Strategic Swap Meets

Sometimes a picture is worth a million words. Take Michelle Obama’s recent head shot, a pouty face over a sign that reads: “Bring back our girls!” Michelle is pleading with Boko Haram to return several hundred Nigerian girls abducted earlier this year. This is what passes for foreign policy these days, a silly photo from the White House.

It was the Obama administration that couldn’t bring itself to designate Boko Haram a terror group until recently. Apparently, religious genocide, forced conversions, and sex slavery didn’t breach the “terror” threshold at Foggy Bottom or the Oval Office until 2013.

Had Boko Haram been on the terrorist watch list, maybe the national Security Agency (NSA) would have been watching sex-slave trafficking in Africa instead of monitoring domestic sex surfing on laptops in America. Clearly, the praetorian peep show at Fort Meade has a better payoff when “metadata” is used to trash some political naïf like the hapless David Petraeus.                 

The most populous terror groups in the Middle East and South Asia, al Ikhwan  (Muslim Brotherhood) and the notorious Taliban, still do not make State’s official terror list in the Obama era either. The Brotherhood is a designated terror organization in Cairo but not in Washington, DC. Take comfort in knowing that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) in Peru are still on the official list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.                                          

And just when you thought the Obama crew couldn’t be more tone deaf or manipulative, along comes Susan Rice again to rationalize another group of domestic apologists, this time the Bergdahls, a family of Idaho Taliban fans. Bergdahl’s home town, Hailey, was planning a “hero’s” welcome for a favorite son turned rabbit. The US Army cultivated the hero canard by promoting the errant private to sergeant while in self-imposed “captivity” for five years. Calling Bergdahl a prisoner of war (POW) or sergeant, as Rice does, dishonors all real combat Non-Commissioned Officers and legitimate POWs, living and dead.

Bowe Bergdahl served in the Coast Guard for 26 days before he was discharged for psychological reasons. How or why the US Army takes a recruit who didn’t pass muster in a sister service is another Bowe cypher.   

Adding insult to irony, America’s most feckless national security advisor again took to the airways to spin the truth about all things Islamic and Bergdahl.  You might recall that in the wake of Benghazi atrocity, Ms. Rice was the public face of excuse-making for the Islamist murder of a gay American ambassador and three colleagues in Libya.

We mention Chris Steven’s sexual orientation because, in the sick world of Islamism, it may well have been the proximate cause of his execution. Midst the moral miasma of Foggy Bottom, American diplomats become hysterical over any real or imagined homophobia in Russia, and at the same time ignore the lethal variety of that same bigotry in the Muslim world at large.

Now Susan Rice, with media collaborators, would have us believe that a marginal soldier -- at a minimum an AWOL, possibly a deserter -- served with “honor and distinction” in Afghanistan. In fact, his platoon mates, his parents, and even Rolling Stone have testified that Bowe Bergdahl was unhappy with the war against Islamists and voluntarily left his post to seek refuge with the Taliban.

The fact that Bergdahl may have been restrained on occasion by his hosts is moot. After all, he fled to the Taliban where young girls are stoned to death for immodesty, and outsiders might be buggered or beheaded with the same unhappy logic (see the Sewing Circles of Kandahar, by Christina Lamb).

If the Coast Guard and the US Army couldn’t trust Private Bowe, why would anyone expect semi-literate Muslim fascists like the Taliban to trust him?

Barack Obama misused the “no man left behind” ethic by staging a White House photo opportunity with Private Bergdahl’s parents; a charade where papa Bergdahl was festooned in a full length ‘Islamic solidarity’ beard, another photo worth a million words. Bergdahl’s dad, a pensioned former postal worker, also graced the occasion with several Koranic incantations. Hard to pass up an “in your face” moment in the Rose Garden.

Smell a rat yet? Seems the Pentagon and the Oval Office are trying to cook the national security books again, for a couple of reasons.

The first would be to set a precedent to empty Guantanamo and fulfill a longstanding Obama campaign pledge. For Obama, the next couple of years are about legacy, not national safety. The bearded Taliban miscreants swapped for Bergdahl get a luxury villa in Qatar for a few months and should be back in the religious genocide business for a spring 2015 offensive.

A second motive would be to prejudice any US Army officer in any pre-trial investigation or every officer on any potential Bergdahl court martial board.  The pair of political lawyers in the White House should know all there is to know about cooking a jury.

The brass at the Pentagon has already flunked the partiality test by trying to gag Bergdahl’s platoon, a bevy of hostile eyewitnesses. If Private Bergdahl served with “distinction,” why muzzle or malign his mates?

When Bergdahl gets a pass, Obama spin gets a win -- again.

Future narratives could follow several story lines. The Army could feign justice with “non-judicial” punishment (reduction in rank or forfeiture of pay), a slap on the wrist, and a Pentagon pouty face. If Bergdahl goes to trial -- unlikely just before a congressional election -- the administration will probably argue that he has suffered enough and a presidential pardon would do the trick.

The only version of Bergdahl’s expedition and behavior amongst the Taliban may be the story he chooses to tell.  In truth, Bergdahl is more a mirror image of his ransom, the Guantanamo Five. The Taliban psychopaths get to return to the heart of Islam as victims, heroes, and jihadi. Bowe gets to play the same role in America, a celebrated troubled soul victimized by a bad war and callous critics. If Bergdahl is a Muslim convert, he has the potential to do more damage with a Muslim/American 5th Column than he might ever have done as a soul lost in the South Asia skedaddle.

Beneath all the Obama/Rice compassion posturing lies a tortured past and a Malthusian future. Recall that candidate Obama ran on a plank that labeled Afghanistan a “war of necessity.” Indeed, a claim that al Qaeda and the Taliban must be defeated so that Afghanistan wouldn’t become a haven for terrorists.

With a good part of Taliban leadership now in Qatar, the Arabian Peninsula is (or always has been) a destination resort for terrorists and their enablers – and that affluent sty includes Saudi Arabia.  For the next two years Guantanamo will apparently serve as terror’s travel agent.

Meanwhile, somewhere in South Asia, Mullah Omar is celebrating victory. When Kabul again falls to his Taliban, we will know how the end began. When and if Karachi and Pakistan’s cache of nuclear weapons fall to Islamic fascism too, we will also know how Armageddon begins. America just swapped the negligible legacy of a very weak president for a very troubled future.

The author is a Vietnam veteran who writes about the politics of national security.

Sometimes a picture is worth a million words. Take Michelle Obama’s recent head shot, a pouty face over a sign that reads: “Bring back our girls!” Michelle is pleading with Boko Haram to return several hundred Nigerian girls abducted earlier this year. This is what passes for foreign policy these days, a silly photo from the White House.

It was the Obama administration that couldn’t bring itself to designate Boko Haram a terror group until recently. Apparently, religious genocide, forced conversions, and sex slavery didn’t breach the “terror” threshold at Foggy Bottom or the Oval Office until 2013.

Had Boko Haram been on the terrorist watch list, maybe the national Security Agency (NSA) would have been watching sex-slave trafficking in Africa instead of monitoring domestic sex surfing on laptops in America. Clearly, the praetorian peep show at Fort Meade has a better payoff when “metadata” is used to trash some political naïf like the hapless David Petraeus.                 

The most populous terror groups in the Middle East and South Asia, al Ikhwan  (Muslim Brotherhood) and the notorious Taliban, still do not make State’s official terror list in the Obama era either. The Brotherhood is a designated terror organization in Cairo but not in Washington, DC. Take comfort in knowing that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) in Peru are still on the official list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.                                          

And just when you thought the Obama crew couldn’t be more tone deaf or manipulative, along comes Susan Rice again to rationalize another group of domestic apologists, this time the Bergdahls, a family of Idaho Taliban fans. Bergdahl’s home town, Hailey, was planning a “hero’s” welcome for a favorite son turned rabbit. The US Army cultivated the hero canard by promoting the errant private to sergeant while in self-imposed “captivity” for five years. Calling Bergdahl a prisoner of war (POW) or sergeant, as Rice does, dishonors all real combat Non-Commissioned Officers and legitimate POWs, living and dead.

Bowe Bergdahl served in the Coast Guard for 26 days before he was discharged for psychological reasons. How or why the US Army takes a recruit who didn’t pass muster in a sister service is another Bowe cypher.   

Adding insult to irony, America’s most feckless national security advisor again took to the airways to spin the truth about all things Islamic and Bergdahl.  You might recall that in the wake of Benghazi atrocity, Ms. Rice was the public face of excuse-making for the Islamist murder of a gay American ambassador and three colleagues in Libya.

We mention Chris Steven’s sexual orientation because, in the sick world of Islamism, it may well have been the proximate cause of his execution. Midst the moral miasma of Foggy Bottom, American diplomats become hysterical over any real or imagined homophobia in Russia, and at the same time ignore the lethal variety of that same bigotry in the Muslim world at large.

Now Susan Rice, with media collaborators, would have us believe that a marginal soldier -- at a minimum an AWOL, possibly a deserter -- served with “honor and distinction” in Afghanistan. In fact, his platoon mates, his parents, and even Rolling Stone have testified that Bowe Bergdahl was unhappy with the war against Islamists and voluntarily left his post to seek refuge with the Taliban.

The fact that Bergdahl may have been restrained on occasion by his hosts is moot. After all, he fled to the Taliban where young girls are stoned to death for immodesty, and outsiders might be buggered or beheaded with the same unhappy logic (see the Sewing Circles of Kandahar, by Christina Lamb).

If the Coast Guard and the US Army couldn’t trust Private Bowe, why would anyone expect semi-literate Muslim fascists like the Taliban to trust him?

Barack Obama misused the “no man left behind” ethic by staging a White House photo opportunity with Private Bergdahl’s parents; a charade where papa Bergdahl was festooned in a full length ‘Islamic solidarity’ beard, another photo worth a million words. Bergdahl’s dad, a pensioned former postal worker, also graced the occasion with several Koranic incantations. Hard to pass up an “in your face” moment in the Rose Garden.

Smell a rat yet? Seems the Pentagon and the Oval Office are trying to cook the national security books again, for a couple of reasons.

The first would be to set a precedent to empty Guantanamo and fulfill a longstanding Obama campaign pledge. For Obama, the next couple of years are about legacy, not national safety. The bearded Taliban miscreants swapped for Bergdahl get a luxury villa in Qatar for a few months and should be back in the religious genocide business for a spring 2015 offensive.

A second motive would be to prejudice any US Army officer in any pre-trial investigation or every officer on any potential Bergdahl court martial board.  The pair of political lawyers in the White House should know all there is to know about cooking a jury.

The brass at the Pentagon has already flunked the partiality test by trying to gag Bergdahl’s platoon, a bevy of hostile eyewitnesses. If Private Bergdahl served with “distinction,” why muzzle or malign his mates?

When Bergdahl gets a pass, Obama spin gets a win -- again.

Future narratives could follow several story lines. The Army could feign justice with “non-judicial” punishment (reduction in rank or forfeiture of pay), a slap on the wrist, and a Pentagon pouty face. If Bergdahl goes to trial -- unlikely just before a congressional election -- the administration will probably argue that he has suffered enough and a presidential pardon would do the trick.

The only version of Bergdahl’s expedition and behavior amongst the Taliban may be the story he chooses to tell.  In truth, Bergdahl is more a mirror image of his ransom, the Guantanamo Five. The Taliban psychopaths get to return to the heart of Islam as victims, heroes, and jihadi. Bowe gets to play the same role in America, a celebrated troubled soul victimized by a bad war and callous critics. If Bergdahl is a Muslim convert, he has the potential to do more damage with a Muslim/American 5th Column than he might ever have done as a soul lost in the South Asia skedaddle.

Beneath all the Obama/Rice compassion posturing lies a tortured past and a Malthusian future. Recall that candidate Obama ran on a plank that labeled Afghanistan a “war of necessity.” Indeed, a claim that al Qaeda and the Taliban must be defeated so that Afghanistan wouldn’t become a haven for terrorists.

With a good part of Taliban leadership now in Qatar, the Arabian Peninsula is (or always has been) a destination resort for terrorists and their enablers – and that affluent sty includes Saudi Arabia.  For the next two years Guantanamo will apparently serve as terror’s travel agent.

Meanwhile, somewhere in South Asia, Mullah Omar is celebrating victory. When Kabul again falls to his Taliban, we will know how the end began. When and if Karachi and Pakistan’s cache of nuclear weapons fall to Islamic fascism too, we will also know how Armageddon begins. America just swapped the negligible legacy of a very weak president for a very troubled future.

The author is a Vietnam veteran who writes about the politics of national security.