2014 June 03 Tuesday
Bowe Bergdahl Deserted, Soldiers Died In Search For Him

Worth 5 Taliban? You decide. Amazing. His unit is angry with him. Bergdahl wanted to talk to Taliban. Did they not give him as warm a welcome as they expected? Will he face a firing squad?

What was Obama's motive for the trade? How about this: If someone deserts but the enemy treats him as their enemy we should, after a few years, treat him once again as one of our side.

What should we make of this before moving on to the next episode? Its all part of life's rich pageant, you know?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 June 03 08:29 PM 


Comments
destructure said at June 3, 2014 10:05 PM:

"Worth 5 Taliban?"

Nope. Nor was he worth the lives of those who died as a result of his desertion. I'd like to see him tried for desertion and those responsible for the trade tried for treason. Maximum penalty. Though I'd rather they use hemp than lead. I just prefer to see trash disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. I'm politically correct that way.

Mike Street Station said at June 4, 2014 8:17 AM:

Giving up those 5 Taliban leaders seems crazy, but from the Obama administration perspective they've long argued in favor of closing Gitmo and if the prisoners there are not chargable as criminals, they should be released. After giving up these 5, it makes it easier to release most of the other less important and less dangerous prisoners. That's what I think the administration intends to do when when we finish pulling out of Afghanistan. There was Navy lawyer as a guest on Hardball last night who made the argument that the war ends in a year and a half, so everyone has to be released anyway. I think this is a test run for that line of argument. Obama may not be able to close Gitmo, but he can empty it.

Glengarry said at June 4, 2014 10:37 AM:

Have the Taliban surrendered or negotiated a ceasefire yet? It seems a bit premature to declare victory and move on before that.

Toddy Cat said at June 4, 2014 11:25 AM:

Obama probably isn't actually a deep-cover foreign agent working as hard as he can to destroy the United States, but in all honesty, it's hard to see what more he could do if he was. This guy make Jimmy Carter look like George Patton.

Check it out said at June 4, 2014 5:34 PM:

"Nope. Nor was he worth the lives of those who died as a result of his desertion. I'd like to see him tried for desertion and those responsible for the trade tried for treason. Maximum penalty. Though I'd rather they use hemp than lead. I just prefer to see trash disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. I'm politically correct that way."

Whoa, easy there. That's what I call rabid hate due to so much religious indoctrination. It is usually the most religious people those who talk with the loudest words of hatred. Well, of course you would rather all that. Your alias is "destructure". It's certainly easier to destroy than to construct, right "destructure"?

The only traitors you fail to see are all around you. They are politicians, corporate owners, bankers, lobbyist and religious ministers wearing 5000-dollar suits. Your failure for empathy seems pathological.


Narcissistic personality disorder
One diagnostic criterion of narcissistic personality disorder is a lack of empathy and an unwillingness or inability to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder[1] in which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity, mentally unable to see the destructive damage they are causing to themselves and to others in the process. It is estimated that this condition affects one percent of the population.[2][3] First formulated in 1968, NPD was historically called megalomania, and is a form of severe egocentrism.

ocial psychologist Erich Fromm first coined the term "malignant narcissism" in 1964, describing it as a "severe mental sickness" representing "the quintessence of evil". He characterized the condition as "the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity".[4] Edith Weigert (1967) saw malignant narcissism as a "regressive escape from frustration by distortion and denial of reality"; while Herbert Rosenfeld (1971) described it as "a disturbing form of narcissistic personality where grandiosity is built around aggression and the destructive aspects of the self become idealized".[5]

JB said at June 5, 2014 9:52 AM:

Close Gitmo, get out of Afghanistan, close the borders, and myob. 9-11 wasn't caused by the taliban harboring terrorists, it was caused by the '65 immigration "reform" act, and the mentality behind it. If we had the same type of demographics we had in 1960 it wouldn't take you two hours to get on a plane, and the terrorists wouldn't have been able to diddy-bop around the country with the protection of racial correctness. Of course the Republicans and (bwahaha) "Conservatives" help make sure that the root causes are never addressed, and root cures never considered. It's just another scandal du jour (like the VA thing) to help them do just that, to give their mindless followers a bloody flag to chew on so those followers won't have to confront power and the reality of their dispossession for yet one more day.

Check it out said at June 5, 2014 3:14 PM:

"Close Gitmo, get out of Afghanistan, close the borders, and myob."

I fully agree. Furthermore, the borders should be closed to both immigrants and tourists. Who knows, they might get a visa only to enter and stay. Close the borders to the whole world.


"If we had the same type of demographics we had in 1960 it wouldn't take you two hours to get on a plane, and the terrorists wouldn't have been able to diddy-bop around the country with the protection of racial correctness."

I don't know about that. Back in the 1960 there were no cameras or the kind of surveillance we have today, and it was much easier to have access to explosives. I think it was a lot easier to do some serious terrorism back then, not just a 911. However, that didn't happen back then, because not many were really interested in that.

destructure said at June 5, 2014 3:30 PM:

check it out

"Whoa, easy there. That's what I call rabid hate due to so much religious indoctrination."

Since when is punishing deserters and traitors "rabid hate"? Well, I guess I have some more "rabid hate" for you then. I'd like to see murderers, rapist and child molesters receive capital punishment, too.

Mercer said at June 5, 2014 10:34 PM:

I would like to know why the people who are complaining about dealing with the Taliban don't complain about our government giving money to Pakistan. The Taliban was founded by Pakistan and still receives aid from Pakistan while we give money to Pakistan.

Randall Parker said at June 5, 2014 11:19 PM:

Mercer,

You remind me of a book I am reading by NY Times reporter Carlotta Gall who has split her time between Pakistan and Afghanistan for well over 10 years: The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014. The right enemy in her view: Pakistan. She writes about the suppression of Pakistani journalists and the planted stories that Pakistani military staffers write for Pakistani newspapers among other topics.

Also, I'm reading Husain Haqqani's Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding. The Pakistanis are seriously deluded.

destructure,

In our current era anyone who takes a non-leftist position is a hater by definition.

Mike Street Station said at June 6, 2014 8:39 AM:

@Glengarry: Who said anything about victory? We're fleeing the battlefield and hope the enemy doesn't follow us home, and if they do follow us, they are hoping it will be under another administration.

But I suspect the Obama administration position is going to pretend that the war in Afghanistan and the GWOT are the same thing. That's what I noticed that Navy lawyer said on Hardball, the war is over in a year and a half and therefore our legal authority to hold prisoners ends. Not true of course. Our troop levels in Afghanistan have nothing to do with the Authorization for Use of Force, but as long as no one notices...

Yusuf said at June 8, 2014 5:12 PM:

"We're fleeing the battlefield and hope the enemy doesn't follow us home, and if they do follow us, they are hoping it will be under another administration."

The enemy is already here, Inshallah...

Check it out said at June 9, 2014 5:39 PM:

"I guess I have some more "rabid hate" for you then."

I rest my case...


"I'd like to see murderers, rapist and child molesters receive capital punishment, too."

Oh, I see. Now you've moved out of the topic just like women and children do so often. We were talking about DESERTED AND TRAITORS, remember??? and suddenly you changed them to "murderers, rapist and child molesters". Oh destructure, destructure, that really borders on intellectual cowardice.


By the way I'm not surprised that you are in favor of capital punisment, but I am not and sorry if dissagreement insults you. I do not agree on capital punishment BECAUSE 1. It is irrevocable and there have been instances in which evidence comes up that show the person excecuted was not guilty, 2. It is precisely the murder of the state against a person for committing murder; see, justice is not about vengeance, but readapting back into society -important details you wouldn't understand- 3. Justice seems to be for sale only for those who can afford it or pay bail. Prisons are filled with innocents that just happen to be poor. In NO country in which the capital punishment has been instaurated, has crime decreased; not one. Convenient, isn't it. I can see your great "background in science" now....

Ah, but you're so sure that your convitcions are so right, aren't you. Constructing is a little more difficult than destroying, right destructure?

I capitalize my BECAUSE so that you might be able to see that I'm putting forward my reasons, my arguments, the grouds of my points of view. Perhaps you can show a little decency and set forth your reasons too. I would like to hear your reasons on why you support capital punishment, besides hate, vengance and all those emotions. Emotions are worthless and easy; they come from your limbic region of the brain, not from the cortes. Reasoning takes a little getting out of your mental comfort zone.

Carl Sagan would say, "Where there are strong emotions we're liable to fool ourselves"

destructure said at June 11, 2014 7:00 AM:

check it out

"We were talking about DESERTED AND TRAITORS, remember??? and suddenly you changed them to "murderers, rapist and child molesters"."

They all deserve capital punishment. Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.

"I do not agree on capital punishment BECAUSE 1. It is irrevocable and there have been instances in which evidence comes up that show the person executed was not guilty,"

Very few innocent are convicted. The system is set up so that, even if guilty, reasonable doubt will result in acquittal. Even if there is an occasional wrongful conviction, the number of innocent lives saved by executing those who are guilty will likely be greater than those lost had the guilty been allowed to live and kill again. As an analogy, every year there are a handful of children who die from vaccine complications. But so many lives are saved by vaccination that it's worth it.

"2. It is precisely the murder of the state against a person for committing murder; see, justice is not about vengeance, but readapting back into society -important details you wouldn't understand-"

Deliberately killing an innocent person is murder. Killing someone in self defense or capital punishment isn't. I disagree that justice is about rehabilitation. Justice is about prevention. I really don't care about rehabilitating traitors, deserters, murderers, rapists, or child molesters. They had a chance not to break the law. We should take the opportunity to make sure they don't break it again.

"3. Justice seems to be for sale only for those who can afford it or pay bail. Prisons are filled with innocents that just happen to be poor."

Innocent people are rarely prosecuted. The reason poor people are more likely to go to prison is because of the correlation between poverty and criminality. But poverty doesn't cause criminality. Low intelligence causes both.

" In NO country in which the capital punishment has been instaurated, has crime decreased; not one. Convenient, isn't it. I can see your great "background in science" now...."

A lower crime rate for countries without capital punishment doesn't imply that abandoning capital punishment reduces crime. Rather, countries usually abandon capital punishment after the crime rate drops. The real question should be why crime drops. According to Pinkerton's The Better Angels of Our Nature it is because government has taken over dispensing justice. In countries where people have a high degree of confidence in the justice system and a high likelihood of being punished for taking the law into their own hands they leave it up to the courts. This leads us to another question -- why does the US still have higher crime than comparable countries? The reason is other countries are more homogeneous and homogeneous societies have higher degree of trust. This trust leads to more confidence in the justice system and lower crime.

"Emotions are worthless and easy; they come from your limbic region of the brain, not from the cortes. Reasoning takes a little getting out of your mental comfort zone."

Conservatives tend to have a larger amygdala. But a larger amygdala doesn't necessarily make one more emotional. The amygdala is responsible for emotional reasoning and understanding. So those with an underdeveloped amygdala lack emotional reasoning and understanding. If you'll recall Haidt's experiment from The Righteous Mind, extreme liberals are unable to understand others motives. You're unable to understand others motives as well. That's why you assume others are motivated by hate. You're an extreme liberal with an underdeveloped amygdala.

"Carl Sagan would say, "Where there are strong emotions we're liable to fool ourselves" "

IMO you're much more emotional than I..

Check it out said at June 11, 2014 5:45 PM:

"They all deserve capital punishment. Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent."

"I rest my case."

"Very few innocent are convicted."
So how much is the life of those few worth? Remember that most first world countries do not have capital punishment, that must be something to make us look around.

"Justice is about prevention."

True. So capital punishment is what you call prevention, right? So smart!

"Deliberately killing an innocent person is murder. Killing someone in self defense or capital punishment isn't."

Here again your mental sloppiness yells. Capital punishment IS deliberate killing; it is even scheduled! How much more deliberate can that be? On the other hand killing in self defense is NOT deliberate killing and therefore IS NOT a crime that law punishes. Please destructure, organize your thouhgts and stick to the topic, will you.

"Innocent people are rarely prosecuted."

Naive even for a teenage reasoning. You can now try to play with lies and question what has been proven a matter of course so many times and for so long.


"Low intelligence causes both."
Finally you say something that is true. See? It's really not that easy to arrive to new truths as fast and as comfortably as you think. But you got one right, I'll have to admit.


"A lower crime rate for countries without capital punishment doesn't imply that abandoning capital punishment reduces crime."

Why would you not abondon capital punishment if it doesn't bring about a lower crime rate? I mean, Why would you go on with capital punishment if it doesn't bring about a lower crime rate? What reason would there be in favor of it then? Isn't capital punishment there to deter crime in the first place? You talk about "prevention" but you really like vengeance and compensation for the agressions you -like anybody else- recieved in life. I really don't know what you're talking about. I think you should've consider your sentence more carefully befor hitting "post".


"Rather, countries usually abandon capital punishment after the crime rate drops"
Really? Which ones, please.

"Conservatives tend to have a larger amygdala."
ha ha ha ha ha! Yeah ok, let's move on. You're the scientist, right?

"The amygdala is responsible for emotional reasoning and understanding."

No, the CORTEX is responsible for reasoning and understanding. The amygdala has to do with a certain type of memory, quick decision-making, and emotional reactions as it is considered only a part of the limbic system. There's no "emotional reasoning" and the phrase is a contratiction in terms. Reasoning is the ability to come to discover the truth in something and emotions play no part in this process whatsoever.

"IMO you're much more emotional than I.."

Yeah well, that's only IYO -in your opinion- and therefore in your subjective little universe. Even if that were true -which I doubt- I can also be smarter than you, according to your claim of "emotional reasoning". Destructure, you crack me up. You really make me laugh -not out loud though-, so you can truthfully say that I am very emotional at this moment.


Look here,

From what I've read in your posts one I easily tell how much hate you speak with and how few new fresh ideas you provide. I think you are trying to reinforce your preconceived beliefs. I think you are way off century. You reason like people used to back in the dark ages, nothing new or interesting or productive. It seems to me you believe you're hitting bull's eye and I cannot find the words to tell you how childish and narcissitic you sound. In briefer and more eloquent words, you are peeing outside the toilet bowl. There's a world out there and I don't mean only a physical world, but a mental one. Try to leave your little neighborhood, but it takes some guts.

I really do not get any pleasure in telling you all this. Dealing with people like you is funny and entertaining at first, but after a while it turns into sadness and a sense or inner emptiness because I see how people like you -that seem to spawn everywhere and in large numbers- are making society slide back into the dark ages from where it took us more than 1000 years to wake up from.

Where there are strong emotions we're liable to fool ourselves. Try to learn it. It certainly is easier to destroy than to construct, right destructure?

destructure said at June 11, 2014 9:26 PM:

check it out

"So how much is the life of those few worth? Remember that most first world countries do not have capital punishment, that must be something to make us look around."

I addressed both of those in my last comment.

"True. So capital punishment is what you call prevention, right? So smart!"

Yes. Capital punishment is a deterrent. Not to mention it cuts down on repeat offenders.

"Capital punishment IS deliberate killing;"

But it's not the deliberate killing of an innocent person.

"On the other hand killing in self defense is NOT deliberate killing and therefore IS NOT a crime that law punishes."

When people use deadly force to defend themselves it's deliberate.

"Naive even for a teenage reasoning."

Not at all. Major crimes aren't even prosecuted unless a grand jury made up of regular citizens finds there is sufficient evidence. That's why the US DOJ has a conviction rate of over 90%.

"Why would you not abondon capital punishment if it doesn't bring about a lower crime rate?"

Who said it didn't?

"Really? Which ones, please."

Pretty much any that have abandoned capital punishment. The takeaway of Pinker's book The Better Angels of Our Nature is that homicide rates have been falling for centuries and more until they're only a fraction of what they once were. Today, the countries that have abandoned capital punishment tend to have both low homicide rates and low levels of diversity.

"Conservatives tend to have a larger amygdala."
ha ha ha ha ha! Yeah ok, let's move on. You're the scientist, right?

Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2811%2900289-2

"The amygdala has to do with a certain type of memory, quick decision-making, and emotional reactions as it is considered only a part of the limbic system. "

Yes. But it also affects other decision making. Studies show most people reach their conclusion first and then use reason to justify it after the fact.

"There's no "emotional reasoning" and the phrase is a contratiction in terms. Reasoning is the ability to come to discover the truth in something and emotions play no part in this process whatsoever."

That may be true when solving crossword puzzles but not when dealing with people. The amygdala plays a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making and emotional reactions.

"IMO you're much more emotional than I.."
Yeah well, that's only IYO -in your opinion- and therefore in your subjective little universe.

Why do you resort to insults and personal attacks if you're not emotional?

Check it out said at June 13, 2014 3:05 PM:

You know, now that I ponder all this more carefully I think you're absolutely right. We should bring back Jupitier and start believing in it again, -oops, he I meant- Whatever, please excuse the sloppines. And yes, maybe as you've said, we should kill all them terrorists, deserters, traitors, rapists. Hey, why not all immigrants too! Yeah! my mouth is drooling now. And while we're satiating our blood thirst, maybe we can extend the orgy to legal immigrants like tourists, athletes and foreigners in transit to other countries. Who knows they might wish to stay in wonderful U.S. beyoind their permit expiration date.

I totally agree with you, you big stud. It would only be fair if you just ignored me as my well-deserved punishment.
Kisses.

Check it out said at June 13, 2014 3:09 PM:

Anyone who enrolls in an American law school usually encounters two types of students: those who are self-serving, opportunistic, (and sometimes sociopathic), and thus view their legal education as a pathway to financial prosperity and/or a means to acquire power over their fellow human beings; and those who are idealists and hope to use the law to combat injustice and remedy social wrongs.

In fairness, many of these idealists are not completely altruistic, because the causes they desire to advocate will oftentimes benefit them personally. But if they are successful, their advocacy will benefit others as well.

Yet, far too often, once these idealistic students leave the classroom world of lectures, final exams, and scholarly debates to enter the legal profession, they are confronted by four harsh realities:

1. America's legal system will work harder to permit, promote, and perpetuate injustice and cover up the truth than it will to permit, promote, and perpetuate justice and reveal the truth; 2. Property rights will always trump human rights; 3. The Constitution of the United States, especially the Bill of Rights, is little more than a nuisance that judges routinely dismiss or ignore whenever it interferes with their personal biases, interests, or political agendas; 4. There is oftentimes little difference between criminals who break the law and the police, prosecutors, and judges who supposedly enforce it, because all of them routinely use specious rationalizations to justify their hypocrisy, mendacity, corruption, and/or criminality.

For example, the late comedian Richard Pryor once told of an encounter he had with an inmate while working on the movie Stir Crazy. This inmate had killed an entire family during the course of a burglary, and when Pryor asked why, he replied, "They was [sic] home." And when famous (or perhaps infamous) bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he answered, "That's where the money is."

The fundamental difference between those who operate outside the law and those who supposedly serve and/or are protected by it is that prosecutors, judges, and juries will routinely reject the specious rationalizations of the former, yet not hesitate to embrace the specious rationalizations of the latter, even when they engage in outrageous conduct and/or do as much, or even more, harm than many criminals.

Check it out said at June 13, 2014 3:10 PM:

In reality, it is difficult for anyone to have faith in America's legal system today when the so-called "war on terror" is incessantly being used as an excuse to decimate the Bill of Rights; when John Yoo, one of the architects of the infamous torture memos that have contributed to this decimation, now teaches law classes at the University of California at Berkeley; when another architect of these memos, Jay Bybee, serves as a federal judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; when three of Bybee's colleagues on the Ninth Circuit-Raymond C. Fisher, N. Randy Smith, and Rebecca R. Pallmeyer-were so eager to insulate him and Yoo from any legal repercussions for these memos that they essentially gave the United States government the power to torture its own citizens with impunity, simply by avoiding the use of the word "torture"; when federal judge Rosemary Collyer extended this power even further by giving the United States government the legal authority to extrajudicially execute its own citizens; and when five so-called "justices" on the United States Supreme Court are so reactionary that, according to an article by Geoffrey R. Stone in THE DAILY BEAST, they "consistently show no understanding or concern for the interests of racial minorities, women, political dissenters, or religious minorities," yet consistently display unabashed empathy for "gun owners, corporations, billionaires, and those who oppose efforts to remedy past discrimination."

destructure said at June 14, 2014 5:26 AM:

check it out

You're a real nut.

Check it out said at June 16, 2014 4:47 PM:

destruture

Nut my balls. You're the nut. You cannot distinguish between cause and effect. I gave you ideas and all you could turn back was "you're a reall nut" and some hate for me.

It certainly is easier to destroy than to construct, right destructure?

At this point I'll let you have the last word; fine. All this exchange with you is getting pretty boring and redundant, and really going nowhere.


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