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Robert L. Ehrlich Jr | June 8, 2014
Like most Americans, the Ehrlichs celebrated the return of a captured U.S. soldier from Afghanistan. What parent would not possess a degree of empathy for the parents of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held by the Taliban since June 30, 2009? A positive aspect of a returned U.S. soldier is the notion that the U.S. military, the greatest force for good on planet Earth, recognizes its obligation to rescue its own. It's what a civilized, just nation does in consideration of the risk assumed by its young soldiers.
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NEWS
August 30, 2014
Sometimes, you come across a quote or phrase that jolts your sensibilities.  The words can be as deep and thought provoking as those supplied by Golda Meir below, or as mind numbingly ludicrous as those uttered by the Dartmouth College protesters of last spring, also below.  Regarding the former, your response might be an immediate "Yep. "  On the latter, it could easily be a simple "Nope!" Herewith, a sampling of yeps and nopes from recent research. •"We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children.  We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children...
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NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | June 9, 2014
There he goes again. At a press conference in Brussels Thursday, President Obama was asked if he was surprised by the controversy over his decision to trade Bowe Bergdahl for five high-ranking Taliban leaders. His response was vintage Barack Obama: "I'm never surprised by controversies that are whipped up in Washington. " Thus establishing from the start that he considers the controversy to be a kind of partisan farce, he proceeded to rebut criticisms virtually no one has made.
NEWS
August 1, 2014
Dane Egli's commentary decrying the exchange of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban detainees is wrong on every point ( "Bergdahl swap troubling amid recent violence," July 28). Legally, the Taliban detainees were declared to be "enemy combatants," not terrorists. That means that they are legally prisoners of war. We could not have held them for 10 years without trial otherwise. Similarly, Sgt. Bergdahl was not a "hostage," he was a prisoner of war. He was a soldier captured in a war zone, not a kidnapped civilian, as Mr. Egli asserts.
NEWS
June 2, 2014
The release Saturday of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after five years as a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan surely marked a jubilant moment for his family and friends in Boise, Idaho. Sgt. Bergdahl went missing from his unit in 2009 under circumstances that remain unclear, and he was captured by Taliban six months into his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was the last American POW to remain unaccounted for as the U.S. prepares to wind down combat operations there next year and to withdraw all but a token military force by the end of 2016.
NEWS
June 4, 2014
At last, some outrage from Congress over this imperial president's unilateral actions ( "Ruppersberger: Bergdahl decision sets 'dangerous precedent,'" June 2). Imagine releasing five of the worst criminals from Guantanamo. These are terrorists whose whole purpose is to kill Americans! Now, we find out that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl might have actually been a deserter. This man does not deserve to be president of the United States. We have "1984," "Animal Farm" and "The Manchurian Candidate" rolled into one in this administration.
NEWS
June 7, 2014
Some are suggesting that the trade to get Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl freed should not have been made ("Obama: 'no apologies' on deal to free Bergdahl from Taliban," June 5). So what are they suggesting: Leaving one of our soldiers in Afghanistan? Some have suggested that members of Mr. Bergdahl's unit may have been killed looking for him. But does that mean we shouldn't look for soldiers taken prisoner by the enemy who we think may have committed an act that led to their capture?
NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Monday that the Obama administration's decision to release five Taliban prisoners in exchange for an American prisoner of war was a "dangerous precedent" that "puts all Americans at risk throughout the world. " The Baltimore County Democrat joins a chorus of Republicans who have questioned the effort that led to the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last remaining prisoner in Afghanistan.
NEWS
June 10, 2014
I served 24 years in the United States Army, 21 of them in Special Forces, and I fought in two combat campaigns, El Salvador and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Command Sgt. Major Dan Pitzer, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam and later a senior civilian instructor for the Army's SERE school was a close friend of mine. He shared many experiences with me about his four years as a captive of the Viet Cong. Unlike Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Sergeant Pitzer did not "walk away" from his unit and actively seek refuge with the enemy ( "Bergdahl is free, but at what cost," June 9)
NEWS
August 1, 2014
Dane Egli's commentary decrying the exchange of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban detainees is wrong on every point ( "Bergdahl swap troubling amid recent violence," July 28). Legally, the Taliban detainees were declared to be "enemy combatants," not terrorists. That means that they are legally prisoners of war. We could not have held them for 10 years without trial otherwise. Similarly, Sgt. Bergdahl was not a "hostage," he was a prisoner of war. He was a soldier captured in a war zone, not a kidnapped civilian, as Mr. Egli asserts.
NEWS
By Dane Egli | July 27, 2014
The violence erupting on the former battlefields of Operation Iraqi Freedom coupled with the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan raises new concerns over the recent exchange of five Taliban commanders for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The swap conflicted with traditional hostage recovery policy and trading of war prisoners and may lead our enemies to conclude that we're now willing to negotiate with kidnappers - potentially endangering lives abroad. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, was himself an insurgent detainee released by the U.S. in 2009.
NEWS
By Charles Campbell | June 19, 2014
The Middle East and Africa are a complex matrix of religious cultural, racial, ethnic, clan and tribal dynamics that have developed over 1,000 years of conflict. Scott Anderson wrote in his new book, "Lawrence in Arabia," that the first inept U.S. government agent in the region, William Yates, established a tradition of misinterpreting the situation that his successors have rigorously maintained for 100 years. The rise of the group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the return of Sunni control to large sections of Syria and Iraq are not unexpected.
NEWS
June 10, 2014
I served 24 years in the United States Army, 21 of them in Special Forces, and I fought in two combat campaigns, El Salvador and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Command Sgt. Major Dan Pitzer, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam and later a senior civilian instructor for the Army's SERE school was a close friend of mine. He shared many experiences with me about his four years as a captive of the Viet Cong. Unlike Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Sergeant Pitzer did not "walk away" from his unit and actively seek refuge with the enemy ( "Bergdahl is free, but at what cost," June 9)
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | June 9, 2014
As President Barack Obama contemplates November's congressional elections, the odds are they may produce Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. That would likely mean more of the same legislative frustration that has met his presidency to date. Forewarned by his first term, the president during his second has been relying more on his executive powers to advance his own key objectives. He has told ranking White House aides to explore ways to move parts of his own agenda without recourse to Congress.
NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | June 9, 2014
There he goes again. At a press conference in Brussels Thursday, President Obama was asked if he was surprised by the controversy over his decision to trade Bowe Bergdahl for five high-ranking Taliban leaders. His response was vintage Barack Obama: "I'm never surprised by controversies that are whipped up in Washington. " Thus establishing from the start that he considers the controversy to be a kind of partisan farce, he proceeded to rebut criticisms virtually no one has made.
NEWS
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr | June 8, 2014
Like most Americans, the Ehrlichs celebrated the return of a captured U.S. soldier from Afghanistan. What parent would not possess a degree of empathy for the parents of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held by the Taliban since June 30, 2009? A positive aspect of a returned U.S. soldier is the notion that the U.S. military, the greatest force for good on planet Earth, recognizes its obligation to rescue its own. It's what a civilized, just nation does in consideration of the risk assumed by its young soldiers.
NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | June 5, 2014
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski called on the Obama administration Thursday to turn its attention to two Marylanders who are being detained overseas and argued that the recent release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl raised significant questions for U.S. efforts to bring those men home. In a letter to President Barack Obama, the Maryland Democrat said she has concerns the resources dedicated to Bergdahl's release are not being equally applied to civil servants and contractors. One of those men, Alan Gross, has been detained in Cuba since 2009.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | June 9, 2014
As President Barack Obama contemplates November's congressional elections, the odds are they may produce Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. That would likely mean more of the same legislative frustration that has met his presidency to date. Forewarned by his first term, the president during his second has been relying more on his executive powers to advance his own key objectives. He has told ranking White House aides to explore ways to move parts of his own agenda without recourse to Congress.
NEWS
June 7, 2014
Some are suggesting that the trade to get Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl freed should not have been made ("Obama: 'no apologies' on deal to free Bergdahl from Taliban," June 5). So what are they suggesting: Leaving one of our soldiers in Afghanistan? Some have suggested that members of Mr. Bergdahl's unit may have been killed looking for him. But does that mean we shouldn't look for soldiers taken prisoner by the enemy who we think may have committed an act that led to their capture?
NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | June 5, 2014
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski called on the Obama administration Thursday to turn its attention to two Marylanders who are being detained overseas and argued that the recent release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl raised significant questions for U.S. efforts to bring those men home. In a letter to President Barack Obama, the Maryland Democrat said she has concerns the resources dedicated to Bergdahl's release are not being equally applied to civil servants and contractors. One of those men, Alan Gross, has been detained in Cuba since 2009.
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