Lying about Prisoners and Hostages

Imagine we invade a nation and during a battle, one or a small group of American soldiers falls into enemy hands. Maybe one dope wanders into enemy territory or maybe a team runs out of bullets because despite all the yellow ribbons, politicians who talk a big talk about how much they love the military only vote to give billions of dollars to defense contractors, not to support our troops. Anyway, for whatever reason, our soldiers fall into enemy hands. But now, also thanks to those big talkers, our soldiers are murdered rather than taken prisoner because we recently sent a message to the world that if we invade your country, take no prisoners. There is no reason to do so. Their won’t be any swaps. We don’t negotiate with terrorists, and the American people are so ignorant they don’t know the difference between a terrorist and an enemy so we don’t negotiate with anybody.

“Take No Prisoners” means “Kill Everybody”. That is the future of warfare that Republicans are calling for.

But it’s not the future that they actually want. They’re just lying to get political points. Bergdahl was not a hostage, and those who took him were not terrorists. The Taliban are a group of vile, murderous bigots, but it is not they who attacked us on 9/11. It is we who attacked them one month later.

Anything the President would have done would have been spun against him. That point was well made yesterday by David Ignatius on the Diane Rehm Show,

Let’s imagine for a moment that President Obama had not made this deal, and it’s a year from now, and evidence comes to light as the Taliban is showing ever more grisly videos of Bowe Bergdahl in captivity wasting away, dying, and it comes to light that President Obama could have arranged a prisoner swap that would have gotten him home. Can you imagine the outcry that there’d be in the country?

Although Republicans may not want Americans to die as a result of their irresponsibility and dishonestly, it’s a risk they’re willing to take so they can get Democrats out of office and cut taxes for the wealthy. That’s what it all comes down to: Playing on the ignorance and childish emotions of conservatives to get elected, and getting elected to cut taxes for the wealthy. At any cost.

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