June 05, 2014

Summing Up the Thoughts

I have spent the day reading, reading items people have sent me with regard to the swap of terrorists for a deserter. The articles are all good... not shrill from the far flung left Obama supporters. Most were military perspectives and one was from Charles Krauthammer, a man whose opinion I do respect.

What am I left with? Many thoughts. My first one is... I miss Lex. I miss his voice of reason. I miss how he could put it out there, put what he thought, and there would be intellectual discourse, and rarely did my opinion change, but sometimes it took on a different flavor to me, on the few times I did disagree with him.

I think if he of all people had been in favor of this swap, I'd have listened and maybe had become more gray on the area.

But I don't know how he would feel and he's not here and so I'm stuck reading people I have never read so I don't know their perspective, and trying to cobble my thoughts together so I don't sound ignorant.

People don't come here to read my views on politics or the degradation of our society. They come here for stories of Bones, my child who has become a caricature of sorts. He is the happy go lucky in the gloom of our world.

He is the cotton candy to the sticky goo stuck to your shoe at a carnival.

But... my thoughts.

Bergdahl was a deserter. Perhaps he was not a traitor, but he was a deserter. Krauthammer talks about the Israelis trading 1000 Palestinian prisoners for one Sergeant.

I don't think it is the same. We don't have the case of a young man who was ambushed and taken as a POW. This is not a case where he was in a battle and instead of their killing him, they decided to take him.

This is a case where a man decided he was no longer going to stay with the US military, to fight for his Country's decisions, to stay with his post, and instead walked off to the other side.

He deserted his Country.

I have no idea what kind of people the Palestinian prisoners were or how they ended up in an Israeli prison. I've read accounts where the freeing of the Palestinian prisoners was seen as a progression of sorts, of perhaps a change in relations.

That is not the case by any stretch with what we have here. The Bergdahl event is the case of five ruthless terrorists who want to see Americans dead. American military men and women, American civilians, American children, all dead. And their release was not in any way going to change the relationships we have in Afghanistan nor was it going to be thought of in the positive... it was never going to be viewed as 'this was our chance to free Bergdahl and we blew it'.

If the 1000 Palestinian prisoners were of the same ilk of the five, then yes, I would still struggle with the decision to swap, it would not be so black and white, but more so because the Israeli Sergeant... was not a deserter. I would not like the trading of terrorists for his life, but his life would be worth it because... he was not a deserter. He did not turn his back on Israel therefore, Israel should not turn theirs on him.

Bergdahl turned his back on his Country. The Israeli Sergeant was fighting on behalf of his Country. In my mind, there is a definitive distinction.

Bergdahl's life was no longer worth saving, in my opinion. There are a cast of millions who probably disagree with me on that.

But my thought that his life was not worth it is because by saving his life, it meant that others must give up theirs.

It was not a swap of five terrorists for one deserter. This ordeal was the swap of five terrorists AFTER the deaths of six men who were SERVING this Country.

Six men who were sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, died for a deserter and in turn we released five men who want to kill Americans.

And that is not equitable in my mind. His life was not more important than theirs. His life did not have more meaning.

By releasing terrorists, not only did we broker his life for them, but we may have brokered the lives of many Americans, perhaps on this soil. They were TERRORISTS.

I have read accounts calling the five swapped for Bergdahl 'prisoners' and that calling them terrorists was just that... name calling.

Not all prisoners are created equal. Some are more horrific than others. A drug addict in a cell is far different than someone who has committed a horrific crime against a child. A prisoner may be a prisoner, but in my mind I would be differentiating saying, "Addict vs Monster".

I'm going to pear it down. It is what we do. We weigh the crimes in our head as we define the people who have committed them.

Men who want to commit acts of terrorism against the people of my Country deserve to be called more than a prisoner, a moniker given to someone conjuring up visions of the Count of Monte Cristo.

They deserve to be called what they are... Terrorists. They are waging a war on my people.

And so I stand by my opinion, although I will not call Berhdahl a traitor. He is a deserter.

And in my mind, he was not worth a swap of five terrorists and the lives of six of our men. In my mind, he is not worth the air we breathe in America. He is not worthy of setting foot on American soil. He is not worthy of hugging his parents as the six dead men can no longer hug theirs.

He should be dead to us.

That is my stance.

Posted by Boudicca at June 5, 2014 11:25 PM

I suspect that he will be demoted and shunned. I would not want to live with that kind of guilt hanging over my head. If he has even a smidgen of a conscience this will eat away at him for the rest of his life.

Posted by: PeggyU at June 6, 2014 12:05 AM

I agree. Those 5 are indeed terrorists. They will go back and start their terrorism crap all over again. Likely they've already started.

The State of Denmark has gotten smellier and smellier the more this unfolds.

With all the reading I've done - as you have - I can only come to the same conclusion. He is a deserter and as such needs to deal with the full press of investigation that rightly so must happen. And then deal with the verdict once its read.

Additionally - because his actions and those of his parents have raised such doubt and WTF moments (his dad's speeches and tweets) - they will have only themselves to blame for the skepticism, mockery, rudeness that will come their way.

Posted by: Nina at June 6, 2014 07:47 AM

Every POW continues to get promoted when in captivity. I imagine the military trial will be very efficient and he'll get busted back down, and then some, and there will be prison time. I just hope they sentence him to the contribution of the death of six servicemen.

Posted by: Bou at June 6, 2014 07:49 AM

If there are casts of millions out there who disagree with you, I am not one of them.

Posted by: Web at June 6, 2014 09:31 AM

I'm in full agreement with you on this. I still can't wrap my mind around Mr. Obama thinking this (THIS) was a good thing for him to do. If he is this confused about right and wrong then we are well and truly screwed until he is safely (if we are lucky) out of office and retiring somewhere on Oahu, surfing and smoking his pot. Please God!

Posted by: Donna Bartow at June 6, 2014 01:45 PM

I think the damage has been done. I don't think anyone can undo what has gotten us to this point and the repercussions.

Posted by: Bou at June 6, 2014 03:22 PM

Everything you said, and especially how you said it, I agree with 100 percent. Also, Charles Krauthammer -- whose opinion I always respect, although in this case I disagree with him -- was referencing the then-19-year-old Israeli Sergeant Gilad Shalit. I would have traded 100,000 Palestinians for this one young boy -- innocently ambushed on his own soil, defending his country -- because the principle that will always separate Israelis (and, by extension, Jews) from the Palestinians is our reverence for the sanctity of life. It has always defined who we are as a people, and it is the lone exception God makes for us to violate the laws of the Sabbath. There is nothing more important than saving a life. A trenchant quote from Golda Meir: "When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons." My eyes well up every time I read it.

Posted by: Erica at June 6, 2014 04:52 PM

Trading the Palestinian prisoners for the Sergeant (I've been reading up on it) was not such a hard decision. He was serving Israel. And Mr. Krauthammer didn't have a problem with that. But what we have here, to me is apples and oranges. You cannot compare the swaps. Bergdahl was not serving our country. That is where Mr. Krauthammer and I seriously diverge on our opinions. They aren't the same.

What a train wreck.

Posted by: Bou at June 6, 2014 07:17 PM