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Thread: Bergdahl Deal

  1. #41
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    The difference is that being kidnapped or crashing a helicopter are not crimes that initiated an easily foreseen chain of events (other soldiers dying while searching for a missing soldier). It is in this sense that Berdahl is responsible for the death of those soldiers, much like a drunk driver is responsible for deaths resulting from his illegal actions, as opposed to, say, someone obeying traffic laws who hit a child who suddenly ran onto the road.
    you're assuming he's a normal average guy with this though vs someone mentally unsound. I have a feeling anyone who walks off of a base in the middle of a war zone and still doesn't engage against Americans afterwards was not of sound mind and body. It's a terribly crazy thing the sort of hazing soldiers can do to one another.. and it wouldn't surprise me if he dealt with issues of isolation and hazing for his comments and actions prior to leaving the base. His fellow soldiers should have identified this long before he got the opportunity to walk off.
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  2. #42
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    ^that was my assumption as well. Nobody's arguing (or at least I'm not) that walking off was a great thing to do or that it didn't lead to tragedy for other soldiers, but to me it sounds like this kid was unraveling already and probably should have been getting some mental health attention for it. So we've got a mentally unstable 20-year-old (and I'm sorry to our 20-year-old members but the brain is not fully cooked yet at that age- it's basically late adolescence) who made a terrible decision, apparently without thinking it through (which- gosh, that's surely the first time a 20-year-old did something without thinking it through, right?) I don't think that should damn him to a life experiencing god knows what in a Taliban cell behind enemy lines. I certainly wouldn't call him a hero but I don't see how we could live with ourselves if we left him behind, either.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Nico is looking at it from the guy's perspective. It's a real potential thought process. It is potentially the privates fault he left. It isn't his fault they died despite his actions.
    Precisely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Engineer View Post
    It is unbelievably irresponsible and selfish to knowingly walk off base, especially if it's clearly stated that any personnel missing will have a rescue effort mounted to search for and retrieve them.
    If the situation is as you and kyuuei describe it, his actions were indeed irresponsible and selfish. As someone who finds the whole idea of military service and being owned by one's country insane, however, I do sympathize with someone who decides that his is getting out of it.

  4. #44
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    you're assuming he's a normal average guy with this though vs someone mentally unsound.
    I'm assuming he was not mentally unsound to the extent that it constituted exemption from moral responsibility for his actions, and their foreseeable consequences, yes. I think I'll concede any debates on the extent and likelihood of warzone experience and hazing leading to that subjective level of mental unsoundness, the extent to which he could have dealt with the issue and/or a deteriorating mental condition constructively through official channels, and the degree to which his fellow soldiers are responsible for recognizing and acting upon any warning signs to people with military experience, like you and @Engineer (I learned that lesson back when people were still frequently and publically arguing about the Vietnam experience-my lifelong civilian ass stays out of it, at least where veterans are concerned ).

  5. #45
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I certainly wouldn't call him a hero but I don't see how we could live with ourselves if we left him behind, either.
    Even at the expense of releasing what the Department of Defense considers the equivalent of five four-star Taliban generals, increasing the incentive for more kidnappings, the abuse of Executive power to carry out the exchange, and ending apparent negotiations over the inclusion of civilian hostages? I'm not saying we shouldn't have tried to militarily rescue him (and it was in our own self-interests to do so), merely that he is morally responsible* for the deaths that occurred in the attempt, and the negotiated exchange came at too high a price.

    *Further information could change my mind, at least to some degree, on that front, but in this case the burden of proof would be on his defenders, as we already know that he deserted. Also, I will say that accusations of his willing complicity with the Taliban are premature (at best), the burden of proof on that front is on his most vehement critics, and people need to stop doing that without sufficient evidence to back it up.

  6. #46
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I'm assuming he was not mentally unsound to the extent that it constituted exemption from moral responsibility for his actions, and their foreseeable consequences, yes.
    That's fair enough, and I agree with that. But we really don't know the whole story, and I don't think as civilians we ever truly will. We'll know what we're told, and that'll be the end of that. So whether he was driven away by fellow soldiers and made a bad, regrettable decision, or just being a douche, or both, we'll never know. Rarely do soldiers haze people that are genuinely good people and soldiers, but hazing isn't really the answer the army needs right now--we need to be steering far away from that, into something more professional, if we're going to try getting away from publicity stunts like this.

    and the degree to which his fellow soldiers are responsible for recognizing and acting upon any warning signs to people with military experience, like you and Engineer (I learned that lesson back when people were still frequently and publically arguing about the Vietnam experience-my lifelong civilian ass stays out of it, at least where veterans are concerned ).
    Soldiers have driven other soldiers into many a ruinous decisions. The less professional the job (i.e. infantry, sorry grunts, but you're a perfect example) the more insane it gets.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Even at the expense of releasing what the Department of Defense considers the equivalent of five four-star Taliban generals ...
    This part is still what confuses me.. why we didn't go in with our men and save him, vs trading him. I felt it was a strict policy not to do deals with terrorist organizations--and they can say "they're not technically x" all they want, if the Taliban is not a terrorist organization I don't know what is.
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  7. #47
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    My first thought about this was how it wasn't "1 for 5" as American soldiers died trying to rescue him.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Soldiers have driven other soldiers into many a ruinous decisions. The less professional the job (i.e. infantry, sorry grunts, but you're a perfect example) the more insane it gets.
    Well, since it's the New Corps, it's not as bad as it could be, but you have a fair point there. Us grunts are usually the reason the rest of everyone gets god-awful libo briefs... Marines are a lot more crazy than I'd imagine Army guys are, though.
    I guess Bergdahl was around when it was still okay to get a bit more... hands-on, interactive with your fellow grunts. Maybe that got to him. Who knows. Regardless, I would expect to be treated similarly to how I believe he should be treated if I had done the things he had, no matter how stupid the hazing got.
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  9. #49
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Whether he was a traitor or not, he was still an American and innocent until proven guilty so I would agree with the decision to bring him back. Ultimately, who gives a shit if we gave back 5 guys. There are tons and tons of guys out there that are pretty much allowed to walk around even knowing that they're "bad guys" because of various rules and regulations, and we're about to leave the country anyways, leaving who knows how many potential insurgents. Despite all of the reasonable sounding arguments people are making for not making the trade, I don't think people would be complaining if it wasn't for the traitor accusation. The thing is, what's even worse than giving up prisoners for a traitor is prejudging criminal guilt. No single person or punishment is worth giving up a fundamental American right.
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