Robert Bergdahl is a already a major embarrassment for President Obama. Not only did the senior Bergdahl, with his Taliban-style beard, break into Pashto and Arabic during Obama’s would-be photo opportunity, he has made a string of anti-American, pro-Taliban statements (see below).
The potential for further embarrassment seems great. Bergdahl either loves to explain himself, loves the sound of his own voice, or both.
It’s not clear to me whether Obama cares about the fall-out at this point. However, his backers do.
Consider this article about the senior Bergdahl by Todd Frankel in today’s Washington Post. It casts the Taliban sympathizer in the best possible light by (1) focusing on his beard and ignoring his substantive remarks and (2) characterizing the beard, and Bergdahl’s immersion in Islam, as an attempt to cope with his son’s capture.
Bergdahl has spewed forth a stream of anti-American, pro-Taliban comments. Among them are:
Working to free all Guantanmo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen!
‘Democracy’ is a cult in in the West.
Release Moazzam [Begg] (note: Great Britain’s most notorious Taliban supporter).
ISAF perceive foreign presence as the main impetus of war inside Afghanistan!
My son speaks about unjust treatment of Afghan children. (Note: Bergdahl included a link to the Taliban’s website).
We understand the rationale of the Islamic Emirate has made through videos [of Bowe Bergdahl]. (Note: Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan is the Taliban’s preferred name)
Frankel mentions none of this in his article.
But what of Frankel’s claim that Bergdahl grew his beard and studied Islam and the Taliban in an effort to cope with his son’s captivity? It’s quite possible that, as Frankel euphemistically says, the father “changed his appearance and altered his interests to align with his son’s experience.”
But Frankel overlooks evidence that Bergdahl’s anti-Americanism predates Bowe’s capture and, indeed, may well have been partly responsible for his son’s plight.
We know that in the period leading up to Bowe Bergdahl’s desertion of the Army he was sending anti-American emails to his father. Some of them signaled that he was preparing to desert.
What was Robert Bergdahl’s response? “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE.”
If, instead, he had advised his son to do his duty as an American soldier, perhaps Bergdahl would not have deserted. Bowe Bergdahl, then in his early 20s, deserved adult counsel from his father. Instead, he got leftist cant — an updated version of “do your own thing.”
If the father had talked the son out of deserting, American soldiers would not have died looking for Bowe Bergdahl, deadly Taliban commanders would still be sidelined, and Bowe would have avoided his five-year ordeal.
In addition, Bob Bergdahl would not have grown his awful beard, and the Washington Post would have one less issue on which to run interference for President Obama.