8 years ago
It seems as if half of the blog-0-sphere has spilled ink on the issue of young Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp and his ugly charges: mass graves in Baghdad (in my city we call these ‘cemeteries’), mental abuse of IED victims, and other such things (see here, here, here, here and here). I have resisted as long as I can, and feel that I should have shared my thoughts long ago. So now, TCJ weighs in on the young Private.
I think we should have an investigation. The PAOs and lawyers could lead it. Perhaps we should transfer Beauchamp. Yes I suppose that’s right. I suppose that’s the thing to do. Wait. Wait. I’ve got a better idea. Let’s transfer the whole squad off the base. Let’s — on second thought, the whole division … let’s transfer ‘em off the base. Go on out there and get those boys down off the fence, they’re packing their bags.
Get me the President on the phone; tell him we’re surrendering our position in Baghdad. Wait a minute. We won’t call the President just yet. Perhaps we ought to consider this a second. Maybe we have a responsibility to this country to see that the men and women charged with its security are trained professionals. Yes. I’m certain I once read that somewhere. And now I’m thinking that our idea of investigations and hand wringing and surrender, while expeditious, and certainly painless, might not be in a manner of speaking, the American way.
Young Private Beauchamp has had a lot of extra time on his hands. He has had time to send e-mail, make telephone calls, and perhaps even eat ice cream. After all, they have a dining hall, a place to actually sit and eat chow. After considering surrender, I have changed my mind and I advocate training young Beauchamp. Yes, that’s it! There are Marines in Combat Outposts in Fallujah who have no chance to eat ice cream in dining halls. They take showers by using baby wipes, and they have to burn their human waste in pits of stinking fire. They have no electrical power, and no amenities. They certainly don’t write e-mails home to use as articles for or against anything. They are busy 20 hours out of the day, and sometimes 24 hours out of the day.
Young Beauchamp needs to be trained. He badly needs to stay busy. Young Beauchamp needs to be on patrol, picking up a rifle and standing a post, and contributing to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Let’s send him out to the Combat Outposts where he will learn to work. His unit badly needs discipline and motivation. The United States of America has an obligation to instill these things and train young Private Beauchamp. I am certain that I read that somewhere.