George Allen: You Have Not Earned the Right to Question Jim Webb's Recollections of War - So Just Shut Up To: George Allen and his campaign From: Steve Jarding Re: Shame on both of you by Steve Jarding George Allen and his campaign hit men this week chose to again attack Jim Webb and his military experiences, this time by taking passages from Webb's novels to try to suggest that the explicit war time experiences Webb writes about are demeaning and repugnant. On their attacks, I would like to say two things. First, the novels that the Allen camp attacks include Fields of Fire, which has been called the classic novel of the Vietnam War and was for years required reading on college campuses nationwide in classes relating to the illumination of war. They include, The Emperor's General, which has been called a masterpiece of literature and was called by that raving liberal George F. Will, "This compelling, fascinating exercise of historical fiction proves, again, that Jim Webb is as fine a novelist as he was a Marine. Enough said;" and they include Born Fighting, which has been called brilliant and the most important ethnography of our time. Perhaps the Allen camp should learn to read books before they begin burning them. Second, let me say one more time to George Allen and his lapdog assassins. Senator, you have not earned the right to question Jim Webb's wartime experiences, from the ugliness of combat to the ugliness of what happens to civilians in nations ravaged by war. Senator, Jim Webb wrote of things he witnessed. They may have been ugly, but we should learn from their ugliness about the consequences of our votes and actions before we send men and women into war. And Senator, you would not know this, but, war is demeaning, war is repugnant. People die and get maimed there. Innocent boys and girls are forced into prostitution, and are forced to perform heinous acts there. Jim Webb witnessed it all. And he wrote about it. You don't think this is happening in Iraq? Perhaps if you had read Webb's book, you would not be so quick to take his experiences and attempt to twist them for selfish, personal, political gain. Perhaps if you had purchased Webb's books and at least read about these types of atrocities, you would not have been so gung ho about blindly following the misguided and malfeasant actions of another man who did not witness firsthand the ugliness of war, George W. Bush. And perhaps if you had gone to Vietnam and served as a company commander instead of serving as a drover at a dude ranch, or serving as a surfing instructor on Malibu Beach, you would temper your feigned indignation. A man who did read this same book you disparage, John McCain, praised its honest portrayal of the heinous nature and repercussions of war. Perhaps Senator, if sheltered Hollywood neighborhoods and elitist dude ranches had unspeakable death, destruction, rape, and unspeakable inhumanity to man and woman, you might now know how self serving your shock and indignation is. But, until you have witnessed firsthand the ugliness of war and the destruction it reaps upon all people, including the innocent ones, you should learn to keep quiet. I understand, Senator, that your campaign is desperate and as such it is doing desperate things. But it is not lost on anyone that you were the one who went on statewide television pleading for a campaign on the issues. You clearly did not mean the words you uttered. And finally, to Chris LaCivita, who did serve. Your statement regarding Jim Webb's recollections of his war experiences, do not warrant a response. Shame on you.