Ted Cruz Says He Would Have Used Military Force to Rescue Afghanistan POW Bergdahl (Video)

texas-ted-cruzI’m going to go on record and say that I believe there was absolutely no “right way” to secure the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by Afghanistan rebels for five years.  No matter which way it happened, it would be both right and wrong.


Did President Obama “negotiate with terrorists”?  I guess to a certain extent he did.  Agreeing to free five Taliban officials to secure the release of Bergdahl is essentially striking a deal with terrorists.

But what should we have done, just let him die?  Even if he was a deserter and put his fellow soldiers in harm’s way, should we have just let him rot in the hands of the Taliban forever?

Maybe we should have considered what Ted Cruz says he would have done and “used military force” to get Bergdahl back.

That is an idea.  But “using military force” wouldn’t have guaranteed his safe recovery.  Imagine if we had used military force, Bergdahl was then killed during the raid, and 5 other Americans died trying to retrieve him.  Republicans like Cruz would then be bashing President Obama for using military force.

So when Cruz sits there and says,”We can go in and use military force, as needed, to rescue our fallen compatriots. But, look, Sergeant Bergdahl was fighting to capture these terrorists.  Can you imagine what he would say to his fallen comrades who lost their lives to stop these people who were responsible, either directly or indirectly, for threatening or taking U.S. civilian lives.”

All I can do is shake my head at another Republican trying to make this no-win situation into a partisan attack on the president.

Not to mention these comments assume that “using military force” was never considered.  I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that using military force was probably one of their first options, but due to circumstances surrounding where he might have been kept, the probability of any operation to capture him alive being successful were probably very slim.

So I think it’s fairly safe to assume that after five years of trying to figure out the best way to bring this soldier home, this was probably their “best option.”  But like I said, it was really a no-win situation.

The options were essentially to use our military, risking more lives, while not even guaranteeing the safe recovery of Bergdahl or release a few detainees to guarantee his freedom.

And while I recognize the risks that come with even the slightest hint that we “negotiated with terrorists,” I ask those who feel that what Obama did was wrong to close their eyes for a moment and imagine if it was their son, daughter, father or mother who had been sitting halfway around the world for five years as a prisoner.

Wouldn’t you have wanted the president to do whatever he could to bring them back safely?

If I were President Obama, I think would have done the same thing.  And while it’s easy for everyone who didn’t have to make this decision to sit on the sidelines and pick it apart, all I know is I’m glad I wasn’t the one who had to make that call.

But I’m almost certain, no matter what President Obama ultimately ended up deciding, Republicans like Ted Cruz would have just said they would have done the opposite – and then criticized him and lied about exactly what he did.

After all, “opposing and lying about whatever President Obama supports” has been the Republican motto since January 2009.

Watch Cruz’s comments below:

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Sandy Greer

    Smarmy Ted Cruz demonstrates his Ignorance, once again.

    1) Ignorance that military spent months – and lost lives – looking for Bergdahl
    2) Ignorance that US has a long history of dealing with terrorists

    Is there anything more despicable than a smarmy, ignorant Chickenhawk!?!

    • Charles Vincent

      “wolfhounds27 • 15 minutes ago
      What a F**KING IDIOT!!!!!!!!
      Hey Cruz, go back to Canada where you were born, you dumbass Cuban COMMUNIST Atheist prick”

      ^^^^^^^^^^^SEE this is why nothing gets fixed^^^^^^^^^^^^

      Until the left publicly denounces this as should the right denounce their idiots nothing will ever get fixed.

      • Sandy Greer

        Flagged. As I do all (useless) profanity, and some few other posts – say, personal attacks that cross all lines of decency.

        Feel better?

        Flagging has less effect than I would like, sometimes. But authors at FP know how I feel when I do it. Their choice whether to let the ‘better’ among us reign, or the worse. Ours – how long we stay.

        I don’t venture into RWNJ territory, so can’t speak for righties denouncing their own.

        My personal ‘style’ is to lead by example – if I can. Rather than call others out for bad behavior. Though just this weekend, I did call somebody out for something utterly reprehensible (and dangerous) and got raked over the coals for it. You should have been there; I could have used the help. You can ask Pipercat what I did.

        We all have our ‘flashpoints’. Mine are different than yours. But I understand what you’re saying, here – and agree. Just use a different approach, is all.

        Are you trying to hold my feet to the fire, for something?

      • Charles Vincent

        “Feel better?”
        Sorry been a bit less than congenial recently. Forums on the right are pretty much the same as FP or any other progressive left site.
        Addendum RWNJ and LWNJ is just derogatory it’s why a stick with the more neutral right or left.

        “Though just this weekend, I did call somebody out for something utterly reprehensible (and dangerous) and got raked over the coals for it. You should have been there; I could have used the help.”

        What thread I don’t mind regulating fools. It could get really messy though so be warned.

      • Sandy Greer

        Well, it’s done now. And I confess, I’m not at my best. Lost my cool, and resorted to personal attacks. Though mild, compared to some – and nothing untrue, in what I said. But it might shed some light on why I spoke for a man called me ‘dangerous’, once. 😉

        Fast Food CEO says Minimum Wage increase will devastate United States.

        ^^^I did an OP, and got into it under somebody else’s OP.

        Funny thing is, today I read another article, which had a blue link to a previous one – where I’d gotten in a fight with this same person. I’d forgotten all about it. You were in the previous one, though not in the string where I had the disagreement. Just gave me an ‘odd’ feeling…

        We all come with ‘baggage’. Mine showed, this weekend.

        PS: You’re always OK in my book, Charles.

      • Charles Vincent

        Well I am amazed you’re still talking to me after reading about my thoughts on minimum wage hehe. Also seemed like you handled yourself well. I will refrain from comment over there cause piper would get an earful and so would the other idiot. Best to let this sleeping dog lie.

      • Sandy Greer

        Piper is OK by me. No harm, no foul. Really, I don’t expect men to see what happened in the same light women do. If I hadn’t posted another site, and seen what transpired there – I might not have caught the implications.

        Refresh my memory on Minimum Wage? Are we Opponents there, too? LOL

        Odd as it may be: My favorite people are Opponents I like. It means more to like an Opponent, than one where no differences exist. More ‘growth’ of the Spirit.

        You be sure to have a good Tuesday! And thanks for talking, tonight.

      • Charles Vincent

        Refresh my memory on Minimum Wage? Are we Opponents there, too?
        Yes I think we are.

  • worrierking

    Makes sense. Let’s risk the lives of an untold number of soldiers to rescue one being held captive. Let’s take the chance that several will die or several will be captured unless the rescue plan is flawless. Or we can negotiate.

    Christ, Jesus isn’t the only one who wept.

    • strayaway

      There are reports that six US lives were lost trying to find Bergdahl. Negotiations opened up later.

      The Obama administration seems to have broken a law requiring giving Congress a thirty day notice before releasing anyone from Guantanamo. It failed to do so. Willfully violating another law is another reason for impeachment.

      That aside, I think that Ted Cruz is too willing to use military force.

      • worrierking

        The reports of 6 men dying to rescue Bergdahl were refuted as soon as they were brought up. The names and circumstances of each man’s death were reported and none had anything to do with Bergdahl.

      • strayaway

        You are in disagreement with the father of one of those six and NBC News which covered his remarks in its June 6 article “Family of Soldier Slain in Bowe Bergdahl Search Blasts Prisoner Swap”.

      • poppaDavid

        That’s okay. President Reagan gave TOW missiles to Iran to try to get the release of Americans held in Lebanon at a time that Congress had prohibited sending any weapons to Iran. Should he have been impeached for that?

      • strayaway

        Reagan should have been impeached for running an undeclared war in Nicaragua out of the White House basement. Gov. Clinton seemed to have also been involved in that too as a drugs for guns operations out of the Mena, Arkansas airport was protected by Arkansas state troopers.

        You seem to be suggesting that because one President did something illegal and unconstitutional, President Obama and perhaps future presidents are also entitled to act outside the rule of law dictating their will upon us. I disagree. Presidents should be required to honor the oaths of office they take or be impeached.

      • poppaDavid

        Not exactly. I am suggesting that those who are quick to pounce on every action by our current President, should view them in the perspective of prior actions by Presidents they respect.

        There are actions that deserve impeachment. I would suggest that the initiating a war under false pretext qualifies, while having sex outside marriage doesn’t. Failing to give Congress 30 days notice on a prisoner exchange is several steps below conducting Iran-Contra.

        The President takes an oath to preserve and defend the Constitution. That includes maintaining an effective military, and that may require taking actions to repatriate those members of the military in POW status so that those who put their lives on the line know that we will do what we can for them.

        I also suggest that Congress needs to step up and put the money into the VA to provide recovery programs for our wounded warriors. Our soldiers are fighting a war, reducing taxes during a war is dumb.

      • strayaway

        I agree with your last paragraph and would add that we should no longer be in that war.

        Being Commander in Chief does not negate a president’s duty to uphold law and the Constitution. This President’s arrogant assertions about having a pen and a phone to get around Congress combined with his history of picking and choosing laws he obeys and defies; e.g. Libya, dreamers, other immigration matters, Mexican truckers, the War Powers Act, and notifying Congress, in this instance, have put him at odds with the the Constitution he swore to obey. We are either a nation of laws or dictatorial whims. If you think that “initiating a war under false pretext qualifies” as an impeachable offense how about initiation a war against a Libya which had done nothing to us or our allies? There wasinitiating a war under false pretext qualifies no impediment to this President negotiation or trying to bring back this prisoner. He was only required to do so by legal means. I asked the question elsewhere, if the President saw fit to trade terrorists for Bergdahl without notifying Congress, couldn’t he also have instead traded money for Bergdahl according to your logic?

        I do not blame just the President. Congress is at fault for not responding and ceding its power to the executive branch.

      • poppaDavid

        Just for perspective, has there been a President in your lifetime that followed the Constitution to the degree that you request?

        We are in the war and we need to raise taxes to pay off the war debt and the VA expenses.

        What part of Libya bothers you? Our President was supposed to SEEK Congressional approval of any military action that lasted longer than 60 days.

        A bill calling of an end to involvement failed to pass the House.

        A bill to authorize military operations failed to pass the House.

        Discussion on a Senate bill to support the operation was stopped by a threatened Republican filibuster.

        Please tell me, what did Congress really feel about that war? He is supposed to SEEK Congressional approval. They don’t say “yes” and they don’t say “no”. What is he supposed to do if they won’t answer?

      • strayaway

        Bush, Johnson, and maybe Nixon stand out as having been serial Constitution violators like Obama. Eisenhower, Ford, Kennedy, and Carter were much better although no one can hold a candle to Coolidge or even Harding well before my lifetime. Is that your defense of Obama, that he should be let off the hook because others too were imperfect?

        Regarding Libya: A President “does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” -Barack Obama Dec. 2007

        “The Congress through the War Powers Act provided the executive with an exception to unilaterally respond only when the nation was in actual or imminent danger: to ‘repel sudden attacks.’ Today we are in a constitutional crisis because our chief executive has assumed for himself powers to wage war which are neither expressly defined nor implicit in the Constitution, nor permitted under the War Powers Act.” -Dennis Kucinich 3/31/11

        Jay Carney argued for Obama that the United States’ “constrained and limited operations” in Libya “do not amount to hostilities” so the war Powers Act did not come into play. If someone bombed our Capitol, I don’t think we would buy that argument.

        Obama did not seek or receive permission from Congress as necessary after 60 days under the War Powers Act. “Butting up against the 90-day mark since action in Libya began, the Obama administration released a report summarizing its actions in Libya. The administration did not claim that the War Powers Resolution was unconstitutional but argued instead that its actions in Libya didn’t meet the definition of “hostilities,” so the War Powers Resolution did not apply.” -politifact June 22, 2011 Yeah, right, dropping bombs on Libya’s Capitol is not hostile. How can you defend this guy with a straight face?

      • poppaDavid

        1 March 2011, US Senate unanimously passes Senate resolution S.RES.85 urging the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

        2 March 2011, at a congressional hearing, United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates explained that “a no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defences … and then you can fly planes around the country and not worry about our guys being shot down. But that’s the way it starts.”

        17 March 2011 UN Security Council approved a no-fly zone with Resolution 1973.

        21 March 2011 President sends required letter to Speaker of the House and President Pro-Tempore of the Senate.

        United States provides sea blockade, aerial refueling, and electronic reconnaissance support for other nations who enforce the no-fly zone. U.S. Tomahawk missiles were used to attack Libyan air defense locations as a first step in establishing a no-fly zone as described by Gates, and to attack anti-aircraft sites directed at NATO aircraft enforcing the “no-fly” zone.

        20 October 2011 Muammar Gaddafi killed.

        Seven months of activity with NO U.S. troops on the ground, NO U.S. casualties and the loss of one F15 to mechanical failure requiring a rescue operation to retrieve the pilot. The weapons officer repatriated by friendly Libyan forces.

        Not much of a war for our side. The Libyans on the ground were fighting a real war.

      • strayaway

        Bombing a sovereign country is an act of war whether or not “US boots were on the ground” or that it was “not much of a war for our side” Libya had not attacked the US or its NATO allies. Consequently, this was an unprovoked act of war not declared by Congress, supported by the War Powers Act, or the Constitution. All you are saying is that these Obama warmongers tried to use the UN to go around Congress. What a bunch of c—. Where is the part saying that the UN authorized bombing and the overthrow of the Libyan government anyway?

        “”There have been heavy bombardments since 7 o’clock (0500 GMT) this morning. They are bombing everything, the houses, the centre of the city,” one fighter told the Reuters news agency.” Tell the people whose neighborhoods were bombed that it was ok because the uS didn’t lose troops and it “not much of a war for our side”. I don’t know how people who voted for Obama twice can look themselves in a mirror.

      • poppaDavid

        The people who voted for Obama know that he ran against McCain. And McCain proposed that the United States send our military into Libya to remove Qaddafi. Come to think of it, McCain also proposed that the United States send our military into Syria as well.

        And this story started with Cruz’s comments about sending United States military into hostile territory without any intel to plan the mission.

        Who are you suggesting is better?

      • strayaway

        When GW Bush ran against Al Gore, Bush promised a less aggressive foreign policy and a kinder, gentler sort of conservatism. He lied. When Obama ran against McCain, he promised to take our troops out of Iraq immediately. He too lied. But if I had to have voted for McCain or Obama, I would have voted for Obama as the lesser of two evils. I didn’t have to though so I voted third party (Ralph Nader) in 2008 and again in 2012. I didn’t want to waste my vote on candidates preselected for us by the oligarchs.

        I have been disappointed with Cruz lately for veering toward neocon foreign policy. Rand isn’t Ron but is closer than anyone else probably running. My favorite person in politics is Congressman Justin Amash who is presently under attack by Carl Rove and neocons for being too incorruptible, “playing with the team”, but he will not be running for president. Congressman Thomas Massie is someone else I’m looking at down the line. I sure won’t be voting for Hillary or Jeb so maybe it’s back to voting third party to retain some integrity.

      • poppaDavid

        Okay. I think I can follow your objections.

  • Mark Sizelove

    I’m all for the military action as long as Cruz, McCain, and some of the other chickenhawks from the GOP were the troops doing the action. It just comes too easy for these guys to risk others lives for their wet dreams.

  • wolfhounds27

    What a F**KING IDIOT!!!!!!!!
    Hey Cruz, go back to Canada where you were born, you dumbass Cuban COMMUNIST Atheist prick

  • Mandy Alyssa Spratt

    I don’t understand why this is only being addressed through the comments of an uninvolved person. I’d like to see FP directly address this, and speak about the terrorists that were traded for Bergdahl, and also address the issue of Bergdahl leaving his unit. If FP has done this, and I missed it (I searched the site for his name and only found this article), I’d appreciate the link.

  • FD Brian

    I have news for all of you, if Obama came out and said “I’m not negotiating for the release of this deserter, and the Taliban can keep him, I’m not giving them these 5 detainees.” the right still hammers him.