Phillip, I can only assume you haven’t read James Webb’s novels. I long ago read and admired every one. He started out as a kind of clumsy tough-guy military writer, and advanced in skill to profound effectiveness, in The Emperor’s General. In many respects, his fiction-writing career parallels Joseph Wambaugh’s, in whose books you will find many similar images. Why? Because both men were in settings where such things happened, and were said. Nowhere in the criticism of Webb has it been mentioned that almost all the scenes — especially the ones most emphasized — take place in third world countries, among third world peoples. These “revelations” show more about the profound illiteracy of most Americans than they do anything else. You want to ask these complainers, “Ever read Last Exit to Brooklyn? Tropic of Cancer? Fear of Flying, for Pete’s sake?”
I suppose the novel excerpts may put the last nails in the coffin of the Webb candidacy, but I think it’s silly.