Dean Barnett has written a very good summary of that New Republic article, "Shock Troops", on events in Iraq. "Shock Troops" describes some grotesque and possibly illegal behavior by American soldiers in Iraq. It makes them out to be cruel and sociopathic. However, the story is highly implausible and has been soundly thrashed on the right side of the blogosphere.
Barnett observes that the New Republic seems to have failed to do any fact-checking before publishing the story and wonders how that could have happened. He offers that the reason that this happened is because the editors of the New Republic didn't find the story at all remarkable. They really do believe, deep in their little Leftist souls, that American soldiers are a bunch of hateful sociopaths, just the kind of warmongers who would do these sorts of things, and so the editors didn't think the story was doubtful enough to be worth checking.
I beg to differ. Barnett's is a reasonable interpretation but it fails to explain the peculiar fact that neither the New Republic nor the Left blogosphere is jumping on this story and demanding an investigation. Name one plausible event of this kind in the last twenty years that the left didn't want investigated --didn't hysterically demand be investigated. I can't think of one. If a report leaves the military in a bad light then the Left invariably wants a long and rectally thorough public examination of the events. They want all of the dirty laundry aired in order to bring maximum discredit upon our military forces and in order to extend the story and weld it into public perception.
Where are the calls for an investigation over this incident? You won't hear any from the Left because no one, on left or right, really believes that this story is true.
Well, I call for an investigation. If these things really are true then we need to know about it. We need to punish the soldiers involved and retire the officers that let it go on. We should all demand an investigation into these allegations. Let's air the dirty laundry. Let's find out who is mocking women who were disfigured by an enemy attack, let's find out who is running over dogs with military equipment, and let's find out who is lying.