During a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Brussels, President Obama was asked about the backlash over the Bergdahl deal. Obama told AFP White House correspondent Stephen Collinson, “I’m never surprised by controversies that are whipped up in Washington.”
Who is President Obama kidding? This has to rank up there with the most dishonest and disingenuous statements he has ever made. It ranks up there with “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”
The anger over the Bergdahl deal sure as hell wasn’t “whipped up in Washington.” Sure trading a soldier for five top Taliban officials is hard to swallow under the best of circumstances. But had Bergdahl served honorably I suspect that in time most people would have reluctantly accepted the deal for a safe return home.
But when his fellow soldiers call Bergdahl a deserter that hits a raw nerve. There are thousands upon thousands of young Americans who have served “in country” in both Afghanistan and Iraq. These young Americans served with other young Americans who never came home. The idea that any soldier would leave their unit and never come back is the ultimate betrayal to one’s fellow soldiers, their families and this country. This is real, raw anger. The feelings this arouses just don’t get whipped up in Washington.
Obama is equally dishonest and disingenuous when he says Bergdahl is “somebody’s child.” Well, so were the soldiers who died trying to find him. Let’s consider the fact that Bergdahl had been in captivity for five years. Bergdahl was presumably somebody’s child in 2009. Obama says he’s “responsible for those kids” but he wasn’t exactly in a hurry to get Bergdahl out of captivity.
Let’s face it. The Obama Administration took it on the chin with the VA scandal. They needed to be seen in a good light where it concerned veterans and instead they made things go bad to worse. Obama has only himself to blame for this state of affairs. The President would be wise to spare us the lectures. President Obama would be equally wise not to dismiss the genuine anger that has been aroused; especially because it is an anger that his actions have set in motion.