The Palau Debacle

Barack Obama is like the reverse Midas. Every issue he gets involved with turns to disaster. The Gitmo closing is a perfect example. It was a terrible idea to close Gitmo in the first place, but he decided to do it anyway.

So, the question then became: what do we do with the people like the 17 Chinese Uighers? They got training at an Al-Qaeda camp but the determination was made that they wanted to kill the Chinese, not Americans, so we decided to let them go. If you train at an Al-Qaeda camp, that makes you a member of Al-Qaeda in my book, which means you should never be allowed to go free again under any circumstances, but setting that aside, that’s the decision that was made.

Of course, the obvious thing to do would seem to be to release the Uighers to China. They’re from there and the government of China wanted to get their hands on them. However, the fear was that the Chinese might torture or execute them, so that was ruled out. However, that really isn’t any of our business, particularly since the Obama administration doesn’t have the guts to criticize China’s treatment of its citizenry. Forcing a woman to get an abortion in China? That, they have nothing to say about. Putting a terrorist to death? Well, the Obama administration has to take a stand — it really tells you where their priorities are.

So, the “solution” to this politically created dilemma that the Obama administration came up with was to pay off Palau and Bermuda to resettle these terrorists. Gee, could there be a better place for radical Islamists who consider a woman showing her ankle to be sinful to settle down than tropical islands where women walk around in bikinis? Moreover, where better for terrorists to live than vacation spots that rely on tourists, many of whom probably aren’t that crazy about going to tropical islands inhabited by terrorists. Well, at least the locals are happy with the decision, right? Wrong!?

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The tiny Pacific nation of Palau’s decision to allow 13 Chinese Muslims from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to resettle there has sparked anger among islanders who fear for the safety of the tranquil tourist haven.

The U.S. government determined last year that the Chinese Muslims, or Uighurs, were not enemy combatants and should be released from the U.S. military prison in Cuba. China has objected to their resettlement, calling the men “terrorist suspects” and demanding they be sent home.

…Palau President Johnson Toribiong explained his decision to grant the Uighurs entry as traditional hospitality, but public opinion has appeared overwhelmingly negative. Some complained Friday that the government failed to consult the people.

“I totally disagree” with allowing the Uighurs onto Palau, Natalia Baulis, a 30-year-old mother of two, told The Associated Press by telephone.
“It’s good to be humanitarian and all, but still these people … to me are scary,” she said

…Four other Uighurs left Guantanamo Bay for a new home in Bermuda on Thursday. Some residents of the North Atlantic island were also unhappy, with dozens unleashing their anger on the Facebook page of a local newspaper, The Royal Gazette.

Even Britain, which handles Bermuda’s defense, security and foreign affairs, expressed displeasure at the deal.

The British Foreign Office complained that Bermuda’s leaders failed to consult “whether this falls within their competence or is a security issue for which the Bermuda government do not have delegated responsibility.”

…On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a news conference that the U.S. should “stop handing over terrorist suspects to any third country, so as to expatriate them to China at an early date.” He did not say if China would take any action in response.

Toribiong said Palau did not consider China’s reaction when it accepted the U.S. request to temporarily resettle the detainees.

Seldom do I say this, but the Chinese are absolutely right. What would our reaction be if the Chinese had 13 members of Al-Qaeda who were determined to blow themselves up in our country and they just released them in some tropical paradise? We’d raise holy hell about it — and with good reason. The Chinese have reason to be upset about this and so do the people of Palau and Bermuda. This was a dumb decision made for political reasons by a President who is completely over his head in the White House.

Update #1: Maybe I should have called this post “The Bermuda debacle” because the decision to take the Uighurs has helped prompt a motion of no confidence against the government in Bermuda,

The United Bermuda Party today moved for a motion of no confidence against the Government led by Premier Ewart Brown.

Opposition leader Kim Swan proposed the motion in the House of Assembly this morning.

…Said Mr. Swan: “Why have we moved a motion of no confidence? The public affairs of Bermuda are increasingly subject to the politics of one man rule under the Premier, Dr. Ewart Brown. We consider this unhealthy and not in Bermuda’s best interest.

“This is not just about Uighurs in Bermuda, though that issue typifies a style of leadership that is reckless, autocratic and conducted with no sense of accountability to the people or, indeed, to Bermuda’s Constitution.”

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