Wednesday, June 4

More on the Bergdahl exchange

Ralph Peters served 22 years in the Army, first as an enlisted man, then completing Officer Candidate School.  He retired as a Lt.Colonel.  So he knows the military very well.

Lt.Colonel Peters thinks the White House expected a huge positive response when it traded five terrorist prisoners for Private Bergdahl.  And certainly if Bergdahl had indeed been captured instead of voluntarily defecting to the Taliban, the public reaction might have been favorable.

But the military knew the truth about the defection immediately.  The members of his platoon were ordered to say nothing, and pretty much obeyed those orders.  So the public had no idea of the truth.

But thanks to the internet, they know now.  And except for the residents of the guy's small town, a lot of the public is mad as hell about the trade, since Team Obama freed five of the worst terrorists in U.S. custody to recover a deserter.

Peters thinks the cluelessness of Team Obama is due to a basic misunderstanding of military culture among the president’s advisers.  They expected most Americans to be delighted by the same things that pleased them.  Peters writes:
I have never witnessed such outrage from our troops….Exhibit A: Ms. Rice. In one of the most tone-deaf statements in White House history the national-security advisor, on a Sunday talk show, described Bergdahl as having served “with honor and distinction.” 
The president, too, appears stunned. He has so little understanding of (or interest in) the values and traditions of our troops that he and his advisers really believed that those in uniform would erupt into public joy at the news of Bergdahl’s release...
Both President Obama and Ms. Rice seem to think that the crime of desertion in wartime is kind of like skipping class….
President Obama...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, parent of a deserter and a creature of dubious sympathies (that beard on pops ain’t a tribute to ZZ Top).

Obama’s been waiting to do this for years.  There’s too much riding on this to back out now.  As Evan Perez at CNN notes, the five-for-one exchange was part of Obama’s plan to close Gitmo.

“Winding down the war” with the enemy still attacking you in the field is usually known in military circles by the word “surrender.” But just as Obama and his minions saw nothing wrong with desertion and collaboration — in Peter’s words, seeing it as nothing more serious than skipping school —  neither may they see anything particularly objectionable about that other cardinal taboo word in military culture: surrender.
So what if America surrenders? What’s the big deal?

The White House can’t see the problem.  Surrender to them is merely another way to demonstrate their moral superiority. As with Bergdahl, they probably expect euphoria to follow in the wake of their cherished surrender. But they may be in for a surprise, because the indignation is spreading past the military.  Once the real story got out it didn't take a soldier to understand the meaning of perfidy, hypocrisy and betrayal. 

Situation normal in the Age of Emperor Obama.


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