Our President Obama seems to create a problem where none exists. He’s really a compassionate nice guy, an eloquent orator most of the time. But he’s a lousy negotiator and a worst foreseer and planner of marketing and publicity. Just like he compromised on many of the deals with the republicans, and compromised on the budgets, etc., the popular view was that he got hosed. And he was and I said so. But I also said that he needed to get some “street” guys to talk to. By “street”, I mean guys who live by their wits, who live by their guile, who can see the roadblocks ahead and are ready for the unexpected. Smart eggheads from Harvard and Yale and Princeton and Stanford with PhDs are great, but sometimes you need a guy who is almost a gangster (not a criminal) in mind. Take for instance, his idea to decide to call the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. It was a disastrous idea. Perhaps, ego got in the way, I don’t know, but a good idea, healthcare for all, marketed all wrong.
So it is with this Bergdahl mess.
Now, let me be clear. Bringing this soldier home was the right thing to do. But the preparation and the marketing was essentially f**ked up!! Now crap is flying all over the place.
Why was not the Army, his combat buddies, the reports of the his actions in terms of his disappearance and such, reviewed so that the Administration would be prepared for any backlash about the details of the prisoner exchange and, the questions about who was being set free in exchange for Bergdahl.
Poor Susan Rice was again placed in front of the TV cameras to say things that could be used as fodder by the republicans. Given the questions about the soldier’s disappearance, how could anyone allow her to say “He served with honor and distinction” when the question of his action are open to question? Just like Benghazi, her explanation of the situation was muddied by her dissemination of misinformation.
Everyone agrees that “we do not leave a soldier on the battlefield”, so bringing Bergdahl home was basically okay with every politician, military service personnel and the general public. But who we let go has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.
Knowing that the republicans would be ”hissing and fittin” over the decision, the Administration should have made a clear distinction about who these bad people were.
They were considered prisoners of war and not terrorists. We went to Afghanistan in search of terrorists (al queda) who were in Northern Pakistan and fled to taliban territory in Afghanistan, where we took the war to them because the taliban harbored the terrorists we wanted to kill. I have no problem with that, for, if you choose to harbor or support my enemy, you become my enemy. The “fab five” were captured in the war with the taliban. The U.S. chose to designate the taliban captives on the battlefield, as enemy combatants, an important distinction that the republicans seem, as always, to forget. The taliban did not terrorize America, al qaeda did. At least there is no present evidence to the contrary. There is, so far, no evidence that taliban attacked the U.S. on our soil. So Administration concluded that they were enemy combatants (with no evidence to bring them to trial as terrorists) and therefore eligible for prisoner exchange, which is by the way, a standard, accepted by the Geneva Convention. If it can be proved that they committed war crimes, the World Court is the place for those types of decisions.
Afghanistan (the country) is at war with the taliban, but that is an Afghan problem. They have had ten years to get ready to fight for their country. They have to step up and fight for themselves; American could not commit to being there forever and protect their butts. They have to grow up and fight for their beliefs, not American, for Afghans.
To sum up; the Prez was right to bring Bergdahl home.
The question is, did Bergdahl desert his post, did he voluntarily give himself to the taliban and put our soldiers in danger and get them killed? The reports
are that he did; based on interviews of the men in his unit. But he is innocent until the evidence and testimony says otherwise. Let the time pass and let’s make a judgment based on fact.
On to whether Obama broke the law, by not discussing the bargain with Congress. Both sides seem to agree that he did. He has to explain why there was a need for that kind of secrecy surrounding the exchange. Did the caveat he attached to the law when he signed it, get him off the hook? That he reserved the right to act if the matter was of an extraordinary nature and time was of the essence. I do not know that answer but I do know he should have taken the chance and told the heads of the intelligence committees, as soon as possible. Maybe he did not have the thirty day leeway and if he delayed, the chance to bring Bergdahl home might have been missed. It is said that he was afraid of leaks, that could be the case; but telling the committee heads would have spread the responsibility.
Prez, you did the right thing, it’s just you broke through a locked window to get in the house, when you could have rung the doorbell. If no one answered you still could have checked the knob and see whether the door was open. You should have told Congress, and I emphasize “told”. They are advisors to the Commander-in-Chief and he should have never given up that responsibility.
Enough said, I’m out!!