Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Painful Reminder

Up until the minute it was announced that Sgt. Bergdahl had been released, the clamor from the right wing, including all of the usual suspects such as John McCain and Oliver North, had been to do anything necessary, including a prisoner swap, to get him home.  So the Obama administration did.  And now they want to impeach the president for it.

I think there’s a much larger point here.  It’s so easy to send our men and women to war and never think of what happens there and what we’re left with.  Suddenly what was once trumpeted and drummed as a noble cause melts down to wounded lives and political hackery when the soldiers come home.

Charlie Pierce knocks it out of the park with this.

We have to confront the unique legacy of the war in Afghanistan and the unique legacy of the war in Iraq by acknowledging, as a democratic self-governing people must, that we were taken to war in each different place for different reasons, with different impacts on the history of how we have governed ourselves, and how we will govern ourselves in the future. It is time for the American people to confront the war in Afghanistan not as a sideshow, and not as a theater in a fanciful “war on terror,” but as a war we freely launched in a specific place at a specific time and for a specific purpose. We have ignored the unique circumstances of that war for far too long. The return of Bowe Bergdahl gives us a chance to begin that hard and serious work.


2 barks and woofs on “Painful Reminder

  1. That would be nice and necessary, too. But the sideshow now is the nasty right wing, Fox and Friends and particularly Dick Cheney all of whom thinking the prisoner exchange for Bergdahl was in impeachable offense. There’s no chance an examination of the goals and rationale for the invasion of Afghanistan with its years of sacrifice can be conducted in the environment swirling around us today. It would be like trying to come to a conclusion on guns with the NRA. I urge you all to see Jon Stewart’s priceless take on the ugliness – in only three days – that has bubbled to the surface and poisoned the air. Too sad for words.

  2. I’ve had to start turning off the news. I don’t even want to see how petty, cruel, ugly and asshattish it is going to get about this matter. Bergdahl may not be the stereotypical hero, but nor is he a villain, a traitor as he will surely be labeled. I hate the way the US military and US public seem set on ignoring the idea that an already ptsd-damaged troop could have walked away; if he were in a fevered delirium nobody would argue his mental incapability to make ‘good’ choices. Seeing headlines about him possibly being imprisoned for five years for desertion makes me want to scream “Hey, assholes, how about TIME SERVED?!”

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