June 7th, 2014
11:33 PM ET

On GPS Sunday: Discussing the Bergdahl deal, and a disappearing nation

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

On GPS this Sunday: Fareed starts with the prisoner swap for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl...and the firestorm it has produced. He convenes a panel to talk about the issues that the case has brought to the fore – what is a human life worth? And what about when that human is an American soldier?

Then, what is it like to be held by the Taliban? What goes on in the heads of the Taliban foot soldiers? Fareed speaks with David Rohde, who was held by the Taliban in Afghanistan for more than seven months.

“[P]eople have asked me maybe what is Bergdahl going through,” Rhode says. “And the first few days, I remember being worried that I would wake up, you know before I went to bed – the first night I was on the air base in Bagram – that I would wake up the next morning and it would all be a dream.”

Also, why one of the most important cases before the Supreme Court is about...teeth whitening.

Then, the consequences of global warming may seem far off for many. But the president of the island nation of Kiribati is already having to figure out how to stop his country from literally sinking.

And, white, black, Asian – we're all the same, aren’t we? Nicholas Wade, author of the controversial new book A Troublesome Inheritance, suggests very rapid and very recent human evolution has led to genuine differences between racial or ethnic regional groupings of people.

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Topics: GPS Show

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Judging by all those rants people are making against Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, it proves just how much of a hold both ignorance and fanaticism have on this country. Those people are scandalously ignorant! They don't have the foggiest notion of what it is to be held captive for five years, let alone what this young man's parents went through! Enough is enough!

    June 7, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ My Troll,
      Please, steal my nom de plume for the opening post of a comment section only when your muse is in attendance.
      Thank you.

      June 8, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

        You have to admit that my post above is very good one and nothing could be closer to the truth than that, Joey. You have to agree unless you're a total idiot!

        June 8, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        @ My Troll,
        Sadly, that post was not an example of your best writing.
        Also, you and I are not completely in agreement about this subject.

        June 9, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
    • agbenjamin

      We know liberals "care" because they "feel." All of Bergdahl's mates came out to say that Bergdahl deserted of his own free will, creating his own plight. Moreover, there is evidence that he aided and abetted the Taliban to murder Americans.

      We know that the Obama Administration tell the truth, the facts, and nothing but the facts. Bergdahl
      s mates to a man called his a deserter. The leader of the platoon had this to say:

      "The Obama Administration attacked our character, not our story.
      If our story were false, they would have attacked our story."

      These American heroes are the liars you see. Do you know why that is so?

      Because Benghazigate was caused by an obscure anti-Islamic video made in California.
      Because no Tea Party organizations were targeted by the IRS.
      Because American firearms owners caused the death of Americans murdered by Mexican drug lords.
      Because you can keep your doctors. Period.
      Because you can keep your health care plans. Period.
      Because you didn't build that. Someone else did.

      That is why these un-Americans risking their lives in Bowe Bergdahl's platoon are liars.

      June 11, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
  2. Peter mabas

    There are many who are tortured and killed even when they are innocent, i believe they also are humans whose lives are precious and sacred.

    June 8, 2014 at 3:01 am |
  3. No 'terrorists trades'

    No 'terrorists trades', please. There must have been another, more suitable solution to be negotiated.

    June 8, 2014 at 6:17 am |
    • George patton

      Another ignorant comment by another feeble minded Tea Partier. If the British felt that way, God only knows how long the Revolutionary War (1775-83) would have continued. Peace can be achieved only through negotiation and no other way.

      June 8, 2014 at 7:54 am |
  4. Z

    That better be a tough interview for Nicholas Wade considering how awful and inaccurate his book is.

    June 8, 2014 at 10:22 am |
    • VVVVV

      There never was scientific evidence showing race is just skin deep. It's just a popular belief that makes us feel good.

      June 8, 2014 at 11:07 am |
  5. RRGG

    No negotiations with terrorists period...................We have a government of morons!!!!

    June 8, 2014 at 11:17 am |
    • George patton

      Yes RRGG, we certainly do. These morons are either Republicans or right-wing Democrats like Barack Obama who could have gotten us out of Afghanistan five years ago, but didn't. Instead, this clown just got us into more useless and unnecessary wars!!!

      June 8, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        @ George patton,
        When I read on this board that President Obama is "right-wing," I get an eerily Charlie Chaplin kind of laugh.
        Please keep sending absurd views.

        June 8, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
  6. Wm Magill

    "one of the most important cases before the Supreme Court is about...teeth whitening."
    says one of the teasers for today's show - but there is no follow-up article about it here on the website.

    June 8, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
  7. chri§§y

    Lmao @ Wm Magill, i know right? Ya just gotta wonder...HOW could white teeth be such an important case that it has to go to the Supreme court???

    June 8, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
  8. Dennis Harrell

    In his coverage of the Bergdahl "brouhaha" Fareed left out the fact that the Army has no record of a "desertion note", as the right has claimed, and that the Army has found no connection between the search for Bergdahl and subsequent deaths of military personnel. Omission of these hugely important facts amounts to reportorial malfeasance. I was so angered that I changed the channel.

    June 8, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
  9. Retired Miliary

    What most are not addressing (or even understand) is the fact the sergeant is subject to military law under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) – not public opinion or emotions. If the integrity of our military is to be maintained, the sergeant must be held to these standards. This is part of what makes the military culture different from civilian society. There must be consequences for the inappropriate actions of those members of the military who wilfully disobey or act outside of the UCMJ. If the outcome of the sergeant's actions are resolved politically, this will be a major setback to the morale of those who voluntarily and honorably serve this nation. More importantly, it will seriously degrade the good order and discipline of the military, a fundamental basis for how the military operates. This is not to say the people outside of the process cannot have an opinion, this is America after all. It is to say that in situations like this, one needs to listen to "expert" opinions of those who have served in the military and understand the significance of the sergeant's actions and there second and third order effects. As to exchanging a sergeant for the five C-Level executive terrorists while the war is still raging, and our men and women remain in combat operations – this is unconscionable. Those who claim this is how it works have a fundamental misunderstanding for how exchanges have been done historically. The U.S. has never swapped out during combat. It only happens at the absolute end of hostilities. This is clearly not the case in this instance. We simplify cannot dismiss the real world implications of this act and how it will undoubtedly put our nation, our allies and the free world at risk. Not to mention, we are a nation of laws and we must uphold these laws or change them via the established process if we believe change is required. If our leaders continue to act outside established laws, the net effect is a continued loss of freedom for ALL Americans, not just your political adversaries. Things matter, all of the issues surrounding the sergeant's case matter, and the outcome has grave implications for the future of our Republic if we do not stay within our foundational, guiding principles.

    June 8, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ Retired Military:
      Thank you for your excellent post on military justice.

      June 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
    • Frank Anderson

      Have you ever spent nearly five years in captivity, Retired Military? Have you any idea of what the parents of Bowe Bergdahl went through during that time? Evidently not or you wouldn't have posted the above!

      June 8, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
      • Retired Miliary

        No Frank, I was never a captive. But I did serve in combat in Iraq in very hellish conditions. I, nor my men, walked away from the battlefield. It is pretty clear at this point that is what this sergeant did. Thousands of men and women have lost their lives in these wars leaving behind spouses, children, and yes, parents. I have also had the honorably responsibility of presenting the flag of our nation to the wife of dead Marine. This was exceedingly difficult – I am sure you can understand. My original comments on this topic were meant to provide perspective from someone in the military who understands honorable service.

        June 11, 2014 at 12:15 am |
  10. BRWard

    Nicholas Wade is not a raciest. Ignoring the obvious differences in the abilities, preferences and tendencies in peoples from different parts of the world is not non-raciest, it's non-sense. His book "Out of the Dawn" has given me a deep appreciation of all people. Fareed's observation that the Jewish law requiring literacy is not genetic but social selection missed the point. Anything that effects selection effects genetics in the long run. A law prohibiting reproduction between tall people would be social but would over time produce a population genetically predisposed to short individuals. Please read his works instead of uninformed opinions of his work by others.

    June 8, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
  11. B Ward

    Nicholas Wade is not a raciest. Ignoring the obvious differences in the abilities, preferences and tendencies in peoples from different parts of the world is not non-raciest, it's non-sense. His book "Out of the Dawn" has given me a deep appreciation of all people. Fareed's observation that the Jewish law requiring literacy is not genetic but social selection missed the point. Anything that effects selection effects genetics in the long run. A law prohibiting reproduction between tall people would be social but would over time produce a population genetically predisposed to short individuals. Please read his works instead of uninformed opinions of his work by others.

    June 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
  12. S


    You have become the chief apologist for the Obama administration. Perhaps you should replace Mr. Carney and stop pretending to be a neutral journalist

    June 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
  13. jgreen52013

    Fareed Zakaria: Thank you for the item on race. It is easy to see how we evolved by adapting to our environment, as observed by Darwin, by looking at Madagascar—and it is remarkable that we are only now applying that to different societies around the globe—where we get in trouble, however—racism raises its ugly head—is thinking one is better than another…rather than being seen as just different—and we learn how to glean the best from others. See: WINNERS WANT OTHERS TO WIN, Amazon/Kindle

    June 8, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
  14. Frank Anderson

    I just want to say here just how these ignorant people here with their senseless rants against Bowe Bergdahl irritate me to the extreme. All they're proving is just how vacant-headed they truly are!

    June 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
  15. chri§§y

    It hasnt been proven that he was a deserter. And until then show some compassion for cryin out loud! And IF he did, well then i would say hes been punished enough all ready! Ive never understood the logic of people who seem to enjoy someone elses pain!

    June 8, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Well said, chrissy. Thank you. These people you're addressing are only showing just how feeble-minded they are plus their lack of simple humanity!

      June 8, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
  16. The Entire GOP Platform In A Single Paragraph

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    June 9, 2014 at 10:19 am |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      We'll said. Thank you.

      June 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
    • Retired Miliary

      Interesting how many of these comments are so hypocritical. I don't get how you feel justified in painting people who have a different political perspective as you in this light. I am a Christian and find your comments to be very offensive. But I also know that it is your right to say what you believe. I truly feel bad for you if your comments are not satirical.

      June 9, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        These days, it is rare to hear any acknowledgement of freedom of speech.

        June 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
  17. Portlandtony

    If the US congress feels threatened by the five released prisoners in the POW exchange .....Well this is a joke?.........So much false much rhetoric about the "dangerous talibani" released in the POW exchange. All of these men are now in their mid to late 40's, have been replaced in the Taliban by younger more tech savvy individuals and basically been out of the power loop for more than 10 to 15 years! They are "sponsored" by The Haqqani network, which has the backing of elements within the Pakistani security establishment and if need be could be eliminated at our "pleasure" should they screw up! Jeez.....The dudes were never al Qaeda.....

    June 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
  18. greg

    I get aggravated as sin every time I hear the phony outrage being spewed out by the right-wing thugs in Washington over the exchange between Bowe Bergdahl and the five Afghan political prisoners. These people now claim to feel "threatened" by these political prisoners and are taking advantage of the right-wing lynch-mob mentality being stirred by the right-wing news media. How much more revolting can this get? Enough already!

    June 11, 2014 at 12:32 am |
  19. SLowe

    For the life of me, I don't understand why you give air space to Bret Stevens. His comments are frequently ill conceived but the idea that he would quote anyone that any POW should be placed in front of a firing squad is beyond the concept of republication for a balanced view. His positions are repeatedly morally indefensible. Fareed and the show do a fabulous job of presenting differing positions by knowledgeable persons who are not the ordinary talking heads. Bret Stevens does a disservice to the show's purpose.

    June 14, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
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