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Useful Idiots and the Strange Release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

Robert and Bowe Bergdahl

The Washington Post is now reporting what many sources inside the US military have been saying about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for most of the five years he’s been a captive of the Taliban in Afghanistan: Bergdahl is believed to have slipped away from his platoon’s small outpost in Afghanistan’s Paktika province after growing disillusioned with the US military’s war effort.

But the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance from his post, which some of his former comrades in arms have termed desertion, may not be as important as what happened during the announcement of his release and where he and his family go from here.

As Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the Major General Horner Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University and National Security Affairs Editor for observed, when Robert Bergdahl appeared with President Obama at a news conference announcing his son’s release, Bergdahl sported the full beard typical of fundamentalist Salafi Muslims and said “bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim,” a common Arabic phrase meaning “in the name of God, most gracious, most compassionate” and then spoke a few words in Pashto, a language of Afghanistan (translation from The New York Times).

As might be expected of any parent, the elder Bergdahl has spent the past five years keeping the pressure on official Washington not to forget his son and to do everything possible to bring Sgt. Bergdahl home.

But over time Robert Bergdahl’s attitude appears to have morphed from lobbying for attention to his son’s case to advocating for the release of all Taliban and jihadi prisoners held at Guantanamo and supporting the radical anti-western doctrine of the jihadi movement.

Some of Bergdahl’s most telling comments have come through the social media and through his Twitter account he has posted a variety of troubling messages (since deleted) claiming that he is working to free all Guantanamo prisoners and including the jihadi slogan “God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen!”

As our friend Lt. Col. Allen West noted in an interview with Breitbart’s Jordan Schachtel and Raheem Kassam, there is no precedent for the Taliban detaining American soldiers: “Our troops are brutally, ritually, and savagely murdered — to include American security contractors (remember the Fallujah bridge) — not held for five years.”

Schachtel and Kassam remind us that in 2010, the Taliban claimed Sgt. Bergdahl had converted to Islam and had taught them bomb-making techniques. The Taliban also claimed Bergdahl had changed his name to Abdullah, which means “Servant of God” in Arabic.

The mainstream media largely ignored the story of Bergdahl’s alleged conversion to Islam, seeing it as comparable to the tale of Sgt. Brody in the fictional Homeland television series on Showtime, but we are starting to wonder if there isn’t something to this, particularly in light of Robert Bergdahl’s behavior.

As Schachtel and Kassam document, Robert Bergdahl’s behavior seems to point to the possibility that he also may have converted to Islam and has embraced radical elements.

In May of 2011, Robert Bergdahl released a video that pleaded for his son's release. He said, "Strangely, to some, we must also thank those (Taliban) who have cared for our son for almost 2 years... We understand the rationale of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) has made through videos." The reference to the Taliban as the ‘Islamic Emirate’ is, by way of prior evidence, the preserve of sympathizers according to Schachtel and Kassam.

As recently as April of 2014, just a little over a month ago, Robert Bergdahl tweeted his support for former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg, who was re-arrest and detained in Great Britain. Begg is the man once called “Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban” by Amnesty International’s Gita Saghal. 

Nothing illustrates the folly of Obama’s foreign policy better than his administration’s attempts to “reach out” to the radical Islamists of the Taliban in the hopes of negotiating a peaceful end to the civil war in Afghanistan while at the same time announcing a date certain for the withdrawal of American troops.

Let’s be real. The Taliban have no interest in “peace’ in the sense that at the conclusion of negotiations a stable political settlement based on the democratic principles of majority rule and rule of law will prevail.

Such sub-rosa negotiations as the U.S. may have conducted with the Taliban have always been intended to be a political fig leaf for the Obama administration to declare victory and come home, much as the U.S. did at the conclusion of the Paris peace negotiations that led to the American pullout from Vietnam.

And why would the Taliban want to negotiate with the U.S. anyway?  Their goal is not to gain political power in the remote country of Afghanistan, but to re-establish a base from which to prosecute a worldwide jihad against western culture and values.  

Americans are uniquely handicapped when engaged in a religious war.  The very idea of a religious war goes against our history as a sanctuary for the religiously oppressed – the Pilgrims coming to New England and Catholics coming to Maryland to find religious freedom – and many, if not most, Americans would say a religious war goes against the Constitution that enshrined that history in the very law that governs our government.

If we Americans are ill-equipped to fight a religious war, our leaders must at least be smart and realisitic enough to recognize the war radical Islamists have declared on us as a war of ideas against what is the twenty-first century’s most dangerous totalitarian movement.

In this war, the West is in a war not just with the Taliban in Afghanistan, but with concepts deeply embedded in Muslim culture. These are ideas that even many so-called “moderate” Muslims are prepared to use violence to impose upon the entire world – if that doesn’t fit the definition of totalitarian what does?  

It is time for Americans to join the war the jihadis have declared on us on realistic terms.  We can start by recognizing that to succeed, totalitarian movements always require “useful idiots,” like Robert Bergdahl, to help convince the people about to be enslaved that their soon-to-be totalitarian masters are saviors, not oppressors.

Hat tip to our friend Frank Gaffney for reminding us of the term “useful idiots” in this context.

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Enemy Among Us

If ever there was a sleeper agent born into islam, I present Sgt. Bergdahl. Even his parent is islam. The raw audacity to speak the language of the enemy while with our(sic) president shows the lack of resolve of the American people. Not one peep has been heard about this awful travesty of releasing 5 terrorists for one deserter. Go figure America. YOU BETTER WAKE UP SOON!


Bowe needs to be tried for treason and punished accordingly.

The newest traitor

The trade off for five heavy hitters in Guantanamo and a useless traitor was well planned and played out by the obama government. Wake up America we are in the abyss now. Why arent ALL our leaders screaming especially that usefull idiot McCain?

Sgt. Bergdahl

I hope our government, which claims it needs to monitor our phone calls et al., keep tabs on this father-son team. If the son is not a deserter, he might be a product of Stockholm syndrom. There is the possibility that he might be a radicalized plant who comes back to the U.S. to assist in some later terrorist attack. I don't suggest we become paranoid, but caution is called for.