Tonawanda News

Opinion

June 6, 2014

Politics can ruin even a soldier's return home

Tonawanda News — One of the primary functions of our constitutional republic is that we elect people to make decisions on our behalf. We don’t always like the decisions they make. Some people, it would seem never like the decisions they make.

Personally, I’m not thrilled with the prisoner exchange orchestrated and executed by President Barack Obama that traded five Taliban prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. It has nothing to do with Bergdahl’s alleged desertion. It also has nothing to do with the claims by some that the five men we traded for him are the “terrorist dream team” or whatever. I just like the theoretical policy of not negotiating with terrorists.

All that said, we elected President Obama to make these decisions for us. Sometimes we’re not going to like them. When that happens, we should grumble … complain … maybe write our congressmen. Those are all patriotic expressions. Instead, what I’ve seen is a bunch of “adults” acting not very adult.

Barack Obama can’t brush his teeth these days without someone demanding an investigation and claiming it’s an impeachable offense. He can’t walk down Pennsylvania Avenue without someone making it into a political football — as they have with the Bergdahl exchange.

Maybe Sgt. Bergdahl isn’t an example of the best and brightest our military has to offer. In fact, maybe he’s a deserter — and by some accounts a traitor. But right or wrong, he’s an American.

He languished in a Taliban run Afghani prison for five years. We had an opportunity to get him back. And we did. Now that he’s returning home, we can address his alleged wrongdoings.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, members of congress are deleting tweets and recalling press releases that express any measure of happiness that an American soldier is returning home. The same congressmen who a few days ago said that they agreed with the exchange are now retreating from their statements and distancing themselves … primarily because the deal was orchestrated and executed by the president.

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