Andrew Steele
America 20xy
April 8, 2010

A video has been posted on the website purportedly showing that soldier Robert Bergdahl, who was captured in Afghanistan last June, is still alive.

In the video Bergdahl has a beard.  Towards the end of it he does exercises to prove that he’s still physically fit.

During the video Bergdahl pleads to be released, not to his captors but to what appears to be the US government (though he doesn’t address any specific person or organization).

“…get me to be released.  This war isn’t worth the waste of human life that it has cost both Afghanistan and US.  It’s not worth the amount of lives that have been wasted and the amount of life that has been wasted in prisons…Guantanamo Bay, Bagrahm…all those places where we are keeping prisoners.  I’m a prisoner.  I want to go home.  The Afghanistan men who are in our prisons, they want to go home too.  “

Last summer when Bergdahl was captured and a video was released of him, Neocons at Fox News scrambled to dilute any sympathy for the soldier by implying that he was a deserter and turncoat who was collaborating with the enemy.  Ralph Peters, a Fox News analyst and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, implied on the air that if the facts proved Bergdahl was a deserter the Taliban should save the US s a lot of legal bills and kill him. Later, he went on Bill O’Reilly to try and justify his sentiments:

“…my anger is that the media has been turning this guy who’s a probable…an alleged deserter…certainly AWOL in a combat zone…into some kind of hero.  Now why does it make me angry?  Because we know Bergdahl’s name…how many of us know the names of the soldiers and marines, navy corps. men, fighting through crippling injuries in our military hospitals.  The names of those who came home with flags over their coffins because they did their duty.  The names of the decorated heroes…they get no media attention.”

What’s interesting is how Peters quickly corrected his words from probable to alleged when slapping the deserter title on Bergdahl, showing  that the accusation, in his mind at least, still wasn’t certain.  What’s also interesting is the fact that Peters was so concerned about the media ignoring the soldiers who come home in flag draped coffins while the Pentagon, backed by President George Bush, sought to ban the release of photos of flag draped soldier coffins coming back from the Iraq war.

Earlier this week Wikileaks released video of soldiers shooting civilians and a Reuters reporter in Iraq.  This, along with the Bergdahl video illustrate that despite the war machine’s fleeting attempt to control the perception of its bloody and lucrative conflicts overseas, reality and the internet are winning out.   Lashing out at what people like Peters call “enemy propaganda” highlights the frustration of our supposed military leaders over the fact that their own propaganda is no longer working.


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