SGT Bergdahl walking away from his post is the public embodiment of President Obama’s annnounced date to “end the war” in Afghanistan and a bone he tossed to his left-wing, anti-war, close Gitmo base. The fixation on optics with releasing Gitmo prisoners using the PR cover of “securing the release of an American war hero” backfired. The Obama administration wanted to use SGT Bergdahl as a political prop – nothing more. This follows the continuing disrespect this President has shown our military – they are props for photo ops – just like they tried to use his West Point speech, the visit to Afghanistan and every other time he has ever bothered to visit the troops as image-builders to make him look like the CINC.
That this PR stunt should end up mired in controversy and inflame another public partisan firestorm isn’t surprising. President Obama came into office still blasting President Bush on the Iraq war, but he proclaimed Afghanistan the “good” war, announced a surge to “win that war”, with the stated goal of bringing enough stability to the Afghan government, whereby we could end our US presence there. He never fully deployed the full number of troops for his surge policy. The push to get the Afghan National Army and security apparatus up to snuff became a priority too. During this phase, attacks on US forces increased: Threat from within, “U.S. military braced for surge in ‘insider’ Taliban attacks” (May 21, 2013):
“Taliban insurgents recently vowed to carry out new “infiltration” attacks aimed at killing and demoralizing U.S., allied, and Afghan military forces as part of the spring military offensive, according to U.S. officials.
It was the first time the Taliban identified insider attacks as a key tactic.”
The mission wasn’t going well and US casualties in Afghanistan increased, the efforts to ready Afghan security forces floundered too. We may have a recruit problem in America finding recruits who meet standards, but the Afghan recruit problem is much worse. I can pull up reports later, but here are some of the recurrent problems with getting the Afghan security forces up to snuff, in no particular order – high percentage of drug addicts (especially opiates) in recruits, illiteracy in recruit pool, dubious loyalty to the Afghan government, a culture of corruption, discipline problems among others. Getting the Afghan security forces trained has been a huge challenge.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban, just like the North Vietnamese, will fight on. The Obama supporters can spin this any way they want, they can cherry-pick military history, a laughable undertaking due to their complete disdain for that topic, but facts exist, events unfold in the world and their spin remains a sad, juvenile PR stunt, not serious foreign policy. What’s the point of our vast intelligence-gathering apparatus, if the President is going to ignore his top military leaders advice and alter intelligence reports to fit the spin? It’s time for Americans to work at untangling the threads.
SGT Bergdahl may come to be the symbol of all that is wrong with American foreign policy, where the American involvement in a foreign war is hotly contested both by the American public and even within the highest levels of our government. We’ve gone through the Benghazi dust-up, where Susan Rice became the face of a White House trying to spin the story to deflect responsibility. The lives of 4 brave Americans were lost in Benghazi and the Obama White House decided to stonewall, doctor (ignore?) intelligence reports and rely on a deputy communication director at the NSA to write the script for this White House “narrative” Judicial Watch subpoenaed those emails and it became apparent that Susan Rice was following that script when she went on the Sunday talk shows to sell their internet video narrative on Benghazi.
Retired Army four-star general, Jack Keane, made some stunning disclosures last night on Fox News. He stated that President Obama has not followed any of the advice from his top generals in years. They are props too, apparently. Intelligence reports, which the left hails as proof that Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction, become irrelevant when top intelligence officials doctor reports to fit the Ben Rhodes and Susan Rice spin narrative on Benghazi and now we come to this Bergdahl situation. At the highest level of decision-making, if the President ignores the advice of top military leaders, concocts intelligence to fit a “narrative”, then those tasked with carrying out these “missions” are nothing more than expendable cannon fodder. His desperate supporters are spinning a narrative comparing wartime President Obama to wartime President Lincoln, using the analogy to the biography by Doris Kearns Goodwin, “Team of Rivals”, somehow fitting that they’d find a historian short on the truth (failed to attribute work – more than once)… President Obama is no President Linclon, but we do seem to have a civil war of sorts going on.
The American people will have to sort through the FACTS, as they emerge in this latest scandal. Every member of the US Armed Forces voluntarily raises his/her right hand and swears:
The Oath of Enlistment (for enlisted):
“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
The Oath of Office (for officers):
“I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the _____ (Military Branch) of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance tot he same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”
The soldiers’ allegiance is to the Constitution, not a President, not a political party, but it’s way past time to emphasize what we swore an oath to protect America from, ENEMIES, both foreign and domestic. Following the rule of law matters. In the last big national question with President Clinton, we were fed the spin that lying under oath didn’t matter on matters of a personal sexual issue. In this Bergdahl situation what is at stake is doctored intelligence reports, lying to the American public about releasing top-tier terrorists, lying to Congress, bypassing Congress and the rule of law. What words mean matters too.
How the Army handles SGT Bergdahl breaking his oath matters to the morale and future of the US Armed Forces. How Congress and the American people handle a President breaking his matters to the future of the United States of America – don’t let the left spin this to be all about Bergdahl – it’s about deciding much more than the facts about SGT Bergdahl breaking his oath
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The American people and the US Congress will have to come to grips with who is really protecting America and how important is the rule of law, if the rules are whatever President Obama decides they are. They will have to decide how well they believe a President is protecting them from our enemies when he does not follow any of the advice of his top military leaders on military matters and he lets PR flunkies write the “narrative” of what the intelligence reports indicate.
Semantics drive American partisan politics, where the largest terrorist attack on a US military installation in history gets spun into “workplace violence” and even the word Islamist has been banished from military language, so they can’t even call these particular enemies by name. This administration is now selling Bergdahl as a war hero and here’s how the rest of those who did their duty and returned home are categorized in an official DHS report:
“U//FOUO) Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists.DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities”
Just suck it up troops and follow your orders from this CINC. You are potential right-wing terrorists and Bergdahl is a war hero – I guess that could be true depending who you believe the enemy is… This one is more serious than saving a disaster of a President and a political party than “that depends what the definition of is, is”. Like the Obama administration, I too am pondering the meaning of “enemies” – both foreign and domestic.
And oh, I have never owned a gun in my life – I work at a blue-collar job, I spent my life as a homemaker and Army wife, I belong to no political party. The most controversial group I ever joined apparently is the US Army, if I am to believe the DHS report. As an American who still believes in The Constitution of the United States, the original document (not a “charter of negative liberties), I know I have the RIGHT to free speech – then and now!!! I spoke out then, too on the excite message boards and wrote a story about it – in the archives of my blog “Messages of mhere”. Enemies, war hero, terrorists, all up for redefinition here, but I think what, is, is really is key, so I wrote a story about it. Add me to another watch list, go right ahead, but really I don’t own any guns or belong to any right-wing extremist group and this time I have taken the precaution of making sure a lawyer has the background to my story and I have given details to a reporter as a precaution.!!!