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Lettter: Ineffectual leadership

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  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 3, 2014 12:26 a.m.

    Much better to have sold them 1500 missiles in exchange for hostages, like our great leader Reagan did with Iran.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    June 3, 2014 2:59 a.m.

    Glad to know you have access to classified Government information and/or a crystal ball, so you can tell us that President Obama, over the course of 5 years, did not exhaust all other possible ways to get the Sargent back.

    Most of the folks who are knocking President Obama's leadership are the folks that swallowed the Bush/Cheney/Oil Establishment's flimsy excuse to go into Irag, destroying the country, nearly bankrupting the USA, killing hundreds of thousands, etc -- all resulting in the muslim world hating us and Iraq being a mess.

    Leadership is not necessarily showy, except in cowboy movies. The world has gotten way too complex for simple answers. This President is imperfect, but the tasks he can complete without Congress have been done well.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    June 3, 2014 3:09 a.m.

    The man has been in captivity for 5 years despite the military's best efforts to recover him. What alternatives remained to be exhausted? Then the letter tosses in two complete non sequiturs with zero impact on whether he was recovered or not.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 3, 2014 4:33 a.m.

    " . . . a true leader would exhaust every method of bringing the captured home before even considering a trade with the enemy . . . "

    Really?

    Then apparently George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and Dwight Eisenhower were not true leaders.

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    June 3, 2014 5:47 a.m.

    I highly doubt Eric has done any research regarding the methods employed toward rescuing Sergeant Bergdahl. But hey, as long as we can take shots at the president, who needs integrity?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 3, 2014 5:57 a.m.

    "...but a true leader would exhaust every method of bringing the captured home before even considering a trade with the enemy."

    ========

    Like what?

    Navy Seals?
    Commando's?
    Arms for Hostages?
    A million man invasion, 13 years of occupation, 6,000 additional American deaths, another $4 Trillion?
    Pretty Please, with sugar on it?

    How about every option WAS "considered", rather than jumping completely off the uber-far-right-wing answer for everything and say "exhausted".

    That sort extreme hyperbole is AM radio at it's finest.

    FYI --
    I guess that makes our Founding Father George Washington was an ineffectual leader,
    because he traded Prisoners of War all the time...

  • An American Living in Germany Wiesbaden, 00
    June 3, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    So...any suggestions as to what he should have done instead?

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    June 3, 2014 7:02 a.m.

    Which methods did he fail to exhaust?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 3, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    The DN is reporting today that six soldiers have been killed trying to rescue this soldier. So my question to you is would you rather have six more Americans killed or just give them back five of their own local leaders (yes bad guys and killers, but local), as we exit?

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    The INS defines a citizen as one who is entitled to the protection of the United States. It does not place restrictions on when that right can be forfeit.

    He was and is a citizen. The circumstances leading to his capture are irrelevant in that regard.

    However, an investigation into the details of his capture is fully warranted. And if it turns out he was a deserter, he deserves to be treated as such; but not until due process is done.

    He has to have remained in some kind of positive standing with the Army. He was promoted (twice!) while he was in custody. If he had been labeled a deserter he would not have had that honor.

    I for one, am glad that the United States did what it needed to do to protect one of its citizens. What would be more American than to secure his release, and then determine his guilt (if any) in a court of law, or more likely in his case, a Court Martial?

    If you are against his return, what would you have told his father? If this were your son, what would you have wanted done?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    Had the guy stayed in Taliban control, would he have been a tool of propaganda, whether willingly or not?

    You don't know what was done and not. Amazing how people want to take cheap shots at the President just because it's emotionally satisfying.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    Good intentions?
    Eric, you are giving BO more credit than he deserves.

    I only hope there were discreet radio transmitters implanted in these guys.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    So apparently Lincoln, FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower weren't good leaders because they all did prisoner exchanges.

    Also, how does Eric know that all alternatives hadn't been exhausted?

    Oh yeah, because Obama is the president and heaven forbid the radical right give him any credit.

    Even when Obama saves American troops the right must complain and criticize. How about folks like Eric send this troop back to the Taliban and explain to his family that they'd rather have American troops in the Taliban's custody than to give President Obama credit for anything.

    Sheesh!

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    It is always good to get an American back from enemy hands no matter what he may have done to get into trouble in the first place. His conduct needs to be investigated and if he deserted, he needs to be punished. But it seems to me that this was not a good trade. 5 terrorists for 1 soldier? Couldn't we have gotten a better deal than that?

    It seems to me that the cost was too high for this trade to make any sense. Surely, other Americans and innocent Afghans will die from this action. It puts more Americans at risk of capture when terrorists know we will pay a high price to get them back.

    This trade seems purely political. Some of the criticism from the other side is political as well, but there are some very troubling concerns about this deal.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    My view is that they should have given ALL of the remaining prisoners at Gitmo (save the big 5 who will eventually go to trial) to get our guy back and solved two problems at once.

  • Lowonoil Clearfield, UT
    June 3, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    President Obama merely added one word to the beginning of his predecessor's foreign policy doctrine.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 3, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    On leadership ability to get something for things you already plan to do...

    Maybe President Obama should have used something else he already planned to do as a bargaining chip.

    He should have dangled the possibility of removing all US troops from Afghanistan. That's something the Taliban wants more than anything. He should have sent a negotiator over there and say... If you give us one person... we will remove ALL US troops from Afghanistan.

    Instead.. he announced we would be removing all US troops (with nothing in exchange).

    Then a few weeks later we give up 5 high value Taliban prisoners to get one US prisoner.

    It's possible BOTH were things the President was going to do anyway (for nothing).

    He's been trying for 6 years to release ALL the prisoners in Guantanamo and close it. Might as well get SOMETHING for these 5... if you already plan to release ALL of them for nothing!

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 3, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    Obama did it, so it must be wrong. Whatever it is.

  • UT Brit London, England
    June 3, 2014 1:42 p.m.

    Obama could wipe out half the US population by saying he really enjoys breathing and thinks that everyone should breathe. Has he been labeled as a WMD?

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    Is there any shortcoming or failure, alleged or real, in domestic or foreign policy, which has not been blamed on Obama. This already got old and boring years ago.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    June 3, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    "He should have dangled the possibility of removing all US troops from Afghanistan. That's something the Taliban wants more than anything."

    No serious negotiator would ever trade a strategic policy for a tactical objective. Ever. For one thing, no Taliban commander would take such an offer seriously. For another, why would anyone want others to believe that the US is willing to take such a skewed negotiation position? Even if it conforms to the plan the US intends to announce anyway, it sets a horrible precedent and tells our enemies that we're willing to make major military and foreign policy changes for the sake of an individual soldier. And finally, we are not removing all troops from Afghanistan, but leaving 10,000 in country for the time being.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    June 3, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    UT Brit: "Obama could wipe out half the US population by saying he really enjoys breathing and thinks that everyone should breathe."

    And I guess if GWB said the same thing, then the other half would also be wiped out and you Brits could have your colonies back, right?

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    June 3, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    nonceleb: "Is there any shortcoming or failure, alleged or real, in domestic or foreign policy, which has not been blamed on Obama. This already got old and boring years ago."

    Yes it was old and boring when all the liberals were doing the same thing to Bush. I guess if the conservatives had to endure it when the shoe was on the other foot, liberals shouldn't complain too much. Of course, it is completely different when it is the far-left hero who is being criticized, right?

  • UT Brit London, England
    June 3, 2014 5:38 p.m.

    @JoeCapitalist2

    I was in the US during GWBs reign, oh he had people comparing him to Hitler but I never saw such huge opposition to every single thing he did. Just look at the backlash over Michelle saying kids should exercise and eat healthily. You could almost hear the republicans strapping down their kids and funnelling lard down their throats in response.

    Never have I seen such division and pettiness. Oh the colony thing didnt work out so well, I personally dont want them back.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 4, 2014 5:46 a.m.

    Eric.... you actually know what was and wasn't tried? Please do share then.... I am taking it from this reading your information has it that this was the very first attempt at getting this soldier back. You seem to have some deep connection to information as to what didn't happen... please do tell...

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 4, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    nonceleb,
    Is there any shortcoming or failure,in domestic or foreign policy, for which BO has been responsible that the left has not denied, tried to blame on bush, or tried to rationalize away? This already got old and boring years ago.