Democrats have been promoting the idea that they stand firmly against a “War on Women.” So how come President Obama just released some of that war’s worst aggressors?
I’m talking about the “Taliban Dream Team” who were just traded for ransomed soldier Bowe Bergdahl.
These were top officials in the Taliban regime: a provincial governor, a deputy defense minister, a deputy intelligence minister, a top arms smuggler, and a top Taliban military commander. Two of them are wanted by the United Nations for war crimes committed against Afghanistan’s Shiites.
But it seems some people have forgotten the long catalog of the Taliban’s crimes. Politico‘s Blake Hounshell was generally regarded as winning the stiff competition for the stupidest tweet defending the administration’s prisoner swap, when he asked:
What’s the argument that these five Taliban guys are so dangerous? Are they ninjas? Do they have superpowers? http://t.co/kLW7RW3cgX
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) June 3, 2014
Well, no, they don’t have superpowers. All they have is the influence and connections to get a gang of brutes together, and the absence of any of the normal vestiges of human conscience that would cause them to shrink from atrocities like: bombing schools because they let girls play sports; shooting a girl in the head because she stands up for her right to be educated; horribly mutilating women to punish them for disobedience in their roles as marital slaves; dragging a 7-year-old out of the yard where he is playing and hanging him from a tree because his grandfather spoke out against the Taliban.
The best commentary on the moral status of the Taliban is from a Pakistani girl who escaped from her psychopathic father and brother, who were in the business of training suicide bombers. She told an interviewer: “The Taliban slaughter other people’s children. They turn women into widows. They should be made to suffer, too. I want these Taliban to be burned alive.”
So no, these guys are not just ordinary, rank-and-file POWs. They’re the worst of the worst, and the only argument against keeping them at Guantanamo is that it’s too good for them.
These are the monsters the Obama administration is putting back in the field.
That’s why Obama had to override normal procedures to order the release. It’s why he had to avoid informing Congress because he knew congressional leaders were opposed.
This cynical deal marks Obama’s final abandonment of any scintilla of concern for human rights. It’s a declaration that he and his administration don’t really give a damn what happens to the people of Afghanistan a year from now when we bug out.
Yes, I know, American foreign policy is not simply a humanitarian operation, and we can’t set out to relieve all the world’s suffering. But if we’re going to engage in this kind of cynical trade, we’d better get something in return that’s pretty damn important for our interests. So what did we get by releasing these Afghan wolves back amongst their prey?
Maybe the administration thought it would be good domestic PR, and they certainly seem to have expected military families to rally around a deal that brought back a POW. Except that the POW turned out to be a deserter who reportedly renounced his US citizenship before leaving his post.
But there is an even worse motive suggested by a report that US special operations knew of Bergdahl’s location but chose not to mount a rescue operation because they considered the risk too high and didn’t want to sacrifice elite troops for the sake of a deserter. The administration had opposite priorities. An intelligence official told the Washington Times that “the deal turned out the way it did because ‘the administration wanted to close the door on this no matter what the price was.'”
Now, why would they want to do that?
Bergdahl had to be brought back because he was a loose end cluttering up the administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. President Obama has to have everyone back so he can end US military operations in Afghanistan completely without being accused of abandoning a POW.
The Berghdal trade is part of a strategy, not just to end the war in Afghanistan, but to get the US completely out of the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater. So no wonder we’re willing to send back Taliban leaders, so long as the Emir of Qatar can arrange for a one-year delay. We don’t care what happens when the Taliban’s boys get back in town, because we’re going to be gone.
This is Obama’s way of foreclosing any continuation of the war by a future administration, because once we’re out, when things go wrong it won’t be easy to get back in. This is Obama’s attempt to make his policy of total disengagement from the War on Terrorism permanent.
Does anybody remember when Afghanistan was the good war, the war of necessity as opposed to our “war of choice” in Iraq? Well, it turns out that every war is a war of choice—so long as you don’t have qualms about choosing a really horrific outcome. The administration’s choice is to release monsters in support of a policy that says we’re no longer going to fight them.
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