The episode is emblematic of this president. The White House’s insularity and arrogance, coupled with an ideologically-driven determination to end wars even if our enemies won’t end them, have resulted in a string of foreign policy disasters including, as we now see, the near-collapse of Iraq; the Syrian bloodbath; and, we fear, a phony Iran deal that will essentially allow the mullahs to have their nuclear-threshold state.
His motive, many suspect. is to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by dumping out its detainees, no matter what the risk. (“Some officials also thought the transfer could speed up the stalled effort to eventually close the Guantanamo prison, although angry lawmakers now are proposing even steeper restrictions on the administration’s transfer authority.”) It must nag at the president that he hasn’t been able to close Gitmo, a campaign promise and a point of contention with the George W. Bush administration. But using a prisoner swap and dressing it up as a great accomplishment isn’t going to get Obama what he wants.
When the attitude is “I know best” and “the facts be damned,” the results are bound to be bad. And when the president’s worldview is so skewed, he is likely to make a string of errors that embolden enemies, weakens our stature and freaks out our allies.