In Brief: Time Magazine Really Shouldn't Go Down This Road

That's really a question, Time (motto: "Instant Nostalgia")? Was Bowe Bergdahl worthy of being swapped for five Taliban detainees? Or maybe was it "worth it" to make a deal to get an American soldier home? And it's a question that lots and lots of people are asking, since, in the worst case, six other soldiers died on patrols that included looking for Bowe Bergdahl. But if we're gonna go down the big ol' "what if" highway, if we're gonna ask if something that's already done was worth the cost of doing it, well, shit, if we're gonna play, let's play:

Was the Afghanistan War worth the loss of 2300 Americans, countless wounded, thousand of dead Afghanis, and hundreds of billions of dollars?

Was the creation of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay worth the number of people who may have died because terrorists used Gitmo as a recruiting tool?

Was it worth arming the Mujahideen back in the late 1970s and early 1980s so that their existence could lead to the formation of the Taliban (which was both part of and a reaction to the Mujahideen)?

Was it worth electing Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, both of whom supported the Mujahideen?

See, when you get into fucked-up existential questions like who is worth what, you can't act like that worth is to be judged in a vacuum. Bowe Bergdahl's captivity was the result of decades of bullshit American foreign policy. (Hell, if you want, you could go back to British imperialism in the land that would become Afghanistan.)

Yeah, great, Time, let's put a price on a human life, by all means. Let's talk about "greater good" and utilitarian approaches to war. Or maybe we could acknowledge that such ideas are worthless when your are talking about a worthless venture in this worthless time.