Fox News is hot on the trail to discredit Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and it’s anybody’s guess why. My initial reaction is that Fox News is working over-time damage control because they are so desperate to nay say anything that the Obama administration does. I understand how the game works and I know Fox News is trying to feed their fans but this has quickly spiraled into previously unfathomed depths of pettiness.
It is known and uncontested that Bergdahl deserted his unit. Maybe desertion is too strong of a word, and in the strict military legal sense it looks like it will be very hard to stick him with a desertion charge. If he faces any punishment at all for leaving his unit in the middle of the night I’ll be surprised, but I’ll be even more surprised if the national news media talks about his reasoning and not his reckoning. Instead of automatically discounting and attempting to discredit Bergdahl we should be investigating why he decided to walk away in the middle of the night and not what did or (probably) didn’t happen while he was a prisoner of war.
Whether or not he collaborated with our government’s enemy is not sufficient justification to ignore the fact that he was driven by a moral and ideological compulsion after discovering that our military’s mission in Afghanistan is for anything other than the desire to help people. Bergdahl probably signed on to help protect America, or to advance the cause of democracy worldwide, or to protect women and children– or whatever other official line the government is going with now. He believed the lie at the beginning and then he discovered that the original product was “not as described”.
A June, 5 article by Fox News quotes a letter from Bergdahl to his family, saying,
““The future is too good to waste on lies. And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting.”
I don’t believe that it is correct to fly by the seat of our pants while fueled on nothing less than strong emotions, piss, and vinegar. We run the risk of cutting ourselves off at the knees by making decisions based on emotion alone, and Bergdahl might have chosen a better way to express his disgust with and opposition to the stated mission in Afghanistan. But, was it justified?
A soldier can never justify breaking the bond of brotherhood and mutual care that only soldiers can know, which is why his decision must have been so much more difficult and heart rending in a case like this. Two good reasons for desertion are in defense of Traditionalist morality, and the other is when the choice is in the interest of one’s own nation.
A strong nation must be able to protect its state and advance its own interests by the bayonet’s point if necessary. The strength of a nation’s state is correlative to the amount of military power that it can project and this necessity is troubled by soldiers who flippantly decide to give up the fight or defect. Political systems and the choices made within them are fallible and can send a nation into a quagmire, and the people of the nation have as much of a responsibility to protect the state as elected and appointed officials do, and sometimes it is our duty to not support the state’s military objectives. When our military objectives turn into capitalist campaigns for moneyed interests and Zionist stooges it becomes more than a right to desert.
Our military and its servicemen would also be justified in walking away from the fight when forced against the world in capitalist, imperialist, and Zionist military campaigns. Fighting for the interests of another nation’s state or for something that will necessarily reduce the power of one’s own state is the same as ceding land to another nation and state. The only difference is that fighting in military campaigns that benefit another nation and state last longer and will get more of your own people killed in the process.
Is Bergdahl’s case controversial? We’ve seen worse.
Arizona Sen. John McCain spent just over five years at Hanoi Hilton and was rumored to have had an incredible singing voice. Bergdhal spent almost as much time in captivity as McCain did, and I won’t wager a guess at who had it worse. Living as a prisoner of war can warp a person’s mind and make them do things that they wouldn’t normally do and forced confessions under fears of punishment can be very effective in producing sympathetic behavior or inducing the subject to disgorge sensitive information. If not factual information then something that sounds just as good. Forced confessions are sensational and can help a greasy propaganda campaign but they never really get any good information.
Speaking of good information, Fox News’s most recent hit-job on Bergdahl could have used a bit more of it. Okay, well, a LOT more. Their June, 5 article spent as much time talking about the security contractor, Duane R. (“Dewey”) Clarridge, who “invested some $50,000 of his own money” to keep his intelligence network together. Clarridge’s assertions that Bergdahl willingly collaborated with the Taliban are contradicted in the same article by a statement from Retired Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” Mattis.
“We were always looking for actionable intelligence. It wasn’t just the IC [intelligence community]. We had tactical units that were involved in the fight. We had SIGINT. Any collaborators who were on the other side and who came over to our side. We kept an eye on this. … There was never any evidence of collaboration.”
My guess is that Clarridge is trying to recoup that $50,000 with some trumped up intelligence, or he’s trying to drum up some new business by getting Fox News to run his background and what amounts to a resume as a news article. Fox News might not have been fair with this article but at least they were mostly balanced. The only thing that Fox News’s article was missing was a deeper investigation into why Bergdahl felt the way he did, what caused his change of opinion about the U.S. Army and its mission in Afghanistan, and what he hoped to accomplish by abandoning his unit.
Fox News won’t do that investigation because they will arrive at the same conclusion that Bergdahl did, and that is something that they just “don’t do” on national television– blame Israel, Zionists, capitalists, and nation betraying politicians for leading us into a war for the bankers.
You’ll need a crystal ball to know where Bergdahl will be in a few years, but if McCain’s history as a maybe-songbird could land him a job in the U.S. senate then maybe Bergdahl should give it a try and see what he gets. If nothing else he’ll have the opportunity to tell America what nobody else wants to talk about which is why he turned against the war.
Bergdahl is dealing with the same problem that McCain dealt with, and who knows– maybe Bergdahl will run for president in a couple of years. He’s no war hawk like McCain, but at least he won’t have to be a prisoner in a war for Israel.
When Desertion is Your Duty by Thomas Buhls is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.