About Those “Terrorists” We Exchanged…
June 2, 2014


Yesterday (June 1st), President Obama agreed to release five Taliban fighters in exchange for one American soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held prisoner for over five years. The tiny nation of Qatar was used as an intermediary to avoid direct contact/negotiations between Washington and The Taliban. Qatar also agreed to hold the five men in-country for one year before allowing them to return to their countries of origin. Naturally, Republicans went into hysterics, as Republicans tend to do with everything “ter’ist related” ever since they dismissed a warning entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” back in August of 2001. Call it “over-compensation”. Call it “Operation Restore Fake Belief that Republicans Are Good at Security”. Whatever. Doesn’t matter. Ever since that major F-up on their watch, now every threat… real or imagined… becomes a “hair on fire” event. “The President negotiated with terrorists??? We don’t negotiate with terrorists! It only gives them an incentive to take more hostages!”


A few thoughts immediately crossed my mind:

  • The decision to hold the released detainees in Qatar “for one year” isn’t some random number. That’s well after U.S. forces are scheduled to depart from Afghanistan. So if they “return to the battlefield”, WE WON’T BE THERE… well, not very many of us anyway. There are currently just under 33,000 American troops in Afghanistan, and after the end of this year, that number falls to 9,800 for one year and reduced dramatically every year after that. So if they’re planning on killing Americans on the “battlefield” (note to GOP, the entire country is a battlefield), it’s going to be slim pickin’s.

  • Bergdahi was held for FIVE YEARS before a deal was struck for his release… and only then because of our impending departure. Capturing American soldiers in hopes of using them as collateral is not unlike thinking you can get rich recycling aluminum cans. A lot of time and effort for very little payoff.

  • “Return to the battlefield”? Has anyone bothered to check the ages or condition of these men to see if they are even CAPABLE of “Returning to the battlefield”? Most have been held for almost a decade and they weren’t “kids” back then. Photos released of three of the Detainees arriving in Qatar yesterday/Sunday show these are no “young soldiers” ready to rush out and join the fighting. Most appear to be in-or-around 50 years of age. It is highly doubtful any of these men will be rushing out to rejoin the fighting… not now and especially not 12 months from now when they leave Qatar.

America has a looooong history of “prisoner exchanges”… dating back to before there even was a “United States of America”. General Washington was in charge of “prisoner exchanges” with the British during the Revolutionary War, and local governors negotiated with local Indian tribes… not just to exchange prisoners, but to stop them from attacking villages… so this is nothing new. But “negotiating with terrorists” is FAR broader than just a simple “prisoner exchange”… it can include giving them money and/or weapons. But we didn’t do that (THIS time). Can’t imagine what Republicans might have done if an American president had done something as reckless as “trade arms for hostages”.

Quick note: Yesterday, June 1st, was the official start of hurricane season, and NOAA, the National Weather Service, released their estimate on the number of storms we can expect to see this season. So this may be a good time to go back and re-read my post from five years ago: “Global Warming will mean FEWER mid-Summer hurricanes, not more”. To date, it’s been spot-on.

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June 2, 2014 · Admin Mugsy · 4 Comments - Add
Posted in: Middle East, myth busting, National Security, rewriting history

4 Responses

  1. Grant in Texas - June 2, 2014

    Israel has long swapped prisoners with Hamas and often it is several Palestinians in exchange for one or a handful of Israelis. Don’t hear our right wingers upset but then often Israel can do no wrong in their eyes.

  2. Grant in Texas - June 3, 2014

    The many teabaggers on my Facebook page (many from my Republican family) are outraged that Obama (the Muslim according to one) didn’t go ahead and “leave behind” Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Even before any investigation/court martial he is being widely trashed by the right wing and much of the major media. Seen all over TV now are some of his former comrades trashing him as a deserter. “Yes, I’m angry,” Joshua Cornelison, a former medic in Sergeant Bergdahl’s platoon, said in an interview on Monday arranged by Republican strategists. “He wouldn’t drink beer or eat barbecue and hang out with the other 20-year-olds,” Cody Full, another member of Sergeant Bergdahl’s platoon, said in an interview on Monday also arranged by Republican strategists. As for Bergdahl being responsible for between 2 to 6 American soldiers killed while searching for him…”A review of the [Pentagon] database of casualties in the Afghan war suggests that Sergeant Bergdahl’s critics appear to be blaming him for every American soldier killed in Paktika Province in the four-month period that followed his disappearance.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/us/us-soldier-srgt-bowe-bergdahl-of-idaho-pow-vanished-angered-his-unit.html?_r=0

  3. Admin Mugsy - June 3, 2014

    You might want to remind these numbnuts that their support for the troops is worth about as much as as those “Support the troops” magnets they stick on their cars.

  4. Grant in Texas - June 3, 2014

    Those magnets “Made in China”? You can bet that if any of the chickenhawks who mostly make up our Congress had a kid who was a prisoner of war, they’d be screaming for a release. Haven’t made up my mind about this swap but I am one who waits to see what kind of outcome will occur. But like using Benghazi for nasty political ends, look for the same crowd to now USE Bowe Bergdahl. From the 2012 Rolling Stone article, Bergdahl was from kind of a spiritual “hippie” “ski bum” family near Sun Valley, Idaho. He was home-schooled on St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, etc. and delved with Buddhism. He went to Afghanistan seemingly expecting to have a Peace Corps-like experience. To his mates, he was weird. “He surrounded himself with piles of books, including Three Cups of Tea, about a humanitarian crusade to educate girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as instructions on Zen meditation and an introductory ethics handbook with writings from Aristotle, Augustine, Kant and Hume.” Seemed as if Bowe was an idealist, who believed the U.S. mission in Afghanistan was to “bring democracy” and help them rebuild their society. He didn’t realize that some American soldiers would murder innocents, burn their bodies, even urinating on the corpses (sometimes along with the Quran). He didn’t fit into military life. Unlike many soldiers who have committed suicide due to the trauma of living in a war zone, it appears he just walked off. He will have his day in court. He may even satisfy many Americans only being freed from prison stand before a firing squad here in the good old USA.

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/americas-last-prisoner-of-war-20120607#ixzz33bjmBYAp

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