Into the kerfluffle about TNR’s editor Foer coverup and the stories of Pvt Beauchamp that dissed his fellow soldiers as immature morons or worse, comes a voice of maturity.
Even by September, Beauchamp wanted to put the essays behind him, and refrained from defending them as true reports (i.e. rather than satirical fiction). At this point, most editors would have said: Obviously these reports are exaggerated, and we will reclassify them as satirical fiction.

But instead, Foer kept quiet, at least until Drudge reopened the case, proving Foer knew that the accounts were fictional.

End of story, right?
Well, not quite.

Independent jounalist Michael Yon has an essay that is being widely quoted in the blogosphere, concerning Beauchamp and his unit:

I was at a reconciliation meeting between Sunni and Shia in the West Rashid district of Baghdad on 24 October, and it happened by complete coincidence that I was with Beauchamp’s battalion. In fact, I was with his old company commander for much of the day, although I had no idea for most of it that I was with Beauchamp’s old company commander.

At the reconciliation meeting, Beauchamp’s battalion commander, LTC George Glaze, politely introduced himself and asked who I wrote for. When I replied that I just have a little blog, the word caught his ears and he mentioned Beauchamp, who I acknowledged having heard something about. LTC Glaze seemed protective of Beauchamp, despite how the young soldier had maligned his fellow soldiers. In fact, the commander said Beauchamp, having learned his lesson, was given the chance to leave or stay….

Beauchamp is young; under pressure he made a dumb mistake. In fact, he has not always been an ideal soldier. But to his credit, the young soldier decided to stay, and he is serving tonight in a dangerous part of Baghdad. He might well be seriously injured or killed here, and he knows it. He could have quit, but he did not…

Ironically, Beauchamp’s blog diary from before his posting to Iraq show many stories in the same cynical line as his Iraq “reports”. Such stories are all the rage, and one only has to look at Hollywood’s latest duds to see that such stories are the ones that get the backing of some of Hollywood’s most powerful.

Yet his choice to stay with his friends and face the danger with them suggests he might be growing up.

Too bad Foer can’t say the same thing.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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