He watched as Operation Enduring Freedom sought to bring democracy to his native land. Since the first step in that exercise was to attack Afghanistan’s terrorist core, he saw his home in Kandahar bombed, killing his stepfather and son. Such were the events back when the United States was serious about winning a war on terror. The remaining years of the Bush presidency saw the noble aims of that war waver, from a withering willingness to militarily defeat the enemy to the collapsed energy of the American people to fight that enemy.
As U.S. will eroded, Mullah Omar spent 2007 stepping up suicide attacks designed to dispirit anyone fighting for democracy and self-determination for Afghanistan. Then, in 2008, America elected a President who would hasten the day when the Taliban could see clear sailing toward regaining power in that nation and elsewhere.
Abandoning any remaining shreds of a victory strategy, Barack Obama spoke only of an exit strategy, giving dates certain for American withdrawal to Mullah Omar, the Taliban, al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and the remaining rogues’ gallery of terror groups.
The era of America as a force for hope in the Middle East was over, or at least on extended hold. Motivated only by the desire to please his fan base by yanking troops out of the region, President Obama extinguished the head-fake of the Afghan surge and returned to form, speaking wistfully about “ending the war responsibly,” with no regard for the fact that our terrorist enemies were planning no such cease-fire.
Mullah Omar had to draw enormous satisfaction from another growing trend in America— the erosion of our will to even recognize the enemy and identify it by name. As political correctness rushed to slap labels of Islamophobia on various attempts to cling to clarity in wartime, even a confirmed converted jihadist could rise through the ranks of the U.S. Army and mow down his fellow soldiers in cold blood at Fort Hood while proclaiming “Allahu akhbar.”
We then saw an American government eager to characterize this as “workplace violence” while we learned of a military culture threatening punishment for anyone who dared identify the warning signs of an actual terrorist in uniform.
To Mullah Omar and terrorist kingpins all over the world, the scent of American surrender was at hand. Iraq and Afghanistan were being drained of American troops. Court challenges derailed the military commissions at Guantanamo that could have delivered just punishments to the detainees plucked from the battlefield.
The freshly re-elected American President spoke only of the war’s end and his eagerness to bring it about.
Then, as the days of May 2014 dwindled, a flurry of developments plucked from the most optimistic dreams of the Mullah Omars of the world: an American soldier, a willful deserter, a convert to Islam during his “captivity,” is floated in front of the American President’s face. The price for his release: five top Taliban terrorists who have spent the years enjoying the quality food and exercise yards of Guantånamo.
The American President, eager to bump a veterans’ medical care scandal from the public mind, jumps at the unholy deal, imagining it as an opportunity to garner praise from veterans wondering about his devotion to them on many levels.
Co-opting the honorable line about “leaving no American behind,” the President who lifted no finger to save our countrymen in Benghazi and who seems unmoved by a Marine rotting in a Mexican prison, embraces this most suspect soldier’s story and prepares to force-feed it as a celebratory tale to a public he has snowed on plentiful other issues on other occasions.
But this time, his arrogance fails him in epic scope. Feeling no need to vet Bowe Bergdahl’s story, and feeling no need to consider the outrage of his Islamist father invited to the Rose Garden, Barack Obama rolls out this disaster and now watches on in horror as it explodes like a political IED at the base of his remaining reputation.
He dispatches Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to scold those who embrace the stories of desertion told by Bergdahl’s honorable colleagues, and to feign doubt about the stories of those who died searching for his sorry hide.
He dispatches Susan Rice for an occasion of Sunday morning TV duplicity that achieves what no one thought possible— a misrepresentation to rival or even eclipse her stream of Benghazi lies in September 2012. Saying Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction,” she pushes a narrative Team Obama desperately needs to keep alive.
But this game is over. The Idaho parades are cancelled. Bowe and his twisted Dad will not soon be able to chew the hummus over the poor, put-upon Taliban and the evil America that once imagined fighting them.
But while faces are long and tensions high at the White House, it is high fives all around at Taliban headquarters. The reclusive Mullah Omar was even moved to release a statement: “We shall thank [the] almighty for this great victory,” he said. “The sacrifice of our Mujahideen have resulted in the release of our senior leaders from the hand of the enemy.” He thanked the leaders of Qatar, the friendly nation that will surely allow the five released terrorists all the latitude they need to plot the deaths of more Americans.
And all it took was an American mujahideen, a turncoat, to bring the stars into perfect alignment. George W. Bush, the President who dreamed of suppressing terror sufficiently to allow long-suffering nations to choose their own path, is gone. So is the will of the American people to fight a battle of civilizations against an enemy that will never tire. So is any argument that Barack Obama is fit to lead our nation or its military.
The American President has been played. Our enemies are filled with glee. Five terrorists are poolside in Qatar with pens and cell phones poised to craft future evils. And a Taliban-loving father of a Taliban-loving traitor has been welcomed with a hug to the White House.
While Mullah Omar and his ilk ascribe this to the generosity of Allah, all that was really necessary for this entire parade of events was for America to grow weary of a war on terror and its President to pull the plug on it.?