Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A traitor? A deserter? A monster?

A misfit? A hero? A philosopher?

An earnest seeker of truth?

A victim? A collaborator?

A confused little boy?

What have we made of him?
Who is he? What is he?

Who was he? What will he become?

Did President Obama merely use the Bergdahl family as part of a political ploy, or does the president feel honest compassion for them?

Private Bergdahl was recently cleared by the Army of any misconduct during his captivity. The Left wants to see that as a An Embarrassing Defeat for Rabid Right Wingers who Rushed to Judgment.

But the Left, itself, has Rushed to Judgment, because the the circumstances of Bowe Bergdahl’s disappearance from his post and subsequent capture have not yet been revealed.

I'm a libertarian, which puts me about as far to the right as anyone could get, and I posted the following observation here, at Always On Watch, and at Progressive Eruptions several weeks ago soon after the brouhaha over Private Bowe Bergdahl began:

'Good points on both sides about the handling or possible mishandling of Sgt. Bergdahl's return, but overemphasis of any bit of evidence primarily to score points for a particular "side" results in distortion of the truth, which does no lasting good. When both sides do it, both are equally at fault.

'Even if Sgt. Bergdahl really is guilty of desertion and possibly treason, it has been extremely unwise and distasteful –– not to say impolitic –– for Conservative elements to jump on this and beat it to death right now.'

I first published that statement at Progressive Eruptions, then repeated it elsewhere several times where I felt a lot of hotheaded, irresponsible, defamatory remarks were being passed. I even went so far as to say the fervid eagerness to condemn Private Bergdahl was assuming the characteristics of a typical LYNCH MOB.

I remind you of this, because Left Wing Bloggers have been hurling hotheaded, defamatory, accusatory remarks condemning FOX News and the Right Wing in general for using Private Bergdahl’s sensitive-possibly-tragic situation to try to damage their beloved President Obama. So, once again Left and Right mirror each other, and fail to see how very much alike they are in their arrant bigotry.

I don't like being lumped in with a bunch of Yahoos, rabid partisan zealots and ululating savages who jump to conclusions on slight evidence, avidly feed their penchant for blood lust, and render themselves eager to kill at a moment’s notice, so I’m publishing this yet again to try to set the record straight. 

As I've said so often since 911, the extremes of left and right meet back-to-back on a circle. Too often thr they produce a Rorschach pattern -- mirroring  and mimicking one another with chilling clarity and precision.  

It is the ferocious eagerness to vilify, condemn and punish that unites Left and Right.

All that aside we need to do honest, objective research in order to learn the full ruth about Private Bergdahl.


  1. In my view, trading five Taliban commanders for a PFC was an inequitable trade. It also sent a message of weakness to the Taliban and to other radical elements.

    Yes, I said "a PFC." Bergdah was promoted to the rank of sergeantthat because such is the protocol for those who are captured by the enemy or possibly captured by the enemy.

    Can we actually do objective research? I doubt it.

    But I will not discount the other soldiers in Bergdahl's unit. It is highly unusual for soldiers to speak out against a fellow soldier. Those who spoke out will testify eventually, and at that point, we might get to the truth of the matter of Bergdahl.

    I say "might" because I keep thinking of how the jihad attacks on the part of Major Nidal Hassan have been officially labeled as workplace violence. Pffft.

    Furthermore, it will be some time before any official hearings are concluded. In the eyes of many, the Haditha Marines were deemed guilty, guilty, guilty. Yet the court martial found only one of those Marines guilty. That link also shows the time lapse involved.

  2. 'Even if Sgt. Bergdahl really is guilty of desertion and possibly treason, it has been extremely unwise and distasteful –– not to say impolitic –– for Conservative elements to jump on this and beat it to death right now.'

    I agree with not beating the topic to death. But I do believe that discussion for a period of time was both necessary and politic. As far as I know, nobody is talking about the matter now. Maybe I've missed any recent discussion, but I don't think so.

  3. I think Bowe Bergdahl was an idealistic young man who should have joined the Peace Corps instead of the US Army, and I mean no insult by that. I was friends with good Americans working in the Peace Corps when I lived in South America. They do good work and engender goodwill toward our nation in a way our military cannot.

    I also think he should be charged with desertion, or whatever charge fits for leaving your combat post. That was an egregious offense.

    Neither of these conclusions conflict with anything said by his fellow soldiers.

    I think the president was right to bargain for his return, although the price was too high. Rumor has it that no Spec Ops types wanted to risk themselves to try to rescue his sorry ass.

    The whole Rose Garden photo op with Bergdahl's parents was what political operatives call "bad optics," and Obama playing this as he did was a political fumble, which his liberal fans pointed out more vigorously than the right did.

    Obama foolishly thought he would get good press and warm feelings from the voters for this, not understanding the facts on the ground. That was the fault of his political handlers, and that is why the leftwing loonies screamed themselves hoarse over the right's condemnatory statements against Bergdahl.

  4. Now that Beau's back, we should get back to shooting deserters.

  5. Why, Thersites, I believe it was your hero Nietzsche who admonished his readers to beware of those in whim the urge to punish is strong.

  6. AOW, the narrow focus of this post has nothing ton do with Presdet Obama's decision to trade five Taliban reprobates for PFC Bergdahl. The focus is meant to be on Bergdahl, himself, and the advisability from a tactical standpoint politically of conservative forces to gang up on him as they have done.

    There was nothing to lose by taking a more patient "Wait and See" approach, but a great deal to lose by not.

  7. It isn't "punishment" that I seek in executing Bowe, FT. It's maintaining "order".

    Like they always tell the G-dfather, "It isn't personal. It's business". You betray your combat unit, you die. It's THAT simple.

  8. The country used to be smart enough to understand that. It isn't "justice". It "just is".

  9. w/o the executioner, than can be no State.

    The only requirement is that he "be just" ;P

  10. I suppose it's time for me to tell the rest of America to "get off my boat"! Because like the Officer and the soldier and the criminal of "In the Penal Colony", they haven't a clue anymore as to what "values" they are "defending"

  11. America's military may not have a "desertion problem" today. But I when I consult Nous-to-damn-us, he tells me that if we continue to behave as we have in the Bergdahl case, we most certainly WILL experience a much more existentially threatening military desertion problem in the future.

    Our Army will become more and more "like" the Iraqi one that we've so inadequately "trained" to fight against ISIS.

  12. FT,
    the narrow focus of this post has nothing ton do with Presdet Obama's decision to trade five Taliban reprobates for PFC Bergdahl.

    I well understand that.

    However, my own judgment calls about Bergdahl -- if one can call them "judgment calls" -- centers around the inequitable trade. That he went AWOL is also a factor in that inequity.

    There was nothing to lose by taking a more patient "Wait and See" approach, but a great deal to lose by not.

    I disagree to a certain extent. Politics today has become all about seize the day.

    Now, certainly we know more about Bergdahl than we did early on -- at least, if we read the diary entries that have been released.

    Also, the Information Age (with news or what purports to be news zipping all over the worldwide web) and 24/7 cable news have forever changed the way that discussions occur.

    The age of civil discourse is dead -- for the foreseeable future.


    I must agree with Silverfiddle:

    I think Bowe Bergdahl...should have joined the Peace Corps instead of the US Army...

    I'll also add this:

    I think that the Army's screening process should have screened him out -- if only because of Bergdahl's problems in the Coast Guard.

    Ah, well. It is now up to the military justice system to sort out the matter of what should happen to Bowe Bergdahl. As I implied above, by the time that the military justice system rules, few will notice, IMO.

  13. Thersites,
    Our Army will become more and more "like" the Iraqi one that we've so inadequately "trained" to fight against ISIS.

    I agree.


  14. W/O the "Code" the military cannot function.

  15. AOW:

    Screening/standards ebb and flow depending on need.

    The Army greatly loosened its standards when we were fighting two wars, so they knowingly let more unstable people in.

    All of the services are tightening back up as they shed personnel

  16. I remember FreeThinke being right on this. There's another thing that unites the Right and Left, there are plenty of us of good faith who can agree to agree once in a while. I've had plenty of those moments with all the conservatives I like to blog with.


  17. OK FreeThinke. You've been ignoring me for days, so I'm making a blatantly off-topic post:

    It's another historic first for the Obama administration!

    For the first time in our nation's history, the First Lady has had to reassure White House guests that the dessert pastries do not contain crack cocaine.

    It is rumored that Joe 'Bananas' Biden threw his pie in a reporter's face and demanded the kitchen staff bring him a six pack of Rolling Rock and a fifth of Ten High.

  18. It was a joke, Silver, about how addictive the out-going chef's pastries were. What are you suggesting with your joke?


  19. Jersey:
    I am suggesting that a president who jokes about the food containing crack is a classless idiot.

  20. Bla bla bla. You're hatred is showing, Silver.


  21. Silverfiddle,
    Typically, adults who make a joke like that are druggies who are still using.

    What you referred to is the second time that Obama has yukked it up about drugs. The other time was on a late night show with Jimmy Kimmel.

  22. Apparently, the State cannot exist unless it perpetuates itself through Fear and Intimidation. "Fall slavishly into line, and keep your head down, obey orders, and we'll let you live. Do not question, do not complain, make no suggestions as to how we might improve, do not dare -- EVER -- to resist us, or we will KILL you."


    With that in mind, assuming it's true, isn't it ironic that the Allied Forces succumbed to the insane, self-contradictory notion that such a thing as "War crimes" could exist, and then DARED to hold the poor Germans accountable for "just following orders?"

    As always on this benighted planet the prevalent concept of right and wrong shifts constantly depending always on whose ox is being gored.

  23. Apparently, the State cannot exist unless it perpetuates itself through Fear and Intimidation.

    It maintains a monopoly on the use of Force to achieve its' ends (when dealing with citizens as individuals).

  24. Don't like this arrangement? Then disband the State's military and police units and replace them with a requirement for all citizens to serve as both defense and law enforcement personnel

  25. ...and, btw, what do we need "representative" government for IF we revert to direct self-government (aka anarchy)?

  26. Hence the "maintaining order" requirement.

    No one obeys laws that are unenforced. How di, "Don't ask, don't tell?" end up working out?

  27. Many people require "compulsion" to follow laws that interfere with their own personal "pursuit of happiness".

  28. ...or in Bowe Bergdahl's case, pursuit of "innocence of conscience" during war.

    Want a clean conscience? DON'T ENLIST!

  29. WAR is the imposition of one State's "will" upon another. It is "immoral" BY DEFINITION!

  30. ALL parties in a war are FORCED into serving as "subjects" of the State.

    When you enlist, your "Constitutional Rights" are replaced by the UCMJ. The "due process" of the civilian court system is replaced by the EXPEDIENT due processes of the "authoritarian" MILITARY.

  31. ...and the "authoritarian military" cannot afford to have every soldier acting upon his own conscience. He must become "an instrument of the State".

    The problem arises when the "State" issues orders that most other communities would deem, "immoral", like executing the "Jewish traitors". Those who are "just following orders" tend to "support" this policy (like the SS) and use it as an excuse to execute it. Those who GIVE the order to execute the "Jewish Traitors" do so in the name of protecting the "good German Volk" from social corruption (Hitler, et al). Those who refuse to execute the orders get sent to the Russian Front.



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