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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/8/14

The Demonization of an American Soldier

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Message James Wall
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Cross-posted from Wallwritings

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, taken in 2009 on the battlefield in Afghanistan
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, taken in 2009 on the battlefield in Afghanistan
(Image by Sean Smith/Guardian.)
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>My experience as a member of the U.S. armed services was a long time ago. It was also far removed from a battlefield. I was an Air Force public information officer during the Korean War.

I was part of a team, serving my country. All these decades later, I still feel a loyalty to, and a deep respect for, anyone who signs up for active military duty.

For this reason, though far removed from my own active duty days, I can still feel an intense fury toward the journalists and politicians who have stumbled over themselves to demonize a U.S. army sergeant who has just been saved from enemy captivity through a prisoner exchange orchestrated by his Commander in Chief.

Do these people have no shame? Do they not see that because of their need to either attack or stand apart from the President's decision, they are acting as jury and judge against an American citizen?

Do they, some of whom have also served on active duty, like Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, realize that those who judge U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, expose themselves as political sycophants?

The majority of the politicians who have rushed to demonize a 28-year-old army sergeant, are Republicans, egged on by the Republican party's media bull horn, Fox News.

It was on Fox that one talking head, angered by the long beard Sgt. Bergdahl's father has grown, blurted out, in a display of religious bigotry, "he looks like a Muslim."

Another Fox commentator added racism to her religious bigotry by saying "if his skin were darker, he would look like a Muslim."

These Fox commentators were also disturbed that Bergdahl's father had been studying Pashto, the native Afghanistan language. Why would a father learn a language his son has been been forced to use for five years? Why, indeed.

Democrats were more discrete, but just as self-serving, when they quickly turned on President Obama with whining complaints that had more to do with their political egos and political security, than with the rescue of an American soldier.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, says she was disturbed that the prisoner exchange was conducted without final consultation with her congressional committee, as mandated by recent congressional action.

Two things wrong with her demand: One, she knows that the negotiated agreement with the Taliban would fall apart if word of it leaked; and two, she knows the congress leaks like a sieve.

The President and his leadership team, including the head of the Joint Chiefs, determined that Bergdahl was in a seriously deteriorating health condition.

Feinstein told Politico that she had seen no evidence that Sgt. Bergdahl's life was in any danger.

Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat from the conservative state of West Virginia, after seeing a video of the soldier, disagreed with the decision to move quickly on Bergdahl's release. He did not think Bergdahl's condition was fragile enough to justify a swift swap.

Senator Mark Kirk, Republican from Illinois, who recently was hospitalized for a stroke, and who returned to duty in the senate with a courageous walk up the senate steps, had a different take on Bergdahl's situation. He found him to be in a shaky fragile condition.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)

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