It feels like deja vu, seeing our nation's blood-thirsty population of chickenhawks zero in on a new target—the deal bringing American servicemember and Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl home. In their minds, this is worse than Hitler because either Bergdahl was a deserter or because he wasn't worth five Taliban officials or a combination of the two.
Yet our nation has always subscribed to "leave no one behind," whether alive or dead. It is a foundational principle for those of us who have served—we will lay everything on the line, including our lives, and in return America will make sure, no matter what, that we get to return home. It is sacrosanct. As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military officer in the land, said,
Questions about this particular soldier's conduct are separate from our effort to recover ANY U.S. service member in enemy captivity.The military will investigate the circumstances surrounding his capture. The Taliban says he was drunk. His platoon mates say he deserted. Bergdahl says he was captured when he lagged behind on patrol. Investigate that all you want. If he acted negligently or maliciously, then he should be dealt with appropriately. But under no circumstances do we leave our own behind. Period.
Second, the Taliban officials were prisoners of war, officials in the Taliban government. The war is now over. Hence, under international law, they must be released. It's as simple as that. Shit, given this administration's aggressive drone policy, those officials were probably safer in Guantanamo than out and about, where the CIA can try and take them out. But again, the war is over. I know the neocons don't like it, but it's over.
This is an unpleasant blast from the past. It's been a while since we'd heard the squawking of those chickenhawks, always so eager to send our people into combat, yet unwilling to serve their nation themselves. The same chickenhawks who cheered the filibustering of increased spending on veterans health, yet now are pretend-outraged at the problems at the VA. The same chickenhawks who scream about American "exceptionalism," yet don't think our American prisoner is worth five Taliban officials we would have to release anyway.
Being wrong about everything in the last decade hasn't chastened them. Having the bloods of hundreds of thousands hasn't shamed them. And now they've decided to die on this hill, arguing against the repatriation of our only POW in Afghanistan.
Assholes, the lot of them.