Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blaming Bergdahl

Bowe Bergdahl is being blamed for a lot of things since he was 'traded' for some Taliban operatives.

If it is true that he left his post, just walked away from the Army, he probably thought, at the time, it was the best thing for him to do.

There are a lot of occasions when it is a very good choice to walk away from conflict.

It is hard to assess the damage caused by a man's decision to leave his post during armed conflict. And particularly when there are conflicting reports about how much damage was caused by his 'disappearance.'

Not only is the disappointment, rage and failure of performance to support fellow combatants a part of the issue, but there is the threat, although unspoken, that a trend might develop for those left behind.

Before blame is placed squarely on the shoulders of Bowe Bergdahl, perhaps there should be a deeper investigation into the ability of the U.S. Army to assess personnel for the potential to break under pressure.

It has been a tradition to call deserters by the label “traitor,” and usually before any further infection of the disease of wanting to get away from all the craziness of war reaches other 'assets,' the lone individual is either jailed or shot.

Is it really wrong for someone to finally say “F-- it, I'm through with this...?” 

It is considered very wrong if others are depending on you, especially in an organization that has expectations that their training has been successful.

We may never hear Bergdahl's side of the story, and perhaps it doesn't matter so much because no matter what he says, or believes, it's what others say and believe - as long as they can convey it to a large enough audience - that will be the story that is put forward.

But it would seem that the Army's inability to completely brainwash someone to fight against the odds, to obey commands to kill, is the real failure here.


  1. Great comments! No one knows Bergdahl's state of mind in that godforsaken place. If he snapped, or has PTSD, or another mental illness. It is ridiculous that he is being attacked by certain factions without anyone really knowing the facts surrounding his case. He has been held for 5 years. His life will probably never be the same. This case reminds me somewhat of the swiftboating of John Kerry in '04. Another sad chapter in our history.....

  2. His life certainly will never be the one he thought he was going to have. Thanks for your response. I wondered whether I should bother to write about it, but it kept bugging me, so that usually means 'yes.'