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Old 03-25-2015, 04:10 PM   #1
buckman
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Bergdahl !

You're right Jim, given enough time this president will be proved wrong every time!
From the dog and pony show in the Rose Garden to Susan Rice blathering on all the talk shows. Never mind swapping out five extraordinarily dangerous terrorist, and the loss of 4 true American war heros who died looking for him.
Obama sure I can pick his battles.
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:24 PM   #2
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You're right Jim, given enough time this president will be proved wrong every time!
From the dog and pony show in the Rose Garden to Susan Rice blathering on all the talk shows. Never mind swapping out five extraordinarily dangerous terrorist, and the loss of 4 true American war heros who died looking for him.
Obama sure I can pick his battles.
Sometimes, I think he couldn't get one right by accident. Everything he touches, turns to vomit. Remember he was going to use his worldwide popularity to get Chicago to host the summer Olympics? After they got done laughing at him, they eliminated Chicago in the first round...

This is what you get, when you elect a guy who has accomplished nothing, but spent his life in an elite university faculty room. Obama is learning (unfortunately we are all learning) that what sounds great over hot toddies in the faculty lounge, doesn't always fly where the tires hit the pavement...

How long, O Lord?

I'm waiting for him to pardon Abu Mumia Jamal on his last day, just to give me the finger one last time...
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:25 PM   #3
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Obama is a pole turtle.
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:20 PM   #4
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Obama said Solyndra was a model of economic success - BAM - it implodes. He has a Rose Garden ceremony for the return of a guy they knew at the time was suspected of desertion. Six months ago Obama said Yemen (he had to pick Yemen!) was the model of success in the Middle East. If I'm the CIA station chief in Yemen, the second Obama says that, that's my cue to put all classified documents into the burn bag, and get my people the hell out, because sure enough, that country will soon be a wasteland. All was fine there until he had to open his fat yap to pat himself on the back.

We have Inspector Clouseau as POTUS.
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Old 03-26-2015, 04:41 AM   #5
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yup......

"In a statement ABC’s Jon Karl found “astounding,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest continued to call the United States’s activities in Yemen as a “model” for counter-terrorism — even as the Arabic nation’s government collapses and international terrorist groups move in."

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner...endan-bordelon






http://www.nationalreview.com/corner...endan-bordelon
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Old 03-26-2015, 04:46 AM   #6
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to many smiles - hello everybodies... with all of them
i miss the stern leadership... the seriousness
the true Presidential responsibility frame of mind
it is absent
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:27 AM   #7
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We need either a businessman or a real military minded person to take over enought of this pussy footed politics bull sh*t......
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:53 AM   #8
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It's odd the giddy joy some of you get over this stuff.

After all is said and done, don't you think it's important for the Country to stand behind an active duty service member? I guess not.

As was said before, get him home and let the military court decide.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:43 AM   #9
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It's odd the giddy joy some of you get over this stuff.

After all is said and done, don't you think it's important for the Country to stand behind an active duty service member? I guess not.

As was said before, get him home and let the military court decide.
Spence, one can make a good case (IMHO) that this was just another POW exchange, which we have always engaged in. Let's assume that the swap was a good idea.

What's laughable, what makes Obama look like the idiot he is, is the way this was packaged. The press conference with his parents at the Rose Garden, the administration saying he served with distinction, all that was done to make it look like Obama had personally saved the second coming of Audie Murphy.

2 days later, Megyn Kelly had Bergdal's platoon mates on her show, and the unanimously accused him of desertion, and felt insulted that the administration painted him as a hero. There is no way that the administration didn't know this when they were doing the dog-and-pony show. We know that Obama like sto say that he learns of these things by watching the news, just like we do...but I'm pretty sure he has additional intelligence resources besides his TV.

It's alm,ost impossible for him to do anything right. Even if you concede the swap was a good idea (I might concede that), Obama still comes out of this looking like a clown because of the show they put on.

That's what I find hysterical, and what I take extreme joy in at this point. We kept hearing how nice it wa sgoing to be, to trade a yahoo like Bush for a true intellectual, and Obama comes off as incompetence personified.

Almost everything he touches, turns to vomit.

This is surreal. Future generations will not believe the mistakes this clown made, they will assume we are exaggerating, they won't believe anyone could be that incompetent. He's in so over his head, it's stupifying.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:49 AM   #10
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As was said before, get him home and let the military court decide.
Agreed.

But the laughable stupidity oesn't lie with the swap, but with the narrative that we were saving someone who served with distinction.

Look, if this guy cracked because of genuine fear or some other malady, I feel sorry for him, and I'm glad he's back. But it's deeply insulting for the families of those who died looking for Bergdal, to hear the administration say that he served with distinction.

Enough with the narrative that makes it seem like Obama can walk on water. He probably can't drink a glass of water without spilling it and cutting his lip open.

It's hysterical. Hysterical. Obama is almost th eexact opposite of what he claimed he was. A vindictive, hate-mongering, race-hustling, divisive, doofus.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:00 AM   #11
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Side bar question....How the hell does Obama have time to pick out an NCAA college hoops bracket when I don't have the time to do so?
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:08 AM   #12
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This is embarrassing - I'm so glad this Presidential social experiment only has two years left. I only hope they implanted human tracking chips into the Taliban 5.

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Old 03-26-2015, 08:08 AM   #13
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It's odd the giddy joy some of you get over this stuff.

After all is said and done, don't you think it's important for the Country to stand behind an active duty service member? I guess not.

As was said before, get him home and let the military court decide.
i'm sure it's not giddy a joy for you and it certainly isn't joy for the families of those who died looking for this jerk.
Perhaps Obama should stop making everything about him and start thinking about the ramifications for the rest of the world and the country
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:30 AM   #14
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Remember back in 2009 his fellow soldiers of his platoon stated he just walked off base. There was a lot suspected and written over many, many years. If you were the Pres and were going to make this prisoner swap, you would surely make the dog & pony show small in case this was a turd sandwich - no?

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Old 03-26-2015, 09:44 AM   #15
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This is embarrassing - I'm so glad this Presidential social experiment only has two years left. I only hope they implanted human tracking chips into the Taliban 5.
that is precisely what is always on my mind....
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:41 AM   #16
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Remember back in 2009 his fellow soldiers of his platoon stated he just walked off base. There was a lot suspected and written over many, many years. If you were the Pres and were going to make this prisoner swap, you would surely make the dog & pony show small in case this was a turd sandwich - no?
Obama will say he had no knowledge of th edirt on Birgdal, after all, Foxnews hadn't broken th estory yet, and as Obanma would have us believe, he learns these things from the news, just like we do!

He couldn't do it quiet, h ehad to stage it to make like he deserved a second Nobel Peace Prize, saving a decorated hero.

Turd sandwich is exactly what it is, and naturally, it's everybody's fault except Obama.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:57 PM   #17
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This is embarrassing - I'm so glad this Presidential social experiment only has two years left. I only hope they implanted human tracking chips into the Taliban 5.
No DZ, I think smallpox would be better, just like with the Indians.

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Old 03-26-2015, 04:03 PM   #18
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Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80% increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. a story from 2007 ...

More than 20,000 soldiers have been dropped from the rolls as deserters since 2006, Army data show. how is Bergdahl different from the other 20,000 i'll tell you.. it's Obama ! he made the call to get him out ..


This is nothing new deserters... He showed how dumb or unstable he was for not waiting until he went Home on leave to become a deserter .. but no he became a deserter and POW on the same night..

I was a Plt Sgt in Iraq and if any of my men deserted I would expect them to be charged under the UCMJ regardless of the Location of the desertion as is happening now ... and men and women died looking for him because that what we do!! they were KIA conducting combat operations IED's thats war its dangerous and happened all the time



But I would never support the belief that if they were captured the United States should abandon them!!
deserter or not



why is the the right willing to sacrifice a US soldier for 5 Taliban None who were facing charges in either military or civilian courts for their actions. ??
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:56 PM   #19
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Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80% increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. a story from 2007 ...

More than 20,000 soldiers have been dropped from the rolls as deserters since 2006, Army data show. how is Bergdahl different from the other 20,000 i'll tell you.. it's Obama ! he made the call to get him out ..


This is nothing new deserters... He showed how dumb or unstable he was for not waiting until he went Home on leave to become a deserter .. but no he became a deserter and POW on the same night..

I was a Plt Sgt in Iraq and if any of my men deserted I would expect them to be charged under the UCMJ regardless of the Location of the desertion as is happening now ... and men and women died looking for him because that what we do!! they were KIA conducting combat operations IED's thats war its dangerous and happened all the time



But I would never support the belief that if they were captured the United States should abandon them!!
deserter or not



why is the the right willing to sacrifice a US soldier for 5 Taliban None who were facing charges in either military or civilian courts for their actions. ??
I don't believe he was captured by the Taliban I think he went looking for them.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:22 PM   #20
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I don't believe he was captured by the Taliban I think he went looking for them.
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Not only that, but it leaves a bitter taste when the government forbids private citizens from ransoming their own son, because it would endanger American lives:

“We believe that paying ransoms or making concessions would put all Americans overseas at greater risk” and would provide funding for groups whose capabilities “we are trying to degrade,” Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, said in a briefing Thursday. Harf said it is illegal for any American citizen to pay ransom to a group, such as the Islamic State, that the U.S. government has designated as a terrorist organization. …

But then it gives up five dangerous terrorists to get back one of its employees who has deserted and put in danger the American lives of his brothers in combat, not only because of attempts to rescue him, but because it makes it even more attractive to capture others.

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Old 03-27-2015, 07:33 AM   #21
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Not only that, but it leaves a bitter taste when the government forbids private citizens from ransoming their own son, because it would endanger American lives:

“We believe that paying ransoms or making concessions would put all Americans overseas at greater risk” and would provide funding for groups whose capabilities “we are trying to degrade,” Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, said in a briefing Thursday. Harf said it is illegal for any American citizen to pay ransom to a group, such as the Islamic State, that the U.S. government has designated as a terrorist organization. …

But then it gives up five dangerous terrorists to get back one of its employees who has deserted and put in danger the American lives of his brothers in combat, not only because of attempts to rescue him, but because it makes it even more attractive to capture others.
I see, so an active duty soldier held prisoner should be left behind because it's presumed he may have deserted? Is that going to instill confidence in our troops?

Remember when Israel swapped over 1000 prisoners for a single IDF soldier? Did that cause a swing in kidnappings for ransom?
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:35 AM   #22
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I don't believe he was captured by the Taliban I think he went looking for them.
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From his writing he was certainly disillusioned with the war, but To walk out of camp at night with only a compass is suicidal. I don't think you could say he was exactly right in the head at that point.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:00 AM   #23
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From his writing he was certainly disillusioned with the war, but To walk out of camp at night with only a compass is suicidal. I don't think you could say he was exactly right in the head at that point.
"To walk out of camp at night with only a compass is suicidal."

Well he's still alive. He is also charged not just with desertion, but for some kind of inappropriate action while with the enemy.

I don't think we had a choice but to get him back. If it was my call, I would plug my nose and make the deal, because we need to know what happened, and it's possible we stioll owe a debt to this man - maybe he's not even really responsible for what happened.

But I wouldn't have staged that phony, farsical, manipulative Rose Garden ceremony until I had the facts. That's what I call "shooting without aiming", which Obama likes to accuse Bush of.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:03 AM   #24
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Not only that, but it leaves a bitter taste when the government forbids private citizens from ransoming their own son, because it would endanger American lives:

“We believe that paying ransoms or making concessions would put all Americans overseas at greater risk” and would provide funding for groups whose capabilities “we are trying to degrade,” Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, said in a briefing Thursday. Harf said it is illegal for any American citizen to pay ransom to a group, such as the Islamic State, that the U.S. government has designated as a terrorist organization. …

But then it gives up five dangerous terrorists to get back one of its employees who has deserted and put in danger the American lives of his brothers in combat, not only because of attempts to rescue him, but because it makes it even more attractive to capture others.
It's an awful scenario, no easy choices that I can see.

IMHO, if a guy enlists with good intentions, but cracks under the pressure of war, I'd say we still owe him a debt. If he joined with the specific intent of collaberating with the enemy, that's something else. But we don't know. Heck, what if he developed a brain tumor and that's why he lost his bearings? Pure speculation, obviously...And I think a case can be made that this was a POW swap, which we have engaged in, as long as we have existed. This is a different war to be sure. In previous wars, if you did a POW swap at the end, you knew the guy you were releasing, wasn't going to take up arms against you.

This is a different, uglier world. We need rules to live by, but the old rules may not be applicable anymore. We are in a unique war with a very unique enemy, who has unique motivations.

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Old 03-27-2015, 10:26 AM   #25
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Well he's still alive. He is also charged not just with desertion, but for some kind of inappropriate action while with the enemy.
Misbehavior before the enemy and it's the more serious charge. I'm not sure I buy his story he was going out to report on problems within his unit, not that there weren't any, but to do so alone and at night seems pretty reckless. I'd like to know if there actually was a senior officer in the area he could have gone to.

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I don't think we had a choice but to get him back. If it was my call, I would plug my nose and make the deal, because we need to know what happened, and it's possible we stioll owe a debt to this man - maybe he's not even really responsible for what happened.
I'm sure that was the reasoning.

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But I wouldn't have staged that phony, farsical, manipulative Rose Garden ceremony until I had the facts. That's what I call "shooting without aiming", which Obama likes to accuse Bush of.
Had his father not had such freakish behavior I think people would have read the situation a lot differently. More empathy and less ridicule.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:18 AM   #26
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Misbehavior before the enemy and it's the more serious charge. I'm not sure I buy his story he was going out to report on problems within his unit, not that there weren't any, but to do so alone and at night seems pretty reckless. I'd like to know if there actually was a senior officer in the area he could have gone to.


I'm sure that was the reasoning.


Had his father not had such freakish behavior I think people would have read the situation a lot differently. More empathy and less ridicule.
"Had his father not had such freakish behavior "

That didn't help...my issue is with the adminidstration stating unequivocally that he had served with distinction, when not only is that not true, there was lots of evidence to the contrary. Saying he served with distinction, is an insult to the guys he served with.

"More empathy and less ridicule"

If Bergdahl enlisted with good intensions but cracked (a good possibility at this point), I have lots of empathy and I'm glad he's back. I have zero empathy, and nothing but ridicule, for Obama. He lost me when he said "Republicans gotta stop just hatin' all the time." I know how you feel about the guy, but you have to admit, that's offensive (and incredibly dishonest) to a huge number of people that Obama is supposed to be serving. John McCain and Mit Romney are hate-mongers? Until he apologizes for that specific remark, he gets notihng but contempt and ridicule from me, that's exactly what he deserves
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:36 AM   #27
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Well he's still alive. He is also charged not just with desertion, but for some kind of inappropriate action while with the enemy.

Spence reply:
Misbehavior before the enemy and it's the more serious charge. I'm not sure I buy his story he was going out to report on problems within his unit, not that there weren't any, but to do so alone and at night seems pretty reckless. I'd like to know if there actually was a senior officer in the area he could have gone to.

The military would know all this better than anybody. They'll decide. Whether "justice" will prevail depends on political and military motivations which we can only conjecture. It is brave (a military attribute which it is hoped still exists) of the military to do this in the face of what must be the President's desire to have Bergdhal exonerated, deserving of his promotion to sergeant while in "captivity" and honored by his staff as serving with distinction.

Quote by Jim in CT:
I don't think we had a choice but to get him back. If it was my call, I would plug my nose and make the deal, because we need to know what happened, and it's possible we stioll owe a debt to this man - maybe he's not even really responsible for what happened.

Spence reply:
I'm sure that was the reasoning.

Other's are not as sure as you, or even outright doubt the reasoning. Nor, if as Jim says, we had no choice but to get him back, do others believe the way was the best, or even proper.

Quote by Jim in CT:
But I wouldn't have staged that phony, farsical, manipulative Rose Garden ceremony until I had the facts. That's what I call "shooting without aiming", which Obama likes to accuse Bush of.

Spence reply:
Had his father not had such freakish behavior I think people would have read the situation a lot differently. More empathy and less ridicule.

But it is that very manipulative rose garden ceremony which makes for serious doubt as to the President's reputed "reasoning." It was so unnecessary to have the great announcement, as if some victory redounding to Obama, was achieved, then parading thankful Bergdahl's parents to the public's attention to cement Obama's great humanitarian achievement. And his assertion that we do not leave anybody behind.

In the meanwhile, those parents who were not allowed to ransom their loved ones who then had their heads chopped off, had to witness the joy of Bergdahl's parents.

The blatant insensitivity to some people in favor of sensitivity to others is a reminder of government power over us. Of its ability to choose winners and losers. Of its power to extend the nations largesse to some and not to others. Of the blatant inequality practiced by those equality whores who pretend to serve us. All the while manipulating us in ways that consolidate their power.

It was not necessary to make a public spectacle of the swap. And then to rationalize how good and necessary it was, even though the release of the five could potentially cause more harm to Americans abroad than the ransom of a loved one by a private citizen.

If you truly believe in the validity of the smell test, Spence, as you apply it to Cheney's statements, you would have to concede there is a lot of stink emanating from the White House here.
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:36 PM   #28
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Well he's still alive. He is also charged not just with desertion, but for some kind of inappropriate action while with the enemy.

Spence reply:
Misbehavior before the enemy and it's the more serious charge. I'm not sure I buy his story he was going out to report on problems within his unit, not that there weren't any, but to do so alone and at night seems pretty reckless. I'd like to know if there actually was a senior officer in the area he could have gone to.

The military would know all this better than anybody. They'll decide. Whether "justice" will prevail depends on political and military motivations which we can only conjecture. It is brave (a military attribute which it is hoped still exists) of the military to do this in the face of what must be the President's desire to have Bergdhal exonerated, deserving of his promotion to sergeant while in "captivity" and honored by his staff as serving with distinction.

Quote by Jim in CT:
I don't think we had a choice but to get him back. If it was my call, I would plug my nose and make the deal, because we need to know what happened, and it's possible we stioll owe a debt to this man - maybe he's not even really responsible for what happened.

Spence reply:
I'm sure that was the reasoning.

Other's are not as sure as you, or even outright doubt the reasoning. Nor, if as Jim says, we had no choice but to get him back, do others believe the way was the best, or even proper.

Quote by Jim in CT:
But I wouldn't have staged that phony, farsical, manipulative Rose Garden ceremony until I had the facts. That's what I call "shooting without aiming", which Obama likes to accuse Bush of.

Spence reply:
Had his father not had such freakish behavior I think people would have read the situation a lot differently. More empathy and less ridicule.

But it is that very manipulative rose garden ceremony which makes for serious doubt as to the President's reputed "reasoning." It was so unnecessary to have the great announcement, as if some victory redounding to Obama, was achieved, then parading thankful Bergdahl's parents to the public's attention to cement Obama's great humanitarian achievement. And his assertion that we do not leave anybody behind.

In the meanwhile, those parents who were not allowed to ransom their loved ones who then had their heads chopped off, had to witness the joy of Bergdahl's parents.

The blatant insensitivity to some people in favor of sensitivity to others is a reminder of government power over us. Of its ability to choose winners and losers. Of its power to extend the nations largesse to some and not to others. Of the blatant inequality practiced by those equality whores who pretend to serve us. All the while manipulating us in ways that consolidate their power.

It was not necessary to make a public spectacle of the swap. And then to rationalize how good and necessary it was, even though the release of the five could potentially cause more harm to Americans abroad than the ransom of a loved one by a private citizen.

If you truly believe in the validity of the smell test, Spence, as you apply it to Cheney's statements, you would have to concede there is a lot of stink emanating from the White House here.
"those parents who were not allowed to ransom their loved ones who then had their heads chopped off, had to witness the joy of Bergdahl's parents. "

Yep. An awful situation. I would not know what to say to those parents. I guess a soldier volunteering to go over there and fight, maybe deserves a bit more committment from the US, than someone who goes ovr there as a news reporter? But what about people who go over there for humanitarian reasons? I guess we should tell those people, that there are plenty o fplaces where they can help others, without being surrounded be people who want to cut your head off.

I don't think I like th eidea of telling servicemen that we won't negotiate for their release. But how do you explain not letting citizens pay ransom for their kidnapped loved ones?

If we kill every single one of them, it becomes a non-issue.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:42 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Jim in CT View Post
"those parents who were not allowed to ransom their loved ones who then had their heads chopped off, had to witness the joy of Bergdahl's parents. "

Yep. An awful situation. I would not know what to say to those parents. I guess a soldier volunteering to go over there and fight, maybe deserves a bit more committment from the US, than someone who goes ovr there as a news reporter? But what about people who go over there for humanitarian reasons? I guess we should tell those people, that there are plenty o fplaces where they can help others, without being surrounded be people who want to cut your head off.

Other than sincere condolences, there is not much that can be said to those parents. But what should not be said, or demonstrated, is public self-congratulation for trading really bad guys who may again be a threat to more American lives for a doubtfully loyal person, and giving him the unwarranted praise of serving with distinction, soldier or not . . . and joyfully displaying the happy as peaches and cream parents of that . . . person. That was a blatantly self aggrandizing promotion on Obama's part. And an unnecessary, inconsiderate salt in the wound of other not so lucky, or not preferred, parents.

If it had to be done, it also should have been done in consultation with Congress, and no grand public display should have been made of it.


I don't think I like th eidea of telling servicemen that we won't negotiate for their release. But how do you explain not letting citizens pay ransom for their kidnapped loved ones?

All the more reason not to make a selfish display of it. Who has been made the hero in this transaction? Bergdhal? His parents? Obama.

Make gaudy displays for those who deserve praise for some accomplishment, not for congratulating yourself.


If we kill every single one of them, it becomes a non-issue.
I'm not totally averse to that. And neither was Jefferson, in response to the Barbary Pirates problem. Though it was not actually his quote, Jefferson was in favor of the "millions for defense, not one cent for tribute." And he believed that "the medium of war was the only way to put an end to the Muslim problem" as stated in an article in the U.S. veteran Dispatch by T. Semply.

The world is supposedly too different today to be able to adhere to that view. But I don't think human nature has changed, and fundamentalist Islamic world view doesn't seem to have changed much either. It seems to be on the move again after being hunkered down in a weak, defensive mode for a century or two. It has been increasingly gaining strength and on the offense in these latter years. One faction seems to be on a gradual expansion with a mix of offensive moves where weakness is confronted, and demographic means (conquest by birth rate) sprinkled with deception in the midst of stronger opponents.

The other faction, not interested in demographic expansion as much as in force, wants modern power and weaponry to conquer.

Hey, Maybe Obama is a military genius and sees that the easier foe to beat is the one prone to war. So he may be aligning us to it so that it can defeat the other almost unstoppable expansion by demography faction. After that, we can crush the would be nuclear power folks. But if that were the strategy, we should be spending the Jeffersonian billions for defense instead of weakening our military.

That's all wild, improbable conjecture mixed with sarc and inability to penetrate the intentions of the most transparent administration in history. Either the brewing Middle East mess is a result of his maniacal genius, or he is just a maniac, or just a clown.

I still prefer maintaining overwhelming military strength both in manpow . . . oops, in person power (or using the new Swedish neutral pronoun "hen"power )and advanced weaponry and technology. And that we simply go Roman on those who would do us harm. Not the conquest part, just the destruction. And have commerce, and share aid, with those who befriend us. And, if necessary, as you sugest, kill every single one of those who would destroy us.

Last edited by detbuch; 03-27-2015 at 10:38 PM..
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:47 PM   #30
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brilliant........(edited)


L’Affaire Bergdahl Is the Quintessential Obama Fiasco

From the made-up facts to the disingenuous invocation of high-minded principle, this one has it all.
By Jonah Goldberg — March 28, 2015

Dear Reader (including our new partners in peace in Tehran),

ANATOMY OF AN OBAMA FAILURE

I did catch the news that the Army is going to prosecute Bowe Bergdahl for desertion. Given what we already knew, it’s no surprise that Bergdahl was up to no good. But given the politics, the fact that the Army is prosecuting him suggests that the evidence is pretty overwhelming.

What I find interesting about the Bergdahl story is that it is the quintessential Obama fiasco. If you were compiling a checklist of all the things that drive conservatives crazy — and by conservatives I basically mean people who are (a) paying attention and (b) not enthralled in the Obama cult of personality — the Bergdahl story would achieve a near-perfect score.

The Obama M.O. remains remarkably consistent. He announces some initiative, policy, or presidential action. The public rationale for the move is always rhetorically grounded in some deep, universally shared principle, even if the real agenda is something far more ideological or partisan. The facts driving the decision are never as the White House presents them. Indeed, the more confident the White House appears to be about the facts, the more likely it is they’re playing games with them.

Sometimes the facts are simply made up. There are millions of “shovel ready jobs” right around the corner! “You can keep your doctor!” The Benghazi attack was “about a video!” “One in five women are raped!” “The Islamic State isn’t Islamic!” “These exclamation points are totally necessary!” At other times, the facts are selectively deployed. “Something something tax breaks for corporate jets mumble mumble poor Warren Buffet’s secretary’s tax bill blah blah Spain is winning the future with solar panels” and, course, “core al-Qaeda has been decimated” (in which “core al-Qaeda” is defined as “the bits of al-Qaeda that have been decimated”).

The Obama response to all opposition is to either attack the motives of his critics or to dismiss the objections as mere politics or ideology. When Obama met with congressional leaders back in 2009, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan made substantive critiques of Obamacare, and Obama responded by waving away their objections as mere “talking points” — as if any facts written on a sheet of paper suddenly become untrue if you can call them “talking points.”

Republican 1: “It is unsafe to smoke cigarettes around the propane tank.”

Republican 2: “Mass collectivization of agriculture has not worked well in the past.”

Republican 3: “You should not feed salmon to grizzly bears using your lap as a plate.”

Obama: “Those are just talking points…..Ahhhhh! Get this bear off of me!”

When Senate Democrats, led by Bob Menendez (now conveniently under the Department of Justice’s thumb), expressed concerns about Obama’s overtures to Iran, Obama reportedly sympathized, saying he understood their plight, what with the pressure from “donors.” The insinuation, obviously, is that Obama is doing the right thing, while those opposed were motivated by fear of nefarious unnamed “donors” cracking their whips (between servings of lox and bagels, no doubt). Only Obama’s motivations are pure, noble, and fact-driven. Only his opponents are ideologues incapable of “putting politics aside for the good of the American people,” as he likes to say.

There are other anatomical features of an Obama outrage. A few come to mind:

He has a tendency to frame issues in such a way that America is the villain and America’s enemies have a point.

He has an outsized faith — fueled equally by ego and the media’s eagerness to take his side — in his ability to persuade the public not to believe their lying eyes.

Since Obama sees himself as the People’s Tribune and the sole champion of what is right and good, he has little to no use for Congress or legal or constitutional requirements to work with it.

And, of course, there’s the incompetence factor — amplified by groupthink in the White House bunker. They may think Obama is the smartest guy in the room, but they also all think they’re geniuses who just happen to agree with each other. This creates a near total blindness to facts, data, and opinions that don’t line up with their worldview.

ENTER BERGDAHL

Using the above criteria, the Bergdahl story is quintessential Obama.

Invoking high-minded principle? Check!

Really motivated by partisan and ideological agenda? Check!

Made-up facts? Check!

Critics denounced as partisan ideologues opposed to high-minded principle? Check!

Group-think-driven White House’s failure to anticipate the political downsides? Check!

Flagrant contempt for Congress and its laws? Check!

Václav Havel? Czech!

The high-minded-principle part is obvious. We leave no one behind. Who can disagree with that?

But it was obvious long ago that Obama had other priorities in mind. “It could be a huge win if Obama could bring him home,” a senior administration official told Rolling Stone in a 2012 piece on Bergdahl. “Especially in an election year, if it’s handled properly.”

The other major priority was to use the marching band and fireworks celebration of Bergdahl’s return to hasten the shuttering of Gitmo. Dump the worst of the worst anywhere you can and the political rationale for keeping the place open evaporates. So trading five hardened Taliban commanders for one deserter was a win-win.

Then there’s the thumbless grasp of political reality. Maybe the president didn’t think going AWOL was that big a deal. Maybe he thought it was understandable. Maybe he assumed everyone shared his take on things. Maybe he thought he could just bluster through because the American people are idiots. Who knows?

The fact remains they knew Bergdahl had been AWOL and yet still thought this would be a clear-cut “huge win,” particularly in the context of winding down the War in Afghanistan. They had no idea this fiasco would blow up in their faces, though I like to think some of the savvier political operatives on the Obama team had at least a moment of doubt when they saw Bergdahl’s dad show up with his Johnny Taliban beard. When the elder Bergdahl started speaking Arabic and Pashto in the Rose Garden, I like to imagine that David Axelrod’s bowels stewed just a little bit. (Every political pro I know who watched that announcement responded pretty much the same way you or I would if we saw a polar bear pooping a live hamster on a bus made of graham crackers; “What the Hell am I looking at?”)

Caught off guard by their own incompetence and arrogance, they immediately responded by attacking the motives of the critics. This is a very human reaction. If you think you’ve thought through all of the legitimate responses to your actions, it’s natural to assume the critical responses you didn’t anticipate are illegitimate.

On background they started claiming that Bergdahl was being “swiftboated.” This spin was a pas de deux of asininity since “swiftboating” itself is a b.s. term for telling embarrassing and inconvenient truths. Much like John Kerry’s old comrades, it was members of Bergdahl’s own unit who blew the whistle on him. Blindsided by this utterly predictable reaction, the White House doubled down by marrying arrogant invocation of principle to made-up facts, which is pretty much Susan Rice’s métier. So they sent her out to the Sunday shows to insist that Bergdahl “served with honor and distinction” — words that actually have quite a bit of meaning to people who, you know, served with honor and distinction.

On Twitter, Iowahawk had the pithiest summation of the Obama team’s assault:

“What kind of scum would slander this fine brave patriotic US soldier!”

“His platoon mates.”

“And you actually believe those baby killers?”

HACKY PSAKI

Jen Psaki, bless her heart, is sticking with the party line. Asked by Megyn Kelly whether the trade was worth it, Psaki responded: “We have a commitment to our men and women serving overseas, or in our military, defending our national security every day, that we will do everything we can to bring them home, and that’s what we did in this case.”

I agree with that entirely, in principle. But the key phrase there is “everything we can.” It implies that there is a limiting principle to what we can do. It’s a bit like the ten-guilty-men fallacy. What if the Taliban asked for ten, 20 or 100 Gitmo detainees in exchange for Bergdahl? Would Obama have agreed to that? What if the Taliban demanded all of the detainees, the state of Ohio, and the left thumbs of the starting line-up of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Without a limiting principle, our answer would have to be “Yes.” But once sweet reason tags into the ring, we understand that such demands are ridiculous even if Bergdahl were the greatest and most patriotic soldier who ever lived.

FREE FALL

I was just about to get all various and sundry on your ass when my friend Shannen Coffin — recently catapulted by National Review and Megyn Kelly into the role of America’s foremost expert on State Department paperwork — forwarded me this spectacularly depressing piece by Politico’s Michael Crowley. The whole thing is worth reading, but I have a couple quick observations.

Crowley writes:

“If there’s one lesson this administration has learned, from President Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech through the Arab Spring, it’s that when it comes to this region, nothing happens in a linear way — and precious little is actually about us, which is a hard reality to accept,” said a senior State Department official.

Not everyone is so forgiving. “We’re in a goddamn free fall here,” said James Jeffrey, who served as Obama’s ambassador to Iraq and was a top national security aide in the George W. Bush White House.

First, free fall sounds like a perfect term for the mess we’re in.

Second, it’s hard to make out exactly what this senior State Department official is trying to say with his head so far past his sphincter. In the abstract, I’m fine with the notion that nothing happens in the region in a linear way. I’m also fine with the idea that not everything that happens in the Middle East is about us. But taken in the context of the last SIX years, the takeaway is that Obama simply never had any idea what he was doing, and as a result he rationalizes doing little to nothing as hard-won wisdom. It’s not him, it’s them.

Here’s the thing to remember: Beyond ending the Iraq War by any means necessary and closing Gitmo, Obama’s Cairo speech was Obama’s Middle East foreign policy. He thought his middle name, a few apologies, and not being George W. Bush, combined with the awesome awesomeness of his awesomosity, would be enough to transform the region.

Then there’s this:

For years, members of the Obama team have grappled with the chaotic aftermath of the Arab Spring. But of late they have been repeatedly caught off-guard, raising new questions about America’s ability to manage the dangerous region.

What the what? Again, I think the piece on the whole is good. But did you catch the sudden change in subject here? The Obama team has been grappling and was caught off guard, and this raises new questions about America’s ability to manage the region? Why America’s? These are Team Obama’s foul-ups. Shouldn’t they raise new questions about Team Obama’s abilities? Maybe I’m still high on airplane glue, but I’m pretty sure that when the Bush team was grappling and getting caught off guard, it “raised questions” about Bush, not America.

This is a microscopic example of one of my longstanding beefs. Whenever things are going bad for liberalism, the blame falls on either America or conservatives, never on liberals. As I wrote in Liberal Fascism:

In the liberal telling of America’s story, there are only two perpetrators of official misdeeds: conservatives and “America” writ large. Progressives, or modern liberals, are never bigots or tyrants, but conservatives often are. For example, one will virtually never hear that the Palmer Raids, Prohibition, or American eugenics were thoroughly progressive phenomena. These are sins America itself must atone for. Meanwhile, real or alleged “conservative” misdeeds — say, McCarthyism — are always the exclusive fault of conservatives and a sign of the policies they would repeat if given power. The only culpable mistake that liberals make is failing to fight “hard enough” for their principles. Liberals are never responsible for historic misdeeds, because they feel no compulsion to defend the inherent goodness of America. Conservatives, meanwhile, not only take the blame for events not of their own making that they often worked the most assiduously against, but find themselves defending liberal misdeeds in order to defend America herself.

Then there’s this:

Obama officials were surprised earlier this month, for instance, when the Iraqi government joined with Iranian-backed militias to mount a sudden offensive aimed at freeing the city of Tikrit from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Nor did they foresee the swift rise of the Iranian-backed rebels who toppled Yemen’s U.S.-friendly government and disrupted a crucial U.S. counterterrorism mission against Al Qaeda there.

Wait a second. I was with you on the whole “the Middle East isn’t linear” thing. But if this White House was caught off guard by Iran’s backing of Houthi (and blowfish) militias and coziness with the Shiite government in Baghdad, that’s not proof of the region’s non-linear inscrutability, it’s further proof that the Obama foreign-policy team drives to work in a clown car. It’s like the s*** has been hitting the fan for so long over there, they think that’s just the best way to paint the walls of the situation room an earthy brown.

ALL IS DWELL

Finally, there’s the final paragraph, which is a quote from the same State Department official who wears his own ass like a hat:

“The truth is, you can dwell on Yemen, or you can recognize that we’re one agreement away from a game-changing, legacy-setting nuclear accord on Iran that tackles what every one agrees is the biggest threat to the region,” the official said.

Sigh. Where to begin?

Remember all that stuff earlier about groupthink and the inability to anticipate or even recognize inconvenient data and facts? Well, here’s this guy saying: Don’t dwell on Yemen’s disintegration or on America’s hasty withdrawal from it. Don’t dwell on the fact this administration touted it — and continues to tout it! — as a model of a successful counter-terror strategy. Don’t dwell on the fact that it is now the frontline of a regional sectarian war between Arab Sunnis and Iran and Iranian client Shiites. Don’t dwell on the fact that Yemen is in fact just the latest piece of concrete evidence that the whole region is going tits-up, with total bloody chaos in Libya, Syria, and much of Iraq, thanks in large part to Iran’s decades-long ambition to become a regional hegemon by any means necessary — including terrorism.

No, don’t dwell on any of that stuff, because we’re going to get a piece of paper that will probably put Iran on a path to getting a bomb rather than prevent it. But even if the terms are exactly as the White House will spin them, the agreement will still depend entirely on the good faith and trustworthiness of Iran’s rulers, who’ve been violating every international law you can think of and who chant, every week, “death to America.” I mean, what could go wrong?

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