Roman Around

combating liberalism and other childish notions

A BIT TOO FAR, COLONEL

Posted by Andrew Roman on July 21, 2009

Ralph Peters

Ralph Peters

Private 1st Class Bowe Bergdahl went missing on June 30th in the Paktika province of Afghanistan. Since then, a video of the captured American soldier pleading for his life and calling for American troops to withdraw from the region has been posted on a Taliban website. The paratrooper, surrounded by his captors, also expressed a desire to learn more about Islam and commented on the low morale of the American soldiers there.

Officials from the US military called the video pure propaganda and vowed to find him.

Over the weekend, on the Fox News Channel, anchor Julie Banderas was interviewing military analyst Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters (retired). He is a regular contributor to the network, a frequent guest on radio talk shows (including the Michael Medved Show) and a columnist to boot.

I have consistently found Peters to be informative, well-spoken and an insightful thinker on matters related to the war against Islamo-fascism.

However, while speaking to Banderas about the Bergdahl matter, he raised more than his share of eyebrows by suggesting that if it should come out that Private Bergdahl walked away from his post while at war, the Taliban should be permitted to execute him.

From Fox News, the exchange went like this:

Julie Banderas

Julie Banderas

Banderas: Apparently Bergdahl was captured while he walked away from his US base camp. Many people are e-mailing me and asking, “How can a soldier walk off from a base on his own? Wouldn’t there always be another soldier with him? Would he be partnered with another person?” What can you tell us about that?

Peters: I want to stress first of all that we must wait until all the facts are in to make a final judgment. But nobody in the military that I’ve heard is defending this guy. He is an apparent deserter. Reports are, indeed, that he abandoned his buddies, abandoned his post and walked off. We’ll see what the ultimate truth of it is. But if he did – if he’s a deserter in wartime – as one of my old platoon sergeants used to say, “He is in beaucoup deep kimchi.”

Now, there’s another problem, Julie. On that video, he is collaborating with the enemy. Under duress or not – that’s really not relevant – he’s making accusations about the behavior of the military in Afghanistan that are unfounded, saying there are no rules. He’s lying about how he was captured, saying he lagged behind a patrol. Julie, I’ll tell you, any 11-Bravo infantryman will tell you that’s not how it works. In a war zone, any soldier is aware of where all his buddies are. If it’s a night patrol, you’re sure aware of where the guy in front of you, behind you is. So, we know this private is a liar. We’re not sure if he’s a deserter. But the media needs to hit the pause button and portray this guy as a hero.

Banderas: Wow. Obviously, I don’t want to speculate here.

She went on to say how the Fox News Channel will not air the video, lest that network appease the Taliban.

Peters: The best bet getting him back is tipsters, surveillance, special operations. For right now, I think he’s okay. They’re not going to kill him right away, if at all, because he has tremendous propaganda value. He’s making anti-American statements. He wants to investigate Islam, blah, blah, blah … Now look, Julie. I want to be clear. If, when the facts are in, we find out that through some convoluted chain of events, he really was captured by the Taliban, I’m with him. But, if he walked away from his post and his buddies in wartime… I don’t care how hard it sounds, as far as I’m concerned, the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills.

Banderas (somewhat stunned): All right Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters, thank you very very much … Regardless of what the situation is, we don’t want to see any US soldier in harm’s way and we hope this guy gets out of there safely. He’s an American. He’s one of ours.

Peters: Julie, think about his buddies. Think about his buddies.

Banderas (still perplexed): Yeah .. and, of course, everyone who is over there …

Despite the tedious caterwauling and hollers coming from some left-wing bloggers over his appearance on Fox – calling him a right-wing “psycho” (among other clever leftocrat lingo) – Peters is not a gun-happy war-loving crackpot, nor is he a particularly controversial pundit. He has shown himself to be, through his writing and TV appearances, quite reasonable and articulate.

He is unquestionably a patriot.

However, for a member of the United States military – retired or not – to call for or advocate the killing of an American soldier by the enemy, even if that soldier did abandon his wartime post, is nothing short of outrageous. At the very least, it is undignified and unbecoming – particularly coming from a man with Peters’ resume. It also goes against the very standards that the heroes who defend this nation fight for.

If Private Bergdahl did abandon his fellow soldiers and country, he must be allowed to face a court-martial. He must be permitted to stand up against his accusers and defend himself. Such a detestable and cowardice act (should it be proven) must be afforded the scrutiny and judgment it rightly deserves. And if it should come out that the worst-case scenario is, indeed, a reality – that he actually defected to the enemy – then he should be tried for treason by the nation he betrayed and given the appropriate punishment.

I have no argument with Peters’ contempt at the prospect of an American soldier running away from his brethren-in-arms in a time of war.

But it can never be acceptable for an officer of the United States military to openly call for an enemy of his own country to administer any justice on an American soldier.

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One Response to “A BIT TOO FAR, COLONEL”

  1. Mark Anderson said

    Nice, you don’t have a clue what happened but you have a stated several situations about the missing soldier, all negative. You are an asshole. Have a nice day asshole.

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