I have been struck by the excellence of Jules Crittenden’s recent Boston Herald columns, including today’s “Psalm 9-11.” Who is Jules Crittenden and why haven’t we heard of him before the past few weeks? I asked Jules if he would write something in the way of an introduction for those who, like me, are wondering:
I’ve been very lucky in life to find myself in a number of unusual places and circumstances. You asked, so here’s the quick bio: The family’s Australian and my brothers and I were raised in Sumatra, Australia, the U.S., East Pakistan and Thailand, while the old man was building power plants. I’ve spent most of my career as a newspaperman in New England, but have been dispatched periodically on short gigs, a few weeks to a few months, to Kashmir, Kosovo, Armenia, Israel and finally Kuwait and Iraq. In Iraq, I was embedded with A Co., 4/64 Armor, 2nd Bge, 3rd ID. Among other actions, it was this tank company’s honor to lead the assault on the palaces in downtown Baghdad on April 7, 2003. Some of the soldiers I rode with ended up being falsely smeared as war criminals for the Hotel Palestine incident, when two journalists mistaken for Iraqi forward observers were killed as the company dealt with a significant counterattack and subsequent harrassing fire on the morning of April 8. I ended up being called a murderer and some other things for my own actions. It was all nonsense, though “International Art Thief” does make a great resume line. The MSM and the blogosphere had a field day. Google “Jules Crittenden Iraq” if you have a couple of hours to kill and need a laugh. I particularly recommend the classic Cold War denunciation in the newspaper Cuba Socialista and also some of the Arab commentators. You’ll find most of what I wrote archived at Poynteronline, which featured it prominently until they decided they preferred their war correspondence without anything unseemly smeared on it.
As I mentioned in the prior message, some of the great inspirations for what I write are the men I know who have put themselves forward on our behalf, as well as men like John Eade and Larry Gwin who served at the Ia Drang; A Co. CO Philip Wolford and Platoon Sgt. Jonathan Lustig in Iraq; and some of the badly wounded GIs I’ve met since the invasion, USMC Lcpls James Crosby and Matt Boisvert, Army Sgt James Lathan. They are the ones who teach us about discipline, determination and sacrifice, how one should live one’s life and face the circumstances life presents.
I am now an editor and probably not going anywhere. Although you never know. I never thought I was going to any of those places. Meanwhile, the columns give me a chance to express some of my thoughts in these difficult times, and speak out as another counter balance to the prevailing message of the American media.
We’ll be tracking Jules’s work in the future. If you’re trying to catch up, his recent Boston Herald columns are accessible here. Regarding today’s column, he adds a footnote: “I’d like to note that while I am not particularly religious, I consider the 23rd Psalm one of the greatest pieces of literature of western civilization and also one of the greatest comforts in hard times even for an unrepentant sinner such as myself. Hat tip to David, or whoever wrote that.”