If he can win the war on terror and turn the economy around he’ll be a winner in my book.

DaTechGuy on Barack Obama January 20th 2009

Seldom, if ever, in the history of the world has a prince been more enthusiastically acclaimed on his -accession or had an easier task offered him of gratifying the modest wishes of his people…what a splendid chance he had of being remembered in history as “Caligula the Good”, or “Caligula the Wise”, or “Caligula the Saviour”! But it is idle to write in this way. For if he had been the sort of man that the people took him for, he would never have survived his brothers or been chosen by Tiberius as his successor. Claudius, remember what scorn old Athenodorus had for such impossible contingencies’, he used to say, “If the Wooden Horse of Troy had foaled, horses to-day would cost far less to feed.”

Robert Graves I Claudius 1934

One of the things we used to hear from some of our fellows on the right is we would have to wait for the election of a Democrat for the left to take national security seriously.

If nothing else the last few years has cured us of this rosy assumption.

To be sure some there were some changes as Megan McArdle noted back in 2011

Have you noticed all the huge antiwar demonstrations in the last twelve months?  Yeah, me neither.  It turns out that a lot of the energy for the movement seems to have been provided by Democrats who are a lot less worried about wars conducted by Democratic presidents. 

But along with an unwillingness to fund the anti-war movement came an unwillingness to protect US soldiers in battle as Mark Steyn noted in Oct of 2012 just after the Benghazi attack:

We also learned that, in those first moments of the attack, a request for military back-up was made by U.S. staff on the ground but was denied by Washington. It had planes and Special Forces less than 500 miles away in southern Italy – or about the same distance as Washington to Boston. They could have been there in less than two hours. Yet the commander-in-chief declined to give the order. So Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods fought all night against overwhelming odds, and died on a rooftop in a benighted jihadist hell hole while Obama retired early to rest up before his big Vegas campaign stop. “Within minutes of the first bullet being fired, the White House knew these heroes would be slaughtered if immediate air support was denied,” said Ty Woods’ father, Charles. “In less than an hour, the perimeters could have been secured, and American lives could have been saved. After seven hours fighting numerically superior forces, my son’s life was sacrificed because of the White House’s decision.”

The day Barack Obama was sworn I wrote a post ranking George Bush in the ranks of presidents (14th) and said this about the newly sworn in President:

President Elect Obama has the potential to end up anywhere on his list.  The trick is not to under rate him due to unreal expectations or overrate him due to his unique place in history.  Lets hope he earns high ratings due to high performance.  As of today it will come down to the economy and the war on terror but who knows what tomorrow will bring?  If he is really bad then he has the potential to help propel GWB much higher on the list.

It will be fun to find out.

I was very wrong about that last sentence.

We’ve already had an emphatic answer to the economy question and if Benghazi didn’t provide the answer the release of Bengdahl did.

You have the violation of law

and the White House flip flop:

On June 21, 2013, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney unequivocally assured reporters at that day’s White House Press Briefing that President Obama “would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting Congress and without doing so in accordance with U.S. law.”

Then you have the nature of the people released people like:

Khairullah Khairkhwa is the most senior ex-Guantanamo prisoner who comes from “the fraternity of original Taleban who launched the movement in 1994,” according the Afghanistan Analysts Network. He surrendered to President Hamid Karzai’s brother just before he was captured in January 2002. His most prominent position was as governor of Herat Province from 1999 to 2001. He served in various Taliban positions including interior minister and had direct ties to Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden.

Old line Democrats like Diane Feinstein are shocked by this deal and pols, particularly those running in red states are doing their best to run from this stuff and some in media even on MSNBC have expressed surprise that this deal has taken place and the willingness to keep offering new  explanations until one works.

All of this has produced shock and outrage and interesting spin for the last week plus, but while the administration has bungled this entire fiasco there is really only one place we should point as the source of all of this outrage…

…ourselves.

Barack Obama’s history, media not withstanding,  is not a secret.  This highlights something we’re posted on before and was the subject of Pam Geller’s first book

Geller looks at the president’s past, his upbringing, his influences and the crowd that he has spent his time with on the path that took him to the White House.  She makes the case that in all of these cases he has been steered and mentored in a direction that is contrary to basic American philosophy.

Given the influences, the professors, the radicals and the Marxists he has surrounded himself with.  People who have a world view that America is the chief problem of the world rather than the last best hope of it. It frankly would be a wonder if he had a different philosophy than what he does.

It’a philosophy that allows him to sit back and let die Americans who actually fight the enemy.

Why would Obama and Biden do such a thing? Because to launch a military operation against an al-Qaida affiliate on the anniversary of 9/11 would have exposed the hollowness of their boast through convention week and the days thereafter – that Osama was dead, and al-Qaida was finished. And so Ty Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Chris Stevens were left to die, and a decision taken to blame an entirely irrelevant video and, as Secretary Clinton threatened, “have that person arrested.” And, in the weeks that followed, the government of the United States lied to its own citizens as thoroughly and energetically as any totalitarian state, complete with the midnight knock-on-the-door from not-so-secret policemen sent to haul the designated fall guy into custody.

We are outraged over Barack Obama’s action but as we’ve said here many times, If you start from the idea they are marxists, it make perfect sense.

During the Iraq war Glenn Reynolds often quipped about the left:  They’re not anti-war, they’re just on the other side.

Perhaps we should have not assumed that the acquisition or the retention of electoral power would change this.

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If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

 

You don’t need a formal announcement that you’re running for president when you have this:

Not even the vice president supported the trade of the Taliban 5 for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. According to a new report, Vice President Joe Biden remained “neutral on the prisoner swap.”

“While Vice President Joe Biden was neutral on the prisoner swap,” Reuters reveals, “Obama and two top White House advisers, then-national security adviser Thomas Donilon and his deputy Denis McDonough, were all in favor, one official said. Donilon resigned a year ago, but McDonough went on to become Obama’s chief of staff.”

Yeah this guy is running for President in 2016

One of he few credible arguments for the re-election of Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012 came 20 years earlier from a magazine article I had read at the time.  It was an interview with a  centurion journalist who had been covering the White House  back in the days of Coolidge.  He was asked about the upcoming election (George HW Bush vs Bill Clinton) and gave an answer that stuck with me.  It was something like this.

Bush?  2nd rate but I’ll vote for him, they’re both 2nd rate so why put a new 2nd rate man in when you’ve already got one with four years experience.

I can’t find it online nor can I remember the name of the reporter being interviewed but when I look at the Bergdahl deal it would seem that four years in the White House has taught these people nothing.

As I’ve already said even before we knew Bergdahl’s loyalty was iffy I think such a 5-1 deal was irresponsible at best and criminal at worst.  If it was up to me this wouldn’t have been done.

If I however was the person in charge of making this deal there is a way it could have been done without this firestorm.  Here is how I would have done it:

 

The Taliban Five would have been released one at a time over the course of say 12 -18 months.

Each of the men would have been let go under seemingly different circumstances.  One might have been released “at the request of the Afghan government as part of peace negotiations” another turned over to a third country like say Qatar which wanted him.  A third given to Pakistan for safe keeping and the last two given to the UN where they could have been quietly released on whatever grounds they chose to use.

In each case the administration would have had a public excuse for the move both diplomatic & security and all of the moves could have been framed as part of drawing down GITMO.  That would have been the argument and the case the administration could have made.

As for Bergdahl, after the 3rd or fourth transfer we could have had a third-party (say Saudi Arabia or Pakistan) “arrange” for the release and then give him for us.  It would have been done without fanfare and a story would have come out that due to both his desire of both him and the family and the fact that he is still active duty military he would not be made available.

Boom, same result, same deal, but no PR coup for our enemies, no PR disaster over his release, and if any of these guys got out of line before the others are released, they could have stopped.  Five small stories all below the fold and in the context of the President’s promise to close GITMO

Furthermore no need to send Susan Rice on another magical mystery tour pretending that a soldier whose loyalty into Sgt. York.  No provoking his fellow to speak out in outrage nor crushing a gold star mother with the realization that her son died to try to save a traitor.  Just a favor done for the US by a friend and an administration doing its job.

 

But who am I kidding, this wasn’t about making a calculated long-term risk to achieve US goals.  It was about providing a “victory” to an administration desperate to get the VA scandal off the front page in an election year.

It shows that while a 2nd rate President with 4 years experience is better than a 2nd rate candidate without it, apparently a 2nd rate candidate is far superior to a fourth-rate unqualified President with four years in office.

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Olimometer 2.52

This blog exists as a full-time endeavor thanks to your support. The only check I draw to pay for this coverage and all that is done is what you choose to provide.

For a full month I ask a fixed amount $1465.

With the exception of January, 2014 remains a very lean year for our blog fiscally, If we can draw a mere $50 a day that will be reversed.

If you think this coverage and what we do here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below and help keep the bills paid.

Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers  at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.

Consider the lineup you get for this price, in addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

 

Greg Sargent of The Plum line is in disbelief

He’s referring to this piece at the daily beast

Three former administration officials who were involved in the process told The Daily Beast that Clinton was worried about the ability to enforce the deal and disinclined to trust the Taliban or the Haqqani network in Pakistan, which held Bergdahl until this weekend. Clinton was so concerned, the former officials added, that she may not have even signed off if the negotiations had succeeded.

“She was heavily involved from the beginning, she was very skeptical of the arrangement, she was very wary of it,” one former administration official said. “If we had come to some agreement she perhaps would have backed it, but we never got to that point.”

Hillary’s people are being very cautious, as are almost all democrats in congress even those where were cheering on Saturday

I want you to go over to The Weekly Standard for John McCormack’s and Mike Warren’s work on this, but here’s a taste:

“You know, I think, um, let me hold off on that,” said Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

“All I’ve heard is what I’ve read in the press,” said Vermont’s senior senator Pat Leahy.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, who crowed about the deal on the Sunday shows, is now very interested in the intel briefing she’s to receive tomorrow. That’d be the briefing she should have gotten some 32 days before she went on the Sunday shows to make grand pronouncements with no information. 

Meanwhile at the White House they have unkind words for the soldiers who served with Bergdahl:

According to Todd, a frustrated White House that was expecting joyous news-cycles out of the Bergdahl release is apparently attempting to smear veterans who served with Sergeant Bergdahl as liars.

This, despite the fact that all the objective documentation we’ve seen so far (including a military investigation) backs the claim that Bergdahl abandoned his post and was not “taken in battle” or “served honorably” as National Security Advisers Susan Rice falsely claimed Sunday on ABC’s This Week.

Ralph Peters thinks the disconnect is a function of culture:

But compassion, please! The president and all the president’s men and women are not alone. Our media elite — where it’s a rare bird who bothered to serve in uniform — instantly became experts on military justice. Of earnest mien and blithe assumption, one talking head after another announced that “we always try to rescue our troops, even deserters.”…

…This is a fundamental culture clash. Team Obama and its base cannot comprehend the values still cherished by those young Americans “so dumb” they joined the Army instead of going to prep school and then to Harvard. Values such as duty, honor, country, physical courage, and loyalty to your brothers and sisters in arms have no place in Obama World. (Military people don’t necessarily all like each other, but they know they can depend on each other in battle — the sacred trust Bergdahl violated.)

I’m seeing some incredible defenses of  the president, people who didn’t think it was worth helping out Americans under fire at Benghazi are now screaming no American left behind not even deserters.

But none of those people making that case are running for re-election in anything but a deep blue district and that’s the bottom line, we’ll see more of the same and worse from this president because he knows that he will not have to face the voters ever again and that the House will not impeach the first black president of the united states.

But as for the rest of the Democrat party, the ones who actually have to face voters outside of deep blue enclaves?  They are as likely to come out in favor of this deal as the Chinese are likely to hold a public ceremony at Tiananmen Square today to commemorate those slaughtered by the state 25 years ago today.

Those Democrats know how to count.

Why would Obama and Biden do such a thing? Because to launch a military operation against an al-Qaida affiliate on the anniversary of 9/11 would have exposed the hollowness of their boast through convention week and the days thereafter – that Osama was dead, and al-Qaida was finished. And so Ty Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Chris Stevens were left to die, and a decision taken to blame an entirely irrelevant video and, as Secretary Clinton threatened, “have that person arrested.” And, in the weeks that followed, the government of the United States lied to its own citizens as thoroughly and energetically as any totalitarian state, complete with the midnight knock-on-the-door from not-so-secret policemen sent to haul the designated fall guy into custody.

Mark Steyn Oct 2012

Today on Morning Joe the discussion of the Taliban prisoner swap led the news.  Joe Scarborough was not there so Mika Brzezinski and was clearly not comfortable with the subject leaving it to uber partisans Al Hunt & Eugene Robinson to defend the president.

However for all the discomfort of the moment and the problem that headaches that this move is making in the end this has been a mission accomplished moment for Barack Obama.

Not because he got that last US serviceman (no matter what his loyalties)

Not because this removed prisoners from Gitmo which has been his desire since day one.

No to understand how complete his victory is you must look here.

That link goes to the web site Memeorandum, an aggregate site for news articles for 6:15 AM EST today Tuesday June 3rd.

There are 39 stories and hundreds of sub links to stories.

Not a single one concerns the Veterans Administration scandal.

The VA scandal cut across party lines including his base, that is a scandal that this administration could not win.

This prisoner exchange is different.  His base which never liked the army anyways and wanted Gitmo closed will stick with him on this prisoner release, they’ll be uncomfortable for a bit in public but they’ll be there.

Barack Obama’s administration has replaced a scandal he can’t handle politically with one he can.

That was and is the goal, and that’s why he’s won because for Obama  the war against his political enemies will always trump the safety of the US .

Update:  There is now a single VA piece, by Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit weekly USA Today column, I’m shocked SHOCKED.

Update 2:  forget the Steyn link

Olimometer 2.52

This blog exists as a full-time endeavor thanks to your support. The only check I draw to pay for this coverage and all that is done is what you choose to provide.

For a full month I ask a fixed amount $1465.

With the exception of January, 2014 remains a very lean year for our blog fiscally, If we can draw a mere $50 a day that will be reversed.

If you think this coverage and what we do here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below and help keep the bills paid.

Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers  at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.

Consider the lineup you get for this price, in addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

 

Today via Glenn we see Jake Tapper continue to be a member of the  journalist community rather than the “journo-list” community:

The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him — veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose “selfish act” ended up costing the lives of better men.“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sergeant Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”

This is the man that we just traded 5 Taliban leaders for, and let’s not forget his father now deleted tweet.

bowe

along with a few other still out there.

Contrast this with Benghazi where two Seals held off attackers for hours waiting for help from this administration and died waiting and fighting.

So here’s he bottom line:

If you are a soldier who apparently deserts & whose family wants Gitmo closed and emptied, this administration will trade our worst enemies to get you back.

If you are Navy Seals who choose to fight to hold off our enemies we’ll leave you to die.

That is Barack Obama and the administration that serves him, that is what we have become.