Let’s remember a few key things while the feat of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s life being saved by the Obama administration is savagely criticized by Republicans.
The War in Afghanistan is winding down. At the height of troop deployment we had over 100,000 service personnel fighting over there. We now have about 32,800. While it’s painful to acknowledge their deaths, we are losing far fewer soldiers than we once did. On average five Americans are being killed every month in 2014. That’s far less than the 40 or more that were being killed a couple years ago.
And that toll will continue to shrink. The number of American combat troops will drop to only 9,800 by the end of the year. The long War in Afghanistan is nearly over.
Surrender without honor
Obama swap with Taliban endangers the country
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS • June 4, 2014
This is how the right-wing views a prisoner swap with the locals we’re leaving behind. It’s disturbingly reminiscent of what the Axis Powers were forced to do at the end of World War II, isn’t it? We wait with bated breath to hear the final details of their Marshall Plan.
President Obama betrayed the highest obligation of his office — safeguarding national security — in trading five hard-core Taliban for the American serviceman…
Don’t all prisoner swaps work this way? They get the soldiers they want, and we get ours? This sort of thing happens as a war comes to an end. To my knowledge no prisoner exchange has ever started a genocide. The five will be held and monitored in Qatar for the next year, and then the American deployment in Afghanistan will be very small. I know I still feel safe and secure going to The Gap. Anything else?
…for the American serviceman who appears to have deserted in Afghanistan.
Now we get to the problem. We don’t like the soldier you saved. It’s a familiar Republican game, treason by association.
But it’s not really up to the President to decide what kind of soldier Bergdahl has been. It’s first up to the professionals to decide that – the Army – and then for them to come to conclusions only after a lengthy inquiry. No one can even try to do that until the sergeant returns home to tell investigators what happened.
Nonetheless conservatives want this president to play politics with soldiers’ lives. After all, they get to do it:
[Taliban commander] Nadeem told the Times that Bergdahl taught him basic ambush techniques and how to turn a cell phone into a remote control for a roadside bomb.
At the time, Afghan intelligence officials also believed Bergdahl was “cooperating with the Taliban” and advising fighters at a base in Pakistan.
Now some are wondering whether it wasn’t a setup – whether Bergdahl defected and then agreed to the prisoner exchange to free the five top Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.
And if you can’t believe what the Taliban tell you, then who can you believe?
Maybe this Bergdahl character is a troubled individual, I don’t know. But it’s obvious to me that conservatives are far more bloodthirsty and disturbed in the playing of their politics. When the voters elected Obama president and commander-in-chief (twice), they demanded he hold himself to a higher standard. If he’d made any calculations last week about whether saving this guy’s life would look good on Fox News, he’d have let us down.