In 2016, we must concede that Barack Obama’s seminal 2008 promise to “fundamentally transform America” has largely been achieved. Today, America is more highly taxed, more oppressively regulated, more medically socialized, less constitutionally shackled, more deferential toward feckless international tribunals, more beholden to pernicious cultural cronyism, less supportive of democratic allies like Israel, and more sycophantic toward illiberal exporters of sharia supremacism like Iran. By all accounts, even for those of us who despise what has transpired in this nation under his guidance, it is simply true that Obama has been remarkably successful in implementing his dystopian vision from lofty rhetoric into bone-chilling practice.
One 2008 campaign promise that Obama has not yet delivered on is his conviction that the American military facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (“GTMO”) must be closed. Here was then-candidate Obama, doubling, tripling, and quadrupling down on this vow during the 2008 campaign:
Leftist rhetoric on GTMO represents everything that is wrong with the West’s (largely) toothless fight against sharia supremacist Islamism and the militant global jihadism that recalcitrant Islamism so often yields. One need not strain to hear the latent anti-Western animus in Obama’s words. The stench in those words is even worse, frankly, then his famous apologia in Cairo in 2009; it reeks of Ron Paul-style blaming of America for the actions of genocidal Islamists hellbent on annihilation of the modern West and its Judeo-Christian civilizational core. To blame the American military presence at GTMO for the vitriolic hatred and lethal violence of the jihad is not only to succumb to the world’s worst moral relativism, but to demean both the human agency and ostensible rationality of fellow human actors in a brutally patronizing fashion.
Jihadis do not attack Western targets because of our own actions. Instead, jihadis attack Western targets because they are violent Islamists brainwashed in militant anti-“infidel” hatred and insidious sharia supremacist thought. Period.
Leftists always yearn for a world that just isn’t so. On the cultural front, they remain brutally hostile to conscience rights and the general need for human beings—as sentient actors—to seek the truth in whichever way they peacefully choose. On the economic front, they speak of Keynesian stimuli as if the infamous “multiplier” were demonstrably non-zero, speak of monetary quantitative easing and spendthrift fiscal blowouts alike as if money grew on trees, and speak of deficits and indebtedness as if there were no downsides thereto. And on the security side, they wish that America were not called upon to properly lead the post-World War II global order, and that the global jihad did not exist. (As a superfluous aside, as anyone who has spent enough time on Twitter with the Trumpkin “alt-right” zombies knows, this lattermost security-related complaint applies just as strongly for the
“alt-right” white nationalists/”anti-globalist” blowhards as it does for clueless Leftists.)
And yet, reality still beckons. Here was CNS News, reporting in March 2015 on Director of National Intelligence (“DNI”) statistics pertaining to released GTMO detainees during the Obama presidency:
As of Jan. 15, , according to the DNI’s report, 647 detainees had been “transferred” from Guantanamo. Of these, 116 (or 17.9 percent) were confirmed to have reengaged in terrorist or insurgent activities and another 69 (or 10.7 percent) were suspected of having reengaged.
Together, 185 (or 28.6 percent) of the 647 released Guantanamo detainees were either confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorism or insurgent activities.
According to the DNI’s report, a detainee released from Guantanamo is “confirmed” to have returned to terrorist or insurgent activites when a “preponderance of information identifies” that specific former detainee as having done so. A former detainee is “suspected” of having returned to terrorist or insurgent activity when “plausible but unverified or single-source reporting” indicates that he has done so.
What do we get in return for releasing these terrorists to the existential battlefield of West versus jihad, one might reasonably ask? Well, Leftists get a false sense of moral superiority, and no small amount of grotesque smugness. And, every so often, we get an accused deserter and possible Taliban sympathizer.
It’s almost—almost—enough to convince oneself to vote for the delusional ignoramus campaigning for President of the United States on the premise that he makes only the very best deals. Until, that is, one remembers that that guy is the very disturbed Donald J. Trump.
Today, Barack Obama took one moe incremental step toward achieving his goal of a GTMO-less Cuba, in releasing the biggest single batch of jihadis in all of his presidency.
The largest single transfer of Guantánamo Bay detainees of Barack Obama’s presidency occurred on Monday, as 15 long-held men departed the infamous detention center.
The transfer, expected to be officially announced by the Pentagon on Monday afternoon, brings the Guantánamo detainee population down to 61.
All 15 detainees were said to on their way to the same nation, believed to be the United Arab Emirates, which has accepted former Guantánamo detainees in the past.
The American republic, and the free world more broadly, are indubitably less safe for this willfully naive act. More of the world’s most hardened jihadis will return to the front lines in Mosul, in Raqqa, and probably in the dark alleyways of Central and Western Europe.
Shame on Barack Obama, and shame on the Left for perpetuating the underlying anti-American narrative that metastasizes into such disgraceful actions as Obama’s today.
Conservatives, for our part, can take some solace in the words of Sen. Tom Cotton, who memorably spoke on the issue of GTMO in a February 2015 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
To be clear, only the world’s worst jihadis find their way to GTMO. They “can rot in hell,” indeed.