I plan on making a post about the minimum wage today, but I first want to make a post about something that really enraged me today. Back on July 19, Fox News analyst Ralph Peters suggested the Taliban should murder Bowe Bergdahl, the 23-year-old American soldier who was captured by the Taliban on June 30 in Afghanistan. On July 21, Peters went on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox show to explain his comments, showing no remorse for his previous statements, saying Bergdahl was a deserter (with O’Reilly adding that Bergdahl is “crazy” and “a nut”). So the argument being made is that since Peters believes Bergdahl is a deserter, the Taliban should save us “legal hassles and legal bills” by murdering him.
Right from the get-go we can see how absurd Peters’ argument is. First off, as Jim Miklaszewski points out on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show, there is no evidence nor any claim by the military that Bergdahl is a deserter. In fact, the Pentagon is allegedly “outraged” over Peters’ statements. So too are 22 Congressional veterans who are demanding an apology.
But let’s even assume Peters is right in his assumption that Bergdahl is a deserter, even though there is no evidence to support such an assumption. Would we be right to advocate for his execution? Should we support his capture? Or is it in fact always wrong to call for the murder of an American soldier, or any captured soldier in a time of war for that matter? Here we have a young man with a family and girlfriend who care about him and who voluntarily joined the military to serve his country, and Peters is on Fox News calling for his murder. This is the most backward and twisted conclusion to come to. One has to be truly sadistic to see any merit in Peters’ statements. Even if Bergdahl was a deserter, the rational, legal, and moral argument to make is to say he should either be held as a prisoner of war in accordance with international law or be sent to the United States for trial. To show the kind of contempt that Peters displays toward American service members, one must abandon any sense of rightness, patriotism, or value in human dignity. He should be disgraced.