Sunday, April 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

A soldier’s story still in search of an ending

By
From page A7 | June 12, 2014 |

With all the news, conjecture and debate over the release of a U.S. soldier held captive by the Taliban for five years, it is amazing how quickly many Americans are willing to accept a particular “truth.”

I would suggest we wait and see how this plays out – a lesson that was brilliantly taught in a theater and movie production about another “soldier’s story.”

If you’ve never seen the 1984 film, “A Soldier’s Story,” which was directed by the great Norman Jewison, I highly recommend it, especially as you ponder the capture and release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, which has this country embroiled in yet another vicious political fight.

Based on Charles Fuller’s Pulitzer-winning drama, “A Soldier’s Play,” the story opens with a sergeant on his knees shouting, “They still hate you” just before he’s shot to death.

Because it is set in Louisiana in 1944, in and around an Army base where black troops are being trained, the first speculation is that the Ku Klux Klan had murdered the African-American sergeant, or perhaps some other racists in a town that didn’t want the “Negro” soldiers there.

With an Army lawyer appointed to investigate, the story takes several turns, including throwing suspicion on some white officers on the base who had contempt for the sergeant.

By the end of the play/movie, the audience learns the truth, and it’s quite different from what many had thought at the beginning.

Let me suggest that the real-life solider story of Bergdahl that is being played out in the media, in Congress and across the country has just reached the Act II, Scene 1 stage. There is still much more to be told; much more to learn.

There are those who speculate that Bergdahl, who had left his post in Afghanistan without permission, was a deserter and that he even may have been trying to hook up with the Taliban.

Boosted by some of his former comrades, there are accusations that Bergdahl’s disappearance is directly responsible for the deaths of at least six other soldiers during the search for him.

That claim is unsubstantiated, as demonstrated in a carefully researched story in The New York Times.

And Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said that he knows of no “specific circumstance or details of U.S. soldiers dying as a result of efforts to find and rescue Bergdahl.”

And yet that narrative persists as reporters and talk-show hosts interview others from Bergdahl’s unit and the parents of soldiers who allegedly were killed while on patrol looking for him.

I suppose it is fine to argue whether the Obama administration should have authorized a trade of five Taliban leaders being held at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the American soldier’s release. Or whether it was wrong for the president to take any action without first consulting Congress, regardless of the urgency or security risks.

Perhaps it is natural to speculate about what should happen to Bergdahl after he returns home, what danger the released Taliban might pose to this country and whether or not we should even care about a soldier who may have questioned our nation’s role in the Afghanistan war.

As with most things these days in America, people are choosing their sides based on their political idealogy: Democrats on one side, Republicans on the other.

If there’s an opportunity to blame Obama for anything, you can bet Republicans will do that.

If there’s an opportunity to accuse the GOP leadership of demagoguery, you can be assured the Democrats will make that charge.

It’s just a shame that either side would use this American soldier’s ordeal to try to score political points, particularly since we don’t know the full story yet.

Let me suggest that everybody ease off — at least until we’ve seen Act III of this “soldier’s story.”

Bob Ray Sanders is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Readers may write to him at: 400 W. 7th Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102, or via email at [email protected]

Bob Ray Sanders

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • mike kirchubelJune 12, 2014 - 7:46 am

    Thanks for the well thought out column, even though you tried to prove your neutrality at the end using a false equivalence. The reason the right wing continually rushes to judgement before the facts are in is because facts get in the way of their sound bite pronouncements. By the time the facts become available, they are ringing the alarm bells on another trumped up impeachable offense and the Fox dogs are salivating over fresh meat.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • smwieserJune 13, 2014 - 9:41 am

    Thank you for stating that one of the reasons this young man needs to be heard is he did do his military service and he deserves to be given a fair hearing. What is the saying " he did fight for America"s freedoms ". He should have the benefit of using them. I don't care about the political BS, I do care about our young people being treated as disposable objects. I am tired of justice system being tried in the media. That is not justice.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895June 13, 2014 - 11:36 am

    And if it's so important to "try him" in any event, we have to get him home first.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Children enjoy day of fishing at Fairfield pond

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano cities celebrate Earth Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Hard-fought battle ends in victory

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Those addictive, terrible, wonderful smartphones

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Expo shows Kroc Center fun for whole Framily

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Edibles in your landscape

By Daily Republic | From Page: C4

CHP offers free class for senior drivers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Supervisors consider changes in various county fees

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

Suisun police execute tobacco sting

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
Covered California offers Solano enrollment events

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Patrons raise a glass to toast a good cause

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Walk MS hits stride along Suisun waterfront

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Weather for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Be wary of next ‘big’ thing

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

Pay close attention to investment costs

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

With legalization, lawyers turn to business of pot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Remains of dismembered newborn found in South Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Starbucks stores reopen Saturday after computer glitch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Nearly 17 million watch Jenner interview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
‘Operation Babylift’ kids, soldiers reunite 40 years later

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Aden hit by coalition airstrikes amid fierce street battles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Mother in custody dispute freed after 8 years behind bars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italy marks 70th anniversary of anti-Nazi uprising

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

European authorities stop illegal horse meat network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italian navy rescues 274 from migrant ship off Libyan coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Army shutting down wounded warrior transition care units

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Warrior pose: Yoga catching on as therapy for veterans’ PTSD

By The Washington Post | From Page: B10

Toll climbs after powerful quake hits Nepal: Things to Know

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

How can we give them more?

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

 
Primary challenge could force Harris’ hand

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Sound off for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Corruption tarnishes values of our ancestors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Obama sides with enemy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 6 Comments

Who’s asleep at the switch?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Today in history: Sunday, April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Brides show short wedding gowns more of the love

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Community Calendar: April 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Vatican goes on offensive to defend US-Spanish saint

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
You get what you need with Jesus

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3, 2 Comments

 
How can I trust my husband after he texted a younger woman behind my back?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

Horoscope: April 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
Veterinarians are too expensive, and it puts pets at risk

By The Washington Post | From Page: C5

Old standby body-weight training still has moves

By The Washington Post | From Page: C7

 
Milan spiffs up for Expo 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: C7

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
More copies of Laura Ingalls Wilder memoir being printed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Amber Tamblyn writes book of poetry about dead actresses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Giants beat Rockies 5-4 in 11 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors complete sweep with 109-98 win over Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Athletics drop 3rd straight game, 9-3 to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Rain postpones NASCAR race at Richmond until Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bulldogs get 10-0 baseball win over Panthers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Canadian teen Henderson has 1-shot lead in LPGA Tour event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Klitschko outpoints Jennings to defend heavyweight titles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Michael Schumacher’s son makes strong Formula 4 debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US routs Canada 7-2 in semifinal at under-18 hockey worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Watford back in Premier League after 8-year absence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Several Kentucky Derby hopefuls get workouts in before rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Levy falters at Volvo China Open; 4 tied for lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former Expos executive Jim Fanning dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam team to lead Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Compton, Day top leaderboard in rain-plagued Zurich Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suzuki breaks Oh’s record for runs by a Japanese player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
A’s place Ben Zobrist on disabled list with knee injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

7 players from Royals, White Sox punished by MLB for brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Hometown report: Bicycle racing, youth track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Bowling report for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Bayless’ layup at buzzer gives Bucks 92-90 win over Bulls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Nets beat Hawks 91-83, pull within 2-1 in series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Grizzlies hold off a late Trail Blazers rally to go up 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Sports on TV for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

 
This date in sports history for April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Veggies take center plate as healthy fast food chains expand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
What’s in a hotel name? Guests try to decipher the mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Is ice cream safe? Federal health officials say yes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
Don’t panic, college seniors: Jobs for grads likely to grow

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

Elizabeth Cepeda

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Janis Ruth (Sefzik) Skinner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Nicole Herdia Spann

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Reginald Morris Davis

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Kirk Noonan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sandra King

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics