CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 8, 2014 — Amid the on-going uproar over the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, here is a list of Dos and Don’ts to take away from the controversy.
Do believe that President Barack Obama was sincere in his efforts to have Bergdahl released because it was politically motivated.
Obama doesn’t get out of bed without making a political decision and the Bergdahl swap was no different. It was a miscalculation of the highest order because Mr. Obama, like the media who failed to vet the president during the campaign of 2008, has no concept whatsoever of military protocol or allegiance. For example, did you notice the president chewing gum during the D-Day celebration?
Do not think for one second there was immediate urgency to have Bergdahl released for medical reasons. If that was the case, then why would 40 veterans have been wait-listed by the Veterans Administration so long that they eventually died in the process?
Bergdahl’s health may be in questionable, but after five years in captivity, a few more weeks to justify his release would not have mattered.
Do question the timing of Bergdahl’s release. It happened just as President Obama was departing for Europe which culminated in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
Obama’s primary motivation was to showcase an opportunity for a slam-dunk in-your-face political maneuver that he thought would reinforce his appearance in Normandy. Instead he came up with an air ball and the military resented it.
Do not buy into the media significance of Bergdahl’s conversion to Islam until all the facts are established. It is always a major victory for Islamists when they can boast about a Westerner who converts. I, myself, was offered $10,000 to convert to Islam while I was living in Saudi Arabia.
If Bergdahl willingly went over to the other side that is totally different than converting to Islam out of self-protection.
Whether we accept the idea or not, millions of Muslims are people who have converted out of fear while under Islamic rule. Now if they renounce their “Islamic beliefs” they could be subject to death for apostasy. Bowe Bergdahl may have faced a similar situation.
Do be upset that Bowe Bergdahl’s father spoke to his son in Pashto during a White House ceremony with Barack Obama. Not only was that an insult to our military, it also demonstrated a gross lack of compassion, understanding and consideration for the American people by both Barack Obama and Mr. Bergdahl to allow the White House to become a forum for Islamic recitation.
Do not give a lot of importance to the fact that the released terrorists could have a major impact on future terror events. Indeed they could, but it should be noted that terrorism has a continuum for which there is constant efforts at jihad.
Eliminating a single terrorist or keeping five in captivity is over-rated as a deterrent. What is more important is to educate ourselves about the nuances of Islamic beliefs and to better anticipate the way extremists think and how they operate.
The “Taliban Five” may indeed be the worst of the worst, but there are plenty more jihadists in that part of the world who are willing to take their place immediately.
Do ask yourself about Barack Obama’s commitment to American troops and diplomats in light of the events of Benghazi and the Marine who is still being held in captivity in a Mexican jail.
True, there could be behind-the-scenes efforts to obtain the release of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, but somehow there is a sense that, Tahmoressi’s case, the urgency just isn’t the same.
Do not trust Barack Obama’s supposed concern for the military. As retired Col. Ralph Peters says, “This beautifully educated man, who never tires of letting us know how much smarter he is than the rest of us, never stopped to consider that our troops and their families might have been offended by their commander-in-chief staging a love-fest at the White House to celebrate trading five top terrorists for one deserter. The warmest attention our president has ever paid to a “military family” was to Mr. and Mrs. Bergdahl.”
And finally, do go to the polls in November 2014 and again in 2016 and, this time, make your vote count for something worthwhile.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
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