October 17, 2006


James Webb Writes About Incest and Pedophilia John Hawkins, 10/17/06, Right Wing News)

Back in September, I did a piece on some of the N-Bombs and bizarre sexual content in three of James Webb's books, which to me, seemed to be pretty relevant.

After all, the WAPO has been trying to make the fact that George Allen said the word, "Macaca," which about 3 people had ever heard of before Allen said it, into the biggest story of the election cycle. Meanwhile, James Webb's books feature N-bombs galore and women slicing up fruit with their private parts. But that, the MSM doesn't want to go into detail about.

In any case, recently, someone alerted me to a depraved passage in another one of Webb's other books, that just blows everything away that I've posted so far. For reasons I cannot fathom, in Webb's book, Lost Soldiers, he has a scene that features incestuous pedophilia. Now here's the kicker: not only is it a completely gratuitous scene, the characters in the book, bizarrely, don't even seem to react to a sex act being performed on a child in front of them.

If that sounds surreal, it's because it is. It's like Webb was sitting around one day and said, "You know what this book needs? A father performing a sex act on his child while people act like it's an everyday occurrence. That will really throw people for a loop!"

Now, I'm going to go into detail about what happened, but it will be below the fold in case any of you want to spare yourself something even more disgusting than the Foley IMs.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 17, 2006 9:52 AM

WTF? I live in VA and this is totally unreported. Could it be a hoax?

Posted by: JAB at October 17, 2006 1:17 PM

Can someone check out his book from the library and report back?

Posted by: paul s at October 17, 2006 3:32 PM


1-4 of 4 pages with references to boys penis:

Return to book
1. on Page 405:
"... The man grabbed his young son in his arms, turned him upside down, and put the boy's penis in his mouth. Dzung walked a few steps further, uneasy in these raw surroundings. "What do they call this place? ..."
2. on Page 408:
"... meters upriver, then cut to your right, and you will be at the park where the man kissed the little boy's penis. ..."
3. on Page 409:
"... LOST SOLDIERS 409 "Why did he kiss the little boy's penis?" wondered Dzung. "I do not know," said Manh. And then he shook his head, amazed at Dzung's serenity. ..."
4. on Page 423:
"... hacking them up for food. The vacant lot where the man had kissed the little boy's penis was just across the street. ..."

Posted by: oj at October 17, 2006 5:42 PM

oj, I thought you were yanking our chain.

But google confirms it is the same James Webb and he wrote this stuff in 2001.

Posted by: Gideon at October 17, 2006 8:35 PM

Wow. This is just bizarre. He seemed to be a decent guy who was recruited by nutroots types due to a common opinion of the Iraq war and eventually became one of them during the heat of the campaign. Now we know he fit right in from the beginning.

Posted by: JAB at October 17, 2006 9:26 PM

Gideon, When will you learn that OJ is always right?

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at October 17, 2006 10:56 PM

With Jim Webb, the Dems thought they had a foolproof hero, a Kerry without the soft spots. They were wrong.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 17, 2006 11:41 PM

WTF? I live in VA and this is totally unreported. Could it be a hoax?

JAB, it is indeed a hoax, as a cursory reading of the novel in question will reveal. I have to say that the Republican Party fanatics who've posted on this topic are making fools out of themselves with this nonsense. I have the novel before me, and nowhere can I find the made-up quotes brandished by OJ. OJ, before you make a fool out of yourself further, let me make the breathtakingly original suggestion that you READ THE BOOK before taking the word of some moronic blogger trying to smear a perfectly honorable man. Same goes to all the other gullible nitwits who've also posted.

Posted by: zola at October 18, 2006 10:18 AM


Jus turn to the pages that the Amazon "Search in the book" feature returned above--that's an awfully obsessive attention to the man kissing the boy's penis, though perhaps not in Democrat circles...

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2006 11:20 AM

Sorry man, you're right. The reason for my hasty dismissal of this is because recently some guy named Dan Cragg accused Webb out-of-the-blue of being a racist who drove around Watts pointing rifles into the faces of African Americans for his own sadistic pleasure, and Cragg has since vanished from media because his charge was so ludicrous nobody took it seriously; hence I thought this was just another random slur being thrown around by ideologues and whatnot. Also, the edition of my copy of Lost Soldiers is different from the one on Amazon, so the quotes are not easy for me to find, and it was some years ago that I read the novel. However, I have looked at the passages in question and I now recall the context of the quotes. The pedophilic incident from Lost Soldiers takes place in the slaughterhouse section of a horribly poor district in Bangkok, and as outrageous as the incident may be to First World readers in the US, this entire scene taken in context is perfectly in tone with the brutal, direct realism of the novel. Indeed, the book's details are provided in an objective way that can only come from direct observation (Webb, a Marine who fought in Viet Nam, travelled around Asia extensively for many years after the war, knows the language, and can venture into places, like violent slums, which most reporters refuse to venture.) Actually, one of the reasons I forgot about the incestuous incident is because when taken in context, it doesn't seem out of the ordinary, given some of the other horrible or bizarre facts Webb reveals in his detailed portrait of Viet Nam and South East Asia after the American withdrawal. The scene involves Manh, a Vietnamese government official, taking Dzung, a former ARVN soldier whom Manh has forced to perform a nefarious assassination, through a kind of filthy slum area called Klong Toey. This is the place where Dzung has been ordered to murder somebody (exactly who he is not told). Manh then instructs him on when to shoot, how to get rid of the weapon, how to escape the murder-scene undetected, etc. That is all the scene focusses on. There is no obsession with pedophilia or whatever in the scene. It's just that one of the things Webb was doing in the scene was giving a brutally realistic and detailed decription of some the bizarre, violent or strange things that actually happen in Third World slums, as strange as they may seem to the delicate sensibilities of American readers. Any idiot can take such a scene out of context without explanation and ignorantly accuse the writer of introducing gratuitous pedophilic sex acts. It would be like isolating the scenes of homosexual rape that occur in the prison sequences in Tom Wolfe's Man In Full and sccusing Wolfe of harboring repressed fantasies of rape or whatever. It is clear that John Hawkins has not read the book and is probably bringing up this nonsense because Webb is running against George Allen. (I recommend that you check out "Lost Soldiers, because it is an engrossing analysis of modern-day Viet Nam under the Stalinist Communist regime, and well worth your time; it's also been praised by such people as John McCain.) People who have reviewed the work in the several years since it has been published have not once accused Webb of gratuitous sex or even mentioned it in passing.

Posted by: zola at October 18, 2006 1:19 PM

So he watched pedophilia and didn't intervene, just saved it for a book? That's a sketchy defense.

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2006 2:19 PM

Actually I don't think I have to defend him against anything, because I think you missed the point. I don't actually know whether he did or did not see the incident described in Lost Soldiers (maybe the misunderstanding is due to my bad use of language.) Maybe he did see something like this and intervened; maybe he was told this via interview with someone knowledgeable with slum-life; it doesn't really matter in the context of the novel, because the scene in question isn't about James Webb, it's about two Vietnamese people preparing for an assassination attempt. My point was simply that he has travelled exytensively in the region, knows it well, knows how its people tend to behave, and surely conducted research via interviews, etc to amass the material he used in the book. I'm not sure why such a huge fuss is being made over this book by people who either haven't read it or don't understand it.

Posted by: zola at October 18, 2006 2:45 PM

Write what you know.

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2006 3:10 PM

Probably only ideological fanatics really care about taking these things out of context. I'm sure if another author like Tom Wolfe ran for office as a Democrat Karl Rove-ian slimeballs would be taking those prison rape scenes from A Man in Full and using them to depict Wolfe as a closet homosexual rapist or something. These kind of things only mysteriously emerge when somebody, no matter how distinguished or demonstrably honorable, runs for office.

Posted by: zola at October 18, 2006 3:27 PM

Certainly an author whose central concern is masculinity must raise eyebrows if he dotes on anal rape. Mr. Wolfe doesn't do so.

Posted by: oj at October 18, 2006 3:47 PM

Tom Wolfe is arguably to finest writer of English prose alive today and he has an impressive body of work devoid of references to sexual deviancy, so I doubt the descriptions of prison life in one of his novels would be enough to condemn him as a pervert even by the evil one himself.

zola, I fear you brought up the wrong specter this time.

Posted by: erp at October 18, 2006 7:29 PM

Actually, you could if you used the technique of taking selective quotes from Wolfe's work and presenting them to people who have not read his books, which is what has happened here in Webb's case. The reason I defended Webb against John Hawkins' slanders is because I happen to have read several of his novels, such as Fields of Fire (which Wolfe, by the way, calls "the finest of the Vietnam novels"), and I consider them to be very powerful works by a clearly important American writer. Lost Soldiers is a very good read with lots of vivid details about Vietnamese life under Stalinist rule, so I found it truly bizarre that such a literarily successful work was being attacked in such a strange way by people who hadn't read it.

Posted by: zola at October 19, 2006 8:31 AM

Facts aren't slander and you've already conceded the facts.

what do his other books have to do with the obsessions of the one in question?

You don't have to pull selected quotes. Anyone who's read Tom Wolfe knows that he's anti-gay--try Ambush at Fort Bragg:


It's safe to assume he believes in what he writes, as it's safe to assume Webb does.

Posted by: oj at October 19, 2006 8:40 AM

I think you're being deliberately obtuse here. You insist that Lost Soldiers has an "obsession" with pedophilia when you have not read the book. All the scene contains is a passing decription of deviant behaviour in a Third World district, and since the story is set mainly in the Third World, Webb can't help but put in these details for verisimilitude, amongst a host of other details. It most certainly IS slander if you isolate selective details and then insinuate that Webb must have a depraved mind or whatever. Also the reason I brought up Webb's other works is that Lost Soldiers isn't the only work being selectively quoted by John Hawkins. He has accused Webb of using the N-word in his works and that by extension Webb is a racist. His quotes, as usual, are laughably out-of-context and are in no way equivalent to George Allen's bullying of an Indian American and use of the word "macaca", which seems to be Hawkins contention.
Actually, I don't think Wolfe is anti-gay as you claim. I think it's simply that an authoritarian minded person such as yourself are anti-gay, and have projected your own prejudices onto Wolfe's work. Indeed Wolfe, who's a pretty courtly and polite gentleman, would probably be embarrassed to be labelled as such.

Posted by: zola at October 19, 2006 9:22 AM

It's safe to assume he believes in what he writes, as it's safe to assume Webb does.
Posted by: oj at October 19, 2006 8:40 AM

I see what you're trying to say, but for the last time, the passage from Lost Soldiers is not about what Webb believes, but about what is happening in front of two Vietnamese men preparing to assassinate someone in a slaughterhouse district. Like I've said, if you'd read the book you wouildn't be drawing the idiotic conclusion that just because Webb describes pedophilia in passing, he must therefore have an "obsession" with pedophilia. This conversation seems to be getting increasingly ridiculous the more you talk about something you know nothing about.

Posted by: zola at October 19, 2006 9:47 AM

Never listened to Ambush at Fort Bragg have you?


Posted by: oj at October 19, 2006 11:09 AM

Actually, I did read the novella a couple years ago, and am well aware of the anti-gay stream-of-consciousness rant by the Ranger named Ziggefoos, I think, but I have no idea why you think the judgement of a reviewer hostile to Wolfe would mean much to me. I think the reviewer's making an error you yourself make all too often on this site: ascribing the views of the characters to the author in a crude ideological way. From interviews I've seen of Wolfe on radio and TV, a theme he constantly emphasises is the non-political nature of his work (I think he's said that he considers it a great compliment if a reader cannot identify his political orientation from a reading of his novels.) His novels are sociological works in fiction form, describing human behaviour extremely objectively as far as I can see. Anyway, if you want to see Ambush as anti-gay, that's your prerogative.
Finally, to get back to Webb: My point has been all along that you haven't read Lost Soldiers, don't know what it's about, and your ignorance of it is what makes you so easily gulled by what is essentially the kind of silly misrepresentational tactics Karl Rove might use on a bad day.

Posted by: zola at October 19, 2006 12:29 PM

Every word he's ever written has been political and most have celebrated masculinity.

Posted by: oj at October 19, 2006 12:56 PM

I'm willing to give Webb a pass on this, though not on much else. I just don't think this deserves much mention.

However, had George Allen written a book with these lines I'm sure the story would be on page 1 of the WaPo with all sorts of "analysis" about Allen's "fixation." The context wouldn't matter, only the words.

Maybe in 100 years the j-schools will study this campaign as the ultimate example of media bias.

Posted by: George at October 19, 2006 1:12 PM