Theater of the absurd

A week, sometimes a day, doesn’t go by without me shaking my head in disbelief at the Obama administration. During the week of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a place like no other that symbolizes man’s horrific inhumanity to man, White House officials were busy tripping over themselves and their own words as they tried to explain why the Taliban were not terrorists.  Usually, they trip over themselves when explaining why Islamic terror is not Islamic, and that’s crazy enough, or as the world disintegrates under their watch, telling everyone how much they hate Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and boy they do they hate that guy, the man who leads the only democracy in the most troublesome region in the world.  But now this?

Wednesday.  Because of White House criticism about Jordan negotiating with ISIS for the release of its captured pilot, Jonathan Karl of ABC News asked the Deputy White House Press Secretary the following question: “You say the United States government does not give in to demands, does not pay ransom. But how is what the Jordanians are talking about doing any different than what the United States did to get the release of [Bowe] Bergdahl — releasing prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay to the Taliban, which is clearly a terrorist organization?”  The answer was simple.  The Taliban were armed insurgents, but not terrorists.  “Huh?!” exclaimed every person not a terrorist.  I thought the young deputy was just too “green” in his job.  That he had blown it, made a mistake that would be quickly rectified.  I figured the Obama crew were embarrassed about what they did with the trade for the US Army deserter Bergdahl and needed to be able to defend it.  But still, they could more easily I thought, finesse themselves out of that one with less ridiculous rhetoric.  Nope.

Thursday.  The boss White House Press Secretary, Josh Ernest, showed up, and guess what?  He reiterated the lunacy.  Ernest stated that although the Taliban committed terrorist acts they were not terrorists because unlike al Qaeda, “those terror tactics have principally been focused on Afghanistan.”  Oh, I get it. Because they commit terrorist atrocities mainly in one country, Afghanistan, and let’s not forget that other country, Pakistan, where last December they murdered over 130 children in a school, but because they butcher people within one region, they are not terrorists.  And that’s why we also don’t consider ISIS who are only in Syria and Iraq a terrorist organization. Oh, what?  We do?

Friday.  The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing of three American civilian contractors at Kabul, Afghanistan’s international airport.  Well, at least they are not terrorists, right?

But OK, we can say that irrespective of the administration’s wacky views on terrorism, it’s consistent wackiness, right?  What?  No?  After the Bergdahl deal in May of last year, CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked then White House Press Secretary Jay Carney if it can “still be said that the United States does not negotiate with terrorists.”  Rather than say, as White House officials now do, that the Taliban were not terrorists, Carney mentioned the principle of not leaving men behind after battle.  And get this.  Cooper reminded Carney that it was the Haqqani network of the Taliban that had held Bergdahl and that the Obama administration itself had specifically designated that group a terrorist organization.  Too bad Karl and other journalists didn’t follow up about that.  Could be they were just too shocked.

And what about that Bowe Bergdahl trade?  Just as Obama cared more about keeping his campaign promise to get all US troops out of Iraq than what would happen after (and how has that gone?), the president is still trying to keep his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison regardless of the consequences.  So the US traded five top level, worst of the worst, hard core Taliban terrorists for Bergdahl.  No matter that even Obama’s own intelligence officials said that at least four of these five atrocity-committing, narcotics-trafficking, al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden associates would return to the battlefield.

As a condition for their release, the terrorists were to stay in that wonderful Hamas bankrolling country Qatar for, get this, one year, yes one whole year, and not engage in certain militant activites.  They also had to promise to be good boys, eat their vegetables, and wash behind their ears before dinner.  Upon arriving in Qatar, after receiving a Jihadi hero’s welcome and a Bed, Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon, they went on their merry way.  They were not required to be in any detention facility or even under house arrest.  They were free to roam the country, hang out at the City Center Doha mall, and enjoy themselves at the complex’s Fun City ice skating rink and bowling yard.

But no worries.  On NBC’s today show in June of last year, a hand-waving-in-a-dismissive-way (watch the clip), Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State when the US was negotiating the swap, said that “these five guys were not a threat to the United States.”  Afghanistan and Pakistan yes, the US no.  Doubling down on her comments, Clinton told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News’ Special Report, “  As long as they’re in Qatar, they’re not a threat to the United States… In Qatar, with an agreement that has been entered into, they are supposed to be constrained from what they can do and certainly they are not supposed to be permitted to travel… In that situation, they are not a threat.”  Whew!  OK, thanks for clearing that up.  I feel much better now.

Oh, wait.  “According to an exclusive obtained by CNN, one of the five Taliban commanders President Obama swapped for alleged Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl last year has attempted to reengage in ‘militant activity.’”  He couldn’t even hold off for one year.  But I am shocked!!  No way.  They are just five dudes, not so terrible.  Besides, once that very long year is up, and it will be soon, they will all go to Miami Beach and retire and sip Mai Tais while sunning on the veranda of the Breezy Palms Retirement Community.  These poor Taliban have been misunderstood and all that.  Just like those JV team, per Obama, ISIS guys.  Oh, right.

Seventy years have passed since Auschwitz was liberated.  Europe still hates and persecutes its Jews, and new Nazis, having been allowed to form and/or proliferate since Obama took office (coincidence?), butcher innocent men, women and children on several continents in the name of Islam.  The one person who can do something about it, who must do something about it, the president of the United States, lives in a politically correct, fantasyland.  If our naïve, Iran coddling, whiner-in-chief president would spend 1/10th the time recognizing and fighting the very real threats to the US and the world as he does crying about Benjamin Netanyahu, we would all be much better off.

About the Author
Shia Altman who hails from Baltimore, MD, now lives in Los Angeles. His Jewish studies, aerospace, and business and marketing background includes a BA from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. When not dabbling in Internet Marketing, Shia tutors Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and Judaic and Biblical Studies to both young and old.
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