The Bergdahl charade 1

We think the recovery of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl from the Afghan enemy, by exchanging him for five Taliban prisoners of war, has to be looked at the other way round: by which we mean that the main object of the exercise was not the recovery of Sergeant Bergdahl, but the freeing of the five Taliban prisoners.

This is our reconstruction of what happened:

Obama wants to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay aka Gitmo. He said he would close it way back when he was campaigning for his first presidential election. He gave orders for it to be closed soon after his election to the presidency. He failed to get other countries to hold the prisoners. He attempted getting them moved to the US to be tried in civil courts, but failed. Now he is coming towards the last two years of his eight years in office, and is thinking of his “legacy” – what the historians will say of his presidency. It has been a series of failures both domestically and abroad. His far-left “base” is saying that he hasn’t even managed to close Gitmo – a cause dear to its heart.

If only Gitmo could be emptied of its prisoners! But what excuse could the administration find for releasing them?  Then someone – possibly even Obama himself – had the bright idea that the prisoners could be exchanged.

Question: How many Americans are being held captive by the Taliban?

Answer: One.

Only one? Can we exchange all the prisoners in Gitmo for just one American?

Maybe not all. But we could exchange a bunch of them for him. Let’s exchange the worst of them. The most dangerous. Then perhaps we could just release the rest as being lesser dangers.

Make it so.

If Obama was told that Sergeant Bergdahl was a deserter and not worth exchanging for five high-value Taliban leaders, it would not have troubled him. Far from it. He could all too easily understand a man deserting from the US army.

And then he met Bowe Bergdahl’s parents, and found them to be his sort of people: hippy types – and better still, one of them, the father, a convert to Islam.

To us Bergdahl Senior comes across as a 1960s type rebel who has never grown up. Who rebels against his country  as an adolescent rebels against his parents; not  because he really admires Muslims and Afghans – whom he probably knows little about – but because he wants to stick his tongue out at his own world, to annoy it, to pretend he is superior to it, to make it take notice of him. Which it is doing now.

For Obama – what a show, what a photo-op. In the Rose Garden. The press, the cameras.  I, Obama, with the parents of the soldier I am bringing homeA grand charade on a bright summer’s day. A happy occasion. How splendid we look, I and they.  

And what a gorgeous distraction from the real purpose: the freeing of the Taliban leaders, getting to the closing of Gitmo.

No, we cannot prove any of this. But we think it highly plausible.

The entire episode, it seems to us, is an encapsulation of quintessential Obama.

On display, all at once, the elements of his character and his fixed ideas as he has consistently shown them to us: bragging, showing off to a vast audience, lying, hypocrisy, love of Islam, hatred of the US, hatred of the US military, churlish contrariness in giving an enemy the advantage over America, adolescent leftist ideology that is more spite than idea.

The consequences of releasing the five most dangerous Taliban leaders from the cages they belong in (graves would have been better for them) will be bad, but Obama will never take the blame for what must ensue.

The consequence of  bargaining with terrorists for the release of a hostage (Sergeant Bergdahl counting as one rightly or wrongly) will be the seizing of Americans to be traded for prisoners and money. But Obama will never admit that he set the fatal precedent.

For that too is part of his essential nature: never to admit or even understand that he was wrong.

  • liz

    You are totally spot on in describing the elements of Obama’s character.
    As far as the motive to close Gitmo, it could be, but I don’t know that he really even needs that excuse. He’s displayed a great desire to aid and abet the enemy, and what better way to do it than freeing their terrorists?
    It’s an extra added bonus if it’s in exchange for a deserter, too.
    What is fascinating is that he actually thinks this will make him look like a hero. That is truly the sign of a mind disconnected from reality.