Kevin dropped off a link to our fan page from the magazine of aging ’60s hippies, the Rolling Stone, which thinks they have something to add to the discussion about Bowe Bergdahl by interviewing his aging hippie parents. Let me say that I certainly sympathize with them about this situation, what with their son being held by Pakistani terrorist thugs, and my only wish is that he be safely returned to their arms as soon as possible, but, I honestly don’t think that much they disclosed to the Rolling Stone is going to help them in that regard.
First of all, much of what soldiers mail to their parents about have little to do with reality, it’s just the nature of soldiers. By their accounts, Bergdahl was an intensely intellectually driven young man who read the Ranger Handbook during sparse moments of down time in basic training and was labeled an odd ball by his peers. His focus on his mission in Afghanistan, according to his parents, drove others away from him and made Bowe a loner. i won’t dispute that, because I have no evidence to the contrary. I do, however, think that there’s no other reason for the Rolling Stone to publish that unless their intent was to make the rest of the Army look like lunk heads.
The article continues along the same vein, criticizing his entire unit as a bunch of misfit idiots;
The prolonged aspect of the war was also forcing the Pentagon to send more and more recruits who were unprepared and undisciplined, like Bowe’s unit. To meet its recruiting goals, the Army had lowered its standards for intellectual aptitude, and allowed more waivers for recruits with felony convictions and drug problems. “One of every five recruits required a waiver to join the service, leading military analysts to conclude that the Army has lowered its standards,” Col. Jeffrey McClain wrote in a definitive study for the Army War College in 2008, the year many in Bowe’s unit joined up.
Yeah, I think the prolonged aspect of the war also forced the Rolling Stone to send more and more journalists who are unprepared and undisciplined. How that contributes to Bowe’s disappearance, i have no idea, but the Rolling Stone had to take every available shot at the military that it could.
The discipline problems that had plagued Bowe’s unit back home only got worse when immersed in the fog of war. From the start, everything seemed to go wrong. In April, Lt. Fancey was removed from his post for clashing with a superior officer. He was replaced by Sgt. 1st Class Larry Hein, who had never held such a command – a move that left the remote outpost with no officers. According to four soldiers in the battalion, the removal of Fancey was quickly followed by a collapse in unit morale and an almost complete breakdown of authority.
More irrelevant bull shit. The Rolling Stone is bound and determined to blame Bowe’s unexplained absence on something Bush did, apparently.
The article sparked some rather heated debates on Facebook over the weekend, many detractors attacked Bergdahl for being an oddball hippie. I’m still not willing to do that. Whatever made him walk out of the safety of his perimeter and into the chains of the enemy, he doesn’t deserve to star in a beheading video for it. I’m willing to stand behind him until he’s safe at home and I urge the rest of you to do the same. I’ve heard all of the stories of what could have happened, but unlike the Rolling Stone, I’m not willing to publish them in my corner of the internet. He’s still an American paratrooper. The only axe I want to grind is bringing him home safely. And I hope this administration can summon the necessary gonadal material to rescue him when and if they get the chance.
Oh, and, in case you have any doubts, if you wonder what the hippies really think of you and your military service, read the comments on that particular article.