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Bergdahl: Is he a war hero or a deserter?

Pat Buchanan's picture

“We needed to get him out of there, essentially to save his life.”

So said Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, an Army sergeant in Vietnam, of Barack Obama’s trade of five hard-core Taliban leaders at Guantanamo for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a Taliban prisoner for five years.

The trade speaks well of America’s‘s resolve to leave no soldier behind. And the country surely shared the joy of Bergdahl’s family on learning their son was alive and coming home.

But this secret swap, as well as the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture and captivity, are likely to further polarize our people and poison our politics.

First, the price the Taliban extorted from us is high. We could be seeing these killers again on a battlefield after their year’s detention in Qatar. Other Americans may have to suffer and perhaps die for our having freed these five from Guantanamo.

Taliban leader Mullah Omar is proclaiming a “big victory” over the Americans, and it is a morale boost for the Taliban we are fighting.

As for the Afghan government, it was kept in the dark.

The message received in Kabul must be: The Americans are taking care of their own, cutting deals behind our back at our expense, packing up, going home. We cannot rely on them. We are on our own.

But as for the claim that we “never negotiate with terrorists,” it is not as though we have not been down this road before.

During Korea, we negotiated for a truce and return of our POWs with the same Chinese Communists who had tortured and brainwashed them. During Vietnam we negotiated for the return of our POWs with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong who massacred 3,000 civilians in Hue in the Tet Offensive.

Jimmy Carter negotiated with the Ayatollah’s regime to get our embassy hostages out of Iran. The Iran-Contra scandal was about Ronald Reagan’s decision to send TOW missiles secretly to Iran, for Iran’s aid in getting hostages released by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Bibi Netanyahu today insists that America not recognize a new Palestinian government that includes Hamas, for Hamas is a terrorist organization committed to Israel’s destruction.

Yet Bibi released 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in 2011, many of them guilty of atrocities, in exchange for a single Israeli soldier held by Hamas in Gaza, Pvt. Gilad Shalit.

Yasser Arafat, Menachem Begin and Nelson Mandela were all once declared to be terrorists heading up terrorist organizations — the PLO, the Irgun and the ANC.

And all three have something else in common: All became winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Today’s terrorist may be tomorrow’s statesman. The remains of Lenin and Mao rest in honor in their capitals. Jomo Kenyatta, founding father of Kenya, was once the chieftain of the Mau Mau.

When it comes to negotiating with domestic hostage-takers, do we not, along with training SWAT teams to take them out, train men to negotiate with them? How many of us, with a family member held by a vicious criminal demanding ransom, would refuse to negotiate?

Yet, if those released Taliban are indeed “hardened terrorists who have the blood of Americans ... on their hands,” as John McCain charges, why were they not prosecuted and punished like the Nazis at Nuremberg?

America has sent a message to its enemies by trading five war criminals for Sergeant Bergdahl: The nation with a preponderance of the world’s hard power has a soft heart.

And though America rejoiced with the parents of Sgt. Bergdahl this weekend, other troubling issues have begun to be raised.

Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, said on ABC that Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction” and “was an American prisoner of war, captured on the battlefield.”

But is this true? His fellow soldiers say Bergdahl was not missing in action, and not wounded. Disillusioned with the war, he walked away from his post.

In an email to his parents three days before he went missing. Bergdahl wrote, “I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of U.S. soldier is just the lie of fools. ... I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”

For days, Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers were out searching for him, risking their lives to prevent his Taliban captors from taking him into Pakistan. U.S. soldiers may have been wounded and some may have died in the attempt to rescue their lost sergeant.

Did Sgt. Bergdahl defect, did he desert, did he collaborate with the enemy? We do not know. But these charges will have to be investigated.

For if they are not, or if they are proven true and Bergdahl evades all punishment, it would be a blow to Army morale and widen the gulf between the Army and commander in chief that was on display at West Point a week ago.

Sergeant Bergdahl, one suspects, is about to become a famous and representative figure of his country’s divisions in the Obama era.

[Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”] COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM


Lets find out if he walked off his post for greener pastures before we start saying anything, lot of fellow platoon memebers are saying he did

He has already tried to escape the hospital 2 times. there is a lot more to this then we know, and way more then we are being told

I don't recall many people calling this individual a 'hero', He was held in captivity by the enemy for 5 years. He received promotions while in captivity - as is, I understand, the practice of the US military. His last promotion has been recinded since he is no longer a POW.

This is an interesting article :

[quote]Lets find out if he walked off his post for greener pastures before we start saying anything,[/quote]

I agree.

Tried to escape fm the hospital? Where did you see that? A source please.

PTC Observer's picture

Each time this administration is caught in a scandal, there is a manipulated "event" to change the news cycle away from that scandal, this is just the latest orchestration by the political hacks that work for the President.

The crew that the President selected to be part of his team has proven time and time again to be incompetent, so what does that make the President?

News cycle, the VA debacle, the spin cycle, release someone that's been a POW for five years for five guys that will help close the prison at Gitmo, and be back on the battlefield killing more Americans, maybe in their homes and offices.

Now what were we saying about those vets that died waiting for the VA to respond? The same VA that Paul Krugman in 2011 said the following,

"Many people still have an image of veterans' health care based on the terrible state of the system two decades ago. Under the Clinton administration, however, the V.H.A. was overhauled, and achieved a remarkable combination of rising quality and successful cost control. Multiple surveys have found the V.H.A. providing better care than most Americans receive, even as the agency has held cost increases well below those facing Medicare and private insurers. Furthermore, the V.H.A. has led the way in cost-saving innovation, especially the use of electronic medical records."

This economist "darling" of the left used the VA as a model for justifying a National Health Care system.

Let's focus on the following list:

1. Benghazi

2. Fast and Furious

3. Spying on America

4. IRS targeting of political opposition

5. Spying on Journalists, to suppress investigative journalism.

6. Lying about keeping our doctors and health insurance

7. Graft and corruption, etc, etc. to pay your friends back for backing you.

8. Dead Vets waiting on the VA

That's a lot to focus on, isn't it?

So, what news and what's spin? You decide.

G35 Dude's picture

This administration is so far removed from the people that it has no idea how we will react to anything anymore. I believe that Obama thought that Americans would be so overjoyed that a POW was released that we would forget the horrors of the IRS, Benghazi, lies of Obamacare, the VA scandals, et al. That is why he invited the Bergdhals to the White House to make the announcement. He wanted to make it a political win for his side. This is also why he was in such a hurry for this to happen, was willing to break a law that he himself recently signed, and paid such a high price. Now even Democrats are starting to turn on him. Allen West, among others, is calling for impeachment. If the Republicans win big in the upcoming elections that may become more of a possibility. And the Democrats may have to let it happen to avoid political destruction. This POTUS has totally lost touch or is totally incompetent. And maybe someone that can be so wrong on so many issues should be removed from office. But I have to wonder if his replacement would be any better.

The focus should be on the most unconscionable decision by this Commander in Chief who has released 5 terrorist leaders while this war is still going on. We do not know what kind of money has been handed over in this deal, and will probably never know, the Haqqanis are in this for the funding of their terrorism.

The press, the White House and so-called advisors are turning this into the feel sorry for Bergdahl show to take the heat off from how Barry Hussein has made every soldier in uniform now a target of kidnapping. The absurdity of our government having a five million dollar reward out for their leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, and yet hands back 5 of his generals is a slap in the face to every soldier who fights now and has in the past fought for the safety of this country.

The Taliban are now empowered more than ever. This US leader has shamefully attempted to convince us and the rest of our allies that this is what happens at the end of a war. The lie in this move is that this war is not over, not now, not a year from now. The jihad against the west will continue. Women will continue to be forced into the terror of sharia law and this president with 2 daughters, a wife, a mother in law and a sister has just enabled the advancement of this empowerment. May allah save your soul, Obama.

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]The focus should be on the most unconscionable decision by this Commander in Chief who has released 5 terrorist leaders while this war is still going on.[/quote]

I totally agree. This was simply an attempt to divert attention from all of the other issues that this administration can't handle. And it too backfired!!

I am afraid this is his first move. He has promised to close Gitmo and I now see this is his first move. He will wait till after the elections in the fall and start releasing the others then. Approximately 149 still in there. Or, if he continues his idiotic leadership as he has already, he will release them before the election. You are right. Not only backfiring, but more importantly empowering the jihadists with their release. I can hear them celebrating now, can you?

When the President spoke to the american people, with Bergdahls parents next to him, he offered the Alleged Prisoner of war parents to speak. The Father said " Since his captivity, my son has problem with understanding English. He then spoke the words ?__bism allah alrahman alraheem?_? ?__ which means ?__in the name of Allah the most gracious and most merciful?_? ?__


It is hard for me, must less anyone to believe that you forget your language, even being held hostage as he was suppose to be. He could understand Arabic as if he just picked up on it and not taught. I have been around several people that speak another language than English and still cannot speak foreign. Why do we or could we believe any of the hogwash that comes from Washington.

Remember that all terrorist that have attacked our country have been from the Muslim descent and for the Bergdahl family dare speak and honor that religion only shows the disrespect towards ALL Americans. Send them back to Afghanistan where I think they would be more at ease, because I think the line in the sand has now been drawn. Enough is enough

brewster's picture

Please - get in line with the American culture and phrase these guys like our National Museum of American History describes them: Al-Qaeda Extremists.

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