Bill O’Reilly predictably attacked the recovery of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and the release of five Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange. O’Reilly even went so far as to suggest that Bergdahl should have been left in Afghanistan to die. Even though the military has ”a historic commitment" not to leave a soldier behind on any battlefield.
Before he got to the soldier, O’Reilly took a gratuitous swipe at his father:
He has learned to speak Pashto the language of the Taliban. And looks like a Muslim. He’s also somewhat sympathetic to Islam, actually thanking Allah right in front of the president.
“So the story is very complicated,” O’Reilly said. He did not explain why Bergdahl’s father’s supposed sympathy to Islam (which could have been for show, to help his son’s captors look more kindly on him) made anything “more complicated.”
But the implication was that Bergdahl’s father’s “pro-Islamic” behavior was part of the reason the son did not deserve to be recovered.
Even worse, O’Reilly decided that he – who never served his country a day in his life – knows better than Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, a decorated combat veteran, about the substance of the deal:
Talking Points believes there are valid points on both sides of the growing controversy. There’s no question that President Obama’s actions will make things more dangerous for Americans abroad, especially in the Middle East and Africa. But what do you do when you can save an American soldier, being held in captivity for five years? Do you walk away, possibly consigning the soldier to his death?
I believe the administration when it says it had to act quickly. …But in war - in war - hard decisions have to be made. And these five Taliban terrorists - war criminals – will kill again. There’s no question about that. They are extreme haters who will be welcomed back to the jihad with enthusiasm. Secretary Hagel is wrong when he says this is a simple prisoner of war exchange. It is not. These are top Taliban leaders, enemies who bring death and destruction to thousands. Therefore, if I had been president, I would not have made the deal.
O’Reilly did note “a caveat,” i.e. that President Obama “wants to open negotiations with the Taliban and begin a cease fire.” O’Reilly added, “By opening communications over the sergeant, the president sees an opportunity.” But Armchair O’Reilly batted that possibility away. “(I)f history is any indicator, the Taliban will never stop fighting because they don’t have anything else to do. … they sit there in the mountains of Pakistan plotting death and the reinstitution of an Islamic state in Afghanistan. Why would they ever stop?”
These Fox News hosts are always so ready for a new war and yet such cowards about dealing with the consequences.
Donahue pointed out that it wasn’t his kid and that he hadn’t denigrated the service of any military personnel. Sending kids to die for oil was what was denigrating their service. Cheerleading the Bush Administration to go to war for Lies was what denigrates their service.
Now O’Reilly takes the liberty to denigrate the service of a POW combat veteran who was released in a “prisoner exchange” after 5 years of captivity?
I wonder what he would say if that had been his Nephew?
I’ll be looking for Bill’s apology to Phil Donahue, but, I won’t be holding my breath.