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Bowe Bergdahl Is All of Us
The Jewish Daily Forward ^ | June 12, 2014 | The Editors

Posted on 06/12/2014 2:30:52 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

‘Was He Worth It?” blared the cover of Time magazine, as if that should be the question Americans ask in light of the release of Bowe Bergdahl after five years of brutal captivity by the Taliban.

No, the question we should be asking is a version of the one Pope Francis made famous in a different context: “Who Are We To Judge?”

Who are we, in the safety of our civilian homes, to judge whether an American soldier captured overseas is worthy of rescue? Who are we to decide whether, somehow, the fact that he was imprisoned for so many years was his fault?

The American public’s reaction to the Bergdahl swap is both stunning and dismaying. Yes, the White House could have handled this more deftly, should have informed those members of Congress who see it as their right to know such things, should have anticipated questions about the constitutionality of releasing prisoners from detention in Guantanamo Bay, and after all these years of ruthless Republican attacks, should have done more to try to minimize the potential damage in advance.

But we’re talking optics here, and courtesies, which are important but not fundamental. What’s fundamental should be the rock-solid belief that American soldiers are to be rescued without judgment, that they should be brought home and dealt with on our soil, not the enemy’s, whatever the circumstances. We redeem our captives.

That’s what Israel does. The contrast between the Israeli public’s reaction to even more lopsided deals with terrorists and what’s occurred here says a lot about who we are and what is missing in our collective sense of self.

This is, in part, because Israel has a military in which most of its citizens participate. America does not.

The obvious comparison with Bergdahl is Gilad Shalit, the Israel Defense Forces soldier also held for five years by a terrorist organization, whose release in 2011 in exchange for more than 1,000 really bad guys set off waves of anguished debate in Israel. The debate, however, was about the deal. It wasn’t about whether the State of Israel should redeem Shalit. And even as the debate raged in the political sphere, 78% of the public supported Shalit’s freedom in varying degrees, whereas a plurality of Americans told one poll that the prisoner exchange for Bergdahl was the wrong thing to do. Period.

Why? As the Forward said in an editorial at the time, Shalit was “everyone’s son.” Nearly everyone in Israel participates in the military, and so nearly every mother and father could identify with Shalit’s long-suffering, loudly determined parents.

Yes, Shalit was defending his homeland while Bergdahl was fighting in a faraway land for a confusing, ill-defined reason. But it’s very possible that if we had compulsory military and community service, if every member of Congress and every leader in the White House with an 18-year-old could potentially see his or her child off to war, we’d be in a lot fewer confusing, ill-defined military campaigns.

And we would have a vehicle to forge national identity, which we desperately need in our increasingly atomized, narcissistic American culture. Mark Silk, a professor of religion at Trinity College, in a blog post for Religion News Service, noted the long, ignoble tradition in this country of designating certain people or groups “un-American” — immigrants in the 19th century, leftists in the 20th century, Muslims in our century. Now even Bowe Bergdahl, home-schooled in Idaho, as all-American as one can get — or so we thought — is considered not American enough to be rescued.

As the conservative commentator Ann Coulter had the nerve to ask: “Why are we doing anything to get this guy back? He’s ashamed to be an American.” As Silk explained, “The metaphysics of Americanism say that we get back our own only when they deserve it. If they don’t deserve it, they’re not our own.”

But those who voluntarily don American military uniforms are our own. They should not be judged, nor should they be abandoned.


TOPICS: Editorial; Israel; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; agitprop; army; bergdahl; bobbergdahl; bowebergdahl; draft; gitmo; israel; military; popefrancis; propaganda; romancatholicism
Remind me, did Gilad Shalit desert from the Israeli Army as it appears that Bowe Bergdahl did from ours? If not, how are they similar situations?
1 posted on 06/12/2014 2:30:52 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No, and AFAIK Shalit never converted to Islam either.


2 posted on 06/12/2014 2:31:41 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

How about his father, mother and commander-in-chief? [chuckle]


3 posted on 06/12/2014 2:32:53 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2Million USD for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
‘Was He Worth It?” blared the cover of Time magazine, as if that should be the question Americans ask in light of the release of Bowe Bergdahl after five years of brutal captivity by the Taliban.

No, the question we should be asking is a version of the one Pope Francis made famous in a different context: “Who Are We To Judge?”

Did he really experience "brutal" captivity?"

Was he worth 14 lives lost attempting to rescue him?

Where was the press during those five years?

Should we depend upon the MSM and White House for information, or his colleagues and those with direct knowledge?

It is difficult to judge anything with the lack of information, and the smoke and fog of spin. And, it is difficult to judge with no real source of information on what happened, similar to Benghazi and other scandals.

So, we wait.

4 posted on 06/12/2014 2:48:59 AM PDT by olezip (Time obliterates the fictions of opinion and confirms the decisions of nature. ~ Cicero)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We are NOT Bowe and his family....never have or never will be!! IDIOTS!!


5 posted on 06/12/2014 2:56:37 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion.....the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: olezip
Was He Worth It?” blared the cover of Time magazine, as if that should be the question Americans ask in light of the release of Bowe Bergdahl after five years of brutal captivity by the Taliban.


Was he worth it is not the issue, it is a distraction.

First, negotiating with terrorists is a horrible idea and never should be done.

Second, The five terrorist we released should never have been released under any circumstances .They should have been executed or spent their lives in jail.

Third, there a many detainees in Gitmo that could have been exchanged for that do not present the risk the five do.

6 posted on 06/12/2014 2:57:23 AM PDT by rdcbn
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Bergdahl is a traitor. So is the man who swapped him for 5 Islamicist fellow travelers.


7 posted on 06/12/2014 2:57:33 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No, we are not.


8 posted on 06/12/2014 3:07:40 AM PDT by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by it"s weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What a pile of pap. The real question is not should we have taken him back, it’s whether we should have payed the price we did. The answer to that is no.


9 posted on 06/12/2014 3:09:55 AM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
That’s what Israel does. The contrast between the Israeli public’s reaction to even more lopsided deals with terrorists and what’s occurred here says a lot about who we are and what is missing in our collective sense of self.

This is a terrible comparison. Israel's lopsided prisoner exchanges are probably tied to two things that aren't a factor in the U.S.:

1. Israel has compulsory military service for its citizens. Even worse, they have exemptions for large segments of the population -- including a disproportionate number of those who have lived in settlements that have been the subject of so much contention over there. If the Israeli government didn't move mountains to recover every prisoner held by the Palestinians, the country would probably collapse.

2. Israel is a collectivist, Marxist country in many respects. It is so different from the U.S. that it really shouldn't be compared to us here. A more appropriate comparison would be to European countries with leftist parliamentary governments. Those countries would probably act the same way as Israel when it comes to "prisoner exchanges" like this.

10 posted on 06/12/2014 3:21:27 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
“Who Are We To Judge?”

Good question. I'm prior military, lost several close friends in the war on terror, with my son active duty, and my father a former POW. I'd say that gives me the right to an informed opinion on a deserter. Many (most?) of us on FR are prior military or have close relatives in the service. We judge because we have been there - without desertion, without treason, and without unnecessarily endangering our units.

We do not raise our kids with the idea that all moral choices are equally valid, from heroism and fidelity to treason and homosexuality. We raise our kids with values, for most of us biblical values, and Bergdahl's conduct does not measure up to what we ourselves did when we were bored with duty, or when we were unsure about a leadership decision. Bergdahl's conduct does not measure up to what we would want our children and grandchildren to recognize as acceptable.

We are humans, endowed by God with a sense of right and wrong, and tasked by God with teaching our children the difference between good and evil. That gives us the right and the duty to judge reprehensible conduct.

11 posted on 06/12/2014 3:27:15 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

American soldier captured

American soldier deserted (fixed)


12 posted on 06/12/2014 3:47:00 AM PDT by bikerman (Bowe Bergdahl is a traitor not a hero and should be hung.)
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To: Pollster1

Great post, Sir.

The main problem I see with this editorial is that it engages the matter on the ground that The Regime has chosen. I listened to SecDef Hagel testifying before the Armed Services Committee yesterday. As each Democrat began questioning, the opening remark related to never leaving a soldier behind. It was so noticeable, that I began to comment “DRINK!!” on the Live Thread when I heard it.

I believe we simply let that alone. There is nothing to be gained, at this point, by arguing the merits of whether or not Bergdahl was worthy. That time WILL come. If we have that discussion now, we are taking the bait that The Regime has thrown out in order to diffuse the prime issue that we KNOW to be of urgent concern.

How did the five Taliban go from being on the “never release” list to a year’s all expense sojourn in Qatar? THAT is the question that must be answered first.


13 posted on 06/12/2014 3:49:18 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever!)
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To: don-o
How did the five Taliban go from being on the “never release” list to a year’s all expense sojourn in Qatar? THAT is the question that must be answered first.

Along with the way that Obama broke a law he had signed in order to make the swap.

NONE is above the law, or all are.

14 posted on 06/12/2014 4:06:29 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“...should have informed those members of Congress who see it as their right to know such things...”

See it as their right? It’s a law.


15 posted on 06/12/2014 4:08:04 AM PDT by smalltownslick
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I may be the world's worst chess player, but even I know that you don't trade five knights for a single pawn.

And Israel was foolish to trade 1,000 terrorists for a single soldier. That puts all the power in the hands of a kidnapper - I kidnap one of your guys, you give me 1,000 people back. Who in their right mind would agree to that deal?

16 posted on 06/12/2014 4:14:56 AM PDT by Hardastarboard (Please excuse the potholes in this tagline. Social programs have to take priority in our funding.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I don’t think this sleeper jihadist is me. I’ve never deserted, nor have I ever been a moslem idiot.


17 posted on 06/12/2014 4:17:49 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Gilad was actively abducted.
Bowe walked off.
Hmm... Writer misses that fact.
Writer needs to go offer themselves as a hostage, see what happens.


18 posted on 06/12/2014 4:24:22 AM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: Darksheare

To: 2ndDivisionVet
No, and AFAIK Shalit never converted to Islam either.

2 posted on 6/12/2014 5:31:41 AM by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai
How about his father, mother and commander-in-chief? [chuckle

Are suggesting that the CIC has ever been anything else?


19 posted on 06/12/2014 4:56:14 AM PDT by mrgreenfatigues
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To: mrgreenfatigues

Hello.
Is that to me or someone else?


20 posted on 06/12/2014 5:01:34 AM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Who wrote this sh*t?


21 posted on 06/12/2014 5:02:48 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: mrgreenfatigues

Gene from new Jersey?


22 posted on 06/12/2014 5:02:56 AM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: Jack Hammer

The heavily drugged and mentally challenged editors at “The Jewish Daily Forward”.
The editors were so brave to write it that they won’t put their names to it.


23 posted on 06/12/2014 5:10:23 AM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He is not me.


24 posted on 06/12/2014 5:11:01 AM PDT by sport
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To: Pollster1

Very good post. (and thank you for your service)

Your point about moral relativism (one choice is as good as another, they are all personal and for one person to decide whether it is good or not) is spot on.

We are endowed by God with a sense of right and wrong, and when we deviate from that for our own purposes, it is weakness and sometimes evil.

I went into a Universalist “church” once for a craft fair, and there were a lot of things indicating activities for children. A sign, aimed at teenagers said “Nobody can tell you what is right and wrong. That is for you to decide, and only you.”

I looked at it, and turned it over and thought “My God. What a thing to tell a child!”


25 posted on 06/12/2014 5:15:34 AM PDT by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by it"s weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We had to get him back to try, and subsequently, kill him for treason.


26 posted on 06/12/2014 5:17:57 AM PDT by BloodAngel
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Private Eddie Slovik.


27 posted on 06/12/2014 5:26:54 AM PDT by wordsofearnest (Proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in a state where he no longer needs it. C.S. Lewis)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We shouldn’t judge? That is all the libs do. If they didn’t judge there would be no way for them to “feel” superior.


28 posted on 06/12/2014 5:29:17 AM PDT by Vermont Lt (If you want to keep your dignity, you can keep it. Period........ Just kidding, you can't keep it.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

When I was in Israel I met a surprising number of young people who avoided military service due to religious reasons. One woman made it sound like that 100% service requirement was more like a PR campaign for outsiders than a fact of life.


29 posted on 06/12/2014 5:30:59 AM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: mrgreenfatigues; Olog-hai; 2ndDivisionVet

Ping to post 19.
Poster doesn’t seem to know who posted posts 1 and 2, so he posted this to me instead.
Hmm..


30 posted on 06/12/2014 5:42:57 AM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I wonder if Israel would have swapped Hitler, Himmler,Goebbels,Hess for one prisoner?


31 posted on 06/12/2014 6:11:58 AM PDT by johnny reb (When in the course of human events.....)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Another pure propaganda piece from a media that is duly falling-in-line with the Obama Ministry of Lies counter-offensive in reaction to public disgust with the Bergdahl deal.

These left-wing newsprint, TV and internet rags don't even need instructions from on high....they know exactly what to do and how to do it. They work in tandem as the designated arm of the Demonrat Party and of the Obama thugocracy.

Across the country this left-wing media dutifully heeds the call when its master's trumpet sounds. Today, the mission is to whitewash the Bergdahl treason. The propaganda effort may be overt or subtle, but it will be massive. The above article is but one example.

Always remember, the enemies of freedom are within our gates...and busily practicing their craft on us, i.e., media spin, dissimulation, deception, subversion, lying and distortion of facts.

Leni

32 posted on 06/12/2014 6:15:14 AM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

http://forward.com/about/

“History

The Forward is a legendary name in American journalism and a revered institution in American Jewish life. Launched as a Yiddish-language daily newspaper on April 22, 1897, the Forward entered the din of New York’s immigrant press as a defender of trade unionism and moderate, democratic socialism.”

This is a communist website, masquerading as a Jewish one — with a name like “Forward” and their own admission. So this article shouldn’t be a surprise...


33 posted on 06/12/2014 6:33:25 AM PDT by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“We are all Bowe Bergdahl now...”. Embrace the shame, America. /s


34 posted on 06/12/2014 6:36:19 AM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: MinuteGal

With this Iraq fiasco, I wonder what trick Zer0 will use to distract us from his ineptness. Maybe he will pull Malaysian Flight 370 out of the hat with all the passengers alive and make the world so thankful to der Zer0.


35 posted on 06/12/2014 6:40:18 AM PDT by jonrick46 (The opium of Communists: other people's money.)
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To: Olog-hai

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2014/06/taliban-captive-rejected-teachings-islam-201461194935171809.html

Haqqani commander is quoted as saying Bergdahl DID NOT convert to Islam.

Also the “military source” that initially reported the conversion, also reported at the same time that it was part of Bergdahl’s plan to gain an opportunity to escape. He gained his guards trust until he was rewarded with enough freedom to slip away from them. He was captured three days later.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/12/06/u-s-prisoner-bowe-bergdahl-s-failed-attempt-to-escape-from-taliban.html


36 posted on 06/12/2014 6:47:35 AM PDT by Madam Theophilus (iI)
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To: Pollster1

Great post!

My Dad flew in 3 wars, dying in the third. I’ve flown combat over Iraq and did a ground tour in Afghanistan. My SIL did 2 tours in Marine Infantry in Fallujah. My daughter did a tour in Iraq with the Marines. My son has done 2 tours, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Both of my nieces are married to men who have done tours in Iraq. My only nephew is in Afghanistan now.

So yeah, I feel free to judge someone whose behavior was totally unacceptable. I feel free to say we could have left him to die in Afghanistan because anyone who deserts is...well, a DESERTER. The penalty for that can be death.

And when I was in Afghanistan in 2007, I never met ANYONE who didn’t understand what might happen if you fell into the hands of the enemy. None of us sought it out. Most of us planned to keep a few rounds left to shoot ourselves if we were about to be captured, per Kipling:

“When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.”

And if Bergdahl wanted to ‘go to his Gawd like a deserter’, then I’m willing to let him.


37 posted on 06/12/2014 7:24:37 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (I sooooo miss America!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Lets put this in perspective. I have no problem with sending in the special forces extraction team to get anybody back. Trading 5 high value terrorists for them is a different story. Very freaking different.


38 posted on 06/12/2014 9:01:32 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Madam Theophilus

Lovely sources. Never mind Haqqani taqiyyah.


39 posted on 06/12/2014 3:01:07 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: fieldmarshaldj
Bergdahl is a traitor. So is the man who swapped him for 5 Islamicist fellow travelers.

2 for 2--you're batting 1.000!

40 posted on 06/12/2014 3:04:22 PM PDT by exit82 ("The Taliban is on the inside of the building" E. Nordstrom 10-10-12)
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