June 04, 2014
Stop Picking on Bowe Bergdahl Who, Best Case Scenario, is a Deserter
I've been trying to think of some way of giving Bowe Bergdahl some benefit of the doubt. The dude has been in Taliban captivity for years, so maybe we should cut him some slack?
But in my mind the best I can come up with, based on media reports, is that he was an idealistic moron who thought that he could abandon his post and maybe walk to India. That the local Afghans might give him refuge until he got there. That either the Taliban weren't all that bad, in which case they'd be stoked to hear that he had gone AWOL and help him on his way, or that there really weren't that many Taliban types around and the locals all seem so friendly and what not that it would be no problem to keep walking his way out of the war zone.
Remember, this is best case scenario. The scenario where we give the guy the greatest latitude and benefit of the doubt.
Am I missing some other scenario here?
But if it played out along any of those lines above, then best case scenario is that he was a naive deserter and not a malicious traitor. But a naive deserter is still a deserter.
And he deserted his comrades in the middle of a war zone.
I actually know a guy who deserted the Army. In his case he had joined up, got to basic training, realized it was a huge mistake, and then just hitched a ride home. A couple of weeks later he was arrested. Although the charges were dropped, they still gave him a dishonorable discharge (if I'm remembering the story right). But this guy never even made it through basic training. No one called him a hero for abandoning his post.
So I want to think of some way to cut Bergdahl some slack, but I can't come up with anything. I'd like to believe that the mission to find him and bring him home was worth the cost. I'd like to believe that trading high ranking Taliban officials for a POW was the right thing to do. I'm just having a really hard time believing any of that. It stretches credulity.
Right now it seems like the best I can hope is that when Bergdahl speaks he'll tell us what a colossal idiot he was thinking that the Taliban weren't going to be all that bad. That he's really sorry that he could ever be so stupid to equivocate between the minor ills of American society and the depravity of Afghans. That after spending so much time with the enemy that he now realizes that America really is much better than any other place on the planet. That he's grateful to be home. And that he's sincerely sorry for all the harm that was done by his naivete and reckless actions to the comrades that he abandoned.
Best case scenario: Bowe Bergdahl owes a lot of people an apology.
Update by Howie: Mind numbing memory hole below the fold.