Patriot games

For your consideration

editorial@sierrastar.comJune 17, 2014 

In 1985 Ronald Reagan and General Ollie North sold 1,500 missiles to a state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, in exchange for three American hostages. Reagan negotiated with terrorists, broke the sanctions and arms embargo and violated the Constitution (tinyurl.com/reagan-iran).

Bush and Cheney released 532 detainees from Guantanamo. According to the U.S. intelligence agency, about 171 re-engaged in the fight against the U.S. How many Americans died because of that? (tinyurl.com/bushrelease).

George Bush gave a speech saying: "No nation can negotiate with terrorists, for there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death." Then he negotiated with the Abu Sayyaf terror network, paying them $300,000 for the release of American missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham (tinyurl.com/bush-paid-terrorists).

On Feb. 18, John McCain explained that he was now "inclined to support" a proposal that would release the men — five Guantanamo prisoners — in exchange for Bergdahl. Other outspoken champions for Bergdahl's rescue then were Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Rich Nugent (R-FL), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.), along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressing the military credo that no member of the armed forces missing or captured should be left behind. Now they sing a different tune.

Obama makes the swap with their urging and now he is unpatriotic. He placed national security at risk. He violated the Constitution. They call for his impeachment. Gotcha. If this manufactured fiasco is authentic, then why have Reagan and Bush been conveniently exempted?

The best commentary that sums up the GOP's reaction to Bergdahl is in the headline: Ronald Reagan gave Iran 1,500 Missiles for Hostages. Obama trades five guys? GOP heads explode. What's more appropriate is Bush lied us into the Iraq war, resulting in 6,600 Americans dead and over 60,000 wounded. Obama trades five guys? GOP heads explode.

If the intent of this political hypocrisy is still not yet obvious, consider this. What if Obama agreed that Bergdahl is a deserter and abandoned him? How would FOX and Republicans characterize this? Would attacks on Obama turn to praise? Would this have burnished Obama's patriotic credentials? Would the GOP laud him for making tough decisions? Would Republicans commend him for being strong on national security? Would FOX, right wing radio and Republicans consider Obama's actions unimpeachable? I think you know the answer. This is a definition of a no-win situation.

Tweets about Bergdahl were very supportive until FOX gave their color commentary and Republican leaders did a 180. Tweets by the very same people turned vicious. As with Bergdahl, FOX, certain Republican leaders and right wing media celebrities frequently play patriot games that fuel hate, viciousness, anti-government sentiment, and anti-social behavior.

Sept. 24, 2013, Ted Cruz cites Neville Chamberlain as a Nazi appeaser and equates it to not revolting against Obamacare. Really? Nazi domination and the holocaust is equivalent to Obamacare?

"I think the time is right to reinstate the American Revolution" — Mark Levin at Americans for Prosperity.

"Barack Obama's comrades, yeah that's right. All over, the federal government has hijacked the institutions of government and is now turning them on the people" — Mark Levin, Feb. 20, 2014.

"You have a revolution when people feel invisible. When people feel invisible they go for their guns" — Glenn Beck.

"We are getting to a place where our government is controlling much more of what we say, what we do. Under normal circumstances, we would actually have a massive revolt in this country right now" — Dinesh D'Souza.

"We are now the radicals, we are now the revolutionaries ... We have to start looking for ways to short-circuit things …" — Glenn Beck.

And the people listened. Cliven Bundy, law breaker and tax cheat elevated to patriot, and defender of the Constitution by FOX, brandishes weapons aimed at federal agents. Jerad and Amanda Miller kill two police officers, draped officer Beck with the signature Tea Party Gadsden "Don't tread on me" flag and pins a note on officer Soldo saying, "This is the beginning of the revolution."

Patriot games and rhetoric have consequences. Those responsible are quick to dismiss their culpability saying these are just a few bad apples much like the NRA arguments about Sandy Hook, which since then has seen 74 more few "bad apple" school shootings.

Sure the patriot and revolution mongers didn't pull the trigger. It was the voices in their heads that told them to do it. But who put those voices in their heads?

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