He Should Have Lived in 2014
While I was in Myanmar, part of my transformation related to the literary battle between George Orwell and Rudyard Kipling. Orwell's position was that Kipling was the "prophet of British Imperialism" or what we would call racism. Orwell in 1984 wrote, "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." What rattles me is that while many Americans read 1984, many of them merely see it as some sci-fi novel about Big Brother running the world. Since that was 30-years ago, it seems to many as merely an interesting anachronism. However, 1984 and 'telling the truth is a revolutionary act' is modus operandi in Washington and throughout the States.
Case in point, the Bowe Bergdahl situation. Bergdahl was released by the Afghani Taliban in May of 2014. Everyone seemed happy that we got the last prisoner of war from that country as we are pulling out having accomplished our purpose of getting bin Laden. Starting with President Obama, everyone, Republicans and Democrats, were celebrating.
Then some soldiers in Bergdahl's unit said that he had deserted by merely walking away from their base camp. Then there were additional reports claiming that the Taliban fighters killed a half dozen or more soldiers as they attempted to find him.
Others were irate with Obama for not giving them a 30-day notice about this transfer of five Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl. The president explained the reasons for the prisoner swap. Among the reasons were that he was the only American POW still held by the Taliban, there were medical reasons regarding Bergdahl's health, and fear that Bergdahl would be killed if the press found out about it before the prisoner swap had occurred.
In addition, Obama has a closed-door intelligence briefing regarding the information that the government had on June 10. This presentation to the senators explained why he did what he had done regarding the prisoner swap.
Enter George Orwell.
We have a situation where all was well at the beginning of Bergdahl's release, and then it shifts to all is not well. Then the government presents evidence for why it did the prisoner swap. The radical right still maintains its disapproving stand. While the republicans maintain that they would not accept the explanation, what is interesting is that they would have blamed Obama if the Taliban killed Bergdahl or that he died due to health related issues because the president did not respond quickly.
There is a very interesting segment in the Rachel Maddow Show regarding the prisoner swap.
The first part of the video contains Maddow's analysis, which is very good by showing the flip-flopping of the republicans. In the latter part of the video, Sen. Chris Murphy, who is a democrat from Connecticut on the Foreign Relations Committee, discusses how republicans can approve the swap, disapproves of the swap, and then would have been as critical of Obama had something happened to Bergdahl. They think that they can have it any way they can address the issue: pro, anti, and critical if Bergdahl died in the meantime.
While Orwell was correct about how 1984 mindset affects America, it is equally true how it affects other countries wishing for independence like Scotland, Myanmar, and Ukraine. Forrest Gump's mother always said, "Stupid is as stupid does."
Visit the Burma Independence page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Scottish Independence page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Ukraine page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Stupid is As Stupid Does page to read more about this topic.