America, like most nations, asks its soldiers to sacrifice everything in service to their country, and in return this particular country sacrifices next to nothing for the fighting men and women in the military. Republicans are the worst offenders whether it is sending men and women in uniform to fight and die in wars for profit and indefensible ideology, or blatantly refusing to care for them when they return from war. It is nothing short of criminal to abandon Veterans once their service to their country is finished, but that outrage pales in comparison to abandoning a soldier taken prisoner while serving his country. If the American people have learned only one thing over the past couple of weeks regarding Republicans’ and their horrendous disregard for America’s service members, it is that they consider them dispensable.
The current Republican outrage over the President negotiating the release of an American soldier held as a prisoner of war by the Taliban is both rank hypocrisy and further proof conservatives hate the men and women serving in the military.
Republicans complaining bitterly that President Obama should have left Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl to the mercy of his captors are hypocrites because their man-god Ronald Reagan gave the Islamic Republic of Iran 1,500 missiles in exchange for American hostages held in Lebanon by Iranian terrorists, and one can only conclude that Reagan gets a pass because he was white. Republican racism notwithstanding, it is their disregard for an American soldier they were content leaving behind that should outrage the American people and members of the military; particularly because they claim the President overstepped his authority by adhering to an unspoken rule that America “leaves no soldier behind.”
In 1985 while Iran and Iraq were at war, there was an American embargo against selling arms to Iran, but Republicans’ demigod Reagan disregarded the “law” because he was driven by his heartfelt “duty to bring those Americans home.” Doubtless, President Obama was driven by the same duty to bring Sergeant Bergdahl home after being held captive for five-and-a-half years, but because he is not a white Republican, conservatives are apoplectic because instead of 1,500 missiles, he released 5 Guantanamo prisoners being detained indefinitely for who knows what reason.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice defended the decision to go forward with the release of hostages held at Guantanamo indefinitely and without charge because after consulting with both the Department of Justice and Department of Defense, they determined “that it was both appropriate and necessary for us to proceed in an expedited fashion.” Rice also said that in the past, the Administration “had extensive consultations with Congress about Sergeant Bergdahl’s situation” and that legislators “were well aware that this idea and prospect was on that the administration was seriously considering.” So, the Republican outrage is not only blatant hypocrisy, if they already knew the Administration was “seriously considering” the negotiation and exchange then their outrage is well-rehearsed and fabricated. Obviously, if the idea was being seriously considered then it was because, as Rice said “We had reason to be concerned that this was an urgent and an acute situation, that his (Bergdahl’s) life could have been at risk. We did not have 30 days to wait. And had we waited and lost him, I don’t think anybody would have forgiven the United States.”
There is also the prospect that with this Congress Republicans would have opposed the idea of bringing an American soldier being held as a prisoner of war home for no other reason than to oppose the President. Republicans cannot even be bothered to adequately fund the Veterans’ Administration to take care of the soldiers they sent to war so there is every indication they would not be bothered to bring a soldier home under any circumstances; particularly if it involved the release of hostages this country has held indefinitely without charges of wrongdoing except they were Muslims defending their homeland from invading Americans forces. According to the outrage and comments by Republicans and their neo-con mouthpieces railing on the President for bring an American prisoner of war home, they would have abandoned Sergeant Bergdahl purely over ideology their hero Reagan did not embrace.
There is a major difference between Reagan giving Iran missiles to bring Americans held captive by terrorists home, and Obama releasing hostages held by the American military according to Rice. She said “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage, he was an American prisoner of war, captured on the battlefield. We have a sacred obligation that we have upheld since the founding of our Republic to do our utmost to bring back our men and women who were taken in battle. And we did that in this instance.” As Ms. Rice noted, failing to negotiate the release of a prisoner of war “would break faith with the American people and with the men and women who serve in uniform.” Regardless of who may be holding an American prisoner of war, we must do our best to bring him or her back.” Republicans vehemently disagree.
No American should be surprised at the Republican response to the President’s success at bringing home an American soldier being held captive as a prisoner of war, or the accompanying hypocrisy that is one of the defining traits of the conservative movement in general, and Republicans in particular. It is not that they conveniently forgot their man-god Reagan traded missiles to Iran in exchange for American hostages, they just hold the African American President to a completely different set of standards than their great white hero, and hold American service members in open contempt whether they are prisoners of war, active duty, or Veterans. As Susan Rice said, “we have a sacred obligation that we have upheld since the founding of our Republic to our utmost to bring back our en and women who were taken in battle,” but according to Republicans, that sacred obligation is null and void because Americans elected an African American man as President that according to them means abandoning the men and women who put their lives on the line in combat and when they seek medical care from the despicably underfunded Veterans Administration hospitals.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.