Obama’s trade causes controversy

Web Editor and Web Editor

Ever since Bowe Bergdahl’s brothers in arms have come out of the woodwork to denounce him, many Americans have rethought President Obama’s decision to exchange him for five Taliban prisoners.

I am not one of them.

As some may ask, is a “deserter” worth giving up five terrorists?

Even if he is a deserter, the answer is undoubtedly yes.

I’m not here to call those such as Spc. Cody Full liars, but I don’t think it’s fair to condemn Bergdahl as a bad person just because a few soldiers make him out to be that way. We do not know the history between these soldiers and we do not yet know the true story behind what happened.

It’s only fair to judge Bergdahl once he has been tried in court. As our justice system expresses, one is innocent until proven guilty.

Even if Bergdahl did go AWOL, which it seems he did, there’s no reason why this should exempt him from being brought back.

There are many reasons for desertion, some more nefarious than others. From the story being told, it seems Bergdahl was unhappy with how the Taliban was being dealt with. Instead of winning “hearts and minds,” Bergdahl “wanted to hunt and kill,” as Full said.

Although Bergdahl’s alleged desertion may have not had the most noble of reasoning, it seems he didn’t exactly act as an outright traitor as some would like to claim.

Bergdahl was ultimately a prisoner of war. He was an American citizen, and his life is not forfeit simply because he may have deserted. He may not be “honorable” or a hero, but bringing him back was the right thing to do.

If trading members of the Taliban is what we needed to do to get him back, then I’m all for it. I often hear the phrase “we don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Why not?

It’s time to stop treating terrorists as forces of nature that can’t be reckoned with and more like human beings. Some claim that negotiating with them makes us look weak. However, we can never come to an understanding, and ultimately some semblance of peace without negotiation.

Terrorists have motives just like anyone else, and we can only make progress by understanding and addressing those motives.

If Bergdahl is to be found guilty for desertion, I have no problem with him being punished. However, such an action does not mean we should have left him for dead.

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