The Suffering of Sgt. Bergdahl

  • A Little Shock and Awe?

         Shameful Politicking of a Soldier’s Life

By Harry M. Covert

 The righteous indignation being spewed about the repatriation of an American soldier has become nothing short of reprehensible, distorted and wrong with a capital “W”.

          Merely watching the proceedings from video supplied by the war-mongers and enemies of the free world called The Taliban, translated to mean “The Students”, was obvious the soldier was scared to death, unaware that he was being freed.

          Talk about PTSD the 28-year-old soldier was dazed a bit, unsure of what was going and quite fearful. Probably, he wondered if he was being executed. Just what is PTSD in a nutshell? It is either shell shock or combat stress.

Five Years in H E L L

        The swap of five al-Qaeda terrorists for the American after five years of internment and suffering from things people don’t know about, the Commander-in-Chief did the right thing making the trade. It was also a good thing that probably the worst congress in the nation’s history was not informed in advance.

          Evidence that the deal was done without notifying congress is obvious. The broad-based condemnation of the presidency shows the non-caring attitude of those both in the House and Senate. Shameful, too, is the fact they have politicized the release of the young soldier and even helped former comrades get on television and denigrate him beyond measure.

          It was good to see the Special Forces arrive in a remote part of the eastern Khost province of Afghanistan. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, in custody of white-flag bearing enemies, was turned over to special operations agents. Why give one whit to a left-handed salute.

          Thankfully, while the drums are beating to describe the Idaho native a traitor, Bergdahl is in the American military hospital in Germany in medical supervision. I would guess he is suffering emotionally and physically beyond understanding by most Americans, those who have had military service or those who have not.

Swapping, Trading Spies and POWs is Not New

          On this day of remembrance of D-Day 70 years ago, it is time to take a breath for a moment. Bergdahl was a young man when he enlisted – volunteered – for the army, knowing full well about the Afghani war and the Iraqi war.  He was about 20 when he went through infantry training at historic Fort Benning.

          Imagine for a moment being stuck and mired in the desert, especially in such desultory places as Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and other inglorious fields? Or, imagine being imprisoned in North Vietnam, Korea, and Siberia, feeling desperate, lost and forgotten. Or, the concentration camps?

          There are lots of short memories around the nation and the world. It is sickening and disturbing to hear the alleged watchdogs of democracy babble on using the Bergdahl rescue for personal gain.

          Swaps, trades and repatriations have been part of this nation’s culture forever. Past presidents, CIA directors and operatives, British, French, Israel and Russia’s clandestine services among a few, have exchanged prisoners, publicly and privately.

        Perhaps our history lesson should begin some seven decades ago when the United States and its allies discovered the holocaust. To his credit, General Eisenhower and his generals made certain the German citizens around these devastating places saw the murder, degradation human destruction and the accompanying odors.

          Remember this swap, the one where Nazi scientists, the designers and creators of rockets and such, the bomb makers, were allowed to trade their homelands for great lives and the pursuit of happiness in the U.S. These fellows liked to deny their beliefs in National Socialism. They were instrumental in using their talents for the American space program. Others of their genre were either hanged or imprisoned.

Picking and Choosing Captive Americans

          Spies have been swapped between Soviet Russians and the CIA on numerous occasions.  Israel has traded lots of Palestinian fighters for Israeli soldiers. The idea here is to hopefully keep peace.

       The listing can go on here. Warren Weinstein is a Marylander and captive somewhere in Pakistan. He is a retiree from the U.S. Agency for International Development. No reports available for any possible swap. He is 72 and had a distinguished career in U.S. government service. Then there is a marine in a Mexican prison, a missionary in North Korea, Maryland businessman in Cuba.

          The slogan is “no American soldier left behind.” How about no American left behind?

          Who are the critics of Sgt. Bergdahl’s return? There are plenty. It does seem there is a large section of the nation, the Silent Majority. Lots of mothers and fathers out there wonder what would happen to their son or daughter, who, God forbid, becomes a prisoner of war?

          Then, there are those who inanely suggest that the 44th president be impeached? This is bunk of the highest order. Lots of people don’t like him and that’s their right.

Guts But No Glory

          It took a lot of intestinal fortitude for Mr. O to approve the trade. Bergdahl’s life, soldier or not, is worth more than any and all of those terrorists in Guantanamo, on the battlefield of Afghanistan and elsewhere.

       I can imagine the daily suffering of the sergeant in al-Qaeda hands. All of the vicious words toward him are from self-serving opponents – do nothings.

          I have a serious suggestion for all of the detractors. Require them and every politician; public official; every citizen who want to hurt Bergdahl even further, to make daily and weekly visits to every VA (Veterans Administration) Hospital. Visit and look at those of all wars who still suffer from injuries and distress.

          Again on this day of remembrance when the world truly changed, remember evil is still everywhere but mostly outside of the continental United States.◄

This column appeared D-Day, Friday, June 6, in The Tentacle.