Thursday, June 05, 2014

Left Behind

No, I'm not going to speak about the Left Behind series of Biblical Apocalypse novels, nor the Kirk Cameron and Nicholas Cage movie treatments. 

I do speak of US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, and the tempest stirred up by so-called "patriots" over the circumstances of his release.

Whether he simply wandered off his post to be captured or deserted is not part of the argument, and it should not be.  That is a matter for the United States Army to investigate.  If he must be charged and court-martialed, that is the Army's province.  The constant moaning and yowling by the Chattering Classes of the Right mean nothing except to affect the delusion patterns of stupid people.

Sadly, there are many stupid people in this fading Republic.

The details of the deal to release Sgt. Bergdahl (as a POW, he was promoted because of his time in grade - being held captive doesn't stop your time) involved the release of five former members of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

I can hear you asking me, "But weren't these terrorists?  Didn't we catch them fair and square?"

Not really, I reply.  These were members of a legitimate and recognized national government - we even hosted a few members of the Taliban in the White House prior to 9/11 (drink!).  Because they refused to give us Osama bin Deaded and al-Qaeda, we went to war and ousted the Taliban regime in 2002.  Naturally, they consider themselves a government-in-exile and began an asymmetrical war against what they see as "invading forces."

(That's us, folks.)

Under solemn international agreements, we would have had to release these five guys anyway, and it's been pointed out that due to our penchant of sending missile-equipped drones after people, they might actually have been safer in Guantanamo.  Still, their release means that the government's not spending my tax money for their continued maintenance in custody.

The contention by a few of the people on the Right with the biggest mouths and the smallest brains that we should have left Bergdahl rot in captivity is in direct opposition to our military traditions, basic humanity, history and common sense.  The contention that we should not have done a deal to release him even allowed Oliver North (yes, Oliver Fucking North, people) to gibber that we never negotiate with terrorists.

Brief historical note . . . North was part of the Iran-Contra Affair, wherein he and several others traded missiles and money to the "terrorist state" of Iran in order to secure the release of hostages in Lebanon, and managed to slip money (in violation of Federal Law) to the right-wing terrorists trying to topple the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.  His arrest photograph is a matter of historical record.

As a result of the Affair, North also has the blood of 241 United States Marines on his hands, as the deals led to the truck bombing that destroyed the Marine barracks in Beirut.  Why this traitorous scumbag (an opinion formed back in the Eighties, and never changed) is still allowed to talk to anyone is beyond me.

But there it is.

The Congress is irritated because Obama didn't brief them on it.  When he signed the law mandating him to do so, he included a signing statement (you remember those!) that basically said, "If I choose, I won't, so there."  This is very similar to hundreds of similar statements signed by his predecessor, He Who Must Not Be Named But Is Actually George W. Bush. 

Obama then gave the Senate (the whole Senate) a classified briefing.  Which some Senators immediately blabbed to the press.  Gee, and none of them is charged with treason yet.  Fancy that.

Threats of having Tea Party shitheads show up caused Bergdahl's home town in Idaho to cancel the Welcome Home celebration.  Hmm.  So much for patriotism.


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