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Thursday, June 5, 2014

David Brooks, "President Obama Was Right": . . . and Wrong!

Having recently explained why children are able to focus more effectively than adults (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2014/06/david-brooks-art-of-focus-hocus-pocus.html) and after providing us with the names of "really good" books (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2014/05/david-brooks-really-good-books-part-i.html), David Brooks has returned to the land of the living in order to explain why Obama did the right thing by swapping five terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl. In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "President Obama Was Right" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/06/opinion/brooks-president-obama-was-right.html?ref=opinion&_r=0), Brooks sanctimoniously declares:

"Soldiers in combat not only protect their buddies, they show amazing devotion to anyone in the uniform, without asking about state or ethnicity. This is the cohesion that makes armies effective.

These commitments, so crucial, are based on deep fraternal sentiments that have to be nurtured with action. They are based on the notion that we are members of one national community. We will not abandon each other; we will protect one another; heroic measures will be taken to leave no one behind. Even if it is just a lifeless body that we are retrieving, it is important to repatriate all Americans."

"We will not abandon each other; we will protect one another; heroic measures will be taken to leave no one behind"? Yeah, right. Just examine the concerned behavior of America's Commander-in-Chief when the compound in Benghazi came under attack.

Brooks continues:

"President Obama had to take all measures necessary to secure the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Of course, he had to do all he could do to not forsake an American citizen.

It doesn’t matter if Bergdahl had deserted his post or not. It doesn’t matter if he is a confused young man who said insulting and shameful things about his country and his Army. The debt we owe to fellow Americans is not based on individual merit. It is based on citizenship, and loyalty to the national community we all share."

Okay, let's suppose that it is the president's duty to bring deserters home from captivity. On the other hand, it is certainly not the president's duty to pose with the parents of such deserters at the White House, and indeed, Brooks acknowledges as much:

"So President Obama made the right call. If he is to be faulted, it would be first for turning the release into an Oprah-esque photo-op, a political stunt filled with inaccurate rhetoric and unworthy grandstanding. It would next be for his administration’s astonishing tone-deafness about how this swap would be received."

"Inaccurate rhetoric"? How about outright lies? Susan Rice, the president's National Security Advisor, shamefully went on television to inform the nation that Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction" and that he was "an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield."

Or stated otherwise: If Obama had quietly sought the release of Bergdahl without the attendant hoopla and without having asked Rice to lie once again on his behalf, Obama's actions would probably have been well received. Instead, Bergdahl's release was turned into a media circus by a narcissistic president, struggling with disastrous foreign affairs approval ratings (see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/06/03/obama-made-his-foreign-policy-name-ending-the-wars-in-the-mideast-thats-no-longer-enough/).

You see, the swap had nothing to do with Bergdahl. It was all about Obama.

3 comments:

  1. I was right. I was right. I was right. I always despised Brooks.
    AND
    I was wrong. I was wrong. I was wrong. I not always despised Krugman. I should have.
    What passes for journalism in America is beyond comical. Krugman has been selling himself under the rubric "Conscience of a liberal" What conscience one can have being a propagandist/prostitute in an absolute rag?
    Two of many repulsive bozos in an absolute repulsive rag.

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  2. Time may reveal the caliber of soldier that we got back.I will await hearing the President telling us the caliber of five terrorists given in exchange.Surely,we know more about them already.
    This was politics,pushing forward greater misery.

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  3. What Mr. Brooks wrote [and What he redacted from his original copy].

    "People in New York do uncomplainingly send tax dollars to help people in New Mexico."
    [because New Yorkers keep up with all the ways their tax dollars are spent and prefer to let the government pick their charities; government knows best.]"

    "Soldiers in combat not only protect their buddies, they show amazing devotion to anyone in the uniform, without asking about state or ethnicity. This is the cohesion that makes armies effective. We will not abandon each other; we will protect one another; It doesn’t matter if Bergdahl had deserted his post or not." [The sacred trust does not apply to Bergdahl].

    "The five prisoners released from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in a swap for Bergdahl seem like terrible men who could do harm. But their release may have been imminent anyway" [because we all know that's the president's obsession].

    "In the first place, the Taliban is not a terrorist organization the way Al Qaeda is." [Only Core Al Qaeda qualifies as a terrorist organization].

    "Sometimes national leaders are called upon to take the sins of the situation upon themselves for the good of the country" [Obama Akbar].


    "it’s about the principle of all-for-one-and-one-for-all, which is the basis of citizenship" [unless (of course) you're with The Tea Party, a conservative woman, a black conservative, or climate denier.]

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