The Republicans are something. Barack Obama wags the dog; suddenly deciding to “capture” Benghazi terror suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala, after reporters have been sharing strawberry frappes and gulping mango juice with him for ages. And all Republicans can cavil about, in the wake of the capture, is whether Khattala belongs in Guantanamo Bay or the federal court system.
Barack Obama’s administration is, for once, being publicly affected by scandals that previously went unreported: The incriminating IRS emails have vanished. Started by Bush, Iraq’s unraveling continues apace under Obama. Central America is rushing the southern border. Veterans are waiting to die on the government’s watch.
Obama “purposely diverts attention” from all these, and Republicans take the bait.
“Praying To The Military Moloch” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:
“… At the center of the Bowe Bergdahl contretemps—a story that grows in the telling—was a passion to ‘learn about other cultures.’ This motivated him to join the army. Poor Pashtuns are certainly more interesting than the generic granny from the Midwest. Our soldiers, after all, are groomed as ‘citizens of the world.’ ‘We pay their wages,’ this column ventured in ‘The International Highway to Hell,’ ‘but their hearts belong in faraway exotic places with which Main Street USA can hardly hope to compete” for their affections.
There’s a problem with the American military’s sentimental flirtation with internationalism: The Constitution these men and women swear to obey brooks none of this stuff!
Who then grooms this army of avowed internationalists? Aided by the military’s upper echelons, Uncle Sam does. Commanded constitutionally by the commander-in-chief, the military does the government’s bidding. Although limited-government advocates refuse to consider the military as a division of Leviathan, it is just that. As was further argued in ‘Your Government’s Jihadi Protection Program,’ ‘The military works like government; is financed like government, and sports many of the same inherent malignancies of government. Like government, it must be kept small. Conservative can’t coherently preach against the evils of big government, while exempting the military mammoth.’
Better still, if the military is government—and it is—fanatical militarism is a facet of statism. And if the military is government—and it is—then the missions on which the government sends the military must be questioned. An equally distinctive characteristic of the current military statism is to extend the worship of The Man in Uniform to His Mission. We worship the men and women in uniform and their mission without question.
Conservatives question government programs. War is a government program. … ”
Read the rest. “Praying To The Military Moloch” in now on WND.
UPDATED: Here Mark Levin prays to “our beautiful, precious, wonderful men and women in uniform.” Two minutes and 12 seconds into the monologue come these words of worship. Now, there was certainly one gorgeous man among Ggt. Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon members, interviewed by Megyn Kelly. But they aren’t all wonderful beauties.
From being treated like a caged animal to enjoying the privileges of a comrade, the odyssey of Taliban hostage Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl just gets weirder. Down to his progressive, off-putting parents, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, traded “five fierce-looking Muhammadans from Afghanistan’s Jihad Central,” conjures John Walker Lindh, alias Abdul Hamid, a 20-year-old American who had been captured by U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan, during the 2001 invasion. Walker was a combatant, fighting for the Taliban.
Reports James Rosen, a very credible reporter at Fox News:
U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at one point during his captivity converted to Islam, fraternized openly with his captors and declared himself a “mujahid,” or warrior for Islam, according to secret documents prepared on the basis of a purported eyewitness account and obtained by Fox News.
The reports indicate that Bergdahl’s relations with his Haqqani captors morphed over time, from periods of hostility, where he was treated very much like a hostage, to periods where, as one source told Fox News, “he became much more of an accepted fellow” than is popularly understood. He even reportedly was allowed to carry a gun at times.
The documents show that Bergdahl at one point escaped his captors for five days and was kept, upon his re-capture, in a metal cage, like an animal. In addition, the reports detail discussions of prisoner swaps and other attempts at a negotiated resolution to the case that appear to have commenced as early as the fall of 2009. … MORE.
No wonder Bergdahl looks so lost and pitiful in the clip of his release (via the New York Times). The military is home to some confused individuals. This poor guy thought he was joining UN Peacekeeping.
I disagree with Antiwar.com’s Justin Raimondo that US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a martyr, or anything like the man Edward Snowden is. But who can dispute the following sentiment, expressed in “Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl: Prisoner of the War Party”?
It’s hard to believe any decent human being would even consider putting Bergdahl through more trauma than he’s already endured – but in the case of the War Party, exemplified by the foam-flecked Ralph Peters [a Fox News "military analyst"], we aren’t talking about decent people. They will exact their pound of flesh from an ordinary, powerless individual caught in the headwinds of our turbulent era, just to make an ideological point: that the war was and is justified, that we’re pulling out too soon, and – more importantly – that no individual “insider,” whether a private in the Army or a top level technologist for the NSA, has the moral right to obey their conscience when it conflicts with their orders. The government decides, as Michael Kinsley argued in Snowden’s case, and not the individual – who is merely a cog in a gigantic “democratic” machine. After all, as the neocons and their “progressive” allies say of Snowden, who is he to make these decisions unilaterally?
I must say, the Gitmo Five released in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, look frightening. The five senior Taliban commanders are Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khairullah Khairkhwa, and Mohammed Nabi Omari.
Don’t worry. “… the Qataris,” writes Eli Lake, [will] “keep them under house arrest.”
Couldn’t Obama find a gentler-looking bunch to release from Gitmo? A few friendly metrosexuals called Mohammads?
While the specter of the parents of returning POW Bowe Bergdahl babbling, sobbing and conveying encoded, incoherent messages to their son on national TV was inappropriate and undignified (although not atypical of the pornography of public grief in this country)—the fact that the soldier’s government has worked to get him released from Taliban captivity is entirely appropriate. It’s a good thing that, as Reuters reports, “Army Sergeant Bergdahl, held for nearly five years in Afghanistan, was freed in a deal with the Taliban brokered by the Qatari government. Five Taliban militants, described by Senator John McCain as the ‘hardest of the hard core,’ were released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and flown to Qatar.”
But not if you ask the usual suspects.
Nothing much has changed since, in 2004, the neoconservatives at National Review had “grumbled about Israel’s ‘lopsided prisoner exchanges’ over the years. One ‘sofa samurai,’ … noted the startling disparity of exchanging 5,500 Egyptian soldiers, following the Sinai campaign of 1956, ‘for the lives of the four Israeli soldiers captured in the fighting,’ and over 8,000 Egyptians, after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in exchange for 240 Israeli soldiers.”
When Prime Minister Ariel Sharon released 430 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners in exchange for three dead Israelis and one live one, people worried, and for good reason. Many of the prisoners were said to be very dangerous men. The late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin would probably have supported the Sharon swap. According to Dr. Ganor, Rabin said categorically that when military action to free hostages is not possible, ‘real negotiations should be held.’…
… President Bush sat bone idle, never lifting a bloodstained finger to haggle for his countrymen beheaded … Abandoning hostages as the Bush administration did as a matter of ‘principle’ is … not an option, at least not an ethical one. President Bush bears the mark of Cain for looking on as Americans continue to be butchered. …” (“AFTER THEIR HEADS ROLL, AMERICA’S DEAD REMAIN FACELESS”)
“Bergdahl was flown to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for medical treatment,” reports Reuters. “After receiving care he would be transferred to another facility in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. defense officials said, without giving a date for his return to the United States.”