline of a once great magazine with which to torment it.