I’m constantly in awe of how the Republicans in Congress cannot find anything that President Obama does right. I’m reminded of the corny old story about the overbearing husband who directed his wife to get out of bed and fix him a really nice breakfast. He ordered eggs, sunny-side up with all of the accompaniments. Having been abused, and wishing to avoid further abuse, the dutiful wife arose from bed and fixed the breakfast as ordered. She determined this time she would please her husband who seemed never be pleased. She placed before him eggs sunny-side up as ordered. Immediately, the overbearing husband picked up the plate and threw it against the wall. “What’s wrong,” asked the wife. He said, “You’ve put the wrong side sunny side up.”
I agree that our President should have strictly adhered to the law requiring notice to Congress before a prisoner exchange was accomplished--and it also would have been the smart political thing to do. Had he submitted the issue to Congress, then Congress would be faced with reversing their former position that we should never leave an American soldier behind--or quickly pass a measure to prevent the exchange. The reason I think it would have been the politically smart thing to do is that it would have put the onus on Congress to debate the issue. And had Bergdahl been assassinated by some element of the Taliban or died in captivity due to a serious illness, it would have been fodder for the Democrats to criticize the Republican Congress for having played politics and caused the death of an American serviceman.
Apparently, as an humanitarian act, our President chose to take emergency action rather than play politics with the life of an American soldier.
If examined closely, I also feel many of the arguments of the President’s critics would not hold water just because they are espoused by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing crazies. First comes the argument that we should not care about Bergdahl because he might have committed an offense against the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The fact is, he is ours. He is our soldier. What parent would not be mad as the dickens were some stranger or some other person to punish their children, even for some serious infraction? Bergdahl is American. If he is to be punished, he should not be punished by imprisonment by the Taliban but in a military court for violating our Uniform Code.
The next argument is that we have turned loose five dangerous combatants and have encouraged terrorist groups to kidnap more American soldiers. This argument is almost silly, if you consider the fact that thousands of Jihadists exist in the world today focused on and desiring to destroy America and kill Americans. Does anyone really believe five more will make a great deal of difference? The argument that it will encourage terrorist groups to take American soldiers captive is almost as silly. What terrorist, if he had the chance, would not kill or capture an American soldier today–with or without encouragement?
The whole Bergdahl mess is a glaring example of what’s wrong with our Congress and the operations in Washington today. There is almost nothing that takes place--even critical issues to America in its relationship with other nations--that is not politicized. And yes, I fault both parties. It’s time we come together as Americans and take care of our own, even if they have sinned and come short of the standards we believe they should adhere to.