Blind Faith

Posted on July 7th, 2014

Obama on a UnicornBy Monte Pelerin

A guest post from Tom Lester:

Blind Faith

Obamacare, the Stimulus, TARP, Fast and Furious, support of the Egyptian regime change, Libyan Leading from Behind, four American killed in Benghazi, blaming a video for the Benghazi attacks, the IRS targeting, NSA email and phone file storage, Syrian Red Line, the Russian takeover of Crimea, the VA handling of veterans, release of Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo, the onslaught of children crossing the Mexican border, two years of lost emails of the key IRS individual and now Iraq.

I can’t imagine any previous U.S. President having so many scandals attributed to his administration and virtually none of them adequately answered or resolved. One must reasonably ascribe the failure to question these issues and ferret out the truth by a lack of earnest reporting by a sympathetic media that ignores the denials, stonewalling and misdirections of the White House. Were there any other person in occupancy at $17 Trillion Pennsylvania Avenue NW, I’d wager the lame-brain press would be bellowing that such action or, more often and more accurately, inaction represents a massive conspiracy to change our nation into something entirely different. But the press, that guarantor of truth and honesty, is asleep at the wheel while our American Republic is raced injudiciously toward becoming a European social democracy.

But what’s truly astounding is the poll numbers of individuals who still trust the president! This is blind faith beyond comprehension! I’ve heard all the left-wing zealots who advocate bigger government beyond the specifics of the Constitution. I’ve heard the collectivists who stupidly want open borders and a non-existent military. And I’ve heard the dismissals of complete lies about what Obamacare would bring – keep your plan, keep your doctor, etc. – bad enough when it’s political spin, criminal when total fraud.

Religiously, as Christians, Jews or Muslims, we rely on blind faith of a Creator who will deliver on the words we deem as our respective holy documents. We may come to that decision as we view the magnificence of the universe, the intricacies of a flower or the beauty of procreation of all species. Blind faith in our Creator is not an unreasonable practice in that most preach beyond the faith must be good or charitable works for our fellow man. History, however, has shown faith in our fellow man must also be combined with unfiltered verification.

But perhaps part of those good works are embodied in the old maxim of never saying ill of someone unless you can also find something good to say about them. Beyond the trappings of a good husband and father, I’ve diligently searched for the good things of Obama and finally come up with

First, I find it admirable that he can find time to play golf in spite of the obligations of the office of president and in spite of the present chaos in the world. An earlier leader would have been on-station agonizing on whether his decision could make a difference. He’s been able to golf so much more frequently than I ever could with my meager and comparatively insignificant obligations.

Second, I admire how often Obama can take elaborate vacations for himself and his family on someone else’s dime. It would be nice if my rich uncle would foot the bill for the nicest hotels, food and private transportation to the many exotic places in the U.S. and throughout the world.

Third, I find it remarkable that Obama’s scruples allow him with a straight face to demonize any opponent with a differing view and to make statements that are false but that his minions attempt to spin as fact.

And lastly, I admire Obama, as a self-appointed messiah, giving speeches that mesmerize his apologists and send chills down certain commentators’ legs. His performances bring back memories of James Warren “Jim” Jones and other notable tyrants always accepted as truth by an unthinking multitude with unfathomable blind faith.    (my emphasis)

By Monte Pelerin for Economic Noise

By permission Monte Pelerin

For Too Many, It’s a Very Unhappy Fourth of July

Posted on July 4th, 2014

Sad Lady LibertyBy Alan Caruba

As Americans pause to celebrate the 238th signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, it well may be one of the saddest Fourth’s in decades. The six and a half years of the Obama regime has failed to unleash the nation’s capacity to recover from the 2008 financial crisis and has left the nation saddled in debt and dependency.

This is not what freedom is about, nor did the Founding Fathers conceive of a President who ruled with “a pen and a phone.” 

As The Wall Street Journal reported on January 13, “The year began with the news that “World economic freedom has reached record levels according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top ten most economically free countries.” What this means is that “those losing freedom risk economic stagnation, high unemployment, and deteriorating social conditions.”

That is a description of life in America today. It is a nation in which regard for Congress and the mainstream media has plunged to new lows.

In February, CNSnews reported that “The debt of the U.S. government has increased $6,666 trillion since President Barack Obama took office on January 20, 2009, according to the latest numbers release by the Treasury Department.” When he was first inaugurated, the debt was $10,626,877,913.08 and as of January 31, 2014 the debt was $17,293,019,654,983.61.” Looking back in time, the total debt of the U.S. did not exceed $6,666 trillion until July 2003, meaning that the U.S. has accumulated as much debt as it did in its first 227 years.

As the year began, the unemployment figures cited by the government were in dispute. One influential Wall Street advisor, David John Marotta, calculated that those not working when the year began represented 37.2% of the labor force as defined by the portion of people who did not have a job, had given up looking for one, and those who had no intention of working for a living. The government calculated the unemployment rate at 6.7%.

Being a native-born American offered no advantage for those seeking work. The Center for Immigration Studies released a study that said that “Since the year 2000 all of the net increase in the number of working-age (16-65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal)” even though native-born Americans accounted to two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population.

Since 2000 more than 17 million immigrants arrived in the country, a time period in which native employment “has deteriorated significantly.” Given the wholesale invasion of illegal immigrants that is occurring, this calls for the enforcement of existing immigration laws and a secure southern border.

Since Obama took office, all manner of government benefit programs have been expanded. They include Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, public housing, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Woman, Infants Children. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the Census Bureau calculated that there were 109,592,000 who lived in a household that included people “on one or more means-tested programs.” 

Contrast that with 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers and it means that 14,802,00 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered those whose taxes support them by a rate of 1.7 to 1.

There are more Americans, 10,982,920, receiving disability benefits than the individual populations of Greece, Portugal, Tunisia, and Burundi. November 2013 was the 202nd straight month that the number of disabled workers in the United States increased.

We live in a welfare state in which the federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted toward low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals. The Cato Institute said that “Congress and state legislatures should consider strengthening work requirements in welfare programs, removing exemptions, and narrowing the definition of work.”  Keep in mind that welfare benefits are not taxed while wages are.

This is not to say that people on welfare are lazy. Surveys consistently demonstrate their desire for a job. The reality in America on the Fourth of July 2014 is that jobs do not exist and the cause is Big Government and policies that thwart the creation of new businesses and add costs to those that do. In America, corporations are taxed at a rate higher than most other nations.

Over recent years, the U.S. government has given our taxpayer money to a long list of other nations and even to terrorist organizations such as Hamas, a Palestinian non-state entity, which annually receives $440 million. Others include Mexico which has received $662 million, Kenya which received $816 million, and Nigeria which received $816 million. Pakistan has received $2 billion and Iraq which received $1.08 billion.

As the Fourth of July arrives, we have learned that American veterans are dying for lack of care by the Veterans Administration, conservative groups seeking non-profit status have been targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, and Obama immigration policies have deliberately triggered a wholesale invasion by illegal aliens. We have witnessed the failures associated with the introduction of Obamacare and are learning that it is filled with taxes while destroying what was regarded as the best healthcare system in the world.

As of late June, Gallup polls put the disapproval of the President at 52%. Confidence in the President was only 29% while Congress received only 7%.

It is not a happy Fourth of July in America and far too many Americans—nearly halfstill believe the President is doing a good job despite ample evidence that his “transformation” of America has harmed the nation in countless ways.     (my emphasis)

By Alan Caruba for Facts Not Fantasy

By permission Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba writes a daily post at

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Suicide By Congress

Posted on June 26th, 2014

Dangerous President Obama  by Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

By Monte Pelerin

Suicide by Cop” is a term that describes the intentional behavior of a person wanting to be shot and killed by police. Wikipedia describes it this way:

Suicide by cop is a suicide method in which a suicidal individual deliberately acts in a threatening way, provoking a lethal response from a law enforcement officer or other legitimately armed individual, such as being shot to death.

Barack Obama seems to be applying this concept to a higher level. Obama may be attempting  “suicide by Congress.” No bullets are involved in this scenario. Impeachment, the equivalent of political death, ends this threatening behavior.

Obama increasingly seems to dare Congress to initiate impeachment hearings against him. He routinely bypasses them, violating their authority and the Constitution as well. He also delights in taunting them, threatening with his pen and phone.

Is this a strategy with some unknown purpose? Is Obama more delusional than many believe?

By my count, there are now 26 scandals, some  more serious than others. Probably a half-dozen of these are impeachable offenses were Congress to move. Nixon was impeached for a cover-up and IRS “indiscretions.” Obama’s actions in these two areas alone are worse than Nixon’s? The nation’s moral and ethical decline is not enough to explain the pass he has thus far received. Democrat loyalty and control of the Senate is probably the best answer. However, both these stopgaps could change after the 2014 mid-terms.

The VA scandal continue to grow. This issue galvanized the public in ways that other scandals did not. It is probably the least threatening to Obama. Incompetence and fake books at the VA preceded him, and there is no evidence that suggests he intentionally made matters worse.

The Bowe Bergdahl incident also resonates with the public. Perhaps it was the straw that brought the entire facade of competence and integrity issues of the Obama presidency down. There was only one person responsible for that decision and it was Barack Obama. Nothing else has responsibility defined so clearly. Rather than explain the reasons why the exchange occurred and why it might be in the interests of the United States, the Administration lies and stonewalls.  Joseph Miller identifies eight White House lies with respect to the Bergdahl affair.

Obama’s behavior is bizarre. It always has been. Is his Messianic complex responsible for behavior that looks like suicide by Congress?  Has his delusional side taken over? Or, is he looking at the clock and realizing that all that stands between him and displacing Jimmy Carter as the worst president in modern history?

The big question is how much more of this behavior is required before Congress acts? My guess is no more. The 2014 election results will make it permissible for Democrats to abandon their guy.     (my emphasis)

By Monte Pelerin for Economic Noise

By permission Monte Pelerin

Obama’s Legacy Threatens America’s Future

Posted on June 24th, 2014

Obama SmilingBy Alan Caruba

Americans are feeling the same fear for the future that preceded the Civil War when the incompetent James Buchanan left the mess that Abraham Lincoln had to address. I don’t think we have ever had a President with less knowledge of history than Barack Obama and less ability to solve domestic economic problems and address threatening foreign ones.

Rarely has a U.S. President been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” said former Vice President Dick Cheney, along with his daughter Liz, in a June 18 opinion published by the Wall Street Journal. Liz has been a deputy assistant secretary of state for eastern affairs.

My fear now is that the President is not, as I originally assumed, driven just by ideology, but that he keeps demonstrating the illegal use of powers that he does not have under the Constitution, coupled with a disdain for the other branch of government, the Congress.

If Obama is eminently impeachable, but Congress is so divided that this is not an option.

Despite what his Justice Department told him, Obama disobeyed a law requiring him to give Congress a 30-day notice for the exchange of terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay. His use of executive orders may meet some legal standard, but they are often his way of getting around legal limitations such as his wish to open America’s borders to the flood of illegal immigrants we are seeing.

There is some comfort in being someone who warned against electing him both times, but there is no comfort in reviewing the harm he has done to date. Only a major Republican victory in the November midterm elections will offer any protection against him until he leaves office.

Let’s just do a quick review:

He traded five members of the Taliban’s highest ranked detainees from Guantanamo for an alleged prisoner of war who deserted his unit in Afghanistan, negotiating with the Islamic criminal group, the Haqqani, known for extracting high ransoms but no mention of money has been made.

Having initiated negotiations with Iran in a futile attempt to get them to cease seeking their own nuclear arsenal, there is conjecture the U.S. will enlist Iran’s help in addressing the jihadist attack on Iraq, but Iran has been the declared enemy of the United States since it seized our diplomats in 1979 and held them hostage until President Reagan was sworn into office. Iran is the world’s greatest supporter of terror. It was behind the truck bomb that destroyed our embassy in Beirut in 1984 and a few months later killed U.S. Marines in an attack on their barracks there. It provided weapons to our enemies during the Iraq war.

He has driven the nation’s debt up so high that, for the first time in its history, its credit rating was reduced. That debt continues to grow and is pegged at $17 trillion. The price of food is beginning to soar.

Unemployment now affects the lives of those unable to find work—literally millions—and those who have ceased to look. Raising the minimum wage will only serve to further reduce job creation and opportunities. Millions are on food stamps while millions are receiving disability benefits. There is likely no way to know who legitimately deserves assistance and who does not. Increasing the rolls is seen as ensuring the Democrat Party gets their vote.

He reduced the funding of our military, reducing its fighting capacity to pre-World War Two levels in manpower and the arsenal of weapons it requires. He advocated the participation of homosexuals, a policy the military has long opposed for issues of unit cohesion and morale. He advocated more female participation in the military. Pastors and other chaplains serving the military were pressured to alter their message to the troops.

Obama is on record saying that “climate change” is the greatest enemy the U.S. military will face. Climate change has been occurring for billions of years and is entirely natural. It has nothing to do with waging war except for the circumstances on a specific battlefield and that is called the “weather”, not climate change.

Having done nothing to stem illegal immigration, the nation is now besieged by thousands of “refugees”, often very young, being bussed here from nations like Nicaragua and Guatemala. They in turn are being “dumped” in Arizona and other locations because the Texas immigration detention facilities are full. This situation is being attributed to Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that was initiated in 2012 to allow illegal immigrants who can to the U.S. as minors to escape deportation for two years. In early June an additional two years was tacked onto the program.

By pushing Obamacare—the Affordable Patient Care Act—through Congress, Obama has effectively destroyed the finest medical health system in the world, raising the cost of health insurance, interfering with the doctor-patient relationship, and causing several million Americans who already had health insurance to lose it. He lied to achieve this and the Democrats knew it. No Republican in Congress voted for it. By 2017 an estimated seven million workers will lose employer provided coverage.

Just as Obama’s indifference to fix the management problems of the Veterans Administration has resulted in needless deaths, Obamacare’s death toll will make that seem small when even policy holders are forced to wait for care because hospitals have closed or there are fewer private practice physicians.

Obama’s declared “war on coal” has already caused more than a hundred coal-fired plants producing electricity to close, reducing the production of electricity at a time the population is growing and the economy requires it for growth. The emissions from such plants had already been reduced by 90% at a significant cost. The EPA’s new regulations have no basis whatever in scientific fact. The cost of electricity is already rising for many Americans and U.S. coal is being shipped to China and India for their plants.

The nation’s moral standards have been harmed by the implementation of same-sex marriages which the President endorsed after reversing an earlier campaign position. His view that legalizing marijuana is okay will have serious implications that are already manifesting themselves at this point.

This is just a thumbnail review of what has been happening to the nation and to all Americans. We have survived incompetent presidents in the past, but Obama is unique, not just for his ignorance and incompetence, but for his reliance on lies to achieve his goal of reducing America as the one world power that has been relied upon to resist the forces of evil that threaten mankind.

Having begun with a quote by the Cheney’s, I will conclude with their view that “President Obama is on track to securing his legacy as the man who betrayed our past and squandered our freedom.”    (my emphasis)

By Alan Caruba for Facts Not Fantasy

By permission Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba writes a daily post at

© Alan Caruba, 2014

The Difference Between the Real World and Obama’s

Posted on June 13th, 2014

Barack Obama Commander in ChiefBy Alan Caruba

I keep wondering what it must have been like to be a young student at West Point listening to their Commander in Chief’s platitudes and ignorance wash over them. West Point is where our nation’s future leaders in war receive an education in how to protect the nation by crushing our enemies, if Presidents and Congress will let them.

Unfortunately for them, this President seems to think that climate change is the nation’s biggest enemy and that a loose coalition of Islamic fanatics is the other. There was no talk of an increasingly aggressive China, a Russia that seized Crimea and would like a chunk of the Ukraine, or an Iran that got out from under some strong financial sanctions and will continue to build its own nuclear weapons no matter what Obama and other negotiators may want.

Meanwhile, the Egyptians have decided they would prefer a military dictator again as their president instead of a leader from the Muslim Brotherhood. Such choices are endemic to the Middle East. Real democracy is rare there. In Syria its dictator, Bashar al Assad, is still in power when, it could be argued, a few hours spent bombing his air force and other military facilities might have cost him his job and saved over 160,000 lives. So now Obama is reluctantly arming his opposition, some of whom could end up being as oppressive as al Assad.

The highlight of Obama’s speech was his announcement that the U.S. would be out of Afghanistan by 2016 except for a small force to train its military. Here’s what I had to say about Afghanistan in November 2009, a few months into Obama’s first term:

“If you look back, you discover that the former Soviet Union had 100,000 troops there and spent ten years in Afghanistan…one day in 1989 they just packed up and went home to Russia. Shortly thereafter the Berlin Wall fell, followed by the entire Soviet government in 1991.”  And Afghanistan was deemed by Obama to be a “war of necessity.” Americans in 2009 would have been happy to depart, having been there for eight years with nothing to show for it.

Presidents who do not get the waging of war right end up killing a lot of American troops. Lyndon Johnson knew years earlier that he should have gotten out of Vietnam, but stayed on. And, yes, George W. Bush stayed on in Afghanistan and Iraq after achieving the initial goal of responding to 9/11 and then of getting rid of Saddam Hussein. War is not about nation-building.

The U.S. stayed on in Europe after WWII because the Soviet Union was the new threat there. We stayed on in Japan to ensure it learned how to govern itself without an all-powerful emperor and then because of a threat from North Korea and communist China. Internationally, we maintain a military presence by invitation in many nations because as the only global superpower we are also the only one that stands for freedom.

Obama has made it clear that he does not like our being a superpower. One need only look at the way he has reduced our military to pre-WWII levels.

How bad was the speech? When The New York Times published an editorial about it on May 28, it said “The address did not match the hype, was largely uninspiring, lacked strategic sweep and is unlikely to quiet his detractors, on the right or the left.”  How incompetent does Obama have to be to elicit this kind of criticism from one of the greatest voices of liberalism in America?

At this point in his second term with two more years to go, Obama has been a spectacular failure domestically, diplomatically, and on the battlefield he chose. He has told the Taliban when we will leave and they will be back because we are talking about the Middle East. As for the rest of the Islamists, Obama abandoned the phrase “a war on terrorism” early on.

As former Ambassador John Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of “Surrender is Not an Option” said in a recent commentary, “Typically, Mr. Obama made no mention of seeking ‘victory’ in the war against terrorism, a still-foreign concept to him, in a war whose very existence he denies.”

The only victory Obama has ever prized is the winning of elections. He was nowhere to be found the evening our ambassador and three security personnel were killed in Benghazi and the next day he flew to Los Angeles to do more fund raising. When their bodies returned, he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied about a video as the cause of an event that occurred on the anniversary of 9/11.

We have two more years of Obama as President. That cannot bode well for the future, either here or around the world.    (my emphasis)

By Alan Caruba for Facts Not Fantasy

By permission Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba writes a daily post at

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Pentagon ‘Outraged’ over Obama’s Victory Lap on Bergdahl – General

Posted on June 10th, 2014

Prisoner swap Bergdahl by Mike Keefe, Cagle Cartoons

By Rick Moran

A former vice chief of staff of the army says that Pentagon officials were “outraged” when President Obama paraded the parents of Bowe Bergdahl before the world in the Rose Garden.

Retired Four-star General Jack Keane also contradicted Susan Rice’s interpretation of Bergdahl’s service when she claimed he served with “honor and distinction.

Daily Caller:

“The fact that a citizen volunteers — becomes a soldier, becomes a paratrooper, goes to combat as a result of that, has an unblemished record, is a very good soldierand then deserts his post, that trumps all previous behavior,” he explained. “So that is a distinction in itself, and he has to be held accountable for that.”

“And how have the military leaders you’ve talked to this week — I know you’re close touch with a lot of folks, still, at the Pentagon — how do they view the way this week has rolled out?” Wallace asked.

They’re outraged that the president, at the Rose Garden ceremony, was actually promoting an event in terms of public relations,” Keane declared. “And then taking his family — who by the way, the military had advised to maintain a very low profile, and they had maintained a low profile for years.”

“And then to put them in front of the cameras like that and begin a celebration, I think that created not only anguish among those who were his teammates and those who may’ve lost his lives in rescuing him,” the general explained, “but senior military leaders looked at that and just shook their head and said, ‘Why are we doing something like that?’”

Keane and the officers in the Pentagon who were astounded by the display with Bergdahl’s parents aren’t alone. Even some liberal commentators were aghast at the spectacle. At the time, the White House was confident that the release of Bergdahl would be a cause for celebration in America, so clueless they were about the situation.

It’s been a trying 5 years for the military. Several generals have gotten into hot water for criticizing the administration. I’m sure for most of them, 2016 can’t come soon enough.    (my emphasis)

By Rick Moran for American Thinker

By permis

sion American Thinker

Obama Must Go! (But He Won’t)

Posted on June 9th, 2014

Obama Legacy

By Alan Caruba

Given the collective anger over the exchange of five Taliban commanders for what appears to be a U.S. Army deserter, combined with the anger from the Veterans Administration revelations, one might be tempted to think that Obama would be impeached or would resign, but neither of those options will occur.

He’s not leaving because he doesn’t care what Americans think and only cared when the issues involved forthcoming elections. He was, after all, elected twice. He doesn’t even care what the members of Congress think, relying now entirely on executive orders and by working his way through federal agencies and departments.

He knows that his approval ratings fluctuate between 48% and 51% on any given day—a testimony to the stupidity that liberals embrace while accusing conservatives of being stupid—and he knows that the vast bulk of Americans are too busy trying to hold onto their jobs, if they have one, and that most do not spend much time paying attention to the issues. Large numbers receive some form of federal assistance and that is their sole concern.

Until the Taliban debacle the mainstream media could be depended upon to ignore tragic events like the Benghazi attack and its cover-up. Indeed, some speculate that Obama thought that getting a U.S. soldier back from the Taliban would detract attention from the VA issue, but did not anticipate how badly that would turn out. It was, after all, part of his intention to release all of the Gitmo detainees and close the facility.

It hardly seems accidental or ironic that the spokesperson for both scandals has been national security advisor, Susan Rice, lying through her teeth.

In the 2010 and 2012 elections Republicans gained more seats in the House of Representatives, but made little progress in the Senate. Some Tea Party movement conservatives like Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio now hold office, but they are a minority within a minority so far as the U.S. Senate is concerned. I will take any progress we make and any candidate with a “R” after his or her name.

Even if the GOP were to gain control of the Senate after the forthcoming November midterm elections there will be no impeachment proceedings against Obama because Republicans with long memories will recall how badly that turned out when it was attempted against Bill Clinton. It was rejected and he went on to become the Democratic Party’s popular senior statesman.

Hillary Clinton has let it be known she did not favor releasing the Taliban commanders. A story in the Daily Beast on June 3 reported that “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was personally and intensely involved in the debate over swapping five Taliban commanders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2011 and 2012. But she had severe reservations about the potential deal, and demanded stricter conditions for the release of the prisoners than what President Obama settled for last week.”

Should she become the Democratic Party candidate for 2016 Hillary will put as much distance as possible between herself and Obama.

Will Obama resign as this new wave of anger sweeps over the White House? That is not going to happen either.

If we know anything about Obama at this point it is that he has no regard for the oath of office he took, even less for the Constitution. He breaks laws now with virtual impunity.

He knows that his lies have made it possible for him to pursue his agenda for legislation like Obamacare, increasing the national debt to the highest it has ever been, and imposing regulations through the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct his “war on coal.” His “stimulus” to goose the economy was a failure. His “reset” with Russia has been a failure along with other foreign policy missteps.

When Obama leaves office—assuming the worst fears of many conservatives that he will declare martial law and try to make himself President-for-Life will not occur—he will have a long life of considerable wealth awaiting him. He will be gone, but in the same way the Clintons are gone, yet still making news.

So, yes, Obama must go. But he won’t.     (my emphasis)

By Alan Caruba for Facts Not Fantasy

By permission Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba writes a daily post at

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Why Team Obama Was Blindsided by the Bergdahl Backlash

Posted on June 6th, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl Obama by Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

EDITOR’S COMMENT: Of the literally hundreds of articles and comments that I’ve read this week trying to get a glimpse into President Obama’s reasoning or lack of reasoning for making this Taliban/terrorists for Bergdahl prisoner swap, the one commentary that stands out is one written for National Review Online by former Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters entitled “Why Team Obama Was Blindsided by the Bergdahl Backlash”, in which he attributes President Obama’s decision to the basic ‘culture clash’ that exists between the civilians running the White House and the military.

Here are some of his insightful comments:

Congratulations, Mr. President! And identical congrats to your sorcerer’s apprentice, National Security Adviser Susan Rice. By trying to sell him as an American hero, you’ve turned a deserter already despised by soldiers in the know into quite possibly the most-hated individual soldier in the history of our military.

I have never witnessed such outrage from our troops.

Both President Obama and Ms. Rice seem to think that the crime of desertion in wartime is kind of like skipping class. They have no idea of how great a sin desertion in the face of the enemy is to those in our military. The only worse sin is to side actively with the enemy and kill your brothers in arms. This is not sleeping in on Monday morning and ducking Gender Studies 101.

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.)

President Obama did this to himself (and to Bergdahl). This beautifully educated man, who never tires of letting us know how much smarter he is than the rest of us, never stopped to consider that our troops and their families might have been offended by their commander-in-chief staging a love-fest at the White House to celebrate trading five top terrorists for one deserter and featuring not the families of those soldiers (at least six of them) who died in the efforts to find and free Bergdahl, but, instead, giving a starring role on the international stage to Pa Taliban …    (my emphasis)

You can read all of Ralph Peters’ comments from National Review Online here.

Amateur Hour. Another Defining Moment of the Obama Presidency

Posted on June 5th, 2014

Taliban Swap Obama by Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

By George Neumayr

The Obama administration presented the release of Bowe Bergdahl as an indisputably glorious moment for the country. Amidst the celebration on Saturday, Obama didn’t bother to mention that Bergdahl was a deserter. Obama considered the swap of five of the most dangerous terrorists of the Taliban for Bergdahl worthy of a Rose Garden ceremony. Even for the release of a decorated soldier, that would have been a dubious idea, given the shocking, precedent-breaking character of such a trade. But for Bergdahl, whose story of desertion and possible treachery and collaboration grows more troubling with each new report, a Rose Garden ceremony seems almost like a parody of liberalism.

Obama administration officials, straining to defend the trade, noted that the Israelis have occasionally released Palestinian prisoners for hostages. But one can’t imagine the Israelis ever executing such a trade for a deserter whose actions caused the deaths of soldiers (the number keeps climbing in press reports) who conducted a long and risky search for him.

According to Susan Rice, who professes perplexity at why Republicans still have questions about the administration’s handling of Benghazi, Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.” Rice said that “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield.” No mention of his deliberately leaving the battlefield. Obama, too, described Bergdahl as captured on the battlefield. But by Tuesday the Pentagon’s press secretary was using more cautious language, comparing at one point the recovery of Bergdahl to the recovery of someone who jumps from a ship.

Perhaps the Obama administration will claim ignorance again, saying that it only recently learned of Bergdahl’s deserter status from “news reports.” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, over the weekend, adopted a jubilant tone as if he wasn’t exactly clear on the circumstances of Bergdahl’s departure from his camp and numerous other officials played dumb about his undoubted desertion.

The risks Obama took for the deal — breaking the law by not notifying Congress, among others — wouldn’t be justified under any circumstances, much less these. Obama tried to give the deal a patina of respectability by casting it as part of America’s tradition of not leaving any soldier behind. But the release of terrorists has never been seen as a legitimate means of fulfilling that duty.

An administration caught out in recent weeks for its indifference to the health of soldiers was eager to argue that dire health concerns about Bergdahl justified its release of terrorists for him. Obama evidently hoped that the Rose Garden ceremony would arrest his flagging poll numbers after the VA scandal. But it has only raised new questions about the depth of the administration’s amateurishness, recklessness, and dishonesty.

For the sake of one soldier, who may turn out to be as anti-American as his captors, Obama has now endangered the lives of countless new ones. He breezily says, “This is what happens at the end of wars,” as if the released terrorists will stop fighting theirs. They clearly won’t. They were treated as conquering heroes upon their arrival in Qatar and will undoubtedly return to the fight.

Such an astonishingly dangerous move falls into the Obama administration’s pattern of treating terrorists as less than terrorists. It is hard to imagine almost any other White House even considering such a deal. But in an administration that once contemplated jury trials for the planners of 9/11, anything is possible.

Obama still harbors the illusion that if the U.S. treats terrorists with more consideration their behavior will change for the better. Far more likely is that it will grow more emboldened, as they see how easily the U.S. can be manipulated and overpowered. Terrorists have been crowing over the pictures of the U.S. surrendering five of its most avowed enemies. The deal has unified them and divided Americans. Yet Obama speaks of it as a great moment in peacemaking that will result somehow in “broader discussions among Afghans about the future of their country by building confidence that it is possible for all sides to find common ground.”

Obama has telegraphed to the enemy America’s lack of resolve in the war on terrorism and encouraged more kidnappings. The beneficiary of this transparently self-defeating gesture — a deserter who grew to hate the military and saw America as a “horror” — makes it an even more vivid illustration of national decline.     (my emphasis)

By George Neumayr for The American Spectator

By permission The American Spectator

George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of the new book, No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.

‘Terrorists For A Turncoat’ May Define Obama Tenure

Posted on June 5th, 2014

Taliban Deal Obama  by Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

EDITOR’S COMMENT: Investor’s Business Daily has an interesting overview of President Obama’s swap of five Taliban prisoners for an American soldier over the weekend by suggesting that not only was this done to distract attention away from the Veterans Affairs scandal, but that the White House is ‘again trying to bamboozle the public.’

Here are some of their comments:

Even if Bowe Bergdahl were a Medal of Honor winner, trading five terrorists to kill more Americans would be unjustified. Almost as outrageous, the White House is again trying to bamboozle the public.

First, the deceptions. Departing White House spin secretary Jay Carney outrageously refused Monday to call the Taliban a terrorist organization, but “an enemy combatant.” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who showed he was unqualified during his Senate confirmation, insisted “we didn’t negotiate with terrorists.”

Didn’t a certain Democrat presidential candidate in a major 2008 foreign policy speech complain President Bush didn’t use “the full force of American power to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban, and all of the terrorists responsible for 9/11″?

Second, who is this man exchanged for five now free-to-roam terrorists? Bowe Bergdahl may be court-martialed for desertion. He apparently sought to renounce his U.S. citizenship and e-mailed his parents that he was “ashamed” to be American.

In 2010, Taliban officials claimed Bergdahl converted to Islam and was training them in bomb-building.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told the Hill magazine that House and Senate Intelligence panel leaders from both parties “were virtually unanimous against the trade when the idea came up in 2011. But Obama approved the deal without informing them. And, astoundingly, the president may have done it to distract from the VA scandal.

One turncoat deserter was worth five terrorists — that perverse notion may end up defining the Obama presidency.

You can read Investor’s Business Daily’s entire editorial here.

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