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A Soldier Comes Home

Only the most hard-hearted won’t be happy that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will soon be coming home to his family after five years as a prisoner of Afghanistan’s Taliban, but only the most soft-headed won’t have worries about how it was accomplished. Soft-headedness being so much more prevalent among the American public these days than hard-heartendness, the happiness is bound to play better in the press than the worries.
Bergdahl’s release comes in exchange for the release of five very dangerous men currently being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, an arrangement of dubious legality, and is intended mainly to meet a pre-condition for negotiations with the Taliban that will likely lead to even more worrisome concessions. There are also questions about whether Bergdahl was a prisoner of war or a deserter, and ample reason to believe that he’s not the gung-ho soldier the script requires. None of this should cause any worry to the Obama administration, however, which will likely benefit from the inevitable news footage of the Sergeant and his mother embracing at last.
The emotions of that moment will be prominently displayed on the front page of every newspaper in the country and impossible to dismiss, while the potential carnage and heartbreak made possible by the release of five is less easily grasped and impossible to photograph. The Obama administration has always intended to empty Guantanamo Bay, and the return of lone American prisoner of the Afghanistan War provides an excellent opportunity to reduce its population of detainees by five. With the end of the war already scheduled to coincide with the next presidential election, regardless of conditions on the ground, the heart-touching photographs of a soldier back in his adoring hometown will be useful in the mid-terms. Should any of the released terrorists succeed in their stated goals of mass-murdering Americans, Bergdahl and the conditions of his release will be long forgotten and politely unmentioned by most of the media.
Any questions of legality should also be answered by that front page photo of the mother and child reunion. From Obamacare to the Mexican border to the bureaucrats of the Internal Revenue Service such niceties as the rule of law are routinely flouted, and few will insist on any sort of punctiliousness when the administration can claim with a straight face that after five years they had too short a time to comply with the law and still save Bergdahl’s life. That the law was intended to prevent the release of dangerous terrorists will be little noted for the reasons explained in the previous paragraph.
Nor will most of the public take notice that while the administration is declaring something akin to victory in Afghanistan it is opening negotiations with the enemy by making concessions. At this point the left that opposed the war from the beginning is willing to end it on any terms, the right that supported the effort has long since given hope that the current administration will see it to a successful conclusion, and the vast majority of those in the middle will be satisfied that they don’t have to hear about it anymore. The mother and child reunion will be the happiest memory of the war, and the only one that sticks.
If Bergdahl proves less than the heroic figure required for the role, they can always change the script. A man embittered by the futile war that George W. Bush started but but liberated from its captivity by the noble Obama who ended it will make a suitable narrative, no matter that Obama had also advocated the war and was running it at the time of Bergdahl’s capture. Even the most far-fetched story lines work when the visuals are so strong as a small town and a mother embracing a returning soldier.
Which is not to say that we’re so hard-hearted we won’t be a bit choked up when he’s back on American soil. We’re glad he’s coming home, and would advise any Republicans raising pertinent questions to make clear that they are as well. The cold calculations of war are unappealing, as as anyone who fell for the sappy sentimentalism of “Saving Private Ryan” should realize, and one should always make them with a realization of the humanity at stake, and not be indifferent to the emotion of a mother and child reunion. Still, those worries persist.

— Bud Norman

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2 responses

  1. See what have you done?
    When Obama fulfilled his promise to shut down Gitmo Republicans got Gonorrhea and Chuck Schumer requested $175M if Gitmo detainees tried in NY.
    He quit to let “Joe the plumber” waterboard ‘em.
    The same Republicans shoved their heads up in their asses when Obama let Urine Almaliki get Hezbollah’s HITMAN Daqdoq outta Gitmo to rescue him from Sunni detainees who rammed his Shiite reeky rectum all day long.
    You fucked up your argument by posting the Examiner’s article as precedent to fortify your fiction.
    How would one feel safe when a Jackass as Eli Lake and Josh Rogan are the prosecutors?
    Shame on you.
    Let me summarize US Fuckocrasy. Take it from an Arab.
    “Listen to your enemy. Jackass!” Ron Paul. Just kidding!
    GOP are party of Rednecks and their Honiggas who believe that Ann Coulter is Virgin Mary, Sarah Palin is Mother of God and Jesus restricted as Rush Limbaugh.
    GOP religiously BELIEVE that America ain’t but a British Colony and Americans are Monsanto force-fed livestock grassing on their backyard.
    They’re Pro bono publico UNLIKE DEMs, they ain’t needing to be bribed in advance.
    GOP are the best to use the 2nd Amendment if you don’t or they let you pump iron in San Quentin until next draft.
    DEMs are party of Israeli Firsters, literally Liberal Hippies nutjobs and their bleached Niggas who’ll go to any war or loot any country if they ain’t allowed to even tax cockroaches for being Americans.
    Print money outta thin air and dump unemployables onto federal payroll to turn USA to Oppressive, bloodthirsty, predatory State alas USSR.
    Compared to GOP they are cheaper to bribe.
    Teeebaagerzz: Frogmarched Foodstamps Kochsuckers who quit watching Alex Jones and sleep across the aisles if they ain’t allowed to filibuster DEMs for Koch Brothers or fuck GOP if they ain’t either repeal Obamacare or government shutdown.
    Liberalism is Trust Fucked with Prudence. Conservatism is Distrust Tainted with Fear
    [Our secret] haha…
    DEMs & GOP have one thing in common: they will nuke America to save Israel.

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