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I’ve written two previous posts on the right-wing and general political feeding frenzy surrounding Sgt. Bergdahl’s release. (You can read them here and here). I’ve been very pleased to see a rational and sympathetic response to my posts. But the other day, I got a tweet that captured a lot of the controversy–in a negative way. Someone asked if I thought Sgt. Bergdahl was a hero. Of course I don’t know.

In the context of a brutal war of choice, the longest in American history where civilians are targets; what is a hero? I saw a very well researched and documented article that castigated his unit and had an anti-poor or anti-working class bias to it.

I strongly believe that it is up to us who oppose any war of choice, gratuitous militarization, and aggression to not point fingers right now. Instead we should say over and over as William Sherman said, “War is all hell.” It always has been and always will be. You cannot go to war and kill fellow human beings unless you’ve been taught they are less than you. And when you dehumanize other human beings, some of us commit atrocities. Atrocities are an everyday occurrence in war. They are inevitable.

I neither know nor care whether Sgt. Bergdahl was captured while taking a shit at the base latrine or walking away for reasons of principle. Union General Philip Sheridan burned all the Shenandoah Valley to starve Confederate forces. That’s why Sherman marched across Georgia to the sea, then turned north and destroyed almost all of South Carolina. Given the necessity of the Civil War to destroy slavery, it had to be done. And please no shit about that war had nothing to do with slavery.

All wars all the time are horrific. Whatever happened with Sgt. Bergdahl is on all of us. Iraq and Afghanistan were done in our name. This is our country and we sent 18 and 19 year old privates and lance corporals and 25 year old sergeants to kill and maim and destroy in our name.

Bowe Bergdahl is us.

He is one of you and me.

For those of us who didn’t go, to judge him now is its own atrocity.

And to condemn his unit of poor and working class kids who never had a chance and never will have a chance is wrong too.

We had a national policy of torture, which Dick Cheney still supports. The whole Bush Administration lied about both wars. What do you expect 18 year olds to do?

The whole damn mess is on all of us.

Don’t look for Jack. Jack’s done gone. Every American including me should be looking in the damn mirror right now.

War, indeed, is all hell.

Photo source: Bald Eagle Flag Store

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Comment Preferences

  •  "Is X a hero?" The questioner was asking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if you still beat your wife.

    They know that the answer is their wind Blowing.

    Notice: This Comment © 2014 ROGNM UID 2547

    by ROGNM on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:45:31 AM PDT

  •  What did I do? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, johnny wurster, Shifty18
    The whole damn mess is on all of us….  Every American including me should be looking in the damn mirror right now.
    Could you be a little more explicit?  Exactly why is this my fault?
  •  For me, this isn't about Bergdahl. (4+ / 0-)

    It's about our family, friends, and neighbors who willingly spew venomous hatred at a man they don't know without having all the facts. They are zealous in their hostility and lustful in their rush to judgement. It is beyond sad and absolutely disgusting.

    And as usual the only people I hear yammering on about Bowe being called a hero are those with ODS who are apoplectic that Obama called him one. It never occurs to them that people are capable of reserving judgement until they know the full story or that you can be cynical of government without being batshit insane or completely deranged.

    We cannot let the anger and fear win.

    Not this mind and not this heart; I won't rot
  •  I agree that we all need to take responsibility (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tempus Figits, Skyye, worldlotus, Medde

    and oppose sending our young people to fight stupid, useless wars. In the case of Afghanistan, most of the world agreed that we had the right to go in to catch the people who were responsible for 9/11.  If we had not diverted so many troops to Iraq, young guys like Bowe Bergdahl would not have been dumped out in undermanned, inadequate outposts in hostile territory.

    The population of Afghanistan would have been more inclined to support the US presence if we had coordinated an aid program from donors around the world, and they had all gotten access to hospitals, electricity and indoor plumbing. Bombing their homes to rubble and committing collateral damage on their kids must have made them wonder if the US was really better for them than the Taliban.

    I had initially thought the military could sort out the facts about why Bowe Bergdahl was captured after he was safely home.  The death threats against his family and the abuse of the people in his town needs to be stopped.  There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to think he committed treason.  It is also clear that the accusation that Bowe Bergdahl got 6 other guys killed is a complete fabrication.  I do not feel like retyping and formatting this stuff I spent most of yesterday collecting, but it is here:
    Defending this young man is not about us, but about his right to be presumed innocent until there is actual evidence of wrongdoing on his part.

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