Not having returned to my old southern Idaho stomping grounds for many years, I was not aware of Bowe Bergdahl, he whose name has been instantly recognized these last four years in the Wood River Valley where he grew up, homeschooled, on a remote acreage where he learned survival skills and was known for reading weighty philosophical books.
So I didn’t recognize just how much his recent prisoner-of-war trade release from the Taliban in Afghanistan would ignite a firestorm of publicity in U.S. political/media circles. And how the news would be torqued, almost instantly, to see him as a “deserter.” For example, this:
Meanwhile, my Idaho activist friend Bill Chisholm sent an email this morning with this comment:
A good friend of mine, a Vietnam vet, shared this link with me. I was thinking just moments ago.. here we just had Memorial Day, where we supposedly honored those that gave full measure for their country. Sadly we don’t ask and we don’t have the mechanism or perhaps the national will power to question whether really discuss whether the purpose these folks are being asked to risk life, limb and soul is worth the price. I think the Bowe Berdahl story might give us an opportunity. What recourse do those in uniform half a world away from home when they come to the conclusion that what they are doing is not worth the risk?
The link is a Rolling Stone article from 2012, by journalist Michael Hastings, who died a month later in a suspicious fiery crash, now made more suspicious by the news that all cars made since 2008 have to have remote control devices installed in them. (Odd. When I just now searched for a link to corroborate this newly discovered fact that I read in multiple places recently, I couldn’t find one. Has the story been erased?)
I read the RS piece in its entirety. It’s fascinating, the real backstory, the actual living context within which we need to consider the Bowe Bergdahl saga, during this time when he is being set up as a fall guy for the military industrial complex that still, let us face it, runs the economic/political/media engine of this country.
Let us hope that Bowe Bergdahls story will inspire a much larger conversation on the absurdity, destruction, and waste of the centuries-old bankster/territorial racket that we call “war.”
Rolling Stone: America’s Last Prisoner of War