Why Is Bowe Bergdahl’s Life the Only Sacred One?

Written by Paul Hair on June 8, 2014

Obama and his supporters continue arguing that trading terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl was the right thing to do even as they fail to answer why Bergdahl’s life is more valuable than anyone else’s life.

David Axe wrote a despicable column in defense of Obama’s actions and condemning those who are angry about them and want answers about whether Bergdahl deserted:

And now some soldiers and military families are blaming 28-year-old Bergdahl for the deaths of as many as eight Americans in Afghanistan during the military’s initial efforts to find and retrieve Bergdahl.

They’re wrong. And shame on them for heaping scorn on a man who undoubtedly has suffered enough for any crime he may have committed.

Not content with stopping at insulting troops and the family members of troops killed searching for Bergdahl, Axe continues by saying that Americans who are angry over the injustice and potential danger of the trade are actually misdirecting their anger:

By contrast, it’s much harder for everyday Americans to inflict satisfying punishment on the Taliban. The Taliban is a determined, brutal, patient and deadly enemy. Its fighters understand the political, physical and psychic terrain on which they fight far better than we ever understood it.

They beat us in a war of our choosing. Hate them for it, if you think it helps. But don’t blame their victory, and our losses, on Bergdahl.

Besides the cheap shot of those sentences, Axe omits the fact that leftists have undermined U.S. war efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere ever since September 11, 2001. It’s no wonder the U.S. loses wars when half of Americans work for the enemy.

Axe ends his column by arguing against a straw man, writing as if those angry about the trade and Bergdahl’s potential desertion wanted to leave him behind. No public figure has argued that. Although it wouldn’t be shocking if someone did. After all, the U.S. has a history of leaving its troops behind. Stars and Stripes published “Story of American tourist in North Korea recalls 4 US soldiers who defected” on April 30:

Between 1962 and 1965, four American soldiers defected to North Korea in an attempt to escape their military responsibilities. . . .

Jenkins managed to leave North Korea in 2003 thanks to his wife, a Japanese abductee named Hitomi Soga who was curiously repatriated to Japan in 2002. Jenkins and their two daughters were allowed to follow her out of the country 18 months later. . . .

Today, little is known about Abshier and Parrish, who both died from health complications years ago, and never had the chance to tell their own stories.

So the U.S. let four American troops in North Korea after they defected. Two died there and one remains there to this day. The only one who got out left 40 years later and apparently without much (if any) help from the U.S. There are plenty of other instances of the U.S. abandoning its troops—including those who didn’t desert or defect. Instead of arguing against a straw man, Axe should worry about actual cases of the U.S. leaving men behind.

But perhaps the most contemptible argument Axe makes is when he implies that the deaths of those who searched for Bergdahl aren’t that big of a deal because troops were going to die anyway: “Bergdahl’s regiment was going to fight—and suffer casualties—regardless of whether planners tailored the unit’s operations to help gather intelligence on Bergdahl’s whereabouts.”

Using that logic the lives of troops must be expendable and we never again have to worry about wrongful death investigations. (Poor planning or leadership resulted in troops’ deaths? So what? Troops die all the time and for all sorts of reasons!)

Apart from the obvious outrageousness of this line of thinking it brings up an important question. Why is Axe so concerned with Bergdahl’s life when he is so cavalier with the lives of every other serviceman? In other words, if the deaths of the troops who searched for Bergdahl aren’t that big of a deal since they might have died anyway, why doesn’t that same logic apply to Bergdahl? Why were people concerned that he might have died in captivity? After all, isn’t it possible he could’ve died while patrolling with his unit?

Obama has shown no signs of apologizing for his latest dereliction of duty or being concerned with the lives of people who might be murdered by the terrorists he released. Nevertheless, someone should ask him and his administration the same questions Axe should answer: Why is Bowe Bergdahl’s life so sacred when they are willing to sacrifice everyone else’s?

Image: Courtesy of: http://mises.ca/posts/blog/negotiating-with-terrorists/


Paul Hair
Paul Hair is an author and national security/intelligence expert. He writes fiction and nonfiction under his own name and as a ghostwriter. He provides his national security and intelligence insight as a freelance consultant. Connect with him at http://www.liberateliberty.com/. Contact him at paul@liberateliberty.com if you are interested in his professional services.