Bowe Bergdahl is a gentle wounded soul

June 12, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Good morning again:

Before anyone judges Bowe Bergdahl, they need to read what he has written.

“Tomorrow i may be dead. The thoughts that have come to rest in my conscious and subconscious being. . . . These thoughts have placed themselves in my head. In my protection . . . I will try to use what little time this life gives me, to bring their beauty into the world. . . . This is the story teller’s life.”

Read more here.

Say a prayer for him.

He’s lost and needs to find himself in the wilderness of his mind.

The Republicans are self destructing with their attacks on science and Bowe Bergdahl

June 6, 2014

Friday, June 6, 2014

Good morning:

The republicans and their voice, the right-wing-hate-machine, are destroying themselves with their aggressive wars against climate change and Bowe Bergdahl.

Climate Change

99% of the scientists in the world agree that world climate is changing due to human activity that is increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Not one credible scientist disagrees.

Moreover, climate change is already underway and some changes, such as the meltdown of the West Antarctic Ice Field is unstoppable.

Nevertheless, republicans either deny that climate change is happening or they place their trust in God to save them. Regardless of the basis for their opinion, they oppose any effort to mitigate the effects of climate change.

I have news for them: Science is here to stay because it is a body of knowledge, as opposed to a belief, that is based on reproducible experiments. Religion lost the battle against science hundreds of years ago. Science has become part of our lives and only a fool would suggest that we abandon science or discount its importance as though it were just an opinion no better or worse than any other.

By taking this bizarre contrarian position, they have voluntarily excluded themselves from participating in the worldwide discussion about what we need to do globally to reduce carbon dioxide levels. The discussion we have and the decisions we make will affect every man, woman and child on the planet.

Our behavior must change and that will involve population displacement and sacrifice. Our way of life that has been sustained by extraction, production and consumption of fossil fuels must end. We have to transition to using renewable sources of energy. The major issue of the day is how quickly must we make that transition. The answer involves balancing the consequences of acting too fast against not acting fast enough.

By voluntarily absenting themselves from this critical debate and the decisions we must make based on what we know scientifically, the republicans have made themselves irrelevant and assured the eventual demise of their party.

We no longer can afford to play irresponsible political shell games. Tomorrow’s leaders must step forward today and they must propose solutions that benefit the many as opposed to the few. Honesty is required. Bullshit ideas designed to benefit the rich at the expense of poor like globalization, privatization, unregulated markets, corporate welfare, trickle down economics, the elimination of public education, labor unions and social programs must be discarded.

Conscience matters

For example, in his Rolling Stone article about Bowe Bergdahl, Michael Hastings mentioned Bowe Bergdahl’s concern about the way the military was treating the people of Afghanistan.

:These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live.” He then referred to what his parents believe may have been a formative, possibly traumatic event: seeing an Afghan child run over by an MRAP. “We don’t even care when we hear each other talk about running their children down in the dirt streets with our armored trucks… We make fun of them in front of their faces, and laugh at them for not understanding we are insulting them.”

His father responded,

In matters of life and death, and especially at war, it is never safe to ignore ones’ conscience. Ethics demands obedience to our conscience. It is best to also have a systematic oral defense of what our conscience demands. Stand with like minded men when possible.

Good advice for us all.

Incidentally, we now know that Bergdahl walked away from the military camp and returned at least two times before the incident that ended with his capture. Therefore, he cannot be found guilty of desertion.

In addition, he attempted to escape from the Taliban at least twice, so there is no basis to believe that he joined the enemy.

The ongoing demonization of Bowe Bergdahl by the Republicans and the right-wing-hate-machine aided and abetted by a compliant media is a disgraceful defamation of a man of conscience which confirms that they are the party of lies and unfit to participate in the important discussions of the day.

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Time to stop the vicious attack against an emaciated POW for political gain

June 5, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Good morning:

I am revolted by the Republicans and their right-wing-hate-machine’s exploitation of Bowe Bergdahl to attack President Obama.

I also am disgusted with every Democrat who has sided with them instead of condemning them for their shameful use of a sick and vulnerable man who cannot defend himself.

The Republicans hate President Obama because of the color of his skin. Even though he has been elected twice, they will never accept his legitimacy to serve as president and live in the White House. So they behave like attack dogs seizing every opportunity to wound him politically, regardless of whose blood they spill.

There is nothing courageous about what they do.

They only succeed in further shaming our nation’s reputation, as the rest of the world watches this disgraceful destruction of a POW’s honor and reputation committed for political gain. They do this in violation of his right to due process of law, which is one of the core principles of our legal system and the rule of law.

Their behavior is unacceptable and deserves condemnation.

What have we become when we stand idly by impotent and speechless as the right-wing-hate-machine excoriates our president for repatriating our last prisoner of war?

What the hell else was he supposed to do?

Should he have abandoned Bergdahl, an emaciated POW who has never been formally accused, let alone convicted of any wrongdoing?

To ask that question is to answer it.

We need to push back hard against the racists who so desperately hate our president that they are willing to trample the rule of law in the dirt for political gain.

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I would be honored and proud to defend Bowe Bergdahl

June 4, 2014

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Good afternoon:

A person who shall remain nameless posted the following comment a few minutes ago in response to my post yesterday about Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Because this person is new to the blog, the comment went into my pending folder. I think the comment is worth examining because it’s typical of many comments I have seen in the news and blogosphere.

Frederick, Bergdahl is a disgrace to anybody that has ever served. He made his own choice to join the military. Nobody put a gun to his head! Do you care about the lives of the soldiers that died trying to find this scumbag? I’ve read their names and their stories. It is shocking that anyone can defend his actions.

Somebody has to be held accountable, but it seems you think nobody should be accountable.

I find it impossible to take the author seriously because he assumes that his factually unsupported conclusion is true. He does not need an investigation, an accusation, a trial, a conviction or a sentencing because everything is so obvious to him.

He apparently does not realize that the military is not claiming and has not accused Bergdahl of responsibility for anyone’s death.

He apparently does not realize that Bergdahl enlisted in the Army because he wanted to go to Afghanistan to protect the lives of the inhabitants from attacks by the Taliban while improving the quality of their lives. He was heavily influenced by the book Three Cups of Tea and wanted to meet people and establish friendships based on mutual respect.

In other words, he swallowed the counterinsurgency theory hook, line and sinker. But it was 100% bullshit because soldiers are killers, not social workers.

He became disillusioned just like Pat Tillman did before him. Tillman enlisted in the Army to hunt down Osama bin Laden and protect the homeland from attack by terrorists only to realize that the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were wars of aggression to obtain control of natural resources.

Bergdahl soon realized after arriving in Afghanistan that the military did not give a damn about the impoverished villagers. One cannot creating enduring friendships with people by disrespecting their cultural traditions and treating them like dirt.

Bergdahl walked away from the camp one night without informing anyone when he would return or if he would return. He was unarmed and may have intended to walk to India because he told several members of his platoon that he was thinking about doing that.

They did not take him seriously because the idea sounded crazy. He was a loner and no one really knew him. He was different.

As I said yesterday, I think he may have been experiencing a psychotic break.

Fortunately, the Taliban did not kill him.

By not killing him, they have acted more honorably and respectfully than the person who wrote the comment and all of the politicians and media people who have condemned Bergdahl as a deserter and traitor.

I am not ashamed to defend him. I am proud to do so.

For additional information, please read this article about Bowe Bergdahl written by Michael Hastings in Rolling Stone Magazine. The title is America’s Last Prisoner of War.

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Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl deserves to be welcomed home

June 3, 2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Good afternoon:

I am surprised by recent criticism of President Obama and Chuck Hagel, the Secretary of Defense, regarding their agreement to release five former members of the Taliban in exchange for the Taliban releasing Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, whom they seized five years ago.

Republicans in Congress have criticized the agreement because they were not informed about it until after the exchange took place and they believe the U.S. gave up too much in the 5 to 1 swap.

Several members of his platoon also have criticized the agreement publicly. They claim Sergeant Bergdahl was a deserter and they resent him because six members of the platoon were killed during an unsuccessful attempt to find him.

Some Republicans have repeated this accusation when all of us should be praying for his full recovery and welcoming him home.

The response by the administration is that timing was critical, they reached an agreement with the Taliban faster than expected, and they carried out a promise to military personnel to leave no one behind by securing the release of the only soldier held by the Taliban.

The administration has announced that the Department of Defense classified Sergeant Bergdahl as a prisoner of war and he is receiving medical care in a hospital in Germany. It has promised to investigate what happened and take appropriate action after he recovers.

The plot has thickened because Sergeant Bergdahl apparently objected to the war in Afghanistan and he talked about leaving his weapons behind and walking to India.

I suspect the intense pressure and anxiety of living in a war zone where your next breath or step could be your last coupled with an escalating dislike of the war and U.S. objectives in Afghanistan could cause a psychological breakdown in anyone, no matter their toughness.

Throwing down your weapons and abandoning the relative safety of the military post to walk hundreds of miles through hostile country to reach India is not rational behavior. It sounds like he was experiencing a psychotic delusion or break and he was lucky the Taliban did not kill him when they first saw him.

Seems like everywhere I look, I find people with undiagnosed and untreated mental illness.

I am offended by the unofficial and unproven accusation that Sergeant Bergdahl, who is officially classified as a POW, was a deserter who should have been left to rot and die in a prison somewhere in Afghanistan.

The Republicans never cease to amaze me with how low they can go.

They deserve to be condemned for attacking the character of a prisoner of war who was never formally accused of wrongdoing and has been locked up for 5 years.

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