The Obama administration’s new carbon rules won’t put a dent in emissions.

For people who use the word “science” as a bludgeon and trumpet their strict commitment to fact and reason, the Obama administration and its supporters are strangely incapable of rational analysis of new climate-change regulations.

President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency released draft rules last week to create a vast new regulatory apparatus with no input from Congress — in other words, to govern in its accustomed highhanded, undemocratic manner. The goal is to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants, in particular coal-fired plants, to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The rhetoric around the rules has involved self-congratulation about how they are the inexorable result of taking climate science and the reality of dangerous global warming seriously. “Science is science,” President Obama said in an open-and-shut tautology about global warming during an interview with New York Times columnist Tom Friedman. By the same token, math is math, and the new regulations make no sense.

While the regulations are stringent enough to impose real economic costs — especially in states that produce coal or heavily use coal power, or whose economies have grown relatively robustly since 2005 — they have almost no upside in fighting global warming. That’s because the U.S. is only part of the global carbon-emissions picture, and a diminishing one at that.

We account for roughly a sixth of global emissions, and our emissions have fallen the past few years more than those of any other major country. In fact, we’ve already achieved about half of the administration’s 30 percent goal, in part through the boom in natural gas, which produces half the carbon emissions of coal.

The regulations aim to cut carbon emissions by 700 million tons by 2030. That sounds like a formidable number only if it is abstracted from the context of the rest of the world. As Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute notes, carbon emissions increased worldwide by about 700 million tons in 2011 alone. China increased its emissions by 3 billion tons from 2006 to 2012.


Was Benghazi a Scandal?
Scandals — or fundamental transformations?
If the CIA wanted to smuggle guns to Syria or interrogate al-Qaeda suspects in Benghazi, that was its business, not necessarily the administration’s. To the degree Obama was involved in overseeing events in Libya, his involvement was most likely limited to a vague warning that, in the latter part of the nip-and-tuck 2012 campaign, there must not be anything resembling a shoot-’em-up Mogadishu, which a beefed-up security presence in Benghazi might have made more likely by evening the odds. Better to keep a low profile amid increasing security threats and hope for the best. And, if the worst happens — well, things do happen.

When the violence did erupt, a freelance video producer became the perfect villain. Obama and his subordinates, principally Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton, almost immediately damned the hapless filmmaker as having incited global violence by his bigotry. The more Obama told the world that he too condemned Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (and in fact he had Mr. Nakoula jailed on a trumped-up probation violation), the more Benghazi became a sort of revolutionary morality tale: Right-wingers in America keep getting innocent people killed by gratuitously inflaming Muslims — over the objections of sober and judicious progressive and internationalist Americans.

It worked. Benghazi fizzled. Obama was reelected. Mr. Nakoula cooled his heels in jail. (Should Dinesh D’Souza have learned a lesson about what is in store for inconvenient filmmakers?) Obama had gone to bed early the night of Benghazi and washed his hands of the inconvenience, and for the last two years the military, the intelligence agencies, the State Department, and the media have been blame-gaming one another.

On another front, a majority of Americans are furious about the partisan corruption of the IRS, and the fact that Lois Lerner took the Fifth Amendment rather than answer questions about why her department focused inordinately on conservative groups. In the initial, but transitory, media furor, Barack Obama called the corruption of the IRS “outrageous.” After the buzz quieted, Lerner et al. rated from the president the assertion that there was not “a smidgen of corruption.”

So was the IRS abuse a scandal or an act of fundamentally transforming America? Certainly, senior U.S. senators felt no remorse about writing letters to the IRS to sic the tax agency on their political opponents. The defanging of the Tea Party, starting in April 2010, may have proved advantageous to Obama’s reelection bid. When Harry Reid lied on the Senate floor in claiming that he had heard that candidate Mitt Romney had not paid his taxes, the message went out that high-ranking Democrats supposedly had good connections with the taxmen.


The U.S. can legally keep captured terrorists even after Afghanistan combat ends.
As usual, Senator John McCain has not exactly been a model of consistency on the Bergdahl-Taliban swap. First he said he would support such a deal; then, after it was done and popular opinion turned sharply against it, he maverickly condemned it. Still, he could not have been more correct on Sunday in dismissing the Obama administration’s rationale for the exchange.

Senator McCain was being interviewed by Candy Crowley, the Obama campaign savior in CNN garb. As recounted in a Corner post by Patrick Brennan, Ms. Crowley dutifully spun the reeling administration as being between a rock and a hard place, its options limited to: (a) getting captive Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl back now by exchanging the five Taliban commanders detained at Gitmo or (b) being compelled “to release the [Taliban] detainees when U.S. combat operations end in Afghanistan.” Senator McCain countered that this was a “false choice.” That is correct. Even if combat had ceased in Afghanistan, the release of these Taliban detainees would not have been required by the laws of war.

My weekend column discussed the Obama fiction that the war in Afghanistan is coming to an end. In reality, the president is engaged in a slow-motion surrender to the Taliban and its jihadist allies that is arbitrarily scheduled to take two years — arbitrarily, that is, unless you think it is the American political calendar rather than Afghan battlefield conditions that decides when combat ends. Now, on top of that fiction, the administration and Ms. Crowley are stacking yet another, to wit: The winding down of combat operations in Afghanistan equals the end of the war on terror, triggering the law-of-war mandate to release all enemy combatants who cannot be charged with war crimes or other offenses.

As we’ve been pointing out here for over a decade, combat operations in the ongoing conflict are taking place under a congressional authorization for the use of military force. The AUMF was enacted overwhelmingly a week after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Recognizing that the jihad against the United States is a global one carried out by an intercontinental network of terrorist confederates who do not restrict their operations to one country, the AUMF does not limit combat operations geographically. To the contrary, it authorizes the president to use force against the enemy — essentially, any persons, organizations, or countries complicit in the 9/11 attacks, or that have facilitated and harbored those who were complicit — anywhere in the world where the enemy can be found.


In Dennis Sullivan’s photograph , a landing craft from HMCS Prince Henry carries Canadian troops toward Juno Beach in the early hours of D-Day. Many years ago, I spoke to someone who’d been aboard the Prince Henry’s sister ship, HMCS Prince David, who talked about the subtly different dynamic among the guys on those landing craft. The Royal Canadian Navy men at the front are concerned to make their rendezvous on time: They’re in the middle of the mission, and they want to complete it. The infantrymen behind them are waiting for theirs to start. As the Prince Henry recedes behind them, they know they’re leaving the best-laid plans, and that what awaits them on shore is about to go agley.

A lot went wrong, but more went right – or was made right. A few hours before the Canadians aboard the Prince Henry climbed into that landing craft, 181 men in six Horsa gliders took off from RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset to take two bridges over the river Orne and hold them until reinforcements arrived. Their job was to prevent the Germans using the bridges to attack troops landing on Sword Beach. At lunchtime, Lord Lovat and his commandos arrived at the Bénouville Bridge, much to the relief of the 7th Parachute Battalion’s commanding officer, Major Pine-Coffin. That was his real name, and an amusing one back in Blighty: simple pine coffins are what soldiers get buried in. It wasn’t quite so funny in Normandy, where a lot of pine coffins would be needed by the end of the day. Lord Lovat, Chief of the Clan Fraser, apologized to Pine-Coffin for missing the rendezvous time: “Sorry, I’m a few minutes late,” he said, after a bloody firefight to take Sword Beach.

Lovat had asked his personal piper, Bill Millin, to pipe his men ashore. Private Millin pointed out that this would be in breach of War Office regulations. “That’s the English War Office, Bill,” said Lovat. “We’re Scotsmen.” And so Millin strolled up and down the sand amid the gunfire playing “Hieland Laddie” and “The Road To The Isles” and other highland favorites. The Germans are not big bagpipe fans and I doubt it added to their enjoyment of the day.

There was a fair bit of slightly dotty élan around in those early hours. I knew a chap who was in the second wave of gliders, and nipped out just before they took off to buy up the local newsagent’s entire stack of papers – D-Day special editions, full of news of the early success of the landings. He flew them into France with him, and distributed them to his comrades from the first wave so they could read of their exploits.

But for every bit of dash and brio there were a thousand things that were just the wretched, awful muck of war. Many of those landing craft failed to land: They hit stuff that just happened to be there under the water, in the way, and ground to a halt, and the soldiers got out waist-deep in water, and struggled with their packs – and, in the case of those men on the Prince Henry, with lumpy old English bicycles – through the gunfire to the beach to begin liberating a continent while already waterlogged and chilled to the bone.

The Bounties of Obama’s Weakness: Jed Babbin

He’s really whipped up a mess this time.

Asked about the backlash to the trade of the Taliban’s Fab Five for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, President Obama said, “I’m never surprised by controversies that are whipped up in Washington, all right?” In those few words, Obama made it clear that we need an American ambassador to the White House. Though the president denies it, the swap will significantly damage our national security.

The president isn’t tone deaf: he just doesn’t give a damn what the military (who advised against the swap) or the American people think. In one action, he has materially strengthened the Taliban’s ability to attack America and retake Afghanistan. The president demonstrated his concern for the severe consequences that will follow his action by chewing gum at a D-Day remembrance.

The trade of five top Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a huge boon to the enemy. And not just the Taliban. Our enemies — including al Qaeda (with which the Five are closely tied), as well as any terrorist network that can manage to kidnap an American — are celebrating. And why shouldn’t they?

Obama’s swap, in the words of a Taliban commander, gives the group a legitimacy it never had before. Which is probably one of Obama’s intentions. Defense Secretary Sgt. Chuck Hagel said of the release of the Fab Five, “It could, it might and we hope it will present an opening” for further peace negotiations with the Taliban.

If the Taliban can be regarded as a peer in negotiations with the United States, they have the standing of a legitimate nation-state. When they apply, we should expect Obama to help sponsor their membership in the United Nations.

This is the Taliban brain trust that enabled them to conquer Afghanistan and turn it into the biggest terrorist sanctuary outside of Iran. There is no reason to believe they won’t do the same again. These are men who should never have been allowed to return alive to again threaten America and its allies. The swap of these men for an American soldier who is apparently a deserter is unjustifiable in any terms. As Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said, there was no credible threat to Bergdahl’s life. Yes, we cannot leave any soldier behind, but we’re not leaving for another year and a half. The narrative the Obama team was trying to sell was brazenly and knowingly false.

Rampant Islamic Jew-Hatred in Europe and the Brussels Jewish Museum Carnage:Andrew Bostom

Consistent with the debased, cultural relativist Pavlovian conditioning about Islam which prevails throughout Europe, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve opined that pious Muslim Nemmouche’s lethal rampage, targeting Jews, had “nothing to do with Islam.” World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, addressing the media after commemorative prayers for the slain Jews in Brussels, suggested ruefully—if perversely—that somehow Nemmouche’s jihadist executions revealed a lack of understanding about The Holocaust, and pleaded for more education on the subject:

I understand more and more that the lessons of the Holocaust are not being taught because too often people say, “Well, how about the Palestinians?” They’re all difficult problems, but the Holocaust was something very, very special, special here in Belgium and special throughout Europe. And I think it’s important that this whole thing starts with education.

Even Ivan Riafoul, an exceedingly rare, but far more honest French commentator, willing to acknowledge some inculpatory role for Islam, asserted only “radical Islam” was responsible for “this new anti-semitism,” which had allegedly just materialized “since the year 2000.”

Rampant Islamic Jew-Hatred in Europe and the Brussels Jewish Museum Carnage

[A] Jew [is] of that most contemptible of religions, the most vile of faiths…They, both the ancient and modern [Jews], are altogether the worst liars…They are the filthiest and vilest of peoples, their unbelief horrid, their ignorance abominable.

The vilest infidel ape [i.e., Jews; per Koran 5:60, 2:65, 7:166]…Do not consider that killing them [Jews] is treachery.

The Wages of Indolence, Impotence and Incompetence By MARTIN SHERMAN

As disappointing as the response of the West to the Hamas-backed PA government is, Israel bears much of the blame for the situation.

Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit… The partition of Palestine in 1947, and the establishment of the State of Israel, are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time.

– The Palestinian National Covenant, as posted on the official Palestinian UN website.

Goal: Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence… Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.

– The Fatah Constitution

Israel will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors… The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims… there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him…. Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.

– The Hamas charter

In April, Fatah and Hamas reached a reconciliation accord, after a bloody rift of over seven years. This week, subsequent to that agreement, a joint Fatah-Hamas government was established. Almost immediately, the US and the EU announced that they will engage and fund the new government.

Manifestly myopic

These announcements from Washington and Brussels comprise the latest link in the long chain of humiliating, but entirely foreseeable, foreign policy debacles Israel has experienced under the last two Netanyahu governments.

This abysmal sequence began in June 2009, when at Bar-Ilan University, Netanyahu reneged on electoral pledges and accepted – albeit with evident reticence and reluctance – the admissibility of a Palestinian state. True, he did attempt to hedge his acceptance with unconvincing and unattainable reservations.

But that did little to contain the massive damage his ignominious climbdown caused. In a stroke, the strategic structure of the dispute had been transformed from whether or not there should be a Palestinian state, to what sort of Palestinian state there should be.

Just how manifestly myopic this decision was soon became apparent.

It proved to be a point of singularity in the conflict, for it signaled that the Jews have conceded defeat and, in effect, acceded to the Arab perspective.

All that remained for Israel were vain attempts at rearguard action and desperate damage control. Its position had become untenable – having agreed to something in principle that it could not agree on in practice.

For having conceded, in principle, on the issue of Palestinian statehood, it was left to haggle over the practical details of the process for its implementation.

This set in motion a dynamic in which Israel could not win. For unless it agreed, in practice, to implement what it had agreed to in principle, it inevitably appeared – or was made to appear – obstructionist, being either unreasonable or disingenuous.

No matter how many concessions it made, or how intransigent the other side was, Israel was made to look at fault.



Discovery may lead to treatments for Huntingdon’s disease. Tel Aviv University researchers have found that protein clusters are not the long-believed cause of Huntingdon’s disease. Instead, their formation protects cells damaged by the brain’s stress response. Tackling the stress response itself may cure Huntingdon’s.

Optical scanner warns of foot ulcers in diabetics. Israel’s Chief Scientist’s Office has awarded NIS 100,000 to Dr. Assaf Shachmon and Hagai Ligomsky of Tel Aviv University. Their optical scanner identifies diabetics at risk of developing foot ulcers that precede 84% of all diabetes-related lower-leg amputations.

Dr Sagie will get your child dry at night. (Thanks to Israel21c) The clinics of Israel’s Jacob and Tal Sagie have cured 27,000 children who suffered from enuresis (bedwetting). Tal Sagie has now launched Therapee – the world’s first online interactive program for treating enuresis – for kids aged four and over.

MobileOCT’s melanoma detector is featured by the BBC. And it mentions it is based in Tel Aviv!
In the video clip, CEO Ariel Beery says that the hardware can be 3D-printed anywhere, in order to save life.


Israel’s greenest building is ready. Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies has been inaugurated. The ultimate eco-friendly building features recycled gray water, solar-powered air-conditioning, a green roof, bio-climatic technology, only six car parking spaces (to encourage cycling) and much more.

Mastercard contest to find Israeli technology ideas. For the third year running, Citi’s Mastercard is running a competition to find the best new financial technology ideas and apps in Israel. The winner gets $25,000, a spot in the Citi accelerator, plus $10,000 for a trip to Citi’s and Mastercard’s innovation labs in Dublin.

Diagnosis from a distance. (Thanks to Hazel) A new article about the Optophone, developed by Israeli Professor Zev Zalevsky of Bar Ilan University. It can pick up conversations, heartbeats, even blood pressure and blood glucose levels from hundreds of feet away, without a microphone, using a laser beam with a camera.

Israeli sensors ensure water safety in Beijing – China’s capital. Beijing Water is installing 100 high-precision water quality analyzers developed by Israel’s Blue I Water Technologies for Beijing’s water distribution network. The sensors measure chlorine, pH, turbidity etc. and control pumps to safeguard quality.

New variety of Israeli melon named after Justin Timberlake. (Thanks to Israel21c) Ein Yahav agriculturists have honored singer Justin Timberlake with a melon named for him. They say the Justin fruit – a cantaloupe-like melon – shares the singer’s sweetness and performance power. It has a long shelf life of three weeks.

Israel rides out drought with desalination. After its driest winter on record, desalination and recycling means Israel has no water shortage. “We have all the water we need, even in the year that was the worst year ever regarding precipitation,” said Avraham Tenne of Israel’s Water Authority. “This is a huge revolution.”

The TWEAK for your sink. (Thanks to Uri) When Israelis Nitzan Shafat & Aviv Rozenfeld graduated from the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design they devised the TWEAK. It keeps the kitchen sink draining smoothly, and solves the problem of scooping cold leftovers out of the sink with your bare fingers.

Did you see Israeli technology on the BBC? (Thanks to On 31st May 2014 BBC World News featured Israel’s innovative technology on its “Click” program. If you live in the UK you can watch it on BBC iPlayer here.
If you live outside of the UK, here is a 4-minute preview

miLAB – where students are developing the next red-hot startup. miLAB is a research and prototyping lab based at Herzliya’s IDC Sammy Ofer School of Communications. Students explore the future of technology, media and human-computer interaction, building real, working prototypes. See the videos of some of the ideas.

The foldable car seat that turns into a stroller. Israeli industrial designer Yoav Mazar has developed the Doona – for those families with infants that want to avoid packing the car with both a car seat and a stroller / buggy. You don’t even need to detach the wheels. It is soon to be launched in Europe.

Israeli wind power for Finland. Israeli renewable energy investment company Sunflower is purchasing licenses to construct up to five wind farms in Finland each producing 20 megawatts of power. The wind farms are expected to be ready within the next two years.


Israeli unemployment is still falling. Israel’s unemployment rate fell in April to 5.6%, from 5.7% in March and 5.9% at the beginning of 2014. This is one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the OECD.

Massachusetts sends huge delegation to Israel. (Thanks to Hazel) Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick led a trade mission to Israel of some 120 Massachusetts business leaders. At least six business deals or partnerships were announced during the visit. There are over 200 Israeli companies in the US state, providing 6.600 jobs.,7340,L-4525248,00.html

MIT opens its first Israeli seed fund with BGU. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched its first Israeli seed fund in cooperation with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The fund will support early-stage collaborations between MIT researchers and their counterparts at BGU.

How China can benefit from close ties with Israel. (Thanks to Herb) The recent purchase of Israel’s Tnuva by China’s Bright Foods has brought the two countries closer together. Here’s how Forbes sees how tiny Israel can help China develop both financially and socially.

Intuit buys Check for $360m. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) More than 10 million people use Check’s smartphone app to track and pay their bills. Check’s Israeli development center will join Intuit’s Consumer Ecosystem Group.

RAD opens new $32m Negev R&D center. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Global Network access solutions developer RAD inaugurated its new RAD Negev Research & Development center at Beer Sheva High Tech Park at an investment of NIS 110 million ($32 million). RAD has hired 30 software engineers and wants 60 more.

Israeli web giant ironSource opens Beijing office. IronSource, one of Israel’s most successful web companies, is expanding to China. Over 100 million people a month use ironSource’s tech services, which will expand significantly as ironSource deploys its digital delivery technology in the world’s largest market.

Ben Gurion Airport inaugurates new runway. Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport has completed a 4-year, $1 billion runway upgrade. The new runway vastly expands airport capacity, allowing simultaneous take-off and landing. It supports the Open Skies program for increased destinations and lower airfares. The news coincided with the news that May’s passenger figures were 1.3 million – 13.8% more than May 2013.

Israeli parking system for Albania city. (Thanks Atid-EDI) Israel’s On Track Innovations’ subsidiary PARX has signed a 20-year contract to help manage the parking operations for Elbasan, a city in central Albania. It will install PARX’s EasyPark system, which already operates in 45 Israeli cities.

Obama’s Treasonous Taliban Tête à Tête ****

One can reach a point in the business of political (and even cultural) commentary where one gags at the latest episode of chicanery and blatant fraud. Living in a constant state of crisis, outrage and doom, as we have been doing under President Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House, is not psychologically healthy. Gagging and revulsion are defense mechanisms, warning signs that one is becoming jaded, numb, and dangerously desensitized.” News of the latest White House adventure in nihilism, in this instance the premeditated “swap” of an alleged deserter and traitor for five Gitmo hard-case killer Islamists, begins as a cresting wave that looks squeaky clean – thanks to government PR and Susan Rice – until it washes over you and you learn it’s packed with rocks, sand, jelly fish, and what’s found in septic tanks.

That’s what I felt when the Bowe Bergdahl news broke. Mentally paraphrasing Henry II about Thomas Becket, “Who will rid me of this troublesome Progressive priest?,” I steeled myself to deal with it. While I contend that Obama’s policies are politically fascist, in terms of his domestic policies, however, beneath all the Alinsky-esque manipulation and subterfuge, he is fundamentally a nihilist. His actions are consciously, deliberately, and purposefully nihilist. He is bent on destroying this country.

Most commentators and pundits do not grasp this, not even the brightest and most perceptive ones, not even the ones imbued with such outrage and palpable disgust with Obama that they are calling for his censure or impeachment. The devil is not in the details of Obama’s actions. The devil is Obama himself. The details don’t concern him. He is their author and the details are a distraction.

Perhaps it’s because the commentators and pundits are observing what they believe is some mandatory decorum when it comes to judging Obama or anyone else in such high office, and so pull that final knockout punch out of respect for an office Obama clearly does not respect himself. But Obama’s malice and malignity are there for the seeing. My well-paid colleagues won’t take that last step with a moral condemnation and deem him a worse traitor than Bowe Bergdahl.

That they very likely fear the wrath of a president and a government with unlimited powers to harass, smear, persecute, and destroy is proof enough that they know that Obama is evil.

I’ve been calling him evil from the very beginning, back in 2008. You can say that only so many times.



With the Bergdahl-Taliban swap, the administration elevates moral narcissism over objective reality.
This week on Fox News (here and here), the estimable Charles Krauthammer argued in favor of President Obama’s decision to swap detainees with a terrorist organization, indulging the administration’s portrayal of a “prisoner of war” exchange though the trade involves unlawful-combatant jihadists (two of them wanted for mass-murder war crimes) and a deserter.

I respectfully disagree.

Charles’s theory is that the West routinely engages in these sorts of swaps and should do so, despite always coming out on the short end, because it is a beneficial exhibition of the higher value we place on human life. I do not for a moment doubt Dr. K’s sincerity in stressing the value of human life, but I believe he is confounding the value and the exhibition — the high-minded display of good intentions. After all, as we shall see, his argument is a loser from a humanitarian perspective.

Charles appears to find the demonstration of our veneration of life beneficial because the so-called war on terror is, in part, a war of ideas. That is, even though these typically one-sided exchanges are a tactical victory for the terrorists, our cause is advanced over the long haul because the superiority of our values attracts convincible people to our side.

It is a nice thought, of a piece with the Lawyer Left pipe dream that we advance our security by bringing terrorists into our civilian criminal-justice system and abandoning such heavy-handed practices as coercive interrogation, military commissions, and indefinite law-of-war detention. Here’s the problem: These pieties do not correlate to real-world experience. Irresolute responses to barbarism beget more barbarism.

It is delusional to believe that most people in the Muslim Middle East view the conflict through our self-absorbed lens and perceive a contest between savage and noble principles. They have their own lens, and through it they see the strong horse versus the weak horse. You don’t win a war of ideas against a culture that brays, “We love death more than you love life!” by showing them how much you love life. To think otherwise is an example of what Roger Simon wrote about this week: the elevation of moral narcissism over objective reality.

Charles Krauthammer, of course, is no pie-in-the-sky progressive. So not surprisingly, he also cites a more concrete benefit of demonstrating our reverence for human life: It breeds a knowledge that we never abandon our captured troops, which is essential to the esprit de corps of the world’s most effective fighting force.

In principle, I agree. But in the Bergdahl-Taliban situation, the principle is inapposite. Charles, it turns out, is conflating some importantly distinct concepts. To begin with, there is a huge difference between how detainees are treated (a) in the midst of hostilities and (b) in an armistice at the conclusion of hostilities.

While combat is still raging — especially combat by terrorist methods that violate civilized norms — detainees should be held until the conclusion of hostilities unless there is some strategic advantage in releasing them. There can be no strategic advantage in replenishing the Taliban with five of its most capable commanders at a time when the Taliban, along with its al-Qaeda and Haqqani confederates, is still conducting offensive jihadist operations against both our troops in harm’s way and civilians.