The second I saw Bob and Jani Bergdahl in the Rose Garden, I knew nothing good was going to come from Bob’s appearance. However, I absolutely did not expect the reaction the nation has had — especially since when CNN began commenting on the news right after the announcement, everything was so positive. So what changed?
Well, there’s the so-called “pro-Taliban” tweets, including this one:
Oh, total terrorist sympathizer. Or, you know, just someone who doesn’t support the war we’re having, or the human rights violations by foreign agencies occurring in Afghanistan. Someone who doesn’t support Guantanamo Bay and all of its (not so) grey areas of legality (something I’m sure Mos Def would say is rational). Someone who, as a parent of a captured child, can relate to and feel empathy for the thousands of dead Afghan civilians — and yes, that number includes dead children.
Are these the people you want to agree with? People who act like a POW is a terrorist because after 5 years he can’t remember English? People who think that Afghan children aren’t important? People who criticize the BEARD of the father of a prisoner of war who has spent YEARS worried about and trying to save him? People who think speaking Arabic makes you a terrorist?
Maybe the Bergdahls do hate America. I don’t know, and I don’t pretend to know. But I do know that I have traveled the Middle East, studied Arabic, and I even own a hijab. I am ashamed and embarrassed by the way our nation has handled our policies and wars; and I am even more embarrassed by the American public’s lack of understanding in the cultures we choose to dominate. I support the closure of Guantanamo Bay, and the release of those that we cannot prove are an actual threat through legal means. Why? Because I believe in the freedoms and ideals that America should represent — and I don’t think people’s rights to life and liberty are less valid because of the language they speak or the color of their skin.
I’ll be damned if you think I’m anti-American just because I don’t have blind support and patriotism. But just in case you think that, let me leave you with some images that might change your mind when it comes to judging Bob Bergdahl’s tweets and sympathies.
Yeah. What an asshole, feeling bad for those kids. For feeling a connection to those across the world (for people who are actually interested in following his Twitter, he doesn’t only sympathize with victims in Afghanistan) whose children have been lost to war.