Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl, aged 23,
of Ketchum, Idaho, is a member of the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Fort Richardson, Alaska. He was captured in circumstances that aren’t clear and has appeared in a Taliban video (prev at http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul/20/world/fg-afghan-soldier20), seen world-wide.
So far, it appears he’s been well treated, although three soldiers captured in Iraq by the same mob were all killed, so this must obviously prey on people’s minds.
(see my rampant post, Americans Love to Torture – Official. If you’re offended by it, you’re not listening.)
Capt Stock said this, while condemning the use of the video. He told Reuters news agency:
“The use of the soldier for propaganda purposes we view as against international law.”
“The Taliban are using the soldier for propaganda purposes”
Illegal Imprisonment and Adherence to International Law
Now some facts.
- The USA continues to imprison people in Guantanamo Bay without trial or due process.
- The site in Cuba was obtained illegally and is operated illegally even under the ‘rules’, agreed under duress, of it’s illegal occupation.
- The USA (& UK) has recently tortured people in strict denial of the rules of the Geneva Convention, their own laws and/or constitutions, and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Sad Chickens Roosting
So while people wring their hands over a very short list of very likely fates for Pte Bergdahl, it’s only karmic retribution for their historical and continuing acts. They must change, as Obama was wont to say in his electoral campaign.
- They cannot continue to act in this way, killing people with scythe-like impunity using robotic planes in some bizarre kids computer shoot-up.
- They cannot continue to act towards people in flagrant disregard of their own constitution and laws.
- They cannot even think that torture, of any kind, is okay. Not just “don’t do it” – No! They must not even think it.
Because what happens is that it’s all thrown back, tenfold.
Like Justice, being “seen to be done”, US actions, at home and abroad must be above reproach.
They must be a beacon – a pure demonstration of good civil behaviour, in words, thoughts and deeds. The beacon light though, is very dim.
Something like this was said by Shakyamuni – the Buddha of legend. In Chapter 16 of “The Lotus Sutra”, a compendium of his later sayings, he said, in qualifying what it takes to be a Buddha (which anyone can be, let it be known):
When living beings become truly faithful, honest and upright, gentle in intent, single-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha, not hesitating even if it costs them their own lives, then I and the assembly of monks appear together at Eagle Peak.
Eagle Peak represents a place of happiness for all sentient beings. It means that if you behave like that, happiness will undoubtedly appear – you will be a Buddha.
If you don’t, then shit happens.
The USA & UK are most definitely NOT “honest and upright, gentle in intent”, and the shit is happening.
Of course, the Taliban and all misogynist, small-minded folk like that are the absolute pits. And yes, shit is happening for them as well! It’s not all hunky-dory by a long chalk.
The point is, that we (meaning the USA & UK) do not have to act like them. The surest way to prove the justness of your cause is to behave properly. In short,
- Don’t bomb haphazardly killing all in sight with a lame excuse.
- Don’t torture
- Don’t disregard your own laws and international laws of behaviour
Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl might then have a chance.