Monday, January 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 bobray@star-telegram.com.

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

Teen finds entrepreneurial path at young age

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Time for Relay for Life kickoff event

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Suisun Senior Center offers monthly dance

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
 
Wedding Faire offers one-stop browsing for couples

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Crab feed tradition continues this week

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Local government agencies post meeting times

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Fairfield schedules workshop on downtown plan

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
.

US / World

 
Millions of GMO insects could be released in Florida Keys

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US gas prices fell 13 cents per gallon, but expected to rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
2 Marines identified in deadly California helicopter crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Santa Ana winds knock out power to thousands in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Boy shot by Los Angeles deputies treated for graze wound

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Obama to seek wilderness designation for Alaska refuge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ukraine: Phone calls prove rebels attacked city, killed 30

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Zambia: Edgar Lungu sworn in as new president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Greek radical left wins election, threatening market turmoil

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Potentially historic’ storm headed for Northeast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Balloon crew launches in bid to break 2 major records

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Obama: Counterterrorism operations in Yemen not affected

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Zoo offers creepy way for lovelorn to get even with exes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Opinion

Democracy or republic?

By Earl Heal | From Page: A8, 7 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 26, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Do elected officials get it?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 7 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Jan. 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Jan. 26, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscope Jan. 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
My sister is jobless and homeless and I’m not sure how to help

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
Horoscope Jan. 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Miss Colombia crowned Miss Universe in Miami

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

‘Birdman’ tops SAG Awards, Redmayne upsets Keaton

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Complete list of winners at 21st annual SAG Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Curry leads Warriors to 19th straight home win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Serena Williams to meet Cibulkova in Aussie Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Watt gets 2 turnovers, dances in friendly Pro Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Tavares scores 4, Team Toews outscores Team Foligno, 17-12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Chip Ganassi Racing’s ‘star car’ wins Rolex 24 at Daytona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots’ Browner gets a 2nd chance at a Super Bowl ring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Family attorney: Cubs great Ernie Banks died of heart attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bill Haas pulls away to win Humana Challenge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jeff Gordon to be Fox guest analyst during XFINITY season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sherman doubts any punishment ahead for Patriots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Source: Browns WR Josh Gordon fails another drug test

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP Interview: Selig says MLB could expand internationally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Coach K gets 1,000th win as No. 5 Duke tops St. John’s 77-68

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Quinn has led Seattle to record-setting defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Thomas Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Don Johnson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 7 Comments

.

Comics

Sally Forth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C. Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Word Sleuth Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Crossword Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7