The potential Bergdahl swap was a no-win situation for the President. If he
does not do the swap, then conservatives like Michael Gerson will criticize that
decision. If he does make the swap, then those same conservatives will
criticize that decision as well. My perception is that modern
conservative's moral weathervane does not point in any consistent
direction. For the last several years, conservatives are not 'for'
anything. They are merely against President Obama. With any situation or
decision for which the President's position or action is not already known,
conservatives will wait to see the President's direction and then speak out
against that.I consider myself an independent and moderate and
it's very difficult for me to support a group whose policies are based on
negativity, anti-everything and hate.
@worf"* releasing five terrorists who have killed/beheaded thousands
of people."If those five terrorists had done that then how come
we haven't brought charges against them like we have for only a few of the
Guantanamo detainees?@Cougsndawgs"So what's good for
the goose apparently isn't good for the gander? "Should we
be petitioning to get American drunk drivers arrested overseas released too?
There's a different context when it comes to prisoners of war. "is liberals deciding to trust the president, his staff and Susan Rice
more than OUR soldiers who served and DIED for Bergdahl and called him a
deserter."I'm not jumping to any conclusions one way or the
other regarding his status as a deserter and most liberals are merely saying to
bring him back and have him go through the process for that. @wrz"But it backfired since the Berdahl issue is ten times worse."I'd consider the poor treatment of our veterans to be a much more
important problem than retrieving an American soldier who possibly was a
deserter, but then again I'm not arguing from the world of cheap partisan
@AlfredI don't care who in your country voted to go to war, I
am ashamed that my country stupidly followed you in.Bush was an
international laughing stock. You must have been sheltered from it in the States
but he was the butt of many jokes. Americas image suffered as a result. Like I
said I don't think Obama is much good but at least he presents himself well
instead of bumbling around like a buffoon.
"Mission accomplished", George Bush said 11 years ago and the right wing
cheered. Yes, let's talk about hubris and naivete. Bush also released some 500 prisoners from Guitmo.
UT Brit"Obama has a loooooooooong way to go yet before he gets to
Bush's level."I think you're right, Obama has a long
way to go... and the direction would be up to get to Bush's level.And just an aside... try to remember if you can, who in the US Congress voted
for the Iraq War... Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Joe Biden.
GaryO:"Contrary to Gerson’s long winded version of events, the
whole Bergdalgh affair boils down to the fact that Republicans insist that one
American soldier is not worth five Taliban."Maybe you meant to
say that one American soldier, who deserted his post, is not worth five Taliban.
Or maybe not even worth even one Taliban.Hutterite:"Also,
what then is the end game for the Gitmo facility and it's
'residents'?"The end game for Gitmo is to keep
prisoners of war until the end of the war. And the end of the war on Islamic
terror is not over... and won't be for a very long time. Probably past the
remaining life span of the inmates."We got some use and value
out of five of them..."What we got was someone who left his
military post. That ain't all that much.patriot:"All
of this just to gain some cheap political points."Actually, what
he was trying to do was to get the Vet's issue off the front page. He did.
But it backfired since the Berdahl issue is ten times worse.
"The president made the final call, then proceeded to a discrediting
error."UPDATE: The White House is now saying Secretary of
Defense Hagel made the final call. WHAT?!!! In attempting to deflect criticism,
the President admits to allowing subordinates to make a final call in a
situation like this? America ain't buying it, Mr. President. If he wants
his poll numbers to rise, he would find an admission of "Hey I'm human.
Maybe I made a mistake on this one" would go much farther than the juvenile
approach of "It's not my fault, HE did it!"
Schnee:"Because the guy in a prison in Mexico is in that prison for
breaking a law."So what's good for the goose apparently
isn't good for the gander? Bergdahl is also accused of breaking the law by
his own brothers in arms. Or did you think desertion was allowed under military
justice? Some even say he sought out the enemy to join them which would make it
treason (serious broken law).Look, none of us know the whole story
but in my mind what this boils down to is liberals deciding to trust the
president, his staff and Susan Rice more than OUR soldiers who served and DIED
for Bergdahl and called him a deserter. I have no problem going after him and
finding him in the field...no man left behind is a time honored mantra. Even
trading for terrorists probably won't have a really significant effect. But
to stand there and in the face of what his brothers in arms have said and
continue to say he served with honor and denegrate congress (both parties) as
unpatriotic is dispicable. Here's a new tactic BO...admit something, own
it, and be honest about it.
@Casey SeeWhere in Europe? Its been making headlines here."now watch an increase in US soldiers being captured or attempted to be
captured by terrorists because a precedent has been set."Capturing prisoners of an occupying force has been around since warfare began.
This will have been the talibans number 1 objective since the fighting has
begun."The US now has sunk down to the level of every other
country"Sorry this made me literally laugh out loud. Please
please do some research into the actions of your country. You have trained
murder squads that raped and killed in South America, given billions to Iran for
hostage releases, given weapons to Iran for hostage releases, some of your
citizens gave millions of dollars to a terrorists that killed my countries
soldiers and planted bombs in our cities.The US is knee deep in mess
just like the rest of us. I think Obama is not a very good president
but I dont think you have a good feel for the international community. Obama has
a loooooooooong way to go yet before he gets to Bush's level. Thats just
counting modern presidents as well.
Does anyone know how many other soldiers are left behind? Was Bowe the only
one?Or was he the only one on the market that Obama could pick up quickly
to douse the VA scandal?
@BYUalumBecause the guy in a prison in Mexico is in that prison for
breaking a law.
There are millions of terrorists that hate america in the middle east. Billions
that sympathize with them. Now there are 3,000,005 terrorists. And less
sympathizers every time we do the right thing.I don't think
letting 5 terrorists go home is going to hurt the cause much. It makes it harder
for them to say we are the devil when we let them go home doesn't it?
The case is simplified by the fact that many conservatives were complaining that
Obama had left Bergdahl behind just before the swap.A May 22 press
release from Ayotte's office read, "As part of ongoing efforts to urge
the Department of Defense to do all it can to find Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and
bring him home safely, Senator Ayotte worked successfully to include a provision
in the bill that presses Pakistan to fully cooperate in the search for SGT
Bergdahl."Rich Nuegent "Last year, on the fourth anniversary
of Sgt. Bergdahl's capture, on the floor of the House of Representatives, I
introduced a resolution in the House calling on the United States to do
everything possible not to leave any members of the armed forces behind during
the drawdown of Iraq and Afghanistan. "
So it's OK for Israel to make these kinds of exchanges, but we can't?
And who cares about the political narrative in the wake. The President did the
right thing. The right wing (most of the GOP) want to conduct a witch trial.
Shame on them. Appalling. Conditional patriotism. Shame.
It appears our political leaders have betrayed our country:*
releasing five terrorists who have killed/beheaded thousands of people.*
in 2013, 36,000 convicted criminals released from Americans prisons.*
giving away billions of Americas hard earned dollars.With leaders
like these, who needs enemies?
"Now when those soldiers who bravely and honorably served called Bergdahl a
deserter and probably a traitor the White House trashed our own soldiers just to
save face. "And just what did the White House say about those
who called Berdahl a traitor? I believe it was nothing. I think
the question just what is the life of an American soldier worth is not just a
good one but the relevant one. The Obama bashers freely make the value judgment
that this was a bad deal, so make the value judgment and tell us what an
American soldiers life is worth. The Israeli's say their
citizens are worth about anything, pure and simple but then they have a truly
staunch conservative party not a Republican/Fox News election machine.
Bergdahl is an American soldier. He's one of ours even if he is later
found guilty of desertion, he is still one of ours.
And, what about the deafening silence from this Administration about other
Americans held captive...one in uniform languishing in a Mexican prison. Why is
no one in the press calling for/demanding their releases? Thank you for the
details of this article that the left does not want spelled out so
succinctly.High school fan: Your comments are mine exactly!
I am working in Argentina right now. Most of my team is from Europe and
hadn't heard the news when I told them last week. Their first comment was,
"Since when did the US start negotiating with terrorists?" Most of them
support Obama, but they were shocked as this is something the US doesn't
do. then they commented, now watch an increase in US soldiers being captured or
attempted to be captured by terrorists because a precedent has been set. The US now has sunk down to the level of every other country, which is,
"When it is expedient, throw out our principles." This act has hurt the
US more than any other act our current President has done in the eyes of the
Gene Poole -“BTW, if money changed hands, it is an act of
treason. Just sayin.”You mean like the guns for hostages
arrangement Reagan made? The Reagan administration went on to make much more
serious and lasting mistakes than that though, to the detriment of America and
all Americans. So, his treasonous behavior there isn’t really worth
mentioning, is it?“Swapping the only POW in the Afghan war for
five KNOWN terrorists is questionable at best . . . “Is it really?
If we were to imprison everyone in the world willing to martyr themselves to
destroy America, then we might as well put prison walls around the entire Middle
East . Hey Patriot –“-he failed to notify
congress 30 days prior –“So? It’s ridiculous to
wait on Congress to get anything done. Congress has become infested with
extremist anti-government Republicans of the Tea Party variety. You know? .
. . Tea Party politicians whose followers wave Don’t-tread-on-me flags .
. . like the one draped over those two murdered cops in Las Vegas.
high school fan - perhaps it is because some of us have been around to realize
this isn't some stupid sport of conservatives versus liberals, that not one
side is all good, and the other is all evil, that in the course of our history
all of our Presidents have done due to circumstances that raise eyebrows, and
that we will never have a president that is perfect. It possibly because we
see statements like "how much our president chooses not to follow the law
" by people who obviously don't understand the law...On
most issues, I am very conservative. I have actually done campaign work for
Republicans in this state. But it is the nonsense ridicules attack - from
birthers to crazy conspiracy theorist - that make trying to bring some level of
sanity back to the conversation.The latest attacks by conservatives,
this time against this young mans parents, show how low this battle has gone.
This president isn't perfect, and neither was any that came before him, and
neither will any that follow. Lets lower the hysteria level just a tad, and
discuss and debate policy, rather than hate.
Ending wars is as difficult as fighting them.
I am amazed beyond expression. The commenters here who excuse Obama have got to
be White House employees. There is no other reasonable explanation for anyone
siding with Obama on this one.
It is simply amazing to me no matter how much our president chooses not to
follow the law that there is those that will still go to bat for him over and
over.I have just one simple question, Is there anything that President
Obama could do that would elicit from you a negative comment about him? It
appears not from the many posts.
"The Bergdahl case reveals a disturbing gap between the White House and
military culture."Ah, very true. And this is why the military
is not a democracy. What the rank and file think.... at the end of the day
doesn't matter. They are not given the choice of which wars to go fight.
They are not given a vote on if the hill is worth taking. They have absolutely
no say in is something justified, or not. Theirs is to obey orders given by
those who have been entrusted with those decisions.Looping back to
the beginning of this piece, which states that the Israeli's consider those
they give up in swaps as enemies. I am pretty comfortable feeling that these 5
are too still considered enemies of the US, and should they leave their now safe
haven, and attempt to re-enter the fight, they too will have the same fate that
many other Taliban commanders have had as of recent.... they may long for the
days of safety in Cuba, rather than having to keep an eye skyward waiting for an
unfriendly shadow to appear. As prisoners they had rights, and protection they
now don't enjoy.
Obama tried a careless and ill advised prisioner swap - he failed to notify
congress 30 days prior - he lied about the soldier saying he served with honor
when in fact he deserted and sought out the Taliban. All of this just to gain
some cheap political points. Now when those soldiers who bravely and honorably
served called Bergdahl a deserter and probably a traitor the White House trashed
our own soldiers just to save face. This is typical Obama -
incompetent and inept and now trashing our bravest and best just to save his own
...you know what. What a disgrace this man continues to be.
Whether Bergdale comes home, is dumped on the street in Germany or takes a bus
back to Afghanistan, Gene will find a way to blame Obama, with all the
"treason" hype continuing. He has also shown that his understanding of
both history and the Constitution is at best incomplete.
So, what is it that would make you people happy? If the administration had made
it known, and for the most part it wasn't known, that this guy was still in
captivity but they didn't like the proposed deal you'd have been all
over them. Also, what then is the end game for the Gitmo facility and it's
'residents'? We got some use and value out of five of them; are we to
pay to house the rest of them for their entire lives? That conversation needs to
be had, too.
“It would be difficult, even if intended and planned, to cram more hubris,
incompetence and mendacity into a humane and sympathetic act.”No. It would be difficult to cram more mendacity and simple-mindedness into a
column than the one that Gerson writes, although both George Will and Charles
Krauthammer are strong competitors.Contrary to Gerson’s long
winded version of events, the whole Bergdalgh affair boils down to the fact that
Republicans insist that one American soldier is not worth five Taliban.True patriots, like President Obama, disagree.He knows that one
American service member is worth a lot more . . . Much more than five miserable
Taliban thugs.But of course, “Conservatives” like
Gerson, don’t think that highly of American military personnel.
Will we ever know the truth about this "swap" and if money exchanged
hands. Bergdahl's minders are known for wanting cash payments as part of a
"deal". If that finally comes out officially, then political heads will
roll - maybe. With all that has gone on with this imperial presidency, I kind of
doubt it. I'm not for or against either party. I support the Constitution
of The United States of America. I feel that what has been going on is in direct
conflict with the oaths of office many Federal government officials took when
they were sworn into office. The President of the United States must impeccably
obey all laws of the United States - period. If he willfully disobeyed any law,
even a misdemeanor, it is an impeachable offense. No matter his "purity"
of intention. Swapping the only POW in the Afghan war for five KNOWN terrorists
is questionable at best and unconscionable at least. The comment was made in the
article about value of the trade. How do you count the men who died searching
for this "soldier"? What is their value? BTW, if money changed hands, it
is an act of treason. Just sayin.