Into its socialist democracies, slowly dying out of indigenous populations, Europe has admitted hordes of its worst enemy.
None is yet ruled by them – as we think the United States is at present. (Fortunately the United States is much more robust – we dare to say virile – than decadent Europe. Here it is the ruling that is feeble.)
When all of Europe is governed by sharia law (and all European women ambulant black bags), it will be very bad for America.
We sorrow most for Britain which has long been the sanest, the soberest, the most reasonable of nations. Now the blood of native Britons, citizens of London, members of Her Majesty’s armed forces, stain its streets from time to time and ever more frequently, shed by the barbarian colonists of Islam. And every time distant Israel wages war on its perpetual barbarian attackers, the colonists of Britain turn out in force in the capital to yell hideous, vicious, racist hatred and calumny, in a quiet avenue lined with dignified embassies.
Douglas Murray, who always displays moral clarity, writes at Gatestone:
The barricades are up again outside the Israeli Embassy in London, as they are across many capitals of Europe. Given that even more rockets than “normal” have been raining down on Israel in recent days, any sane country would need further barricades outside the Israeli embassy in order to contain yet another demonstration of support for Israel. But no, another day in London and another Palestinian-ist and Socialist Worker party protest is going on against the Israeli state.
The protestors are not, of course, demonstrating because they especially care about the lives of the people of Gaza. If they cared about the lives of Palestinians – or the people of the region in general – they would have spent night after night outside the Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Turkish, Egyptian and Saudi Arabian embassies, among others. …
I have watched them a bit in recent days, watched the contorted hatred on their faces as they scream at the embassy and then watched their friendly sociability as the headscarfed women are driven away by their menfolk, often with their children in tow – a family day outing in “diverse” modern London. Behind their smiles and the increasingly competent public relations that the pro-Hamas faction is managing in Britain, it is possible for some people to forget that what brings these people out is one simple thing: a hatred of the Jewish state and a desire to see it annihilated by the terrorists of Hamas or anyone else at hand.
There are those who will say this is not a not-sufficiently-nuanced observation, that the motives of those protesting Israeli action are something other than a great hatred of Jews and the Jewish state. But if this were true, why would their posters say, “Stop the Holocaust in Gaza?” There is no “Holocaust” in Gaza. Anybody can see there is no similarity between the organized and systematic murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis and the precision targeting of some Hamas rocket sites, some of which are deliberately hidden under hospitals, in the Gaza strip. Why do the protestors say “Holocaust” then? They know that this way they will hurt Jews as deeply as possible. By using the term “Holocaust” for this, they will either give the impression that the Holocaust was a small and minimal thing in the history of war – such as the confrontation between Hamas and Israel currently is – or else that the Israelis are, in their view, currently carrying out precisely the same barbarism which made the creation of the state of Israel such an added necessity for Jews in the 1940s, and that by supposedly becoming the Nazis they are meant to abhor, the Jews have forfeited any right to be regarded as part of acceptable humankind.
Either way, these protestors clearly mean to harm, not to help. But their presence – and the growing manner in which they are trying to wake up a far-away country to the actions of Israel, and condemn them as they would condemn Nazism – displays a trend worth dwelling on.
Israel has been through an exchange like this with Gaza every couple of years since Condoleezza Rice had the brilliant idea of pushing for elections in Gaza and allowing Hamas to finish with guns what they had failed to achieve at the ballot box. In the wider world’s response – as well as the facts in the ground in Israel – certain trends can now be spotted. One is that, since the 2006 war in Lebanon, protests against Israel in cities such as London have increased in number and vitriol year on year. This is not because the confrontations between Israel and her enemies during this period are getting larger. On the contrary, no exchange since 2006 has been anything in size like the war which had to be engaged in then. Each time, however, despite the actual conflict diminishing, the protests in London and other capitals in Europe have grown.
So how can one account for this? One reason, simply put, is that you cannot have a country in which the Muslim population doubles each decade (as in Britain) and radical Islamist groups teach young Muslims to make the Israel-Palestine issue their prime concern, and expect the result to have no impact.
The young men and women who pack their banners back in the car after a good day’s shouting at the Israeli embassy may or may not have British citizenship, yet it is hard to say that they are British in any recognizable sense of the term. If they were, they might think that a simple sense of fair play, among other things, ought to dictate that a country being bombarded with missiles on a daily basis should, every now and then, have the right to respond by hitting the sites from which those missiles are fired as well as at the people who order the launchers to let loose.
Israel, one can probably say with some confidence, can very well look after itself. Like everyone else who has spent time in the country, and admires and even loves it, I worry for it, but I can think of no nation on earth that is better equipped or better motivated to look after itself and its people. So when I see these young protestors in London, protesting against Israel, I do not worry for the country they are shouting against. They cannot touch her. But I worry for my country — Britain.
It is a country that is finding it so difficult to integrate the millions of Muslims who have come here that (in a figure that ought to be better known) there are now at least twice as many young British Muslims who have gone to Syria to fight alongside ISIS and other such groups than there are Muslims fighting for Queen and country here in the British armed forces.
By any standards, this is a symptom of a disastrous immigration and integration problem. The people shouting outside the Israeli embassy – the knackered and foolish old minority of Trots aside – can do Israel no harm. But they can do great harm to the country they are in.
Europe’s Israel-haters are no real problem for Israel, but they are the greatest possible problem for Europe.
This is from the US Department of Defense:
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2014 – In addition to honoring the Muslim faith during Ramadan, the Pentagon’s 16th annual iftar demonstrated the importance of diversity and equality within the Defense Department, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said.
Iftar is the post-sunset breaking of the fast during the Islamic holy month. …
“Ramadan reminds us of our shared responsibility to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves and the basic principles that bind people of different faiths together by yearning for peace, justice and equality,” Work said, citing the words of President Barack Obama.
“Tonight is an opportunity for people of different faiths to come together in the spirit of respect and tolerance to share the richness of our beliefs and to enjoy the traditions of hospitality that are such an important part of the Muslim community,” the deputy secretary said.
And this is today’s tally of what the Muslim yearning for peace has achieved in the first week only of the month of Ramadan. From The Religion of Peace:
Because, if you think all religions are the same,
then you haven’t been paying attention.
|Day 7||In the name of
|In the name of
* 2014.07.03 – A Myanmar Muslim was killed by Buddhists on rumor of a rape. (A Buddhist was also killed by Muslims during the same riot).
The Pentagon targeted by the Religion of Peace on 9/11/2001
From time to time visitors to this website or our Facebook page query the idea – even the possibility – of there being such a thing as atheist conservatism. They are – almost always, as far as we can make out – Americans whose understanding is that the word “conservative” denotes Christian conservatism. To them, therefore, to speak of “atheist conservatism” is to commit a contradiction in terms. Some have called it an oxymoron.
In Europe too, conservatism has a Christian coloration. Conservative political parties usually declare themselves to be Christian – for example, the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) of Germany. But their support does not come only from Christians. And in Britain the established Church of England has been called “the Conservative Party at prayer”, but the party does not exclude members of other Christian denominations or other religions, or the non-religious.
Yet it is an American conservatism that we embrace. It is faithfulness to the Constitution, to the essential idea that the United States was intended to embody as a nation: the idea of individual liberty protected by the rule of law.
The shortest answer we give to those who accuse us of being self-contradictory is to tell them what our prime principles are:
- individual freedom
- a free market economy
- small government
- low taxes
- strong defense
And we point out that those are core principles of American conservatism. The Constitution – southern state critics please be reminded – does not require citizens to be Christian, or religious at all.
Just as often, perhaps even more often, we are told that we cannot be both conservative and libertarian: that the two traditions are separate and even inimical to each other, to the point of being mutually exclusive. Even if that were true (and we don’t think it is), we consider it unnecessary to take tradition into account. The issue needs to be looked at philosophically, not historically. Our conservatism, holding the firmly conservative principles we have listed, is manifestly a conservatism of liberty.
And we think it is now, more than ever before, that the libertarian view should direct the political agenda of conservatism. A heavy counterweight is needed to bring America back from its tipping over into collectivism by the Left. Individual freedom urgently needs to be saved.
What is stopping conservatives from accepting libertarianism as its future? The libertarians themselves. Frequently, their public statements reveal them to be inexcusably ignorant of world affairs. They often advocate naive isolationism. They seem to lack a sense of what matters. The legalization of drugs could be wise and necessary, but it is not worth making a hullabaloo about when jihad is being waged against us. A person should arguably be able to marry any other person or persons – or things – that they choose, but it is much more important that America should remain the world’s sole superpower.
John Hinderaker also thinks that this should be “the libertarian moment”. And he too reproaches libertarians with an underdeveloped sense of what matters to the existence, liberty, safety, and prosperity of the nation.
He writes at PowerLine:
Every major strand of American conservatism includes a strong libertarian streak, because the value of liberty is fundamental to just about all conservative thought. But today, especially, is said to be the libertarians’ moment. What once was a fringe movement, politically speaking, has moved front and center in our political life.
And yet, in my view, libertarians of both the capital L and small l varieties punch below their weight. They have not contributed as much as they should to the conservative movement. This is partly because libertarians tend to founder on foreign policy, where many are merely modern-day isolationists. But it is also because they have tended to focus on secondary, or tertiary, issues of domestic policy.
A couple of years ago I was invited to a gathering on behalf of Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico who then was a libertarian candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. I was well disposed toward him, but when he started talking, his first subject was legalization of drugs. Now he is the CEO of a marijuana company. Rand Paul is probably the leading libertarian at the moment; he purports to take seriously the threat that someone drinking coffee in an American cafe will be struck by a drone-fired missile.
American liberty is indeed under attack, and a libertarian movement is needed more than ever. But the threat to freedom is not drug laws or drone attacks.
The principal threat is the administrative state, which increasingly hems in everything we do and depends hardly at all on the will of voters. …
Calvin Coolidge, who knew the Progressives well and understood how antithetical their vision of government is to America’s founding principles [said]:
It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter [the Constitution]. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
Today we labor under an administrative state that has metastasized far beyond anything Coolidge could have imagined. It constrains our freedoms, it lays waste to our economy, it has largely rendered Congress irrelevant, and it threatens to make just about anyone a criminal, since no one can possibly keep track of all of the myriad regulations with which we are encumbered. And let’s not forget that the administrative state is run by liberals, for liberals.
Despite the fact that it is antithetical to the Constitution and to American traditions, there is little opposition to the administrative state as such. Conventional politicians suggest that regulations can be made less irrational and less burdensome – a good idea, certainly – but hardly anyone questions the fundamental concept of Congress delegating its powers to unelected and mostly unaccountable agencies that are charged with managing just about every aspect of our lives. Nearly everyone considers the administrative state, as such, to be inevitable. …
Why don’t libertarians stake out a “radical” position on domestic policy? Why not argue, not just for a moderation in the inevitable drift toward a more and more powerful administrative state, but for a return to the Constitution’s central principle – the very first words of Article I – that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States…”, a Congress that is accountable to the people.
A battle is being fought for the liberties of the American people and, frankly, it isn’t going well. The fight has little or nothing to do with drugs and drones. If libertarians are serious about preserving and expanding liberty, they should join the fight that matters. A libertarian movement that focuses on a rollback of the administrative state would be “radical,” but it also would put libertarians in the vanguard, not on the fringe, of American conservatism.
The most dangerous war in our history … a war against the existence, the concept of the USA as a nation-state.
That is what Diana West sees happening with the invasion over the southern border of tens of thousands of so-called unaccompanied children (UAC).
She states truly that -
A nation-state doesn’t exist unless it controls its borders and protects its citizens. We, the People, do neither.
But the existential danger here comes not from the assault itself. Nightmarishly, it comes from the Obama administration, which, in its greatest betrayal, is leading, or at least supporting, the aliens’ charge. …
A normal government – one with the best interests of its own citizens at heart – would have taken immediate steps to 1) halt these border crossings that pose a dire threat to public health and safety, and 2) set in motion the deportation efforts necessary to return these illegal aliens to their home countries.
But the Obama administration is not a normal government. …
Every American should examine the Department of Homeland Security solicitation notice that appeared six months ago at the federal business opportunities site FedBizOpps.gov. The notice seeks “Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children,” describing exactly the services now required to process, not deport, this massive influx.
According to this notice posted back on Jan. 29, 2014, DHS was already gearing up to receive “approximately 65,000 UAC in total.” …
DHS, the notice states, has “a continuing and mission critical responsibility for accepting custody of unaccompanied alien children from U.S. Border Patrol and other Federal agencies and transporting these juveniles to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters located throughout the continental United States.”
“Resettlement,” in other words, means these illegals are staying – at least if the Obama administration has its way. This may fulfill a “mission critical responsibility” for the Central American countries whose nationals, including gangbangers and drug runners, are crashing our border. There is nothing, however, in the American interest about it. Come to think of it, there’s nothing in the American interest in the entire refugee resettlement mission – literally. According to the UAC services webpage of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the mission is to assist these minor illegal aliens “in becoming integrated members of our global society”.
Not our “American” society. Big difference.
All the difference in the world. The difference between a world of self-governing nation-states and International Communism enforced by World Government.
Is a Global Communist Society really what a majority of US voters want? Probably not.
It’s what Karl Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Mao, Pol-Pot and Saul Alinsky wanted and what Barack Obama and his gang want. And it must be what the New York Times, the Washington Post and the addled brains of the other mainstream media want, because they helped Obama and his gang get into power with just such an aim in mind. They helped by concealing the aim from the voters.
They’re still at it, while the first steps in the destruction of the USA as a nation-state are being taken – with no effective opposition.
Children and young mothers with babes in arms are streaming into the US over the Mexican border. They have come from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, a distance at the very least of well over 1,000 miles. Reports say they are walking. What would you expect young girls and boys, little kids and burdened women to look like after walking 1,000 miles in the summer heat, apparently carrying little or no sustenance for the journey, and passing through territory controlled by criminal gangs? The news pictures of them arriving in Texas and Arizona show those who reach their journey’s end looking quite healthy and fresh (though it is said that they have brought infectious diseases). We guess they did not walk, but rode on wheels. We guess there is organization behind the vast migration. Transportation has been provided – paid for by whom?
It is in the interests of adults to send the children ahead to the US, and to take all necessary measures to see that they get there safely. Their local news media have told them that “undocumented” children, once in the US, will not be deported, and that the US authorities will reunite them with their parents. Which suggests that parents will be not just allowed in, but brought in to the US.
Where did they get that from? Who or what has lured the children from Central America to the United States?
Diana West writes at Townhall:
It isn’t that the barbarians are at the gate. The barbarians control the gate. I don’t know what else to call a president and attorney general who have opened the US border to literally tens of thousands of “children” – some described as “sexually active” teens, some even suspected of ties to gangs. This not only breaks laws, it breaks trust. Opening the border this way also opens the most outrageous front to date in what increasingly looks like a kind of war aimed at “fundamentally transforming the United States of America“. And the people’s elected representatives do nothing.
Children are usually just children, but when 130,000 of them are expected to storm the border in the coming year, they more closely resemble an advancing column, a kind of foreign legion of child-mercenaries raised abroad with cynical promises of booty in the form of cradle-to-grave taxpayer charity.
But who will fight “children”? This is the audacity of this latest Obama “crisis”: Trojan horse as “humanitarian crisis”. …
Of course, there is an undeniable genius to this form of border attack. All “the kids” from the rest of the world (do you really think Central America is the end?) have to do is serve as pitiful proxies of the assault. Once vanquished by pangs of conscience, however false, we’ll support them forever. We’ll have to. Have you taken a look at your local police department’s massive and bristling military hardware lately?
Just shut up and watch as this newfangled children’s crusade turns our border, the concept of nationhood itself, into dust. Welcome to Obamaland.
Of course, even the 17-year-old gangbangers among the youngsters aren’t the masterminds or generals. Like American citizens, they are pawns, dupes, lured by promises which Washington may indeed extract from Us, the People. “Go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away,” one Guatemalan mother told a radio station in the Rio Grande Valley. She is right. Come one, come all.
Once they are over the increasingly irrelevant line, Obama officials welcome the invading junior armies, shepherding them straight into an enfolding and enlarging federal safety net from which they may never have to emerge. These are just the newest wards of a brave new state that bears no resemblance to the republic as defined by those antique documents kept under glass in the dim light of the National Archives.
Meanwhile, “the kids” have hit the jackpot – that jackpot of socialist programs that separates today’s “new Americans” from our forefathers. Not so long ago, immigrants came for liberty and opportunity, not tax-supported handouts.
We are witnessing the betrayal of that nation of liberty and opportunity because there are so few in power with the courage to lawfully oppose it – not just rail about it all as a mere columnist.
Meanwhile, American citizens are footing the bill. Living costs aside, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the Obama administration – i.e., We, the Taxpayers – will be providing attorneys for the legions of “unaccompanied minors”. Holder’s non-specific language is telling: “We’re taking a historic step to … protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society,” he said. Historic step is right – Legal Aid for the world. He continued: “How we treat those in need … goes to the core of who we are as a nation.”
OK, so who are we, Mr. Attorney General, as a “nation”? The Western Hemisphere?
Once upon a time, the U.S. staged the Berlin Airlift, mounting an astounding 200,000 flights in one year to keep Soviet-blockaded Berlin supplied with fuel and foodstuffs. Today, a more modest Central American Airlift would do to return these runaways to their families. One thing at a time, though. How about calling out the National Guard? It would even be of some comfort if someone in Congress went to the floor and told peoples of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and the rest to stay the hell home.
So long as all of the government remains complicit or silent, this is nothing less than an unopposed invasion – an unopposed war, in other words, even if waged by the most unconventional means and by the most unlikely and unarmed “soldiers”.
Worst of all, though, it is a war that is being encouraged, if not led, by our own president while no one with all of the appropriate Constitutional powers vested in him is doing anything to stop him.
Bill Whittle of PJ Media cogently makes the case against Obama and Hillary Clinton: guilty of gross dereliction of duty on – and leading up to – 9/11/12, when the attack on the US mission in Benghazi resulted in death and disaster.
It is still questionable whether their inaction was a result of the undoubtably bad characters of Obama and Hillary Clinton, and their equally undoubtable incompetence, or an implementation of Obama’s ever more glaringly obvious ambition to weaken America and help Islam to victory.
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?
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 home … A 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.
To add another scandalous detail to the post immediately below (Trading with the Taliban – as fellow Muslims?), here’s our Facebook one-paragraph summary of a Jihad Watch article:
A former U.S. officer who served in Afghanistan with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl claims that soldiers were threatened by U.S. authorities if they questioned his story. After he was captured, Bergdahl said on a video from his captors that he lagged behind on patrol, although other sources in the military suggested anonymously that he walked away from his post. Not only has this nebulous non-story been put out for years but soldiers of 4th Brigade 25th Infantry Division were threatened with legal repercussions if they spoke about Bergdahl. Many of Bergdahl’s fellow troops signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl’s disappearance and the efforts to recapture him. But Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down. Its probably unlikely that Bergdahl will face a court martial – because it would cast doubt on the deal the United States made with the Taliban to secure his release.
Still more sickening facts -
Mark Tapson writes (in part) at Front Page:
Let’s get this clear about Bergdahl – he didn’t “wander” off base that June day in 2009, as the media so often put it, like a lost toddler; if reports from the ground are to be believed (and they are), he intentionally and premeditatedly deserted.
In the wake of that, at least six good American soldiers died or were wounded in search attempts. Their names: Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen, Pfc. Morris Walker, Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtiss, 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews, Pfc. Matthew Michael Martinek, and Staff Sgt. Michael Murphrey. Their families and friends have suffered a far greater loss than the Bergdahl parents.
As Jake Tapper reports, “other operations were put on hold while the search for Bergdahl was made a top priority… Manpower and assets – such as scarce surveillance drones and helicopters – were redirected to the hunt. The lack of assets is one reason the closure of a dangerous combat outpost, COP Keating, was delayed. Eight soldiers were killed at COP Keating before it was ultimately closed.”
What punishment will Bergdahl face? An anonymous senior Defense official [said] that he will not likely face any: “Five years [in 'captivity'] is enough.”
Meanwhile our enemy rejoices. Five more dangerous Guantanamo terrorists are back in the field to plot havoc against American infidels, to kill and wound more American soldiers, soldiers who are already fatally hamstrung by Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan that don’t even allow them to engage unless they’re already under attack – and sometimes not even then.
Taliban leader Mullah Omar rightfully declared the trade a “great victory.” It will result in more Americans – and not just soldiers – being targeted for hostages, because terrorists everywhere now know that that will pay off.
On Saturday May 31, Obama triumphantly announced that he had procured the release by the Taliban of a captured American soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, “the only known American prisoner of war in Afghanistan”.
When terrorists hold hostages, the worst thing a government can do is bargain with them. If a ransom of any sort – money or release of prisoners – is paid to hostage holders, an industry begins. If the US government starts giving terrorists what they want in exchange for one American life, more Americans will be taken hostage. Can a government give ransom for one hostage and refuse to give it for others? On what grounds would such discrimination be made? One immorality will be compounded by another, either by the government’s continuing to bargain or refusing to continue to bargain.
It was and should be a firm policy not to deal with terrorists. Obama broke that rule when he started negotiating with the Taliban years ago. Negotiating with terrorist organizations legitimizes them.
Not only has Obama let the Taliban win the war in Afghanistan, but he has also made himself their creature. All the American lives lost in that ghastly country have been spent for Obama to preen himself as a hero for “ending” the war – ie surrendering – and for getting back one hostage in exchange for five Taliban leaders* freed from Guantano military prison. They should have been shot long ago. Keeping them alive was always a bait for their terrorist comrades to capture Americans and hold them as bargaining chips.
Obama broke the law again when he traded five jihadis held in Guantanamo for Sergeant Bergdahl. Federal law requires Congress to be notified before prisoners are transferred. (He breaks the law so often it is becoming habitual. How weak is the Republican House of Representatives that they let him get away with it over and over again?)
And of course, the five released Afghan prisoners will rejoin the Taliban.
What Obama has done, on all these counts, is bad. Very bad.
But the story gets even worse.
It looks highly probable that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was not being held as a hostage. He may well have been a deserter and collaborator. He may have been released because he converted to Islam – and gave positive help to the terrorists.
From the Washington Post:
Bergdahl, 28, is believed to have slipped away from his platoon’s small outpost in Afghanistan’s Paktika province on June 30, 2009, after growing disillusioned with the US military’s war effort. He was captured shortly afterward by enemy forces and held captive in Pakistan by insurgents affiliated with the Taliban. At the time, an entire US military division and thousands of Afghan soldiers and police officers devoted weeks to searching for him, and some soldiers resented risking their lives for someone they considered a deserter.
Bergdahl was recovered Saturday by a US Special Operations team in Afghanistan after weeks of intense negotiations in which U.S. officials, working through the government of Qatar, negotiated a prisoner swap with the Taliban. In exchange for his release, the United States agreed to free five Taliban commanders from the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. …
Disappearing from a military post in a war zone without authorization commonly results in one of two criminal charges in the Army: desertion or going absent without leave … Desertion is the more serious one, and usually arises in cases where an individual intends to remain away from the military or to “shirk important duty,” including a combat deployment such as Bergdahl’s.
One Afghan special operations commander in eastern Afghanistan remembers being dispatched.
“Along with the American Special Forces, we set up checkpoints everywhere. For 14 days we were outside of our base trying to find him,” he told The Washington Post …
But U.S. troops said they were aware of the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance — that he left the base of his own volition — and with that awareness, many grew angry.
“The unit completely changed its operational posture because of something that was selfish, not because a soldier was captured in combat,” said one U.S. soldier formerly based in eastern Afghanistan … “The problem came of his own accord.”
The search in Paktika was eventually called off, after US officials acknowledged that Bergdahl had been taken to Pakistan.
The “deaths and woundings of several US soldiers” happened in the search for Bergdahl. And “the frequency of enemy ambushes and improvised explosive devices increased after he was gone”.
“The Taliban knew that we were looking for him in high numbers and our movements were predictable,” [a soldier who was there commented]. “Because of Bergdahl, more men were out in danger, and more attacks on friendly camps and positions were conducted while we were out looking for him … His actions impacted the region more than anyone wants to admit.”
Those sentiments were underscored in a long series of tweets that were posted Saturday night and went viral online. … The writer said he was on base at the time and believes that Bergdahl planned his escape for days, leaving between 3 and 4:30 a.m., when there was the least amount of light. The following day, the troops there questioned Afghan children nearby, who said they had seen an American crawling through weeds.
“While searching for him, ambushes and IEDs picked up tremendously,” one of the tweets said. “Enemy knew we would be coming.” …
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking to reporters Sunday in Bagram, Afghanistan, declined to talk about any possible action by the military against Bergdahl. A senior defense official indicated that punitive action was unlikely, no matter what the circumstances were. “Five years is enough,” he said.
Justice is of no interest or concern to the Obama regime, and prosecuting Sergeant Bergdahl for desertion and endangering his fellow American soldiers would spoil the aura of kudos with which Obama has surrounded himself over this “rescue”.
Current and former service members also questioned whether the United States should have released five members of the Taliban in exchange for Bergdahl. Former Sgt. Aaron King, who deployed to Iraq twice as part of the 101st Airborne Division, said that … US troops join the military knowing that they could be kidnapped. He also said that troops accept that although their fellow service members will search for them, they are not to be used in negotiations.
“We’re giving up too much for this individual,” said King … “Five guys are getting back out into the world to probably conduct terror operations and harm others.”
And we have no idea what Obama did to get this evil bargain agreed and implemented. We are told that “Qatar” was the go-between. Who in Qatar? Why? What did the negotiator say, and to whom? Was much made of Bowe Bergdahl’s conversion to Islam?
Has his father, Bob Bergdahl, converted to Islam? If so, was it a cause or effect of his son’s conversion and betrayal? And was it a help in getting his release?
Bob Bergdahl triumphant: if he looks like a Muslim, and talks like a Muslim, and prays like a Muslim ….
Former Army Lieutenant Col. Allen West caught a tweet by Sergeant Bergdahl’s father, Bob Bergdahl, before it was deleted:
I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen!
Which happened first – Bob Bergdahl becoming a Muslim and learning to speak Pashto, or Bowe Bergdahl joining the Taliban? Who affected whose decisions?
The plain fact is that we are at war with Islam, because Islam is actively at war with us. And out of this dark event, yet again the question arises: On whose side is the president of the United States, Barack Obama?
* The five Taliban prisoners released in the illegal, immoral, and dangerous exchange: Mohammed Fazl – head of the Taliban army. He commanded the main force fighting the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in 2001. Mullah Norullah Noori - governor of Balkh province in the Taliban regime, helped coordinate the fight against the Northern Alliance. Mohammed Nabi Omari – the Taliban’s chief of communications, helped al Qaeda members escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Khairullah Khairkhwa – governor of Herat province from 1999 to 2001, said to have been “directly associated” with Osama bin Laden. Abdul Haq Wasiq – deputy chief of the Taliban regime’s intelligence service. His cousin was head of the service.
More pieces of apposite information come from the Daily Mail:
Bowe Bergdahl joined the military so he could help Afghans. He told his parents he was ‘ashamed to even be American’. He mailed home boxes containing his uniform and books. His father, Bob, has grown a long, thick beard and learned to speak the Afghanistan tribal language Pashto. His parents said their son had joined the military so that he could help the Afghan people.
“The 24-year-old has converted to Islam and now has the Muslim name Abdullah,” according to one of his captors, a Taliban deputy district commander in Paktika, who called himself Haji Nadeem. He said that Bergdahl taught him how to dismantle a mobile phone and turn it into a remote control for a roadside bomb. Nadeem also claimed he received basic ambush training from the US soldier.
Desertion in a time of war can carry the death penalty. But as Congress never passed a declaration of war in respect to Afghanistan, the maximum penalty Bergdahl would face is five years in prison and a dishonorable discharge, if it’s proved that he deserted with the intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service. If a charge of absence without leave – ended by the US apprehending him – is brought against him, there would be no requirement of proof that he intended to remain away permanently. The maximum punishment for that would be a dishonorable discharge and 18 months’ confinement.
And yet more fascinating information and speculation on The Bergdahl Mysteries come from Michael Ledeen at PJ Media:
I will confess to a dark suspicion that when Robert Bergdahl, standing next to President Obama, said in Pashto to Bowe Bergdahl, “I am your father,” it was some sort of coded message. I mean, what in the world was that all about? Does any father have to say such a thing to a son? Did he think Bowe didn’t know who his father was?
But then I started to ask questions of people who had followed the Bergdahl saga, and they calmed me down a bit. The elder Bergdahl seems a bit odd. Look at the pictures. “A hippy,” one of my best sources said. A guy who’d gone to Idaho to pursue a lifestyle reminiscent of the romantic sixties: love, peace, and the expansion of the mind. … And it connects well with the story of Bowe, leaving his base in an “intoxicated state,” which, if true, can’t mean alcohol, which is forbidden in such places. It might mean pot, or hashish, however. Berkeley, California, on the plains of Afghanistan. …
Forget about the Taliban, they weren’t holding Bowe. He was a captive of the Haqqanis … What did the Haqqanis get for Bergdahl? … Four of the Guantanamo terrorists were indeed Taliban, and hence low priority for the Haqqanis. …
So we need to ask how much money the Haqqanis got, or how many weapons … something of value had to be given to the Haqqanis. I don’t believe they turned over Bowe as a favor to the Taliban.
It is also possible that the Iranians were involved …. They have trained both the Haqqanis and the Taliban, and they are eager to extend their control over Afghanistan as we retreat. … One of the released Taliban was in cahoots with them, planning anti-American operations as we prepared to invade in 2001. …
As we sort out the real facts from the abundant background noise, we will discover several disconcerting things: first, that control over the efforts to recover Bowe often shifted between US government agencies. Second, that it is misleading to say that the negotiations were underway for five years; the final push came in the last six weeks, when the Qataris told the U.S. that a deal was now possible. Third, that the list of Guantanamo terrorists to be “paid” shifted continuously. And fourth, who were the key intermediaries? I suspect we will find some relatively unknown academics involved in the talks. It wasn’t entirely the work of Qatari diplomats and U.S. officials by any means.
Finally … why the sudden urgency at the end, when talks had often collapsed in the past? … We’re missing a key element, something separate from the Bergdahl saga.
For once, I think we have a good chance to find out. There are lots of angry people out there, from military guys who despise Bowe and think he’s worthless, to members of the various agencies who fought one another to get control and glory and will now tell very different versions of what actually took place.
The people I wouldn’t trust on this one – aside from top decision makers who likely have a lot to hide – are the Bergdahls. They’re very odd people, to put it mildly.
How goes Obama’s “pivot” – or “tilt” – to the East?
The Washington Post reports that Defense Secretary Hagel is quietly busy seeing to it, with feeling:
Hagel, who has made five trips to the Far East in the past year, has sustained President Obama’s long-touted tilt toward Asia, even as he has been a nearly invisible player in the unending crises elsewhere that have eclipsed it.
By interest, history and temperament, Hagel appears to feel a sense of ownership in Asia.
A sense of ownership. What can that mean? Read on, and we may find out.
Despite the stalling of the Pacific trade agreement that is another cornerstone of Obama’s Asia “rebalance” …
What is being referenced here is Obama’s failure to reach a trade agreement with Japan. Notice that the Obamaspeak for “failing” is “stalling”. Implied is a temporary hitch soon to be overcome.
… Hagel can claim steady progress in the military’s role of building regional alliances and partnerships. But those gains risk being overtaken by China’s rapidly worsening relations with its neighbors and escalating belligerency from North Korea.
Yup, a little advance here a huge set-back there.
In a speech Saturday morning to the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional defense conference he first attended as a senator more than a decade ago, Hagel criticized China’s “destabilizing, unilateral actions” in asserting its maritime claims against other countries in the region. [Some of his] aides said he purposely used language sharper than in previous public statements on the subject.
Purposely? Is sharp speaking usually done by him inadvertently? Obamarians feel uncomfortable speaking sharply to a foreign audience – other than Israel, of course.
So how sharply?
“We take no position on competing territorial claims,” Hagel said, repeating U.S. insistence that its interests are rooted in a desire to balance alliances with Asia’s smaller partners and a smooth relationship with China.
That sharply? Hang on – here it comes:
“But we firmly oppose any nation’s use of intimidation, coercion or the threat of force to assert these claims.”
How firmly? As firmly as Obama opposed intimidation, coercion and the actual use of force by Assad and Putin?
The report mentions that intimidation, coercion and the threat of force is ongoing:
New air skirmishes have erupted in recent weeks in the East China Sea with Japan and in contested South China Sea waters with Vietnam.
So how firm on the Obama scale is Mr Hagel? There must be a shadow or a ghost of firmness somewhere about. It was detected by a Chinese lady general in a “restatement” of a “defense commitment” to Japan. Wow!
In questions following Hagel’s remarks, a Chinese general testily asked the defense secretary to explain what she called his own “subtle threat of force” in restating the U.S. defense commitment to Japan even as he called for a negotiated settlement of contesting claims to East China Sea islands.
Watch out now for the assertion that the Obama position is clear. Whenever an Obama position is very faint, particularly uncertain, he or one of his servants will say that it is “clear”:
“America’s position is clear,” Hagel said. “These territorial disputes should be resolved through international law.”
International law. That clear? That firm? “International law” is a will-o-the-wisp, a fancy, a trick of the light, smoke and mirrors.
But at the same time, he said, the United States has treaty commitments to several countries in the region, including Japan, the Philippines and South Korea.
We like that “but”. There’s the sharpness, you see. “But” the US has treaty commitments. They may involve mention of military support! The big contrast to international law. Strong stuff, like the treaty commitment the US had to defending Ukraine’s independence. When Ukraine’s independence was threatened, when a chunk of its territory was seized by Russia, the US commitment held like cardboard in the rain.
But enough of ghostly saber rattling.
Those Eastern countries towards which Obama is tilting must be reminded of what Obama expects of them. What he expects of them is his policy towards them.
Returning to familiar themes, Hagel nudged South Korea and Japan toward greater defense cooperation that will allow a unified missile defense system against North Korea, which is suspected of preparing a fourth nuclear test. He called on China to play “a more active role” in using its influence on Pyongyang, urged Thailand’s military to restore democracy and praised Burma for ending military dictatorship.
And if they would only take those decisive steps, US partnership would prove a real boon.
If anything, Hagel indicated, “the Asia-Pacific’s shifting security landscape makes America’s partnerships and alliances indispensable as anchors for regional stability.” …
While budgets may be cut elsewhere, Hagel said, “both President Obama and I remain committed to ensuring that any reductions in U.S. defense spending do not come at the expense of America’s commitments in the Asia-Pacific,” where they have said 60 percent of U.S. air and naval assets will be based by 2020.
Although the administration has promised that resources saved by ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be used both for the Asia rebalance and for the new Middle East and African counterterrorism strategy that Obama outlined this past week in an address at the U.S. Military Academy, a senior defense official said little competition was involved.
What could he mean by “competition”. Could he mean (shudder!) a possibility of military opposition? None of that sort of thing? So what matters are the alliances in themselves, not any purpose beyond them. Do not even think it.
Asia, Hagel said in his speech, is an example of the stronger “global partnerships and alliances” Obama described this week as a cornerstone of his foreign and security policy. …
Now at last we are told why Hagel has “a sense of ownership in Asia”. Get ready to be impressed.
Hagel’s Vietnam experience is only part of his attachment to Asia, the senior defense official said. His father was a bomber tail-gunner in the Pacific in World War II. As president of the USO and a business executive who founded a lucrative cellphone network, Hagel traveled frequently to the region even before his election to the Senate in 1996.
And that adds up to -
“I’ve got this long history, this confluence with my background, my history,” said [an] official, describing what he said was Hagel’s thought process. “It’s what I’m good at, what I’m interested in.”
We won’t even dignify all that with a comment – the silliness speaks for itself.
What we have to understand is that Hagel is determined to succeed. You may find this hard to believe, but he is as determined to succeed in the Far East as Secretary of State John Kerry was determined to succeed in the Middle East. That determined.
[His] aides portray Hagel’s dedication to the Asia-Pacific and his determination to succeed here as equal to that of Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s highly publicized (but stalled) efforts to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace, only with less media attention and more potential for long-term success.
More potential, eh? Efforts that will not “stall”? There’s optimism for you!
Meanwhile what is going on with the Far East in the real world?
Events so huge that they mark “a major alteration in the global balance of power”.
Charles Krauthammer writes (May 22, 2014) at the Washington Post:
It finally happened — the pivot to Asia. No, not the United States. It was Russia that turned East.
In Shanghai, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a spectacular energy deal — $400 billion of Siberian natural gas to be exported to China over 30 years.
This is huge. By indelibly linking producer and consumer — the pipeline alone is a $70 billion infrastructure project — it deflates the post-Ukraine Western threat (mostly empty, but still very loud) to cut European imports of Russian gas. Putin has just defiantly demonstrated that he has other places to go.
The Russia-China deal also makes a mockery of U.S. boasts to have isolated Russia because of Ukraine. Not even Germany wants to risk a serious rupture with Russia (hence the absence of significant sanctions). And now Putin has just ostentatiously unveiled a signal 30-year energy partnership with the world’s second-largest economy. Some isolation.
The contrast with President Obama’s own vaunted pivot to Asia is embarrassing (to say nothing of the Keystone pipeline with Canada). He went to Japan last month also seeking a major trade agreement that would symbolize and cement a pivotal strategic alliance. He came home empty-handed.
Does the Obama foreign policy team even understand what is happening? For them, the Russia-China alliance is simply more retrograde, 19th-century, balance-of-power maneuvering by men of the past oblivious to the reality of a 21st century governed by law and norms. A place where, for example, one simply doesn’t annex a neighbor’s territory. Indeed, Obama scolds Russia and China for not living up to their obligations as major stakeholders in this new interdependent world.
The Chinese and Russians can only roll their eyes. These norms and rules mean nothing to them. Sure, they’ll join the World Trade Organization for the commercial advantages – then cheat like hell with cyberespionage and intellectual piracy. They see these alleged norms as forms of velvet-glove imperialism, clever extensions of a Western hegemony meant to keep Russia in its reduced post-Soviet condition and China contained by a dominant US military.
Obama cites modern rules; Russia and China, animated by resurgent nationalism, are governed by ancient maps. Putin refers to eastern and southern Ukraine by the old czarist term of “New Russia”. And China’s foreign minister justifies vast territorial claims that violate maritime law by citing traditional (“nine-dash”) maps that grant China dominion over the East and South China seas.
Which makes this alignment of the world’s two leading anti-Western powers all the more significant.
It marks a major alteration in the global balance of power. …
China and Russia together represent the core of a new coalition of anti-democratic autocracies challenging the Western-imposed, post-Cold War status quo.
Their enhanced partnership marks the first emergence of a global coalition against American hegemony since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Indeed, at this week’s Asian cooperation conference, Xi proposed a brand-new continental security system to include Russia and Iran (lest anyone mistake its anti-imperialist essence) and exclude America.
This is an open challenge to the post-Cold War, US-dominated world that Obama inherited and then weakened beyond imagining.
If carried through, it would mark the end of a quarter-century of unipolarity. And herald a return to a form of bipolarity — two global coalitions: one free, one not… [A] struggle … for dominion and domination.
To which Obama, who once proclaimed that “no one nation can or should try to dominate another nation,” is passive, perhaps even oblivious. His pivot to Asia remains a dead letter. Yet his withdrawal from the Middle East — where from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, from Libya to Syria, US influence is at its lowest ebb in 40 years — is a fait accompli.
The retreat is compounded by Obama’s proposed massive cuts in defense spending … even as Russia is rearming and China is creating a sophisticated military soon capable of denying America access to the waters of the Pacific Rim.
Decline is not a condition. Decline is a choice. In this case, Obama’s choice. And it’s the one area where he can be said to be succeeding splendidly.