It is a great movie – Lone Survivor. I sat on the edge of my seat and watched in horror as the events unfold, this Navy Seal fighting for his life against a group of Taliban fighters and the tremendous obstacles he faced trying to stay alive. Out of the four Navy Seals who ventured out on this special mission, only one survived and he survived only because of the help of an Afghan villager.
The movie is based on true events. The lone survivor is a Navy Seal named Marcus Luttrell and the Afghan who helped save his life is Mohammad Gulab.
Mohammad Gulab’s ordeal began in 2005, when Marcus Luttrell and three fellow Navy SEALs were ambushed by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. A fierce fight left three dead and Luttrell, the only American survivor, with a broken back and several shrapnel wounds. Luttrell credits Gulab with saving his life, as the Afghan brought the wounded soldier into his home and protected him from the Taliban until US reinforcements arrived.
The scene was depicted in the 2013 movie “Lone Survivor.” Luttrell was also a friend of Chris Kyle, the subject of the new record-smashing movie “American Sniper,” and went through sniper training with him.
Yet although Gulab’s heroism has been depicted on the big screen, life has reportedly been hard for him since saving Luttrell. He has had to leave his hometown and hide from the Taliban, and at one point, he was reportedly attacked and shot in the leg.
Now he wants to come to America, where he believes he will be safer, but his lawyer tells FoxNews.com that bureaucracy is making the process difficult and slow. Gulab has said Luttrell offered to help him obtain a green card, but the relationship between the two men appears to have become strained while Gulab was visiting the US last year for the premiere of “Lone Survivor.” When contacted by FoxNews.com, Lutrell declined to comment on Gulab or his bid for asylum.
Three year old Cooper hadn’t seen his mom in over 9 months because of her military service in Afghanistan. But after seeing his mother Kathryn Waldvogel getting into full formation waiting to be discharged, Cooper just couldn’t wait another second. The three-year old ran towards his mother, causing her to break formation – something that is not advised by the military.
“All of a sudden we had to file into the building and get into formation, and I just look up and Cooper and my mom are right there,” Waldvogel said.
I’m sure the military would let this one slide.
At this point, the only relevant question I can think of asking in the tale of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is this: If he was the son of a member of the U.S. Congress, would anybody be questioning his patriotism? Perhaps in this hyper-partisan atmosphere we have the answer might be yes, but I doubt it.
As more details emerge about Sgt. Bergdahl’s captivity, it’s becoming clearer to me that a large swath of our citizenry simply has not learned the lessons of the past and is too ready to jump on anything negative in a person’s background to deny them basic human rights. Yes, he had a habit of wandering when he shouldn’t have and, yes, U.S. soldiers were killed trying to find him. It is a tragedy that those soldiers died and their families have every right to be angry over the circumstances of their deaths. That should never have happened. This kind of thing happens in war. That’s why I hate it.
The worst, unfortunately, is yet to come. Sgt. Bergdahl will come home to a town and country that is deeply divided over whether he should have even been freed, much less traded for five suspected terrorists. He will be called terrible names in person and in the media by those who believe that they are the country’s moral arbiters. I have one word for them: Vietnam.
Last week I took my classes to the New Jersey Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. It’s a trip that’s become a yearly ritual at my school, and this year it was even more valuable because it provided some historical relevance in light of Sgt. Bergdahl’s story. Vietnam veterans lead all of the tours and are available for discussion, question and answer periods, and explanations of some of the exhibits at the memorial and education center. To a man, and they were all men, they recounted their experiences as soldiers returning to a divided country in the 1960s and 1970s. They told us about being called baby killers, village burners, Nazis, fascists and murderers. They were young men, some who were drafted and some who enlisted, who saw it as their duty to fight for their country, and their country turned their back on them. Today, they are kind, thoughtful men who are proud to be grandfathers and are happy to tell the younger generation about their experiences.
I thought of Bowe Bergdahl. Not the Sergeant; just the young man, and what he faces in the near future. For the Vietnam veterans there was some strength in numbers. Bowe Bergdahl will face the country alone. John McCain met President Nixon as a hero. I hope that President Obama sticks to his position and does the same for Bergdahl. Yes, he made a terrible mistake which became a tragedy for some of his fellow soldiers. But to hang this whole tragedy on him would be a terrible mistake. Let’s hope that we haven’t forgotten the lessons of 40 years ago.
President Obama arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday for an unannounced visit with U.S. troops, officials said.
The President landed at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan at about 8:15 p.m. local time (11:45 a.m. ET).
Air Force One had secretly left Washington from Andrews Air Force Base under cover of darkness at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday night.
This is the fourth trip of Obama’s presidency and the first since May 2012, when he visited the Presidential Palace and made an address to the nation.
Others traveling with the president included National Security Adviser Susan Rice, plus advisers Dan Pfeiffer, Ben Rhodes and John Podesta, whose son is currently serving in Afghanistan. Country music star Brad Paisley also joined the group, and will perform for troops during the visit.
A pool of White House reporters and photographers accompanied the president under the strict condition that they not report on the trip until authorized, due to security considerations.
Obama was scheduled to spend just a few hours on the base and had no plans to travel to Kabul, the capital, to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has had a tumultuous relationship with the White House.
Have you ever wondered how to curb, or even merge violent crime prisoners here in the U.S. prison system back into a form of societal life? Have you ever heard of the movie, The Dirty Dozen? In 1967, an awesome war movie enlisted or drafted violent, life-sentence type prisoners into the Army during World War II to fight against the German war machine. It featured some of the greatest actors of that time such as Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine and living legend Hall of Fame Football running back, Jim Brown.
The premise of the movie was to take these violent criminals from prison, train them to become soldiers and send them into battle, supervised of course by a US Army Major. The goal was to get the best out of these hardened criminals.
At any rate, that’s what the U.S. could do with these prisoners here in our jails. They seem not to mind violence so why not establish a real-life “Dirty Dozen” squadron of soldiers. Put them right in the middle of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and all of the hot spots around the world. Send the violent offenders that are condemned, those on a life sentence, the rapist and extreme violent gang members that have been reeking havoc here in the States. With that, prisons would be freed up of violent offenders and would be filled with more of your “white collar” criminals instead.
Just last week, a member of Congress was thinking about re-introducing the notion of a Draft again. Really? With the dangers all over the world right now, terrorists are ready and violence are on our borders due to the drug war. Why would we even want to consider a Draft? There is another alternative, a deterrent that may work in our favor instead of the dreaded Draft.
Think about it. With violent criminals who are currently imprisoned fighting these wars on behalf of the United States, our sons and daughters would not be on the front lines. Those that seem to enjoy “killing” and violence without remorse would be risking their lives instead.
And they’re already on ‘death row’ or serving ‘life sentences’ anyway. It’s a win-win situation. Problem solved. Prison over crowding, solved. Those that commit violent crimes now would know their punishment – terminal life sentence in the Army or in the Marines. Believe me, I think these guys would have a totally different perspective when someone else is shooting back at them.
Following his meeting with President Hamid Karzai, President Obama used his weekly address to update the American people on how we will end the war in Afghanistan, and how our goal of ensuring that al Qaeda never again uses Afghanistan to launch attacks against America is within reach. The war will be over by the end of next year, and we must now focus on the task of rebuilding America, strengthening our economy, and supporting our brave troops and veterans, and the President is confident we can meet these challenges by working together as a nation.
Over the last few weeks, some strange events have happened in Afghanistan. Just a couple of weeks ago, there was the accidental burning of the Quran by American troops, an act that increased an already tensed situation in the country between Afghans and American soldiers and caused the president of the United States to issue an apology. Now, we hear the story of an American soldier who opened fire on Afghan civilians, killing at least 16 men, women and children.
Although an initial report suggests that the soldier involved in the shooting went “crazy,” that wasn’t the first thought that came to my mind. Although my reasoning may seemed a bit far fetched, consider this for a moment: the war in Afghanistan is in its final phase and is coming to an end. With the war in Iraq already brought to a successful conclusion, ending this unpopular conflict in Afghanistan would boost president Obama’s favorable ratings among a war-wary American public.
In the middle of an election year with an economy moving in the right direction and with a Republican opposition party determined to make sure this president fails, would it really be that far fetched to wonder if they are behind these random acts of violence? Is it wrong to wonder if money was exchanged to cause more tension in Afghanistan so that Republicans can say, see, we were right. We should stay in Afghanistan longer, but president Obama wants to end the war. He knows nothing about being Commander In Chief. He’s wrong and we were right.
Normally, this would not be the first thing I think about hearing about these different incidents in Afghanistan, but with the current toxic nature of our politics and with the do anything to win mentality of some in Washington, I wouldn’t put it past them to use this war as a political ploy to win an election. They are, after all… politicians. They are, after all… Republicans.