Bergdahl and Deal Making

Power Line‘s Paul Mirengoff made a number of points about the Obama “exchange;” I’ll add just a couple.

…President Obama was motivated less by a desire to bring back this particular prisoner than by a desire to make a deal—almost any deal—with the Taliban. Obama himself tipped his hand when, in announcing the deal, he said it could “open the door for broader discussions [with the Taliban] about the future of [Afghanistan] by building confidence.”

Mirengoff added

But who doubted that deals can be made with the Taliban? A deal can be made with anyone if it is one-sided enough.

Indeed. And after initially (or so Obama’s minions claim) holding out for a grand bargain,

A senior administration official said “we didn’t achieve as much as we would have liked, but neither [did we achieve] nothing.” Instead, “we have created precedent and a basis that might well provide an opening in the future,” he asserted.

Well, no, you didn’t. A precedent in this venue requires that both parties to agree that it is one or that one party has the power to enforce its terms in later efforts. This isn’t an American superior court where precedence has force regardless of agreement (you’d think a Constitutional scholar like our President would understand that). On the other hand, the Taliban did set a very critical precedent. They’ve demonstrated that they have the power to enforce their precedential terms onto this administration at will.

And this: only a partisan hack could think trading five four-star generals for a single sergeant is a good deal. Or a community organizer out of his depth.

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