Poor Joshua Sparling. It’s bad enough that he was wounded in Iraq, but the anti-war crowd has added insult to injury. As Digby
points out, Sparling is some kind of magnet for abuse from anti-war activists.
When the carnival barkers at Fox and Friends showed up at Walter Reed last December, he showed them an obviously phony letter telling him to die. Now, just weeks later, he claims those damn dirty hippies spat on him at an anti-war rally over the weekend. He even claims to have been verbally abused and reduced to tears by an airline employee, security and a female passenger back in March!
This pile of horseshit grows taller and taller. First of all, I’ve worked at two airports over the last four years. Employees and security bend over backwards to accomodate people in wheelchairs or on crutches (I’ve experienced both sides as an employee and customer) -even more so with veterans. Is it possible that he just happened to get the biggest assholes to ever work customer service AND security at the same time? I doubt it.
Then there’s this bogus letter telling him to drop dead. Then it’s revealed that Sparling has been doing PR work for the Army since 2005 and was a guest on Sean “Haditha” Hannity’s show last February and at far-right rallies with convicted liar and disgraced Marine Oliver North last August.
Even his father in now in on the scam, parleying these fairy tales about how his boy Joshua was mistreated into being invited to the State of the Union Address and hanging out with Lynne Cheney.
This video of Sparling, who is a good 20 feet or more away from anti-war demonstrators and separated by a fence shows that his story is purely fanciful:
The most damning bit of proof that Sparling is a bullshit artist is the fact that the story of the brave veteran being reduced to tears because hippies, fags, dykes, and other undesirables spat on him is an urban legend that traces its origins not just to the Vietnam War, but to right-wing Germans after the Fatherland’s defeat in the First World War. Here’s Hermann Goering on the subject:
very young boys, degenerate deserters, and prostitutes tore the insignia off our best front line soldiers and spat on their field grey uniforms
The German version was called the dolchstoss (”dagger thrust”) legend. It blamed Jews, homosexuals, racial minorities, uppity women and decadent art. The American version of this Nazi myth also blamed Jews (AKA the “elite, liberal, New York media” ), minorities, uppity women, hippies and marijuana. The big difference is that while the Nazis singled out Marlene Dietrich, their American counterparts foam at the mouth over Jane Fonda and more recently, the Dixie Chicks.
The fact that the losers in these wars prefer to lash out at female celebrities proves Jerry Lembcke’s excellent point that most of this nonsense is motivated by feelings of lost manhood by the losers.
This is all demonstrated in detail by Lembcke’s brilliant book The Spitting Image, which found absolutely no evidence whatsoever of antiwar demonstrators spitting on veterans, despite looking through contemporary media reports, police reports and other government documents. Needless to say, if demonstrators really were physically attacking veterans, the police would have been happy to bust them on the spot for such an obvious breach of the peace. Instead, they resorted to trumped up charges like jaywalking and littering.
The best rebuttal to this hogwash comes from the novel Beach Music by Pat Conroy (as reprinted in Lembcke’s book):
“A lot of us were spit on when we came back to this country,” said Capers.
“Bullshit,” I said. “A lie. An urban myth. I’ve heard it a thousand times and I don’t believe a word of it. And it always happens in the airport.”
“That’s where it happened to me,” said Capers.
“If it happened as much as Vietnam vets claim it happened, no one during those years could have stood up in the airports of America with all that spittle on the floor. You’re lying, Capers, and if it happened you should have rammed the teeth down the asshole’s throat that did it. That’s what I can’t believe. A million vets get spit on and no one loses a tooth. No wonder you lost the fucking war.”
At least right-wing Germans waited until after they lost the war to start crying and whining about getting those imaginary dagger thrusts in their backs. These wankers are reduced to tears by John Kerry’s Senate testimony, Jane Fonda and a rude lady in an airport.
No wonder they lost the fucking war.