Thursday, June 5, 2014

Five Guys, Bergdahl and Freedom Fries

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)      
     "Your son's out now. If you really don't, no longer want to look like a member of the Taliban, you don't have to look like a member of the Taliban. Are you out of razors?" - Brian Kilmeade, Fox "News"
     To those of us who don't relentlessly look at everything from a political prism, the POW trade of five Taliban prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was a geopolitical masterstroke. Regardless of his countless war crimes for which he is and will surely be found guilty, Barack Obama can always look at this and say this was an unqualified humanitarian success. As combat operations appear to be winding down in Afghanistan the five detainees were, according to international law, set to be released, anyway. And Sgt. Bergdahl, our government has known for years, was ailing. The only question remaining is, Why had the Obama administration been dragging its collective ass to secure Sgt. Bergdahl's release?
     But the stars were aligned just right, with Jupiter in the 2nd House and all that and the Obama administration, partly to make the Democrats look good in the midterms, finally got around to doing the right thing. If the Bergdahl family was merely an incidental beneficiary of this midterm maneuvering, who cares, right? One would have to be the worst kind of idiot not to see the political opportunism and fortuitous timing behind this. In Washington DC, even the weather is never prone to coincidence.
     Yet it seems the worst kind of idiots are the ankle biters on Fox, Pajamas Media, Breitbart and other right wing methane convection ovens who have turned on the Bergdahl family in a way that recalls the far right extremists in the Bergdahls' native Idaho. Hair product storage facility Brian Kilmeade not so subtly suggested that Robert Bergdahl's beard qualified him as a terrorist sympathizer. This is all so much manufactured, canned outrage. Sources of the late Michael Hastings warned that the GOP would turn this into a Willie Horton political football should Bergdahl be released during an election year and it and their flying monkey squadron are making good on their threat.
     It's hard for anyone in the reality-based community to follow this frayed skein of logic coming from the seedy side of the tracks. The official GOP line is, "We don't deal with terrorists", which is exactly what the GOP has been doing since the days when Bush was still accidentally walking into the broom closet of the Texas Governor's Mansion (anyone remember UNOCAL and Enron's part in a certain gas pipeline?).
     The conservative pundits' official line is... Well, it's hard to wade through all the conspiracy theories but apparently our first black President made it well nigh impossible for the right wing to give Bush the credit for releasing Bergdahl or, for those ultra hard liners, St. Ronnie of the Jelly Bean.  Ergo, if they can't grab the credit for facilitating the release of the last American POW in Afghanistan, might as well shit on the accomplishment itself. Sour grapes, in other words.

Damned if he did, damned if he didn't.
     Since January 20, 2009, the Republican Party had immediately gone from "loyal but principled opposition" to immature contrariness, damning the president for stealing their thunder and always prepared to damn him if he didn't. One can perfectly imagine the GOP turning this into political hay if Obama hadn't secured Bergdahl's release and we would've been treated to an endless news cycle loop of chyrons from Fox demanding, "Why did Obama leave Bergdahl to die in Afghanistan?" and "Obama abandons last American POW in Afghanistan," while the right wing and its punditry would've rallied to the Bergdahl's family's side in artificial condolence.
     And the racist Republican Party was determined to make hay out of this one way or the other just as surely as they cynically used Pat Tillman for their own ends even though Tillman himself had demanded they not. And that's because the Mitch McConnell/Jeff Sessions/KKK wing still running (for now) the establishment GOP cannot tolerate the thought of a black man doing a better job of governance, as well as the occasional humanitarian action, than them.
     The facts don't matter to these foam machines any more than they would to a lunatic asylum patient painting pictures of Reagan with their fecal matter. The facts are as follows:
     Not all the Muslim detainees belonged to the Taliban.
     According to international law, as our combat role in Afghanistan winds down, our interest in their freedom fighters officially should also wind down.
     All five men will be confined in Qatar for at least a year and their actions strictly monitored.
     Less than 90 Taliban militants have been released during Obama's presidency, as opposed to over 350 during Bush's two terms.
     Once more, with feeling: Sgt. Bergdahl's life was in imminent danger.
     And the only thing we can safely take away from the right wing's reaction to the POW exchange is not what they mean to say but what they are in actuality saying:
     "We don't give a flying fuck about the troops and will gladly abandon them if the Black Guy so much as even mentions helping them out. If we can't take credit for it, we'll be damned if we'll let the Uppity One get it. And we will vilify anyone and everyone who benefits from it."
     In light of this latest faux scandal, the blocking of VA and embassy security funding bills, the Walter Reed mess and the other VA scandal that actually started with Republican intransigence, any pretense the GOP makes to loving and supporting the troops should earn no more than bitter laughter and spittle in their direction.
     Because the Republican Party has proven time and again they don't give a damn about the military or their families, will send them off to reckless, needless wars without adequate armor, will short change them on their medical care when they return, cynically use them to partisan advantage even to the point of lying to their families and will use them as political footballs when they decide the time is right. And, in case you doubt me, Henry Kissinger pretty much said it all for the Republican Party 41 years ago.
     Despite these palpable and inconvenient truths, the military has been since time immemorial a conservative voting faction. Let's hope that changes by Election Day this year and let them remember at the polls the position the Republican Party had decided to take with Bowe Bergdahl and his family.


At June 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM, Anonymous CC said...

What seems to be lost in the midst of this media crapathon is that the U.S. shouldn't have invaded Afghanistan in the first place. No invasion, no suffering by so many people on both sides.

But the MIC wouldn't allow that.

At June 6, 2014 at 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not just the MIC, but Big Oil.

At June 8, 2014 at 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi JP,
I know my 4 years USAF active duty doesn't match one day of the level of service grunts like Sgt. Bergdahl and guys like you who actually used a rifle after basic training have delivered, but it was long enough to get an idea of how the military operates. I'm confident, if Sgt. Bergdahl was AWOL or whatever, he will be disciplined. I'm disgusted by all the assumptions being made about this kid. Most of these lynch mob talking points are based on interviews with other members of his platoon and an article in Rolling Stone. Apparently he voiced his opinion regarding the hypocrisy of some elements of the mission in Afghanistan and worse, the behavior of some members of his platoon. Is it too far a stretch to think Bergdahl may have been given a dose of some hallucinogenic drug because he exposed the truth.

According to CNN

"An Afghan security official who was on duty near where Bergdahl was captured in 2009 said that when local villagers spotted Bergdahl after he'd left his base they tried to get him to leave the village, telling him the area was dangerous.
The official said Bergdahl appeared to be under the influence of hallucinogenic substances."

I have a son, and I now know you have one as well, so no matter what happened I'm guessing we're both happy for Bob.

Mike in Moo Hampshire

At June 8, 2014 at 3:53 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Actually, I have four sons, two of whom remaining in contact.

Thanks for weighing in, Mike.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #106: The Turkey Has Landed edition
  • #105: Blame it on Paris or Putin edition
  • #104: Make Racism Great Again Also Labor Day edition
  • #103: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilet edition
  • #102: Orange is the New Fat edition
  • #101: Electoral College Dropouts edition
  • #100: Centennial of Silliness edition
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Top 10 Things Donald Trump Said to President Obama
  • Paul Ryan's Top Ten Conditions on Running for the Speakership
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Mitt Romney Won't Run for President in 2016
  • Top 10 Results of the NYPD's Work Slowdown
  • Top 10 Secret Service Security Breaches
  • Top 10 LA Radio Shows That Are Rated Higher Than Rush Limbaugh's
  • Top 10 Reasons Operation American Spring Went Flat
  • Top Ten Facts of the MH370 Air Disaster
  • Top 10 Tips for GOP Congressmen Running Against Women
  • Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers
  • Top 10 Diversions John McCain Found During Syria Hearing
  • Top 10 George Zimmerman Excuses for Speeding.
  • Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network
  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
  • Top 10 Reasons For the Pope's Resignation
  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
  • Top 10 Lies Told by Mitt Romney at the 2nd Debate.
  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
  • Mitt Romney's Top 10 Wild & Crazy Moments.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
  • Top 10 Reasons Herman Cain Suspended His Campaign.
  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
  • Top Ten Ways Americans Will Observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
  • Top Ten Advances in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.
  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
  • Top Ten Suggestions From the Cat Food Commission.
  • Top Ten Worst Moments in George W. Bush's Presidency.
  • Top Ten Facts in George W. Bush's Memoir.
  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
  • Top 10 Causes for Dick Cheney's Congestive Heart Failure
  • Top Ten Ways That Jan Brewer Will Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Top Ten Demands in Sarah Palin's Contract
  • Top Ten Whoppers in Karl Rove's New Book
  • Top 10 Items Left Behind in Rush Limbaugh's Apartment
  • Top Ten Things Barack Obama said to Rush Limbaugh in the Hospital
  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
  • Top 10 Bush Executive Orders Labor Wants President Obama to Repeal
  • George W. Bush's Top Ten Lesser Achievements
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Newshounds.
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
  • Powered by Blogger