Why the Vengeance Toward Sgt. Bergdahl

The angry politics around Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s “desertion” in Afghanistan revolve around right-wing hatred for President Obama who engineered Bergdahl’s freedom from the Taliban, as Matthew Hoh describes.

By Matthew Hoh

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s guilty plea begins the end of this phase of an embarrassing, sad and morally absurd saga of American history.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Sergeant Bergdahl was dismissed from the Coast Guard because of mental illness, was recruited into the Army in spite of such issues, and then was sent to the frontlines of Afghanistan where he walked away from his base and was captured, kept as a prisoner, and tortured by the Taliban for nearly five years. Yet, he has been offered almost no compassion, sympathy or forgiveness by large swaths of the American public, political classes, veterans and the media.

The shameful blood-crazed calls for vengeance against Sergeant Bergdahl, screamed across Fox News, talk radio and Twitter, by millions of right -wing Americans have begun again with Sergeant Bergdahl’s guilty plea.

This hostility has resumed despite an Army investigation finding no Americans were killed by Sergeant Bergdahl’s departure of his unit; despite the Pentagon admitting it was known that Sergeant Bergdahl was in Pakistan within a few days of his capture, thus negating the validity of the right-wing talking points of continuous search missions for Sergeant Bergdahl that jeopardized American lives; despite the general who led the investigation of Sergeant Bergdahl’s disappearance stating Sergeant Bergdahl should not be punished and the colonel who led the Army’s version of a grand jury trial recommending the same; despite the United States military’s top prisoner of war expert testifying that Sergeant Bergdahl endured more torture at the hands of the Taliban than any American prisoner of war has endured since the Vietnam War, undoubtedly due to his multiple escape attempts and unwillingness to cooperate with his kidnappers; and despite repeated calls made by President Trump for Sergeant Bergdahl to be executed, as well as calls for retaliation against the military if Sergeant Bergdahl is not sent to jail by Senator John McCain, clear and blatant forms of wrongful and illegal command influence prohibited by military law against a defendant.

Despite all that, Sergeant Bergdahl finds himself having just entered a guilty plea and putting himself at the mercy of a U.S. Army judge.

In time, Sergeant Bergdahl may become just a footnote to America’s wars in the Muslim world, wars that have killed well over a million people since 2001. But his individual story relays some fundamental truths of these American wars against Sunnis and Shias, and Arabs, Africans and Pashtuns, (it is a fact that nearly all the people we have killed, maimed and made homeless have been Muslim and dark skinned). One truth is that there is no logic to our violence, only the unending and insatiable requirement for more war and more destruction.

No Forgiveness

There is also no forgiveness in this loudly and righteously proclaimed Christian nation, only the scapegoating of a young man and his family for the failures of immoral and unwinnable wars on the murderous altar of the twin godheads of American Exceptionalism and White Supremacy.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

Sergeant Berghdal’s story does not just inform us of the madness of our wars overseas, but highlights our wars here at home; for our wars abroad come from the same root causes as our wars at home.

It was Sergeant Bergdahl’s parents standing outside the White House with President Obama that began the rage against him and his family. This was the treason that so angered and upset the white conservative audiences of Megyn Kelly and Rush Limbaugh. Sergeant Bergdahl’s white parents standing at the White House with that black president and thanking him for freeing their son began the scorn, the vitriol and the outrage against Sergeant Bergdahl, his mother and his father.

Jani and Bob Bergdahl, who were just released from the captivity of the unimaginable nightmare of the imprisonment and torture of their son for five years by the Taliban, had the audacity to stand with Barack Hussein Obama and to give him thanks. That was a betrayal to the usurped, rightful and white structures that underlie so many white Americans understanding of United States history and society.

Military Mythology

The grand mythology of American militarism, a key pillar of both American Exceptionalism and White Supremacy, does not allow for figures such as Sergeant Bergdahl. The greatest military in the history of the world is a required statement of faith for all American politicians and public persons, even though the American military has not achieved victory in war in over 70 years, so an explanation of collusion and cooperation with anti-American and anti-white forces is necessary to provide the causation of such an undermining.

President Barack Obama walks through the Rose Garden to the Oval Office on the South Lawn, June 13, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Of course, once Bob and Jani Bergdahl stood with President Obama, the racially fueled reactionary political anger appeared in Facebook posts and twitter rants and the lies needed to sustain that anger and turn it into a useful political tool arrived: Sergeant Bergdahl attempted to join the Taliban, Sergeant Bergdahl gave information to the enemy, Sergeant Bergdahl got Americans killed, Sergeant Bergdahl had anti-American beliefs, Sergeant Bergdahl’s father is a Muslim…all claims that were untrue and disproved over time, but such a straightening of facts is almost always inconsequential to those whose identity is an abominable mix of race, right-wing politics and nationalism.

People of such a type as those who believe Jesus would be okay with them carrying handguns into church, demand that Santa Claus can only be white, and that the Confederate flag is a symbol of a proud heritage, have little time or consideration for the particulars of anything that triggers the base tribalism that dominates and informs their lives.

The fundamental aspects of Sergeant Bergdahl’s disappearance were well known and documented years prior to that White House announcement of his release. Veterans’ organizations called for his rescue and return at rallies and Republican senators enacted legislation to help release him “Bring Him Home” and “No Man Left Behind” were echoed repeatedly by Republican politicians and pundits, and even Ronald Reagan’s most famed acolyte and Fox News hero, Oliver North, wore a Bowe Bergdahl POW bracelet.

However, to be white and to stand tearfully and gratefully alongside that black president is unconscionable and unforgivable to many “true Americans” and so the parents’ sins became the son’s and Sergeant Bergdahl’s treason was a dog whistle to those who believe anti-whiteness and anti-Americanism are inseparable.

For the man who used race so overtly and effectively to become President of the United States, calling during his campaign for a traitor like Sergeant Bergdahl to face the firing squad, or be thrown out of a plane without a parachute, was a rudimentary requirement in order to Make America Great Again. Even General James Mattis, who hung outside his office a horseshoe that had belonged to Sergeant Bergdahl and had been given to the general by the sergeant’s father, understands the political importance of Bergdahl’s treason.

General Mattis who previously had supported the soldier and given great comfort to the family, now, as Secretary of Defense, is silent. I believe Secretary Mattis to have higher ambitions than simply running the Pentagon and keeping that white base of support in his favor is not anything such a savvy and cunning careerist, such as James Mattis, would imperil.

We will soon know what, if any punishment Sergeant Bergdahl is to receive. Hopefully, he and his family will be spared further pain and they can begin rebuilding lives that were shattered by the unending war in Afghanistan and then shattered again by the race-fueled partisan politics of the unending war against people of color in the United States.

For Bowe Bergdahl, a young man who never should have been inducted into the Army to begin with, his suffering is testament to the viciousness, callousness and hate that dominates American actions both at home and abroad. We deserve no forgiveness for what has been done, and may still be done, to him and his family.

Matthew Hoh is a member of the advisory boards of Expose Facts, Veterans For Peace and World Beyond War. In 2009 he resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama Administration. He previously had been in Iraq with a State Department team and with the U.S. Marines. He is a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy.

43 comments for “Why the Vengeance Toward Sgt. Bergdahl

  1. susan mullen
    October 20, 2017 at 17:23

    Obama is no longer in office and can’t run again. There are many meaningful topics to discuss today, but Obama isn’t one of them. I don’t understand continuing to dwell on this man and accusing “right wing” persons with “hating” him. The Brexit vote as well as Trump’s election were mergers of what had been known as “the right” and “the left,” so that these terms no longer have the meaning they once did. My focus is on the fact that the entire political class is united against the people. The Republican Establishment (which has exactly the same agenda as Democrats) would’ve been happy to see Obama president for life. That’s why in 2008 and 2012 Obama was allowed to effectively run unopposed. The GOP had no intention of winning, talked down its own voters as usual, and was thrilled that Obama won both times. John Boehner was elated when Obama was re-elected, told GOP House members it was time to quiet down and just let him work with Obama. Voters don’t exist to the GOP. This isn’t Obama’s fault, nor the fault of his skin pigmentation.

  2. Susan Sunflower
    October 20, 2017 at 12:36

    Blaming Bergdahl for the government approved trade that freed him is absurd …. he had no “vote” in any of that …

    Much as the hysteria over Benghazi was fueled by false claims of unnecessary loss of life (primarily in the raid on the CIA substation, rather than the compound where Stevens died) … outrage at Bergdahl was whipped up around more false claims of unnecessary loss of life by those searching for him after he disappeared. The suggestion being that he was the one ultimately responsible for those deaths … which mostly didn’t exist and weren’t related to some dangerous search for a (voluntarily) missing soldier (Bergdahl being AWOL and thus unworthy of rescue, versus being MIA and/or a POW doubtless has its own media story (but it all apparently evolved long before Bergdahl talked to “The Serial” about his mindset wrt going walkabout)

  3. Superman
    October 19, 2017 at 22:28

    “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players”… thats what think when I read this. This is just a distraction for the public to quarrel over and the article bored me. Of course Bergdahl is being used as a pawn to divide the public and punishment should be very mild.
    A more interesting article is out there. Why Qatar negotiating the release? We know thanks the the tick tock email Qatar was funding ISIS and they chose these five men. Reminds me of the French Foreign Legion getting prisoners out to fight mercenary wars of yesteryear. That remind me of the mercenary wars today. So many questions so few answers. Things that make me good hmm.

  4. Tom
    October 19, 2017 at 20:51

    How can you write an article like this without once mentioning the prisoner exchange that took place to gain Bergdahl’s release? It was the exchange of multiple dangerous terrorists, a couple of whom showed up again on battlefields fighting our soldiers for Bergdahl, which set off right wing pundits and citizens. It had nothing to do with race and to suggest that was the sole reason for people being upset is intellectually dishonest, and I expect more from this website. Here I thought that I’d found a reasonably fair place to come to for news. After reading this farce of an article, I can see that I was wrong.

  5. 99Problems
    October 19, 2017 at 15:41

    Why the vengeance?
    Obama negotiated with terrorists.
    Obama traded one traitor for five Taliban terrorists…to further his goal of closing GTMO.
    Obama didn’t do the deal for Bergdahl’s sake, he did it to for a publicity stunt.
    Poor Bowe was a pawn played for political purposes…and so was Ambassador Stevens who had the bad luck of being attacked during Obama’s reelection campaign.

  6. exiled off mainstreet
    October 19, 2017 at 12:26

    It seems to me that the yankee imperium proved itself to be just about as barbaric as the taliban terrorists.

  7. Dorsey Gardner
    October 18, 2017 at 18:07

    Don’t forget, John McCain’s father was responsible for covering up Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, the only time a US Navy vessel was attacked by a foreign government and Congress did not investigate. McCain is one of the largest recipients of donations from the Israel Lobby that endlessly promotes wars for the US to wage on the behalf of Israel and which leave us with huge debts.
    John McCain was shot down while bombing civilian targets in Hanoi, graduated at the bottom of his class at West Point.
    McCain is no hero!

  8. GMC
    October 18, 2017 at 12:34

    It’s a different war than my generation’s one. I helped cut down a man from a tree in Nam who went for a walk about when he shouldn’t have and everyone knew the consequences when charlie caught you.On the other hand I heard of a salt and pepper duo who switched sides and worked with the NVA or charlie. I never found out what happened to them but I would imagine they were offed after the novelty wore off.I say – Time Served for the Sgt. and leave him alone with some benefits he’ll need in the future. At least he gave it a try in a foreign War – more than any of the so called politicians and leaders did.

    • David G
      October 18, 2017 at 16:30

      That man in Vietnam was walking about in his own country; you’re the one who “shouldn’t have” been walking around there.

      • GMC
        October 19, 2017 at 10:05

        The man I cut down was an American soldier who got cut up and tied to a tree – Do you feel better – Now ! We all know now how we were used – there ain’t no future – in the Past.

        • Trimegestis
          October 23, 2017 at 02:19

          Well-said GMC.
          “We all know now how we were used – there ain’t no future – in the Past.”
          I hope you can share your vibes with some Iraq vets.

  9. x
    October 18, 2017 at 04:44

    Obama traded 2 taliban provincial governors, a taliban deputy defense minister, a taliban deputy intelligence minister, and a taliban minister of communications, for two bit deserter Bergdahl. People have every right to be outraged by that absolutely ridiculous deal.

    • Skip Scott
      October 18, 2017 at 08:07

      We created the Taliban. We used to call them the Mujahideen when they were acting as our proxies trained by the CIA to fight the Soviets. Kabul, Afghanistan was known as “the Paris of Central Asia” (where women wore miniskirts) until we screwed it all up.

      As for Bergdahl’s mental health; of course he was crazy, he was in the military. They purposely make you crazy. It’s called “Basic Training.” They teach you to go half way around the world and murder strangers in their own homeland for no good reason. As any sane person will tell you, murder is murder, in or out of uniform; and if there is any sanity left in you, it will come back to haunt you. It’s called PTSD.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 18, 2017 at 16:50

      The most important one who went over to the other side was Zbigniew Brzezinski, and he got buried with official White House honors.

  10. x
    October 18, 2017 at 04:37

    Such an irrational hate-filled screed you have here. Deserters shouldn’t be celebrated or purchased back from our enemies at great expense. That is what Berghdal rightly symbolizes.

  11. deang
    October 18, 2017 at 02:03

    The hostility toward anything done by Obama has indeed reached absurd levels. The animus directed toward Obama by the right wing is from a combination of racism and the sort of raging anti-Democrat groupthink that’s been cultivated since the rise of mass right-wing media in the early 1990s. I wish there were a way of getting rid of Fox News and nation-wide right-wing hate-radio, and I do mean that. The existence of mass right-wing media wasn’t even possible before Reagan rescinded the media Fairness Doctrine in 1987 and undid anti-trust legislation earlier in the decade, so it’s not a matter of “free speech.” The damage to society and to the public psyche has been so great that getting rid of it really is necessary – not easy, but necessary. At the very least, bringing back the Fairness Doctrine would be helpful, though the right-wing maniacs that have been created in its absence over the past quarter-century will be dangerous to deal with if anyone tries to restore it.

    • Skip Scott
      October 18, 2017 at 07:52


      I agree that is the crux of the matter. The fairness doctrine forced at least some semblance of balance onto our airwaves. I recall when someone was allowed equal time to present an opposing view, and 9 times out of 10 I’d agree with the Joe Blow who got mad enough to demand equal time. If the Fairness Doctrine were re-instated it would do a lot to silence the crazies and counter the propaganda. Opinions like those expressed here and at other “sound-proof, free-speech zones” would reach a much wider audience.

  12. dfc
    October 17, 2017 at 21:25

    Someone in the Obama Administration / Pentagon ought to own that they used Bergdahl’s “disappearance” as a pretext to scale up the war in that area of Afghanistan and hide the fact that Bergdahl was being held in Pakistan, an American ally.

    And that will end it.

    1] That gives closure to all of the relatives of the soldiers who “ostensibly” lost their lives searching for Bergdahl. They deserve it.

    2] It then allows those relatives to go back to the original news agencies they contacted about their relations “unjustly” losing their lives in search for Bergdahl.

    3] Once those news sources are corrected, Trump then can go and apologize for calling Bergdahl a traitor, because he was not aware of Bergdahl being used as a pretext to escalate the war.

    4] The decision by Obama also looks better in retrospect as it shows his compassion in trying to broker the return of a mentally ill soldier to the United States.

    5] The decision by the Army to promote him and pay him while he was in captivity also looks better and supports their position that he was not a traitor.

    6] And Bergdahl looks a lot better: like a mixed up kid who probably never should have been in Afghanistan after washing out of the Coast Guard.

    7] Finally his parents look better as they no longer “appear” to look self serving and uncaring to the soldiers who ostensibly lost their lives searching for their son. They were with Obama at the White House to express their thanks for getting their child out of a horrendous situation.

  13. October 17, 2017 at 19:07

    Thanks to CN for focusing on this sad situation. Your post, Realist, makes great points. The last paragraph by Matthew Hoh couldn’t be better stated, this case shows the “viciousness, callousness, and hate that dominates American actions both home and abroad”.

  14. Realist
    October 17, 2017 at 17:44

    The animosity and hypocrisy of John McCain who engaged in reckless undisciplined behavior for most of his time in the navy, probably got himself shot down through incompetence, and, (understandably) succumbing to torture from his captors, made statements critical of his government’s war policies is just stunning. As the article says, both President Trump, as commander-in-chief, and John McCain are totally out of line in trying to influence due process under military law. Every other president I can recall has recused himself from commenting on ongoing legal proceedings. Trump and McCain are reprehensible.

    Berghdahl and his parents have suffered enough from the young man’s ill-considered foolishness which, it seems, was not prompted by a desire to damage his country. He was not motivated by treachery nor by the heroism of a Bradly Manning. Maybe I’m getting the wrong vibes, but he always seemed to have the naive innocence of a Gomer Pyle about him. He still seems to be cheerfully carrying out the duties assigned to him by the army years after the controversy arose, as far as one can tell. Geez, he even cooperated with the power structure by pleading guilty. For this Trump wants him executed and McCain wants him in the hole for life?

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 17, 2017 at 22:07

      Realist when I see us citizens going back and forth with each other over the lessor of any of these many evils, like McCain & Graham, the Clintons, Trump, or any of them, I think of how the dividing mechanism which the Deep State is providing by the command of the Shadow Government is fully underway, and doing very fine thank you, very much. The Bergdahl controversy is just another controversy to keep us all who are not apart of the elite busy, while they the super gods of commerce and war steal everything, and anything, there is left to provide themselves with even more money to gobble up plush luxuries and pleasures of life than they already have….holy schmoley I’m beginning to sound like Karl Marx, but it’s true.

      I don’t wish anyone no harm, but the heroizing of John McCain is just another one of those American myths that must stand corrected, and that with McCain’s profiting from his prisoner war years spin America suffers, and yet many Americans don’t even know it. I know this, wildass Johnny left a few families widowed, and a few mom & dads heartbroken over the loss of their Navy relatives who perished on that burning flight deck of the USS Forestal. Yes, I can forgive, but I cannot forgive the media’s ignorance of McCain’s Naval records not being made public. Then there is McCain who won’t release anyone’s POW/MIA records. Just think of the double standard that McCain’s obstruction with these POW/MIA families infers. There’s more, so much more that you and I don’t have the time or space to talk about it. Only thing we must remember is officially John McCain is an American hero.

      Bergdahl in my mind represents the inadequacy of our military recruiting process. When Bush and Cheney started all these wars, they knew they would have to reach down to recruit and fill billets. Now through the Army’s acceptance of the Coast Guards rejected Bergdahl we can see but how just one poor bastard who should have been made to sit it out came to be just another American discourse wedge issue, in a divided country where there already is too much division that the country knows what to do with, or so it goes.

      Okay Realist I’m done, and for the best or worst of it I took advantage to say my peace by your opening, and may I say thank you for the framing. Joe

    • tina
      October 17, 2017 at 22:17

      I also feel so sad for Bowe Bergdahl. His government promised him an opportunity to serve and be somebody. Just like Hollywood. Some military career people go on to fantastic things, but most do not. Some college ballers go on to the pros , but most do not. I hope young Bowe’s life will be better, but I doubt it. Our Military needs more men, and women to be killing machines. What happens to them (our people ),is immaterial, just kill the enemy and do not ask questions. So very depressing.

    • Stygg
      October 18, 2017 at 03:37

      Obama publicly proclaimed Manning guilty prior to trial (so much for recusing himself).

      • David G
        October 18, 2017 at 16:25

        I don’t know what you mean by “recuse” here, but it was definitely improper for Obama to have done that. And now Trump is outdoing him.

        How far we have fallen: when Nixon declared Charles Manson guilty before his trial was over, it was understood as unacceptable and Nixon had to withdraw the statement, even though that was a civilian trial in state court, completely outside his control.

        • Realist
          October 18, 2017 at 18:38

          Yes, wrong for Obama, wrong for Nixon, wrong for any president to pass judgement while due process is ongoing in the courts. Separation of powers and all that.

    • Skip Scott
      October 18, 2017 at 08:44

      McCain is an evil man. I will be glad when he is in his grave and no longer spewing his hatred across the airwaves, unless of course he has some kind of epiphany and becomes a “new man”. Also, let us not forget the Forrestal disaster, and how his cowboy antics (wet start) cost the lives of 134 of his fellow sailors. Unless “songbird” changes his tune, I’ll be glad when he’s gone.

  15. Joe Tedesky
    October 17, 2017 at 16:39

    Bergdahl may substitute the famed French officer of who was wrongly accused of treason Alfred Dreyfus. I must admit that one evening while listening to FOX network news anchors bash the hell out of Bergdahl, I came away from viewing that with a lot of disguise at what Bergdahl did, or better put was said to have done. Then you do some research, and come to find that the Bergdahl story is anything but what the FOX Network of deceptive looney tune characters had described.

    The real problem with our military, is that they are being abused being send on one tour of combat duty after another. In fact when it comes to race, why the U.S. Military has an over abundance of Hispanic and Blacks among their ranks. As if this should matter when in civilian clothes these ethnic patriotic minorities are treated by the some police as if they were runaway thugs, always. Then as this article describes, the Right Wing makes up nonsense about Bergdahl after they see his white mother and father looking frail and confused, as they stand next to the uppity Black President (uppity not my word but theirs).

    There is something wrong with our society, and a lot of it, no maybe most of all of it, begins with our watching our TV’s to get informed.

    • Patrick Day
      October 21, 2017 at 16:03

      Only a Liberal could find a way to inject race into something that he has zero idea about. Tell me about your service, and I’ll tell you what kind of Soldier you were. And watching your TV has brainwashed you, most Americans live in made up fantasy lands where there are no bad people, outside of it’s borders….only inside. You all have such small minds, think small….live small.

  16. mike k
    October 17, 2017 at 15:41

    What’s the worst thing about the USA? The military death machine. What are we called upon to worship constantly? The military death cult. The whole affair is about hatred and vengeance – that is the mission of the military. If there was any honesty in America, we would replace the stars and stripes with the skull and crossbones of piracy.

    • Patrick Day
      October 21, 2017 at 15:57

      If not for that “death machine” you would most likely speaking Russian as a second language. You and most of the intellectually deficient clowns here in this comment section have had zero skin in the game, therefore understand zero about military culture, beyond what you see in movies or TV. And MOST Soldiers would rather you leave them alone. Finally, the reason people have decided to celebrate the Military is most likely born out of guilt because of the way Vietnam Veterans were treated, and rightly so….do you think your peace corps service or liberal arts degree will save you from people with nefarious intent?

  17. john wilson
    October 17, 2017 at 14:50

    Had he just deserted and been found sunning himself on an Hawaii beach somewhere I doubt we would have heard much about him. However, he committed the Cardinal sin of going over to “the other side” which for the military is worse than if he shot his own commanding officer in a fit of temper. The military is a kind of religion in uniform and every bit as fanatical as a rabid Muslim when it comes to obeying the war God. Young men join the military for a variety of reasons such as a way out of poverty, career opportunity, the lure of travel and a smart uniform etc etc. What they don’t realise is that they sell their souls to the war God as well and if need be, will be required to die for the same. As for Bergdahl, one would have thought he’d had enough of the military having been chucked out of the coast guards. Clearly he was mentally unsound but the military doesn’t care about what’s right, wrong or fair.

    • NYPaul
      October 17, 2017 at 15:34

      John….. Regarding Bergdahl’s, “going over to “the other side”

      Let’s keep in mind, ” tortured by the Taliban for nearly five years.”

      (On a personal note: I was a POW for “only” 9 days in ’67, guest of those nice people, the NVA . Trust me, after 3, around the clock days of “questioning” I would have told them where my mother lived had they not broken my jaw into a hundred pieces.)

      • Matthew Slater
        October 19, 2017 at 23:37


        Nope, sorry clown. No POWs were released or escaped in 1967. Wait, let me guess, your records are classified, just like everyone else who spreads bullshit stories. Sorry bud, ain’t gonna fly on my watch.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 17, 2017 at 21:08

      You know John as crazy as it is for what I’m about to say, there are those of both of our governments (Ian Fleming for one) who would make a contingent plan for what I’m about to describe.

      So to get Bergdahl who has gone rogue, and what to do. First we reference the movie ‘Apocalypse Now’ where we retain a special operations officer, or warrant officer, to play the Martin Sheen part of Benjamin L Willard to take out Marlin Brando’s character Wakter E Kurtz who this is Bergdahl. Then the government makes up any story they want, and problem solved.

      Just saying John it is possible it could have been worth, if you get my drift. Joe

    • DaveJoe
      October 19, 2017 at 07:57

      John: “…. and every bit as fanatical as a rabid Muslim when it comes to obeying the war God.”

      That kind of language is not very helpful. There are as many “rabid Christians” or Jews or even atheists who worship their “god” of war. Or do you really think that Muslims are special in this regard? If so, find out more about real Islam, the Islam practiced by the vast majority of Muslims that is very, very different than the extremist wahabism of Saudi Arabia, which is being exported elsewhere, also with the support of the west.

    • Patrick Day
      October 21, 2017 at 15:48

      Are you mentally deficient in some way? sell their souls to the war God? No man or woman I know of in 20 years and four combat tours sold their souls to the war God. They did so for the man or woman to the left and right of them, and their country. What a rube.

  18. Joseph
    October 17, 2017 at 14:49

    Perhaps there’s some truth to the fact that republicans disliked seeing Obama get credit for helping this military man, as they espouse the narrative that only Republicans care about the military. I can get that. But to blame everything on race seems a little pre-mature. Yes, Obama is black, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who’s a Republican is by definition racist just because they didn’t vote for him. That kind of pointless name-calling by the left gets really tiring to people on the right, which is why Trump is president. Voters knew that if Hillary became president, then every time they disagreed with something she did they’d just be labeled a misogynist.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 17, 2017 at 17:12

      While I agree with your premise Joseph, I think what the author is suggesting has some merit based upon the Right Wings dismay over having a Black President. Of course not all of the Right Wing, but a lot of the Right do buy into the Southern Strategy that Lee Atwater perfected. You know like the plenty of who voted for Trump that were proven racist. Although, we should keep in mind that this racist label shouldn’t be automatically attached to just any Trump supporter.

      Trump doesn’t help these non-racist supporters when he opens up his big racist mouth…like saying stuff like ‘Mexicans being rapist and killers’, or ‘many of good people marched in Charlottesville in support of Confederate statues’. So yes it is unfortunate, as like you mentioned with Hillary playing the misogynist card, that there are those who would simply play the race card without any cause, but then somethings don’t always jump out at you when these cards are being played either.

      I see everything Trump is doing, as being his promise to these racist that he will undo everything Obama had ever done, and with that I can’t see what else it could be called other than racist, unless maybe it is Obama being a Democrat, or maybe because Obama is said to be liberal, and yes those are all valid reasons to go after Obama’s legacy, but then there is that silent race card code speak to be played with the all too clever racist who find it to be appropriate to their liking to infer. As they say, I’m just say’n! Joe

      • Realist
        October 17, 2017 at 19:35

        I want to see lots of independents run for office in the next several elections, Joe, so I don’t have to vote for either Democratic or Republican lying hypocrites. I do not think Jesus is coming back to Earth to solve all our problems, so we’d better find some realistic alternative.

        • Joe Tedesky
          October 17, 2017 at 20:49

          I like what you brought up a little while ago, that us citizens, and I mean everyone of us citizens, just go on strike…shut it all down. I just don’t know how to do it, but it only makes sense it would get the elites attention when nothing is moving, or operating.

          It’s been a while since I dug down into the Bible, but as I recall Jesus didn’t leave any wiggle room for war. I also remember towards the back of the Good Book some passage about upon Jesus’s return he will crush all of the church’s, and there will be many false worshippers who will be gnashing their teeth seeing the ones they thought to be the real sinners being the first to sit at the right hand of God. Heavy stuff, and I’m not even going to begin to pretend I can debate it, nor preach it. I just know this, I’m not here to judge anyone. Okay complain and criticize government policies, but I don’t have a clue to where anyone stands with God….look at me getting carried away with this deep stuff.

          I hope whether it’s Jesus returning, or just another dimension our souls go too, that eventually for the many who have suffered that they will have found somekind of peaceful existence whatever that existence may turn out to be….me, ah I’m okay.

          Take it easy Realist, and I apologize if my comment wasn’t in the same vain as you meant it to be. Joe

    • DaveJoe
      October 19, 2017 at 07:48

      “Yes, Obama is black, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who’s a Republican is by definition racist just because they didn’t vote for him”

      Nowhere in the article do I see the author saying that EVERYONE who’s a Republican is a racist. He doesn’t even say that the majority of Republicans are racists. It is enough for a sufficient number of Republicans (in positions of power) to be racist to substantiate what the author is suggesting…

  19. Zachary Smith
    October 17, 2017 at 14:01

    Sergeant Bergdahl was dismissed from the Coast Guard because of mental illness, was recruited into the Army in spite of such issues, and then was sent to the frontlines of Afghanistan where he walked away from his base and was captured, kept as a prisoner, and tortured by the Taliban for nearly five years. Yet, he has been offered almost no compassion, sympathy or forgiveness by large swaths of the American public, political classes, veterans and the media.

    In a trial there would have been testimony about why Bergdahl left the Coast Guard. Mental illness or not, that event wouldn’t have looked very good regarding the US Army accepting his enlistment. How the man was promoted to Sergeant and how nobody noticed his increasingly odd behavior wouldn’t have played out very well either.

    IMO the Army screwed up, and are now engaged in covering their *ss.

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