Ralph Peters, in National Review, explains how Barack Obama and his elite team of intellectual giants walked obliviously into a colossal political disaster.
Congratulations, Mr. President! And identical congrats to your sorcererâ€™s apprentice, National Security Adviser Susan Rice. By trying to sell him as an American hero, youâ€™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.
Exhibit A: Ms. Rice. In one of the most tone-deaf statements in White House history (weâ€™re making a lot of history here), the national-security adviser, on a Sunday talk show, described Bergdahl as having served â€œwith honor and distinction.â€ Those serving in uniform and those of us who served previously were already stirred up, but that jaw-dropper drove us into jihad mode.
But pity Ms. Rice. Like the president she serves, sheâ€™s a victim of her class. Nobody in the inner circle of Team Obama has served in uniform. It shows. That bit about serving with â€œhonor and distinctionâ€ is the sort of perfunctory catch-phrase politicians briefly don as electoral armor. (â€œAt this point in your speech, maâ€™am, devote one sentence to how much you honor the troops.â€) …
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 Bergdahlâ€™s release â€” as D.C. frat kids did when Osama bin Ladenâ€™s death was trumpeted.
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 presidentâ€™s men and women are not alone. Our media elite â€” where itâ€™s a rare bird who bothered to serve in uniform â€” instantly became experts on military justice. Of earnest mien and blithe assumption, one talking head after another announced that â€œwe always try to rescue our troops, even deserters.â€
Uh, no. â€œSave the deserterâ€ is a recent battle cry of the politically indoctrinated brass. For much of our history, we did make some efforts to track down deserters in wartime. Then we shot or hanged them. Or, if we were in good spirits, we merely used a branding iron to burn a large D into their cheeks or foreheads. Even as we grew more enlightened, desertion brought serious time in a military prison. At hard labor.
This is a fundamental culture clash. Team Obama and its base cannot comprehend the values still cherished by those young Americans â€œso dumbâ€ 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 donâ€™t necessarily all like each other, but they know they can depend on each other in battle â€” 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, parent of a deserter and a creature of dubious sympathies (that beard on pops ainâ€™t a tribute to ZZ Top). How do you say â€œoutrageous insult to our vetsâ€ in Pashto?
Read the whole thing.