Get PJ Media on your Apple

by
Rick Moran

Bio

June 5, 2014 - 4:25 pm

Bowe Bergdahl’s father has become a polarizing figure in the political dust-up over the prisoner swap. On Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough and NBC News reporter Chuck Todd got into a shouting match over Robert Bergdahl’s actions in his effort to free his son from the Taliban.

“I keep holding up this image where Barack Obama has his arm around a man who is reaching out to pro-Taliban forces, talking about killing Americans,” Scarborough said.

“Joe, Joe, don’t criticize the parents,” Todd replied. “Don’t criticize the parents in here, that are missing a child? Their son is missing for five years. You know what? It is not logical. You cannot handle it. You put yourself in his shoes –”

“I have a 26-year-old son, and if my son is out on the wire and he is out there with fellow troops and he is writes me up and says he hates America and he’s thinking about deserting and he’s thinking about leaving his post, I can tell you as a father of that 26-year-old or 23-year-old son, I’d say, ‘Joey, you stay the hell right there,’” Scarborough said. “I would call his commander, I would say ‘Get my son. He is not well. Get him to a military base in Germany.’ I would not say ‘Follow your conscience, son.’ I would not reach out to the voice of jihad.”

“I’m not backseat driving how someone parents,” Todd replied.

“That is not backseat driving,” Scarborough said. “I am a father. Any good father would not tell their son to follow their conscience and leave men and women on the line.”

“So he’s a bad father?” Todd challenged.

Some, like Ed Morrissey, think that concentrating on the elder Bergdahl is taking our eyes off the ball:

For what it’s worth, there is room in between those two positions, too. It’s possible to have empathy for the Bergdahls and understand why they would present a friendly public profile in order to connect with their son’s captors and help keep him alive. That doesn’t give a carte blanche excuse for everything, though, and it certainly doesn’t make Bergdahl père immune from criticism. He made those statements and actions in the public square, but that criticism should be tempered with some compassion for a father who was desperate to save his son’s life.

Mika Brzezinski hits the nail on the head in this exchange. The elder Bergdahl isn’t really the issue — it’s the President who put him up at the Rose Garden podium and wrapped his arm around him. Did no one look into the public statements of Bergdahl before creating that photo op? In military terms, the anger at Bergdahl is collateral damage. The national question isn’t whether Bob Bergdahl is a bad father, but whether Barack Obama is a dangerously incompetent President.

There is no doubt that Scarborough’s idea of parenting is right and proper. Many parents would ride to their child’s rescue to prevent him from doing something he would regret later.

But Bowe Bergdahl was 23 years old. When the elder Bergdahl suggested he follow his conscience, wasn’t he correct in taking a step back and allowing his son to live his own life, make his own decisions — and then live with the consequences of those decisions? That is, after all, a large part of being an adult. The apron strings are cut, the child goes out into the world, having absorbed all the lessons and advice his parents were able to give him.

We’ve heard from the pundits and commentators. Now it’s your turn. If You Were Bowe Bergdahl’s Father, Would You Have Done What He Did to Get Your Son Back?

Please leave your reply in the comments below. If you haven’t registered to comment, please take a few seconds to do so.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
When I was in the Army 20+ years ago, I never saw combat.

I joined the Army, if I'm honest, because I needed a job. I am proud of my country. In my opinion, the US is the greatest country this planet has ever seen. So, I was proud to serve my country. If needed, I would have gone to combat to protect her. I may not have liked it, but I would have done it. I had a realization while I was serving. I was proud to serve my country and I would go to combat if needed. But I wasn't willing to die for my country. What would I have died for? I would have died for the six other men who served on that Howitzer with me. I would have died for the friends that I had made while serving in the Army. I could be proud to serve my country. I could be happy dying for my friends.

If the reports are correct and Bowe Bergdahl walked off the line, he's a deserter. If he did so with the aim of finding the Taliban or Al Qaida, then he's a traitor. If his father told him to do it, then he's the same.

24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Precisely.

I mean, Ameen.

Should our grandfathers have grown little brush mustaches and start talking about killing Jews as a good thing?

The agony of a family, parents of a "taken" child is not a trifling thing. In those days, if your son walked away from his unit, abandoned his base, slandered his country and sought out Hitler's command....the overwhelming response of parents would be ....shame.

That is the case concerning those generations.

That this is even a question being asked (and in the manner it is being presented...here...at PJM, which MOST folks understand to not be part of Woodstock Jihad), highlights the very, very, very different culture we live in currently.

Moral relativism is alive and growing.

"Fooling" the captors into believing you are on their side....wouldn't that have stopped when the son was in Germany? In the Rose Garden, standing with the President talking about the release that had already taken place?

I feel for the families of the troops in any kind of danger. But not every family member who takes the stage acts honorably. Some don't. They turn on the country. They turn on the fellow soldiers and the troops in general. The empathy or even sympathy factor is not a protective bubble against malevolence. You can erode it or even throw it away.

And when you do, don't blame those who are critical of indefensible behavior.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm just thinking back to all those families who had boys that were POWs in Europe and Asia back in World War II. How they started to adopt German and Japanese lifestyles, learned everything they could about totalitarianism, how they started saying "Heil Hitler" when interviewed by the press, that sort of thing. All in an effort to get their sons released. Oh yeah - that's right. There weren't any families like that.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (29)
All Comments   (29)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
My grandmother was 100% German: her father had returned to Germany because he didn't like the US and she would have nothing to do with relatives in Germany.....even when they begged for food because they were starving. She and her 100% German husband were very proud of being Americans and would NEVER have done anything that didn't show great patriotism. All member of the family feel the same. I was shocked and angered by MR Bergdahl's antics.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
If I were Bowe Bergdahl's father would I have raised a deserter? I'd like to think not. The premise of the title question likely becomes irrelevant because the situation would not be parallel. Under this regime I'd be screaming bloody murder that my POW son's predicament would be getting ignored while some turncoat terrorist sympathizer was getting State Department's attention and being characterized as a hero.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama embraces and presents to us another weird un-American as his ideal citizen, beaming all the while.

What else is new?

He needs going.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
What?! As a parent, your job is to provide guidance. Telling your son to "follow his conscience" when you know that one course of action he is contemplating could lead to his capture and torture or worse is negligent of you. It's your job to point out that simply walking away from something you find to be unpleasant isn't solving anything; it's actually running from your problems which won't make the problem go away but will only make it worse. And, what happened? Bowe's problems have only multiplied.

Now, once a child hits the age of adulthood, you no longer have any power of force in the child's life, so you have to understand that all you can do is give advice and watch what they do. But Bergdahl's advice was empty.

I also know that may parents taught me that once you begin something, you finish it. This would no doubt have included military service. Where was that in Bergdahl's advice to his son, and if his son was going to find the army so abhorrent, why wasn't that discussed before he got involved with service in the first place? I know if I have to discuss this with my own son someday, the topic will damn sure come up.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Retun with your shield or on it. This was the advise given by Roman parents to their sons - this custom declined and then so did Rome.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, that was a SPARTAN mothers admonition to her son going off to battle. Predates the Roman republic by a few hundred years. Sorry to nitpick.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
He's not a child and bears the consequences of his actions as an adult. If you're in the military -or wherever you are- and discover that you are in the wrong place, then you plan an exit; and avoid leaving burning bridges behind you. Or not.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
That we are asked this question shows how far we have fallen. At this point this nation could not defeat Hitler, Stalin, or Tojo just as we could not defeat the Taliban. The world is beginning to realize it. We will succumb to the next Hitler, Stalin, or Napoleon that shows up. During WWII mothers and fathers put their blue and gold star service flags up with pride. My grandmother was an unflinching gold star mother.

Have you noticed any jihadis learning the Star Spangled Banner? Did any of those five guys in Gitmo convert?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think it is critical to know what the father's politics were before the son went AWOL. Did he always have such pro-Islamist positions, or were they the result of the trauma of his son's disappearance? If he WAS an jihadi supporter before his son's AWOL, then his influence would likely be a factor explaining why the son left his unit, and pretty much destroy any sympathy most Americans would have for that family. I'm a little surprised no one (yet) has explored this.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
When I was in the Army 20+ years ago, I never saw combat.

I joined the Army, if I'm honest, because I needed a job. I am proud of my country. In my opinion, the US is the greatest country this planet has ever seen. So, I was proud to serve my country. If needed, I would have gone to combat to protect her. I may not have liked it, but I would have done it. I had a realization while I was serving. I was proud to serve my country and I would go to combat if needed. But I wasn't willing to die for my country. What would I have died for? I would have died for the six other men who served on that Howitzer with me. I would have died for the friends that I had made while serving in the Army. I could be proud to serve my country. I could be happy dying for my friends.

If the reports are correct and Bowe Bergdahl walked off the line, he's a deserter. If he did so with the aim of finding the Taliban or Al Qaida, then he's a traitor. If his father told him to do it, then he's the same.

24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Traitors in the military we need to identify, isolate, and destroy.

Traitors in the civilian population we need to identify, isolate, and destroy.

There is no difference between the Bergdahl generations - except in which court they should be tried.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 Next View All

One Trackback to “Hot Topic: If You Were Bowe Bergdahl’s Father, Would You Have Done What He Did to Get Your Son Back?”