LOS ANGELES, May 31, 2014 — On a quiet Saturday with most people tuned out of politics, President Obama made a decision that will reverberate for presidencies to come.
The few members of the media paying attention to politics on a warm Spring weekend had other stories to discuss. Friday saw the departure of Veteran’s Administration head General Eric Shinseki and White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Other news included an online petition to free Sargent Andrew Tahmooressi, a United States Marine imprisoned in Mexico on specious gun charges.
The Obama administration needed a win and a distraction from the onslaught of bad news. When one was not coming, they doubled down and relabeled a major loss as a victory.
Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was fighting for his country when he was taken prisoner in Afghanistan by the Taliban. While President Obama promised to end “Bush’s wars,” the Idaho native Bergdahl was kidnapped in 2009 after Obama had already taken office. Despite repeated pleas from Jani and Bob Bergdahl to free their son, the Obama administration seemed unable to do so. Then came the decision that will be debated forever.
On Saturday the Obama administration announced that Bowe Bergdahl will be coming home. In exchange for the Taliban releasing him, President Obama agreed to release five Taliban terrorists.
Muhammad Nabi, Mullah Noorullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khairullah Khairkhwa and Mohammad Fazi are now free men. These men are not low-level detainees. They were held at Guantanamo Bay because they were the among the highest captures. Some of them have direct al Qaeda ties as high as the terror chain extends.
On Sunday, Jani & Bob Bergdahl addressed the national media in a poignant press conference. Bob Bergdahl illicit laughter when he thanked “the biker dudes and dudettes all around America” who held rallies for his son.
Bob Bergdahl heaped effusive praise on Idaho Governor Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter for their “unwavering support.”
Because of that support, “We didn’t have to travel to Washington every time we needed a briefing.”
The family maintained cautious optimism, stating that the “recovery of Bowe Bergdahl is a work in progress,” and that “It isn’t over for us.”
The Bergdahl’s did not thank anybody in the Obama administration. Over the years they have expressed frustration over the inability of the world’s most powerful nation to free the only P.O.W. in the United States war in Afghanistan.
There was only thing left for the liberal administration obsessed with the “smart power” of diplomacy to do. They surrendered and gave in to the demands of the terrorists. They freed some men who belong to the same organization that gave the world Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, Khalid Sheik Mohammed. They freed some men actively engaged in a war on America that began when al Qaeda hijacked four American airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11th, 2001
As was the case with Benghazi, the first order of business for the Obama administration in the wake of the Bergdahl deal was damage control.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Ambassador Susan Rice insisted they did not negotiate with terrorists. Technically, Qatar was an intermediary. They facilitated the deal and negotiated with the Taliban and American government. Therefore, the statement about America not negotiating with terrorists contains a fig leaf of truth if there was no direct contact between Obama officials and the Taliban.
The notion that using proxies changes the intent is completely implausible. The Obama administration negotiated with terrorists. To be truly accurate, the Obama administration caved in to the demands of the terrorists.
People responsible for protecting Barack Obama at all costs will turn to demonizing anybody questioning the deal. Critics will be declared anti-Obama partisans who do not care about Bowe Bergdahl.
The real truth is that some of Obama’s fiercest critics are the same people who actively pressed the Obama administration to do more to get Bergdahl home. Doing more involved applying pressure to the Taliban, not giving in to their demands.
Liberals can bleat on about President George W. Bush and the Iraq. War. Bergdahl was taken in Afghanistan, the conflict liberals insincerely labeled the “good war” to avoid facing accusations of Vietnam-style appeasement and aid and comfort to the enemy. Bergdahl was abandoned by a liberal Democrat President, liberal Democrat Secretary of State and liberal Democrat Congress. Rather than fight to free him, they ignored him for five years and then traded him for a Saudi King’s ransom.
Americans should be thrilled that Bowe Bergdahl is free. They should empathize with the Bergdahls and pray for the entire family. This does not mean the American people should tolerate future deaths and long-term pain for a short term Pyrrhic victory.
Trading one of theirs for one of ours can be discussed. Trading five of ours for one of theirs is a debacle. This is the slippery slope to Israel, which surrenders 1,000 Palestinian terrorists at a clip for one or two dead bodies.
The Bergdahl deal is a bad deal. It is a reckless deal. It is a defeat for civilization and a victory for barbarism. It dishonors those who have died in attacks by radical Islamists since the 1970s.
Only somebody with a naive view of the world would free terrorists in the name of peace. The way to spread peace is to win wars. Only one group of people over the last several decades has consistently failed to grasp this.
These are liberals. They brought Bowe Bergdahl home, while putting over 300 million Americans at risk of more terrorist acts.
The terrorist demands may be insane, and now they know those demands will be met.