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Lions for jackasses

by: Eric B.

Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 15:14:43 PM EDT


The Repulican Party and conservatives in general have disgraced themselves pretty hard this week over the return of Bowe Bergdahl, the only person held captive by Afghani insurgents. After declaring him a deserter (those of us who served in uniform mostly think a military court is a better place to assign guilt for what is a capital crime than people shouting on Facebook), they also attacked his father (because who doesn't deserve public character assassination after enduring five years of your child's captivity at the hands of insurgents) and went after the deal that freed him. That makes all of them, at the same time, instant experts in military law, the psychological pressures of the prolonged captivity of a child and in how to best end quagmire conflicts.

Here is Chad Selweski, who has helped push all this, writing about Candice Miller's response. Header:

After botched prisoner swap, Rep. Miller says time for all troops home now

We got our guy back and no one died in the process. What is botched? I guess we'll find out.

U.S. Rep. Candice Miller said Tuesday President Obama’s decision to release five high-ranking Taliban figures for one U.S. soldier creates such an uncertain atmosphere for the future that all American troops in Afghanistan should be removed now.

Oh, that thing. It's a good thing that Candice Miller and Chad Selweski aren't in Israel, where they released more than 1,000 Palestinians to get one soldier back; and weren't alive during Korea, after which we got 12,000 back in return for sending home almost 80,000 North Koreans and Chinese.

Miller goes on to say that swapping prisoners sets a dangerous precedent, except that it doesn't set a precedent at all. We've been doing prisoner exchanges with enemy powers since we fought the British and Hessians during the Revolution. So, we're not setting a precedent.

But, this does leave me curious about something: We ending combat operations in Afghanistan next year and bringing the rest of the troops home by 2016. What do these people think we're going to do with our Taliban prisoners when we're gone? Do they think that the Taliban will not quite reasonably insist on the return of all their people as part of any negotiated settlement? Do they think that the United States should be a country that invades others, takes their people captive and then doesn't return them when we leave? In that, we would be keeping company with the Soviet Union.

Eric B. :: Lions for jackasses
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