Ethics Quote of the Week: Ralph Peters on the Bergdahl Fiasco

Obama hugs parents

“This is a fundamental culture clash. Team Obama and its base cannot comprehend the values still cherished by those young Americans “so dumb” they joined the Army instead of going to prep school and then to Harvard. Values such as duty, honor, country, physical courage, and loyalty to your brothers and sisters in arms have no place in Obama World.’

Ralph Peters, a retired army officer and former enlisted man, in the National Review, explaining how it could be that Obama and his advisors actually believed that trading five Taliban terrorists for a likely deserter would bring such universal accalim that the VA scandal would be forgotten and forgiven.

This isn’t even the most memorable quote in Peters’ acid take-down of President Obama and his narrow, politically-stunted staff, especially Susan Rice, and their mad, insulting conduct. That would be this:

“Both President Obama and Ms. Rice seem to think that the crime of desertion in wartime is kind of like skipping class. They have no idea of how great a sin desertion in the face of the enemy is to those in our military. The only worse sin is to side actively with the enemy and kill your brothers in arms. This is not sleeping in on Monday morning and ducking Gender Studies 101.”

Or maybe this…

“In one of the most tone-deaf statements in White House history (we’re making a lot of history here), the national-security advisor, on a Sunday talk show, described Bergdahl as having served “with honor and distinction.” Those serving in uniform and those of us who served previously were already stirred up, but that jaw-dropper drove us into jihad mode. But pity Ms. Rice. Like the president she serves, she’s a victim of her class. Nobody in the inner circle of Team Obama has served in uniform. It shows. That bit about serving with “honor and distinction” is the sort of perfunctory catch-phrase politicians briefly don as electoral armor. (“At this point in your speech, ma’am, devote one sentence to how much you honor the troops.”) I actually believe that Ms. Rice was kind of sincere, in her spectacularly oblivious way. In the best Manchurian Candidate manner, she said what she had been programmed to say by her political culture, then she was blindsided by the firestorm she ignited by scratching two flinty words together. At least she didn’t blame Bergdahl’s desertion on a video.”

Read the whole piece: it is a contemptuous essay, but an accurate and fair one.

[Aside: I wish my friend Ethics Bob would weigh in on this, as a former military man, ethics expert, and individual of integrity. He seems to have suspended his excellent blog (the last post was in July), but maybe this issue will flush him out. As a loyal Democrat, he has shown the President a lot of patience and been willing to extend the benefit of the doubt, and manfully debated my dire assessement of his leadership abilities and competence, both on Ethisc Alarms, and over a lovely dinner. I would be stunned if he defends this, however. And I would be interested if he finally concedes, as the President’s enablers and stubborn supporters have refused to do, that this incident isn’t an aberration or a mistake, but simply the natural, predictable ( I predicted it, so I can say that with confidence) ineptitude of a poor leader who found himself, tragically, in a job he had no skills to fill competently, and lacked the self-awareness and humility to appoint advisors who could help him.]


Pointer: Instapundit

Source: National Review

19 thoughts on “Ethics Quote of the Week: Ralph Peters on the Bergdahl Fiasco

  1. I dunno if this is going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but I think it says something that all the black and liberal (not necessarily one and the same) lawyers in this office are saying Obama blew it on this one, it’s only a matter of to what degree he blew it. Of course the black staff members are still defending their guy and saying this is just a plot to smear him in his last days.

      • Like I said, it’s a pro-wrestling mentality, where it’s very hard for the fan favorites to do wrong. Back in the early-mid- 80s it was just dandy if Jimmy Valiant gave some jobber a thumb in the windpipe or Hulk Hogan throttled Nikolai Volkoff or Junkyard Dog bit someone. Once we all had to admit that Sergeant Slaughter overstepped the bounds when he beat the Iron Sheik with his combat boot and was using foul language on camera, but it had to be pretty extreme. Obama is the ultimate fan fave.

  2. Hmm. I had thought Peters’ crack about Robert Bergdalh’s beard was fairly crummy (although I though the article in general was fair enough), but I can see how some of the things said by Bergdahl the Elder could be interpreted that way. I do think he is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, however.

    But even so, it makes one wonder even more why Team Barry tied its political aspirations to Bowe Bergdahl. It’s mind-boggling. I would have thought the whole thing– the deserter (and traitor?) son, the father who at the very least has some serious delusions about the Taliban, the fact that a number of other veterans died trying to rescue Bergdahl, the fact those men have apparently fallen beneath Team Barry’s radar– would be a huge liability for a bunch of people who have demonstrated they have no scruples about anything as long as it suits their political agendas. But they are so very tone deaf. I mean, this whole thing stinks on the face of it; there is nothing redeeming about any of it. It is simply amazing in a group led by someone who has been so touted as some sort of political genius.

    • This is all desperation, like a teen gross out movie where a bunch of stoned idiots devise a crazy plot to hide the fact that they inadvertently set the school on fire. Really. It has come to this—hare-brained schemes hatched on the fly, with the assumption that the news media and the public will let them get away with anything.

    • The FATHER is suffering from Stochholm Syndrome? The father is an aging, anti-American hippie, I’d say, and a Cindy Sheehan in training. Playing Taliban dress-up does not help his son’s or the President’s cause. Again, if this gang had half a brain among them, they would have told Dad–“Buy a suit and get a shave, and stow the gibberish, or we’ll leave sonny boy right where his is.”

      • Yeah, I meant the father, and actually Cindy Sheehan came to mind when I was thinking and writing about him. I do kind of cut him some slack. I know I would do or say just about anything to anyone to rescue my child from that sort of situation. And I wonder if in the process of doing or saying just about anything to anyone he has become twisted in his outlook and values (hence Stockholm Syndrome). I am bearing in mind I don’t know what he was like before his son was captured, but in any event I think he’s clearly off the rails now– just as Cindy Sheehan started off as a grieving mother and went absolutely insane from both her grief and her being shamefully used and manipulated by people with an agenda. So I am trying to cut him a little slack. I am not unsympathetic to the desperation of a parent.

        But my gist in mentioning him was mostly just an observation along your own lines: there was no way he was ever going to play in Peoria given just the slightest bit of digging into the various Bergdahls’ backgrounds. The whole thing is just repugnant.

  3. Pingback: Lexington Libertarian | Obama Team Has No Concept Of Traditional American And Military Values

      • Completely corrupt, but really GOOD at it. I would straight up trade the Harding administration for this one. Less long term damage.

        • Time and again- and each time more flagrantly than before- this administration and its cronies have not only displayed their utter disconnect with main street America, but their contempt besides. They despise our values and degrade our intelligence, apparently without a second thought. Are they so sure of themselves that they can continue on as they have and escape any accountability? I find this the worrisome aspect of their conduct. Is it just raw arrogance or do they know something big that we don’t and which guarantees their predominance?

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