*He was interviewed in English and asked his views on the war, which he called extremely hard; his desire to learn more about Islam; and the morale of American soldiers, which he said was low. He was prompted by his interrogators to give a message to the American people.
"Please, please bring us home so that we can be back where we belong and not over here, wasting our time and our lives and our precious life that we could be using back in our own country," he said.
Six days. That is all it took for captives in a botched bank robbery attempt to begin to empathize with their captors. Stockholm Syndrome is disputed in some quarters, as a "syndrome" is based on a cluster of clinically observed behaviors and symptoms or the same as expressed by the one who is syndromic. Nevertheless, as a holistic health professional I retain a belief that Stockholm Syndrome is very real. The human frame is capable of quite a few mental contortions when seeking to return to psychological homeostasis.
Remember the British sailors who were picked up in the Strait of Hormuz (2007) to be unceremoniously carted off into the waiting arms of the Iranian security apparatus? What a psychological feast for their interrogators! Same type of media sideshow ensued from them as we are now seeing with Pfc Bergdahl. The video was not released until they were reduced to a colony of limpets. We saw them eating, which mutes for the viewer any psychological terror which they may have previously endured. But then, we were also treated to one of the men pointing to a map and issuing a mea culpa to his captors. Propaganda fodder. Don't you hate it when uniformed military men are reduced to video propaganda? Personally, I am ready to see the video of a P.O.W. holding up Mr. Long Finger to the camera. But of course, that would be counterproductive to the enemy's goals.
Hell, even Jane Fonda suffered from Stockholm Syndrome. And she wasn't even in captivity. Actually, she suffered from misguided stupidity, which is exactly why disgruntled Vietnam vets grace port-o-johns with her name.
There isn't much any of us can do for Pfc Bergdahl, beyond what the good folks in his hometown are already doing. We can pray right along with them. The young man is living in a surreal world where deception becomes truth and reality and core values can take a beating. And it is in such a world that the best propaganda videos are produced. May Pfc Bergdahl rediscover Mr. Long Finger.