Letter: Not starting wars of choice will honor vets

By Jerry Gill

The Daily Advance

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Letter: Not starting wars of choice will honor vets

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Mr. Gill - Agree we should bring home our troops & provide them with 1st class service in all aspects of their after-military life. They deserve only the best! Not only health care, but education & job placement. However, do NOT agree that Afghanistan was a "war of choice", like Irag. The tragic attacks on 9-11-01 launched a war against our Country. It led us to Afghanistan. We can certainly argue how it was waged, but we did not initiate that war. All wars are horrible, but some, unfortunately are necessary if our children & grandchildren are to enjoy the freedoms that many of us take for granted today. Bill Hiemer

World war II

The European campaign was a war of choice

What the?????

Wars of choice????? The United States always has and always will fight to defend the freedom of its citizens. Every war starting at the Revolutionary war of 1776 was fought for this purpose. Jerry remember this: Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.

Uh, Twinstar, yours is a naïve viewpoint.

Most of our wars have been for economic reasons. The Revolution was the first. Economic freedom from the King. Do you think that the Monroe Doctrine was anything else? How about our little dispute with Mexico that doubled our territory? And the late unpleasantness with Spain that gave us vast island colonies? Didn't we covet Canada and try to take it several times? We cloak our military adventures in the flag and freedom, but we often act from craven self-interest. The "Banana Wars" of Central America and chasing oil throughout the middle east are examples. Suggest you read a few lines of Smedley Butler's autobiography for an education on the American basis of war. Ask the Cherokees, or any Native American tribe, for that matter. You could say that the Louisiana purchase and Alaskan purchase were the only lawful land acquistions that we've ever made. Except for that prior claim by Native Americans that predated French and Russian land grabs that we've overlooked. You could extend this to the American Civil War that to many Southerners was fought solely to preserve the slave economy. The outcome of the Southern loss is felt economically even today in the deep deep South.

Yes, I agree that there are times to fight, but our history of reasons is spotty, at best, and evil at worst, as our enemies would remind us. Most recently by Mr. Putin regarding the hipocracy of telling Russia to stay out of Ukraine after we demolished and invaded two countries in the past 12 years ourselves.

No, I'm not attacking America. Far from it. I recognize our weaknesses and our strengths, but also recognize that strength comes from knowing our weakness. In our lifetimes much of our rhetoric regarding freedom, peace and international cooperation has been corporate speak to gain control of resources. Where talk fails guns convince.

Respectfully Submitted,

Force 12

It's precisely thinking like that

that resulted in the destruction of Pearl Harbor and the slaughter of 6 million jews, not to mention the oppression of France and Poland and near loss of our own freedoms to axis powers. The fact that Iraq was overrun with AlQaeda terrorist training camps under Hussein was reason enough to take him out based on the Bush doctrine (i.e. If you support terrorism against the U S we treat you like a terrorist). You are also apparently one of those who is unable to see the connection betwee the U S economy the freedom of its citizens. I wouldn't be surprised if in the spirit of Paul Krugman you were in favor of higher taxes and raising the national debt. Freedom is a precious commodity. Those who fail to defend it are sure to lose it. A bit off topic but that despicable woman who dares to proclaim herself a journalist (Madcow) had the audacity (for political propaganda) to compare the story of Jessica Lynch to that of Bergdahl who has been repudiated for abandoning his post by every member of his platoon. Ambassador Rice also put on the dunce cap by announcing that Bergdahl served with honor and distinction, without knowing any of the facts.

My point was to be...

cautious about overstating our purity. We are not pure, and we are not always right. Yes! Our country, right or wrong! But, let's try to be right more often. Dead soldiers are dead forever and we owe them the simple duty of getting it right so that fewer die, and for better reasons than our national hubris.

Regarding WWII, since you raised it for some reason, Japan attacked us to delay military response to their simultaneous oil grab in the Dutch East Indies. We and our allies, mostly us, cut off their entire supply of oil. We stupidly failed to leave them a source during negotiations to end their involvement in China. Economics 101. Germany is a mixed bag of the outcomes of WW1 and their quest for "Lebensraum" or living space which is a euphemism for reparations and resources lost when they lost their colonies and client states following WW1. Again, economics 101. This doesn't excuse their actions, but does explain them. Cause and effect. In the larger sense, World Wars 1 and 2 were the same war that just took an economic rebuilding pause before resuming the fight.

Regarding Ms. Maddow's Bergdahl reporting - Her's was a masterful review of the circumstances leading to this point. It's also a masterful review of republican and right wing media backpedaling, blame casting and hypocrisy.

Ms. Maddow's larger discussion of our history of prisoner swaps is valid. The Bergdahl trade didn't happen in an historic vacuum and it didn't happen suddenly. This is the end point of five years of internal discussions and off and on negotiations with, yes, the enemy/terrorists. If, in the end, the act itself was fast, then I'm satisfied that it had to be. I'd be equally satisfied if the act had been slower, but accomplished the same outcome.

The issue of Sgt. Bergdahl's service is irrelevent to the matter of his release. Now that he is returned, these matters will be resolved through the UCMJ, as they should be. It is despicable to even suggest that an American servicemember should be left behind because of alleged wrong-doing. A founding principle is that he is not guilty until proven so, especially so under the UCMJ.

Do you agree that we brought home an innocent soldier?

And how do you feel about the Fox entertainment attacks on the Bergdahl family? Is that okay to you? Shouldn't other journalists point out this cruelly unique twist of inflicting blame on this soldier's family by the right? I can't use here the words that I want to use for this, but believe me i'm shouting them out loud right now. There are some folks over there that have more than earned a punch on the nose.

Something to consider - we won't get many volunteers if they think their fellow citizens are going to attack their families if they fail. In a stronger economy, where fewer see the military as the only employment opportunity, this could actually nudge us toward national service, or the draft to fill essential numbers.

Here's a good read on American WWII deserters and how we handled them during and after the war: The Deserters: A Hidden History of World War II, Charles Glass.

Respectfully Submitted,

Force 12

I'll defer to Bergdahl's shipmates as whether he is

innocent or not. All of them seemed to think he was in violation of Article 32 UCMJ. The classified info that is leaking out doesn't seem to be very favorable for any of his liberal supporters and the unusually tense and hand wringing Madcow was extremely stressed trying to counter it all last night. MSNBC actually gave up the fight tonight and ignored the story altogether. No one has suggested he should have been left with his captors. What they are suggesting is that his release for 5 really bad dudes (war criminals) was a really bad deal that has caused a firestorm even among liberals (Pelosi has been eerily silent, Feinstein and other liberals are livid, and Susan Rice is crawling back into her hole). There were other options. It is not, nor has it ever been the policy of the US to negotiate with terrorist organizations. Obama just set a deadly precedent, one I fear we will all regret later on. The fact that it now appears that Bergdahl may have aided the enemy makes it a very big deal if true since soldiers died as a result. One that I'm sure the administration would like to keep classified as Top Secret. No one has attacked his family but there is no question that the parents presented themselves on national TV as Taliban sympathizers which to me is stunning. Pointing this out is not an attack. I wonder how that makes the families of the lost soldiers feel? I imagine they are furious. To prove Bergdahl was a deserter there must be evidence that he planned not ever to return to his unit. The correspondence from him made public now makes that appear to be the case. His only defense at this point is to plead mental incontinence and I think the White House will be more than happy to encourage that line of defense. As far as the cautious state, that's what we elect representatives for. Unfortunately today we have a president who throws caution to the wind, ignores the congress and the American people and does what he darn well pleases. How's that for being cautious. There's also such a thing as being too cautious (or liberal) and doing nothing when the situation calls for it, but again that's why we have a congress.

Article 32 is not a punitive Article.

You can't violate Article 32. Article 32 is a procedural Article that provides for a formal hearing of the charges to determine whether to proceed to courts-martial, and which level, Special or General. An Article 32 Hearing normally precedes a General Courts-Martial in the same way that a Grand Jury hearing precedes a civil or criminal proceeding for very serious offenses. A General Courts-Martial may authorize any allowable punishment, including death. Articles 77 through 134 are the punitive Articles that may be considered if he's charged with anything at all.

But apparently we can just skip all that nonsense and just proceed to the hanging. You and your ILK have already tried and hanged him and his family in your court of opinion.

Why do you equate caution with being liberal? Our Revolution was fought for liberal principles. Does that sound cautious to you? Our Constitution and Bill of Rights are the most liberal founding documents on the planet.

I repeat, do you agree that we brought home an innocent soldier? Be careful how you answer this. I also repeat, do you think that it's right to attack his family? Be careful how you answer this too.

Respectfully Submitted,

Force 12

Sorry, I meant Art 85 and/or Art 86

Art 32 is now in progress. What I equate with liberalism is extremes with no common sense. Liberalism of the Richard Gere type leads to no action at all when defense is clearly called for and liberalism of the Obama Taliban trade type throws caution to the wind and victory to an enemy who is sworn to wipe us out. The elder Bergdahl steps out on the White House lawn in the company of POTUS groomed like a Taliban and offering a Muslim prayer in honor of the Taliban spoken in Poshti. More than a few people in the country found that bizarre. As a member of the US Armed Forces having lost friends on active duty and also having lost classmates in the twin towers on 9/11/01 I was outright offended. He may come out later and claim it was all a ruse just to get his boy back. I can accept that as an explanation, but I'm not holding my breath for that being the case. If I was POTUS I would want the whole thing to go away which, like Libya, is probably what will happen. But hey, even Hillary says this was a bad deal. I had ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War, they were anything but liberal. If anything they were Christian conservatives. The Constitution that I'm aware of is conservative, protected by the second amendment and originated on the planet Earth. Is Bergdahl innocent? That remains to be seen. His platoon doesn't seem to be giving him the benefit of the doubt. Their testimony so far has been damning. His communication with them directly, which is now part of the record is pretty incriminating to say the least. I completely understand that placing someone's public actions under scrutiny and commenting on their behavior is construed by liberals to be an attack on the person. I and a sizable majority of citizens would tend to disagree. The real subjects who are being attacked by the White House are those who bravely served with Bergdahl for bravely speaking up and telling the truth about what actually happened.


What I saw and heard was Bob Bergdahl's acknowledgment of appreciation to the U.S. government and to his son's captors for the mutual cooperation that achieved Sgt. Bergdahl's release. He spoke to his son and to his captors by extending the great courtesy of addressing both in the captor's own language using their traditional forms of address. I'd also like to point out that he addressed us in our own language as well. No one yelled about that though.

The apparent question of the Bergdahl's religious beliefs is just so much right wing christian fear mongering. Or do you believe that we can only trust christians? I've given up on his parents' guilt or innocence of something or other. You guys already lynched them so this question is moot. Personally, I think Bob Bergdahl is guilty of doing everything he could to get his son back. THAT is something to be admired come this Sunday.

I agree that the Administration completely botched the announcements and the visuals. Duh. But, then, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!" Or, who can forget that visual of President Bush in a flight suit announcing the end of the war? Or Michael Dukakis standing in a tank. Or, President Reagan, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." Or Nixon's "I am not a crook." Or, well, pick one. Yes, this was poorly handled from the PR standpoint, but was properly handled from the get-our-soldier-home standpoint.

I appreciate your ancestral citizenship bona fides, but why even mention this? Isn't it enough to simply be a citizen, or are you a better citizen if your folks came over on the Mayflower, rather than say, as recently naturalized immigrants? I can chest-thump on this point with the best of 'em, but why? Curious.

Within your understanding of our legal system, please answer this simple question with a yes, or no:

Is Sgt. Bergdahl innocent?

Respectfully Submitted,

Force 12

Dude, your perception of

Dude, your perception of reality is just warped. Caught in the talons of liberalism.

Please answer the question:

Is Sgt. Bergdahl innocent?

Your answer will reveal just loads about your acceptance of American Jurisprudence, including the UCMJ. I have to warn you though, the correct answer is just a teansy-weensy bit LIBERAL.

Respectfully Submitted,

Force 12

What are the charges?

What are the charges? http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/10/just-admit-it-administration-privately-concedes-risk-taliban-swap-despite-kerry/

Well of course ...

there's risk inherent in this prisoner trade. As there is an ANY prisoner trade. Look at our own Revolution and Civil War - prisoners, especially officers, were "paroled" and traded and normally returned to the field to fight again. That didn't change significantly until half-way through the Civil War, and then all prisoners were sent home when that ended. We've traded and returned prisoners throughout our history. It's war. Risk is expected but no one knows how much risk, which, I think, is the message. The Administration says low risk. The Republicans say the sky will fall and the earth will swallow us.

Bill Mahr said on one of his shows this week that, considering drone policy, we haven't so much released these five, as just given them a head start!

Regarding "charges," I assume you mean that in the sense of being charged with a violation of the UCMJ? There have been no charges made against Sgt. Bergdahl that I'm aware of, but that is irrelevant to the question that I asked.

The link that you posted points to an appalling Congressional approach to Guantanamo. Just insanity.

Here's one of the case precedents for the establishment of Guantanmo and the military tribunals there. You may find it interesting. Note how we treated the two survivors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Pastorius

So, do you agree that Sgt. Bergdahl is innocent? Simple question and answer, really.

Respectfully Submitted,

Force 12

Check your history: The US is

Check your history: The US is currently at war with a terrorist organization (Al Qaeda) that has many subsidiaries and allies. This is an active war with Force Protection Condition codes set for the benefit of the American public. Under current US policy, and traditionally, the only time prisoners of war are released is when the war has ended. This war is far from over. The president made an exception to the rule. Whether it was legal or not remains to be seen and is being debated through high level legal channels. Constitutionally speaking, just because it may have been legal doesn't make it an unimpeachable offense. An undisputed and well documented fact is that Bergdahl abandoned his post while on active duty. Whether he is guilty of desertion or AWOL is currently being investigated and will be determined by the Army.

SO, your answer is that...

Sgt. Bergdahl is innocent, right? Nothing charged, no court-martial, no finding of guilt, and no sentence, right?

So, Sgt. Bergdahl is innocent under our system of justice, right?

No matter your opinion, or the combined opinions of others. Right? Because all of that smoke and shouting is just so much smoke and shouting until something concrete is done with the information.

In the meantime, please tell your friends to stop their attacks on Sgt. Bergdahl's parents. This treatment is hideously cruel and makes our entire country look like just so many ungrateful braying asses.

We will really have problems filling the military in the future if this is how the parents of our volunteers think they may be treated. The nation should wrap her arms around this family because this nation owns their entire story.

Oh, one last thing. We are not at "war" with anyone, thanks to Congressional cowardice, as usual. Hence Guantanomo.

Respectfully Submitted,

Force 12

We have officially placed the

We have officially placed the above post in the category of liberal drivel. We also note your disregard for the security of citizens of the United States as well as your disregard for the faithful members of the Burgdahl platoon who are enduring a full frontal assault by liberals. As a side note a national poll listed fox news as the most trusted news org in America while MSNBC came in dead last.

So, Mongo, how's the camping at the Bundy ranch?

Lot's of beans and fox, I guess, judging from your last posting.

Look, I don't read or listen to every word that's out there about Sgt. Bergdahl's story. What I have read and heard includes a lot of loud braying from the right proclaiming his guilt of something or other before there's even been a hearing or a court-martial. If supporting our American system of justice is wrong, then I'm happy to be wrong.

I worked for years in military justice so I tend to take a more objective view of this. I worked all kinds of cases including desertion. I can understand why folks are upset, but the hyper right wing attack just might lead to violence or even the murder of Sgt. Bergdahl or his parents, or both. And I would lay THAT at YOUR feet.

What does your point of view say about you? Fascist? Vigilante? Certainly not fair and balanced.

Regarding force protection - uh, that's about the military defending itself, and has nothing whatsoever to do with protecting the public. I know this because I've written the plans myself.

Regarding so-called "liberal media" coverage - it tends to be less histrionic than the right in general, and I've never once seen or heard what you call an attack on Sgt. Bergdahl's former platoon mates. I have seen coverage of some of them making their feelings quite clear. Maybe those opinions will have a chance to test the scales of military justice before you lynch Sgt. Bergdahl.

Regarding the "survey" results (assuming you mean PPP outcome):

"35% of Americans say they trust Fox News more than any other TV news outlet." "Fox News also leads the 'least trusted' list in our annual poll. 33% give it that designation..."

I see that you've drawn your own conclusions, however flawed. What IS clear from the rest of the survey is that the right relies upon a single source/opinion (the echo chamber), while the left tends to look more broadly.

Respectfully Submitted,

Force 12

"35% of Americans say they

"35% of Americans say they trust Fox News more than any other TV news outlet." "Fox News also leads the 'least trusted' list in our annual poll. 33% give it that designation..." Least trusted by left wing liberals, Duh!

You've just defined your own ...

right wing echo chamber. Echo chamber. Echo. Echo...

You only acknowledge the part that confirms your own point of view.

Respectfully Submitted,

Force 12

The far left wingers (of the

The far left wingers (of the Godless type) don't trust Fox because 1. they hate truth and 2. they're stupid..stupid..stupid..stupid. Ps 14:1, Ps 53:1

And so ends our discussion...

because I'm just too stupid to agree with you.

You may carry on without me, entirely free from reason or logic, as usual.

Oh, I forgot. I want to leave you with this thought. If 35% of respondents say that they trust Fox the most, then what do the other 65% think? Come on. This isn't too hard. Except for the thinking part.

Respectfully Submitted,

Force 12

Quite honestly I simply don't

Quite honestly I simply don't know enough about you to put you in any category, so at this point please don't consider any comments as judging you personally. Now about the 65%. It could possibly be that they are just "not sure" as is often the case in the world of the pollster.

The poll says...

that 33% well and truly hate Fox, so that leaves 32% that hate Fox less but choose other sources. I don't think that 35% constitutes a glowing endorsement of Fox. Yet Fox, and the right, tout this as some kind of victory, when it's just so much self-promotion. They push the "victory" and trust that we won't actually read the poll methods and results. Just as they trust that Americans will simply accept their entertainment "news" as truthful and unbiased without looking past the tv screen. Both ends of the spectrum are guilty, but in my opinion, Fox is most guilty.

Unfortunately, too many of us, of all political leanings, don't look deeper than the pictures on tv or the sounds coming from the radio. We too often accept at face value what is being dished out by all of the networks and publishers, and pollsters.

Respectfully Submitted,

Force 12

Well I guess you must have

Well I guess you must have been one of the legal types in a cushy office at HQ writing the rules while the rest of us were down in the trenches doing the dirty work. (I hope it was just for the DOD) That would explain a lot. You might also be a ham radio operator which in my book, if true, would actually be considered a redeeming quality. All kinds of attacks on the character of Bergdahls platoon came from, of all places, out of the White House. These guys were actually, publically called Swift Boaters and psychopaths by White House staff, not to be repudiated by the president or his press secretary. How do you think that will affect recruiting? Absolutely unbelievable Any blame for hazards to the Bergdahl family will be laid right at feet of POTUS for using them as political pawns and exposing them to the national media in the Rose garden for his own political aggrandizement. From a church point of view no one should be mistreated regardless of what the justice system finds or indicates. This was interesting. I just learned that Bergdahl was kicked out of the Coast Guard with an unsuitability discharge. Then the Army put a weapon in his hand and sent him to the battle front. No telling what havoc this guy might have done. Sounds like some Army heads might roll and not just Bergdahl's. He's finally headed home. I think they cancelled his parade. "The right relies upon a single source/opinion (the echo chamber), while the left tends to look more broadly." Observation of my theophobic, atheistic, liberal friends (and I have many) shows this to be tacitly false.

Nope, never

served at HQ. Loathed the place. Handled enough bodies for one lifetime. Can't go to funerals anymore; rendered honors for too many. Thank you for insulting my service; again says reams about you. It's good that I'm polite here.

I think that the right wing nutjobs that were using the platoon mates' comments to trash Sgt. Bergdahl and his family were compared to the "swift boaters," but not the soldiers and former soldiers themselves.

I do agree that some blame for the Bergdahl's troubles, and future dangers, lies with the ham-fisted Administration PR job - sheesh! What were they thinking?

Regarding the single source/multi-source matter, read the entire report. ON the other hand, it makes both sides look pretty uninformed until you read how the sampling was done. Very limited pool. PPPs sampling is normally done for political analyses, not news ratings, although they seem to be pretty reliable.

Respectfully Submitted,

Force 12

accidental repeat


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