I’m not going to get into this too much because most of what can be said about Bergdahl and The Obama Five has already been said. I would, however, like to state my take on what some, including Charles Krauthammer, are asserting, which is this:
Bergdahl tried to escape several times and was recaptured and placed into a metal cage. That doesn’t support the claims of those who say he deserted to join the Taliban.
That’s the best analysis a doctor of psychology can muster? I get that the average Joe Blow might not dig deeper but, heck, that doesn’t even scratch the surface. The logical argument they put forth is so juvenile as to be laughable.
I expect better from the venerable Dr. Krauthammer.
Watch this and think about it for a moment.
See. We all have a romantic buried somewhere deep inside us. Even the burliest, bad-asses among us quietly dream of the breeze blowing through their hair. We play out in our minds just how we’ll sound and how we’ll look if ever we should meet “the one” or, the ex-“the one”. For some on the left, such as Obama, it is, as the post at Ace’s place conveys, the internalized image of oneself as king holding court that occupies the dream-space between their ears. For other, less ambitious liberals, it is the dream of saving the planet. Of course, it’s not at all as lofty as that. What they mean, of course, is that they are going to purchase lots and lots of crap with a “green” footprint and then promptly discard it in six months when something newer comes along. Still, others, the true believers, dream of nothing less than saving the planet/the whales/the seals/the trees/the whatchamacallits by erasing greedy consumers, you and me, from the planet.
This is where Bergdahl comes in.
Bergdahl, if the accounts are true, insinuated himself into the lives of local Afghanis. He saw himself more enlightened than his compadres and above the parochial thinking that leads one to war: Oil, greed, power, FREEDOM. He had deemed America and Americans as undeserving of his loyalty. He romanticized the Afghan people and, by extension, the Taliban. Maybe he had watched Lawrence of Arabia one-too-many times, and imagined himself riding across the desert on a camel, his garbs flowing behind him.
Who the hell knows where his particular train left the tracks.
What we do know is that whilst his mates were getting to know the others in the platoon, bonding with their fellow soldiers, he was off bonding with the townsfolk. And, on the night that he walked off, he no doubt had visions of being accepted with open arms into their world. HE would be the good American. HE could teach them so much. HE could bridge the differences between our nations. Or, perhaps, that HE could be their secret weapon.
Now, back to Krauthammer and the infantile assertion that an attempted escape suggests that Bergdahl did not seek out the Taliban.
At times, each of us has lain awake in bed, dreaming the big dream. We have the greatest clarity and we can solve the world’s problems. We will take action! We will write that manifesto! Then we fall into a slumber and wake, thanking God that we fell asleep before we did anything so foolish. By the light of day our brilliant ideas don’t seem so brilliant or we are embarrassed by how grandiose our thoughts had been.
Bergdahl may have awoken that morning all those years ago and realized, like Jerry Maguire, that the reality seldom lives up to the perfect dream we have created for ourselves. Perhaps Bergdahl wrote a midnight manifesto that, in the harsh light of day, looked like that one-night-stand from which men would eagerly chew off their own arm to escape.
The fact that he tried to escape and was subsequently placed in a metal cage only means that he found himself in a circumstance from which he desperately wanted to extract himself. If does not mean, necessarily, that he accidentally stumbled into that situation.
We know too much of Bowe Bergdahl to accept a claim of innocence with the same ease with which Charles Krauthammer accepts it.
We could all be wrong, and Bergdahl’s supporters may be be right, but I wouldn’t bet on it.