Since I am a Navy brat, born in military hospital and grew up on military bases during the Cold War through the Vietnam War – I spent a fair amount of my time waiting for the squadrons to return back to their home base from deployment overseas. Very early on we were made aware that not all the P2V that flew missions over China, North Korea and Russia returned from those missions. We only knew by word of mouth about the two missing planes from Navy missions.
The Air Force was flying similar data collection missions. The relevant MIA period for planes shot down during the Cold War period are listed at the link. There were a few cat and mouse encounters that our fathers engaged in while flying missions. None of our fathers gave much information but military brats had our own system of meeting and sharing information. To this day it amazes me how much we really knew about parts of our dad’s jobs. The information was shared kid to kid, during recess with no adults present. We were well trained in the Cold War games that any adult could be the enemy. We often discussed the risks of our fathers jobs. We knew that at least one plane of the type flown by our fathers was listed as MIA. To the children of the men who had front line missions during the Cold War – we knew a different reality.
Before my father retired from the Navy he served aboard an aircraft carrier off of the coast of Vietnam. This was another war and the issue of MIA POW was much larger. From the link above – Vietnam War – 1973 Peace Accords 592 U.S. POWs were returned to the U.S.. The U.S. listed 1,350 as POW or MIAs, 1,200 were killed in action body not recovered. By the 1990s the number was reduced to 2,255 unaccounted for or 4% of th total 58,152 US service members killed. About 80% of the missing were those shot Dow over Vietnam or Laos.
The MIA POW issue became a major bone of contention for some die hards who believed hundreds were left behind by the U.S. Government. Anyone remember the MIA POW flags and bumper stickers? Today there is a facility in Hawaii that identifies remains found in former war fields. The MIA issue is not one sided – 300,000 Vietnamese are MIA. (Not all were soldiers – a great many were civilians.)
So we’re are in another war of choice – hot dogged into a war by chicken hawks who used every deferment possible when they were of draftable age. That would be the Bush/ Cheney Gulf wars for oil. So what about MIA POWs? I mentioned yesterday that this particular war was significance because of the lack of POWs. The one the only one who was traded for US held POWs is highly significant. The rules of war have changed. The oil barons side held hundreds of POWs some at public locations and some at top secret locations. The U.S. engaged in rendition flights moving POWs all over the globe. Torture was contracted out or done in house. This was a war on terror – so apparently no rules apply or new rules apply.
Anyway the lone U.S. POW has been traded and the GOP has gone rabid. As yet I don’t have enough information. The Wikipedia entry:
“On July 1, 2009, US Army soldier SGT (then a PFC) Bowe Robert Bergdahl, 23, of Ketchum, Idaho, was declared missing, which was later changed to captured on July 3 of that year. A video was shown of him on July 18, 2009 indicating that he had been captured. A second video was released on December 25, 2009, again showing him in captivity. On April 7, 2010, the Taliban released a third video of Bergdahl in captivity. In the new video Bergdahl has a full head of hair, a beard and pleads for the release of Afghan prisoners that are held in Guantanamo and Bagram. On May 31, 2014, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that SGT Bergdahl was recovered by a U.S. Special Forces unit in conjunction with an exchange of five Taliban detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention center. The effort was completed with the assistance of the Emir of Qatar.”
The war hawks are complaining that they weren’t informed and that the bad guys traded will just continue their evil ways – seeing how they were treated so well as guests of the U.S. Government. The bad guys are supposed to stay in Qatar for a year. One thing about wars – they didn’t end on the battlefield but rather through diplomatic negotiations. That little fact surprised me. Even if the enemy is beaten down there is still a meeting of representatives – for instance on the deck of a battleship was where the formal surrender of Japan by the Emperor took place. That’s when there were rules for war – but I don’t that that the old rules apply anymore. New rule book – secret of course.
As a born and raised in the military civilian aka military brat, I very much understand the military mind set. We knew during the Cold War – those of us who had family members on the front line that if our dad’s plane went down there would be no recovery. Military brats – the ones I knew whose fathers flew the same missions – we knew that the Navy would not allow the enemy to recover the aircraft or crew if they crashed in the ocean. That was a different time and a different war. The Bush/Cheney/Obama war legacy is putrid. My guess is that the way the U.S. military high command ran the war signed the death warrants for who knows how many military and civilians in the war zone. I’m going to keep asking – why only one POW in Afghanistan? And that one is being tarred and feathered by hysterical war supporters. The nerve of that guy – to be still alive. The response of the chicken hawks is covering up something else they don’t want us to notice. Compare the POW MIA numbers of the various wars. Chicken hawks.
Additional links & notes
Headline reads – Conservative bloggers were for Bergdahl release until Obama did it.
Bat shit crazy Conservative wing nuts are like mentally ill children who go into a full blown temper tantrums when their sibling gets attention for saving the cat who climbed a tree and can’t get down.
So the GOP is behind the sh#t storm regarding the release of Bergdahl. Innocent until proven otherwise. Hell not if you are the GOP wingnutter. Don’t you guys realize that you are all being used by chicken hawks AGAIN? Now I may not like Obama’s lack of leadership or the fact that he is a dirty Chicago politician. But occasionally he does something right. Getting the POW – the ONLY POW back is a step in growing up. He is still an anti Constitutional kind of guy. He is still owned by Wall Street con men. He is still owned by the military industrial spy complex. The GOP is just plain old rabid raccoon nuts in their rabid hatred of anyone not marching in lock step with their warped world view.
Off topic – but this interview with Paul Craig Roberts is important. He comes from another era and another direction and yet I can agree with much of what he says. Especially his observations of how the Obama administration harassed and took down Cecily McMillan and the Occupy movement.
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