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View Diary: Bowe Bergdahl: "We Don't Even Care... About Running Their Children Down in the Dirt Streets" (208 comments)

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    •  We do the best we can. (49+ / 0-)

      When the officers of Bergdahl's unit effectively put killing Afghan civilians outside legal consequence, he walked off.

      A child was crushed by one of their MRAP armored cars. Army records do not include an Incident Report, but that killing is verified verbally. This cover-up is outside any part of today's military discipline.  

      It is possible that these troops were being so poorly led that they were morphing into another Kill Team. An instrument of mass murder. Every injury or death in the unit would produce unjust, lethal retaliation against Afghans.

      Of course professional Republicans love to profess "American Exceptionalism." That's not much of a fit with these realities.

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

      by waterstreet2013 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 04:53:07 AM PDT

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      •  A guy in that squad was so nonchalant (21+ / 0-)

        about Bergdahl not drinking beer with the group. "Alcohol" drinking for our U.S. military while in the Middle East is a severe violation of regulation and would have come with severe disciplinary actions in my Guard Sgt. 1st Class son's deployments to Afghanistan '05-06 or in Kuwait '09-10.

        My son joined the Guard well before 9/11.   He used to complain about the reduced enlistment requirements and some of these "shoot em up" cowboys as new enlistees.  Oddly, while running an ANA depot near Kabul, it was the private contractors that he yakked about deliberately driving like yahoos on the streets to make the locals run.

        I guess the Army developed their own noncompliant yahoos in this combat division. I wonder how high up the lack of regulation went in their chain of command?

        •  I had a hunch this wasn't so cut-and-dried ... (6+ / 0-)

          The media is lynching Bergdahl AND his dad.

          By pure coincidence, I happened to watch a movie called Courage Under Fire (1996 - Denzel, Meg Ryan, Matt Damon, Lou Diamond Phillips) on HBO. I guess that attuned me to be more skeptical of the 3 or 4 vets who served with him - especially when I learned that they were being pushed out to the cable nets by a REPUB PR firm. I noticed certain tells exhibited by these guys (excessive blinking, "medic" had the shakes) So I started
          remembering stuff from Platoon and Casualties of War (Sean Penn, MJ Fox) about how the straight arrow - potential whistle blower - was threatened, disillusioned and disgusted.

          Speaking of disgusted, the cable coverage has been  awful, and I'm talking about MSNBC/CNN, not even Fox!  It's like they're in a race to convict him on-air before he has a chance to speak for himself. CNN's Erin Burnett seemed to be on Meth - moving the story from AWOL to Deserter, to TRAITOR - and how he should have been left to rot - in 2 or 3 days.

          CNN was handling it like Flight MH370 - light on facts, heavy on speculation. Only (marginally) redeeming guy was from Rolling Stone - working off an old Hastings piece - mentioning that he was a VERY good soldier - to the extent of reading old Soviet accounts of what they did wrong. He kept to himself, kept his weapons, gear, and uniform in good repair. He was all business, didn't go to strip clubs or drink with the others.        

          Crossfire was worse, hosting neocons Cliff May and Gaffney (countered by Corb and Richardson) SE Cupp (Hannity in drag?) mocked Corb's military service, not to mention his Reagan admin position.  Gaffney called every military officer who disagreed with his position (stay forever until victory) liars & traitors.

          On MSNBC, Matthews went of the deep end, but not as badly as CNN...

          •  Mika, Joe, Andrea and Tweety on MSNBC (5+ / 0-)

            have made me furious with their blockheaded, pre-determined condemnation of that kid based on speculation and their manufactured outrage over the exchange.  

            Bringing that boy home was necessary regardless of any of his potential wrongdoing and those five uncharged prisoners at Guantanamo would have had to be released by the end of the so called "Afghanistan War" by the end of this year anyway.

            I kept shutting off MSNBC and am glad that I avoided CNN coverage altogether.  At least Hayes, Rachel and Ari have countered all of the stupid on MSNBC this week with their late night programming.

            •  Avoid cable tv altogether. (3+ / 0-)

              The people who own and operate those systems are our economic enemies. So why give them $100/$125 a month?

              It's like the whole country sending $700-billion a year overseas for crude oil.

              "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

              by waterstreet2013 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 11:57:13 AM PDT

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              •  That $100 a month helps keep me informed. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                waterstreet2013

                The more info I can get, the better. The more diverse, the better. I would not want to live in a world where I only talk to progressives.

                New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

                by AlexDrew on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 02:57:41 PM PDT

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          •  If the men in his unit participated in atrocities (0+ / 0-)

            against the Afghanis, that may be behind their desperate attempt to discredit Bowe by calling him a traitor, deserter, etc.  These men would, surely, not want these atrocities aired and neither would the officers in command of their unit.  Will Bowe blow their coverup?  

            I, too, was stunned by the way Chris Matthews went ballistic about the release of the 5 Taliban in exchange for Bowe.  

    •  Was he bullied, beaten, threatened, raped? (10+ / 0-)

      Seems clear h was a whistle blower against the thugs in his unit seeking to brand he a deserter.  Did he leave because he was attracted to the taliban or did he leave in self defense, out of disgust.  THere is something hinky about this unit.  Was it Lord of the Flies?  A small group of crude American male teenagers in a remote location, poorly supervised.  THe social dynamics can be pretty toxic.

      GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

      by SGWM on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:14:50 AM PDT

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      •  GO TO START and read about the child (6+ / 0-)

        getting crushed under the MRAP armored car. And the cover-up.

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

        by waterstreet2013 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 07:33:14 AM PDT

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      •  Remember the Alaskan troops (5+ / 0-)

        (from Wasilla, and friends of the Palins) who committed war crimes and took photos of their dead victims AND trophy body parts?  War is sick and war is hell.  There was something rotten in the dynamics of that rogue unit in Afghanistan.  The Sgt. may have had good reason to get the hell out of Dodge.  Being a Vietnam veteran myself (no combat) I remember the shocking racism that many Americans displayed toward Vietnamese colleagues and civilians (The G Word)

        •  Yup, these are the "Heroes" who are ... (3+ / 0-)

          ... "Serving Their Country" by "Protecting Our Freedom".

          As you might guess, I am disgusted by the giddy, knee-jerk worship of the military in this country, in which anyone in the military is automatically all of the above.

          You have to wonder how many are actually ramping up the danger to our country by creating so much ill-will toward us.  How are they serving our country with such disgusting behavior, which only drags the US's reputation in the world even more downward?

          •  Islam provides for Just Retaliation. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Karl Rover

            One series of examples came in 1983.

            Ronald Reagan pulled 800 U.S. Peacekeepers out of their Beirut position defending the Palestinian refugee camps. That opened the door for his allies, the "Christian" Felangists to slaughter as many as 3,500 civilians at the Sabra and Shatila camps in September 1982. Reagan followed on with naval bombardments of Druze and Shi'ia residential areas. 1,500 dead.

            Just Retaliation took the form of truck bombings at the U.S. embassy in April 1983. Then the Marine BLT Barracks on October 23rd, the French barracks same day, and the comm building in Tyre three weeks later. Only 415 dead, but it was something.

            And the Iranians provided the technology for the bombs, which gave them unique prestige among Lebanese. Which they used in 1985 after Reagan turned tail to consolidate the Shi'ia -- using a new organization called Hizb Allah (incorrectly "Hezbollah"), the army of God.

            "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

            by waterstreet2013 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:05:25 PM PDT

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        •  They still said it in marching ditties at USAFA... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          waterstreet2013, SGWM

          They still said it in marching ditties at USAFA as late as 1984. "Killin' gooks in the sun

          If she's pregnant two for one ..."

          Anyone who says that didn't happen wasn't there ... at least on that PT run. Needless to say, I resigned my commission ASAP after I served my commitment.

          •  "American Exceptionalism" denies any and all (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SGWM, FrY10cK

            of racial hatreds. Didn't happen. Doesn't happen. Not a problem.

            McChrystal showed up in 2009 with COIN and how those guys were going to help the villagers. No wonder the MRAP killing got 86'd.

            "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

            by waterstreet2013 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:43:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  But we don't know that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        waterstreet2013

        I'm not going to condemn him but I'm not going to hold him out as a hero inspired by Gandhi until I know the facts either.

        When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

        by PhillyJeff on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:52:18 AM PDT

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        •  I think that Bergdahl was confused (4+ / 0-)

          and conflicted ... he wanted to do what was right, but he wasn't sure what 'right' was ...he didn't want to participate in what was wrong but he didn't know how to get out of the situation he was in .. he was one mixed up kid.. and I think he went out walking trying to find a way to clear his thoughts ..trying to hear a still voice inside him that could give him guidance

          As for the email to his parents..I think he was convicnced that one or more of his fellow soldiers was going to use the next battle or gun fight to kill him ...

          Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

          by moonbatlulu on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 01:21:13 PM PDT

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          •  Bergdahl does not express fear of squadmates. (0+ / 0-)

            Not that it's a bad read of their mind sets. But he doesn't recognize it.

            He worries repeatedly about killing the civilian. Seeing that becoming a pattern terrifies him. It's what happened with the Kill Team and the Wasilla boys. And others.

            Another echo of Vietnam. Hell on earth.

            "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

            by waterstreet2013 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:13:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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