By Ernie McCray
My goodness, a man, Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, gets released from a 5 year imprisonment in Afghanistan, and there are those who want to condemn him, as a traitor, allegations that are no more than speculations based on shaky observations.
“He walked away from his duty! And people died looking for him!” people say as though in war it’s out of the ordinary for someone to freak out and want to flee and maybe say to his foe “I don’t want to shoot another one of y’all anymore! I can’t stand to see another child run in fear when I walk near them. I can no longer stand to see them shake in their pants, ever again” – aka “consorting” with the enemy. We’re human beings. We’re supposed to care. It’s in our nature somewhere.
If we paused for a moment couldn’t we consider that if the Taliban gave Bergdahl a single sandwich in those five years he was in their hands that he was more of a drain on their resources than any kind of aid to them? And, in war, don’t soldiers die all the time while “looking for somebody?” Can we try to understand?
Bergdahl, unless he grabbed a bunch of Taliban by the hand and led them to our secret hiding places, is a “victim,” not a traitor. Everybody deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq has been victims. Duped with tales of making a difference and making people free. Victims any way you look at it to me.
Their victim-hood can be traced to the likes of war criminals, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and their billionaire friends who can send a child off to war in the blink of an eye. Money grabbers extraordinaire.
And we haven’t had one decent national conversation about these unsavory folks who got us into the mess in the Middle East, breaking all the laws governing war in the process, yelling, as their noses got longer and longer and longer, “They’ve got weapons of mass destruction!” No, they’ve got people in the area who will strap themselves with bombs that blow up cafes and sidewalks and a few innocent people. It’s us who have the big stuff. Remember, “Shock and Awe?” It was a war based on the most brazen of lies.
When somebody did speak up, like Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq, hateful forces yelled and screamed insults into her grieving face. Michael Moore shared some news we could use, some things we needed to know about the wars and we dismissed him as “exaggerating the facts” while the war continued to rage.
So how can we even think of calling Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl a traitor to his nation when he was caught up in a hostile futile environment that was orchestrated by war criminals? They’re the betrayers. The harmers. The recipients of the profits from the war industry. The liars. Traitors to us all.
This whole unfortunate situation should make us look deeply at our fascination with armed conflict, something we don’t like to do as I don’t know how many times I’ve been in the streets with protestors chanting “No More War” or singing “Give Peace a Chance” while people drive by giving us the finger or calling us commies or cowards or accusing us of not supporting the troops (as though trying to prevent or end wars isn’t the ultimate support anyone could give the troops) or suggesting that we love America or leave it…All this in a nation, the United States of America, where we are free to think. Courtesy of those “forefathers” we love to talk about.
I remember Dwight Eisenhower, a highly decorated general and president of the United States, coming away from World War II saying in a loud and clear and animated and sincere voice: “War settles nothing.”
I agree wholeheartedly and we should end them so that we have no more poor soldiers, many of them teenagers right out of high school, who have to travel the road from confinement to condemnation. We should leave Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl alone. Victims of traitors deserve compassion.
Photo courtesy of flickr.com