Hi y’all. Just quickly getting a little out before getting back home to finish the day’s work and take the mutt out. Turns out he’s a good little egg, if a little nervous every time I leave that I’m never coming back. We’re working on it. And he’s very smart — I think that comes from whatever terrier lives inside his genetic code — so he’s getting better by the day. Anyway, here he is making friends down in St. Clement’s Maryland this weekend at a Hits for Heroes softball tournament I played in:
He’s weird looking, I know. But the boys seemed to think he looked pretty cool, so I’ll take it. Anyway, I have not been able to stop thinking about the Bergdahl trade because it seemed at first blush like just a ludicrous move, then it seemed like a terrible PR campaign, then it seemed again like a really terrible trade. And I’ve settled on the fact that it was, in fact, a terrible trade. But let me explain…
The quote in the header is from a talking head I saw on the news Sunday (apologies, can’t remember his name), and it’s 100% how I feel about the trade. It doesn’t add up. We gave 5 pretty nasty dudes back over for 1 alleged traitor and, given our President’s own words about how these Taliban leaders could return to their old ways, it doesn’t look like a prisoner trade at the end of a war. And he really wasn’t a hostage of his platoon mates can be believed. I feel like something of a jerk because I suggested that I would have been okay leaving him there. I’ve since softened that stance because that really is pretty inhumane and I just don’t want to be that hard. (I keep telling you all I’m really just a little girl in my heart.) But to trade 5 bad guys for 1…well, honestly, weak guy, is a pretty bad trade. I mean those are some pretty crummy negotiating skills.
At first I thought there must be something about Bergdahl that made him worth it. The more I read, the more I think he was just a jackass with zero loyalty and kind of a soft head. Who in their right mind goes looking for the Taliban to help him? I mean come on dude…
So sure, bring him home, but did we need to give up the men we did to do it? Is it possible that our President was so eager to close Gitmo to get the feather in his cap that he would make us look, once again, like complete morons who have no respect for our fighting men and women? It would appear so. And the Haqqani leaders — not the Taliban, which is another interesting wrinkle — must have counted on that narcissism when they offered Bergdahl up. Peachy. Just effing peachy. And I’ve seen some of the articles noting that we can track those bad guys, and that we won the war of ideas, and that it’s a morale booster to the men/women in the field because they knows we’ll bring them home. And to that I say what my father is fond of saying when he encounters stupidity: horseshit. Anyway, these guys are pretty thoughtful about bringing their traitor home, but they think the trade was bad as well. Because my understanding is that in any trade one is supposed to maximize the gain while minimizing the cost. I suppose, as my father noted, it depends on your goal if the gain was maximized. And that speaks to the fact that our leaders and the country may — as they have been on many other things over the last 6 years — be working at cross purposes. That struggle gets tiresome after a while, no?
Anyway, I do feel bad for being so harsh about Bergdahl initially. But that scene from Lonesome Dove sprang to my mind — one of the best things put on film dammit — and Michelle Malkin [Correction: Malkin didn’t write it, rather a poster at her site did. And it’s not about the current administration per se, but it is about Obama. Mea culpa.] wrote about it here in relation to some other weirdness this administration has done over the past several years. Relevant part below:
But another story, one that leads to many of the story’s tragic events, is the tale of Jake Spoon himself. Robert Urich played Jake in the miniseries, and I always thought he was miscast; he was cold and citified. It should have been Tom Selleck, someone charismatic and charming you really wanted to like, only to discover gradually through his carelessness and neglect what an empty soul Jake Spoon really had.
(Hang on, I’m going somewhere political with this, I promise.)
Spoon adapts easily to whoever his companions may be, and he falls in at one point with some sadistic horse thieves led by Dan Suggs, who enjoy shooting settlers and burning their bodies. Jake doesn’t shoot anyone but is complicit in the bodies’ desecration. Perhaps he does so out of fear that Suggs and his men will kill him if he doesn’t–but Jake isn’t in any hurry to escape them, or fight them. It’s easier for him just to continue riding with them.
Uva Uvam Vivendo Varia Fit.
Until one day, he’s called to account. Suggs, his brothers, and Jake Spoon are all captured by Gus and Call and Newt, who promptly decide to hang them all for burning the farmers and murdering three horse traders as well. Jake tries to fast-talk his way out of the necktie party, explaining that he doesn’t share in Suggs’ guilt:
JAKE SPOON: Oh, you don’t need to tie me up, Newt. Hell, I didn’t kill anybody. I just fell in with these boys to get through the Territory. Hell, I was gonna leave ‘em first chance I got!
GUS McCRAE: I wish you’d taken that chance a little earlier, Jake. A man who’ll go along with five killings is takin’ his leave a little slow.
There are more protests from the gang and from Jake, and then his old friend Gus explains:
GUS McCRAE: You know how it works, Jake. You ride with an outlaw, you die with an outlaw. I’m sorry you crossed the line.
JAKE SPOON: I didn’t see no line, Gus. I was just tryin’ to get through the Territory without getting scalped.
It doesn’t save poor Jake. They all knew he should have had the judgment to extricate himself from his bad companions long before his reckoning arrived.
If the GOP takes the Senate, I’ll be comfortable having her in the executive office. On principle, I don’t like the idea of one ideology in every branch. But holy moses, stuff like this will never stop being disturbing. Throwing your underlings under the bus is not only bad leadership but it’s the behavior of a personality that is not quite…I’ll say it…mature.
As a dancer, I’ll weigh in: bad form. On a stage, fine. At the actual site, there should be some reverence.
Um, there may be a very good reason Google has opted out of the encryption game. And I don’t think it has much to do with whether they have the capability to do it.
Pretty much all of this. Number 9 especially because Jesus H., it’s a press release, not a work of literature…
It is just different down there. I’ve addressed number 17 before I think. And I love that it’s true.
This is my buddy Chad’s place and the excitement is overwhelming. He’s a good guy and their coffee joint is going to be great. Check them out immediately.