Rory Fanning was a former U.S. Army Ranger in Afghanistan.
“To be honest with you,” Fanning said, “we need a million more Bowe Bergdahls. Anybody who has any degree of common sense or moral fortitude would say, ‘This is ridiculous. I’m not gonna fight this war.’”
Fanning told me, as Musil had last year, that it is not at all easy or in some cases possible to declare yourself a conscientious objector once you are in war.
“I could totally relate to this guy,” he said. “I consider him a hero. To kill somebody for a cause you don’t believe in is potentially worse than being killed yourself, because those scars last forever. Just walking off the battlefield as Bergdahl did seems like an easier route than seeking conscientious-objector status.”
There are different kinds of people who join the military. Some are really animated by the old spirit of chivalry. They think they are going to defend the country of their birth and save the weak from their oppressors. In reality they serve the interests of powerful elites and the ideologues who support them, killing innocents along the way. I don’t know whether Bergdahls realized this or it was just an emotional reaction to the inhumanity he was involved with. In any case opening the eyes of honest soldiers should be part of the strategy against militarism.