Do you think Barack Obama ever learned to play chess? It sure doesn’t look that way. Given his high school history it would come as no great surprise that a guy who was a member in good standing of the pot-smoking “Choom Gang” wouldn’t be particularly inclined to trade his bong for a strategy board game. But, what about after 12th grade?
Since it’s hard to believe that such renowned schools as Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard didn’t offer chess, we can assume our future president just wasn’t interested. Maybe Barack figured a political science major with an eye on street theatre and “community organizing” could do quite well simply following the Saul Alinsky playbook. Get attention on your own terms and, most importantly, create favorable optics. It worked. Those unending favorable photo ops, got the guy elected President of the United States. For years Obama and his team manipulated a giddy media who compliantly framed virtually every one of Barack’s moves in the most flattering light. More of a scheme than a strategy, it worked because Obama used his adoring fans in the press to spread what amounted to propaganda. He was playing politics and they rigged the game.
But then a not so funny thing’s happened on the way to Barack Obama’s “halo legacy”. He’s come up against hardened, international bad guys, who far from enjoying the comfortable, theorist conversations shared in Ivy League faculty lounges, “made their bones” on hell hole, hard scrabble battlefields. Our Commander in Chief’s lost the home field advantage, and now we can see, minus that “fix”, he’s lost. His unilateral, probably unconstitutional decrees don’t impress worldly, scary people. And, after years of getting mostly a free pass from scribes, Barack’s never really had to learn the art of negotiation.
Which brings us to where we are today. In what is maybe the worst “exchange” since the Mets traded Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi, President Obama took one American soldier, who appears more and more like a deserter, and gave up 5 big time terrorists. We’re talking the worst of the worst here.
This may have been a time when the kind of keen analysis developed from a game like chess would have served Obama a whole lot better than the community organizing and media manipulation he’s come to know and love. In chess he’d have learned to weigh what you’re giving up to get what you want. In this case it would have been getting back a pawn, and damaged one at that, in exchange for releasing 5 of the strongest pieces on the board.
To wit, using standard chess point valuations:
We’ll note in the case of the freed terrorists point values are arbitrary. Not so with the Sgt. Berghdahl.
Sgt. Bowe Berghdahl, Possible U.S. Army deserter-A pawn-1 point
Abdul Haq Wasiq, who served as the Taliban deputy minister of intelligence-A Bishop- 3 points
Mullah Norullah Nori, a senior Taliban commander in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif when the Taliban fought U.S. forces in late 2001-A Knight- 3 points
Khairullah Khairkhwa, who served in various Taliban positions including interior minister and had direct ties to Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden-A Rook- 5 points
Mohammed Nabi, who served as chief of security for the Taliban in Qalat, Afghanistan, and later worked as a radio operator for the Taliban’s communications office in Kabul-A Rook- 5 points
Mohammad Fazl, whom Human Rights Watch says could be prosecuted for war crimes for presiding over the mass killing of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001 as the Taliban sought to consolidate their control over the country-The Queen- 9 points
Total Score- Terrorists 19, Obama 1
If all this weren’t bad enough, optics of President Obama welcoming Bowe Berghdahl’s parents in the Rose Garden played poorly. Berghdahl’s dad, Bob, sporting a Taliban type beard, and speaking Arabic gave thanks to Allah, then got a warm hug from Mr. Obama. The more the bizarre episode was covered the worse it looked. Obama and his team even lost the battle of the photo ops. While our Commander in Chief was struggling at the White House ceremony, those newly freed Taliban leaders were treated to a widely covered, hero’s welcome in the terrorist haven of Qatar.
So not only did President Obama lose the “political game” he got thumped in the chess match. The score of 19 to 1 may wind up looking closer than it was after these killers rejoin their comrades and resume cutting a path littered with death and destruction.
They’re lethal. Obama is political. Now we’ve seen how that goes.