Last Saturday the president was joined on the White House South Lawn by Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's family as he announced their son had been released. But the good news, many Republican members of congress had quickly tweeted their support, suddenly turned into a political firestorm of controversy.
The political forces that are trashing the deal to rescue Sgt. Bergdahl are the same political forces that got us into the Iraq war. They are the same political forces who want to keep the Afghanistan war going indefinitely.
It is true that the current superpower is not an angel, but the way we are viewing things has seriously affected our own welfare and virtually made us unable to self introspect.
The hypocrisy manages to be both stunning yet also banal, even predictable. It's not rocket science. Sgt. Bergdahl was never a living, breathing human to these people -- just what the director Alfred Hitchcock would have called a "MacGuffin."
There is not much to add to the media frenzy that has accompanied the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five prisoners at Guantanamo. Reflecting on the history of American military adventures since Vietnam, I would offer one new observation.
What at first seemed very clear-cut almost instantly became clouded in fog. This fog may clear some when the Army makes a formal statement about the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture by the Taliban, but until that point the speculation is running pretty wild.
Long before Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could ever have put his fellow soldiers in danger, certain people advocated policies that would put millions of American soldiers in harm's way.
One way or another, the United States owes its service members the ride home. They may face military court, or simply return to their lives, but leaving anyone behind is not right. But questions over Bergdahl's motivations and actions are not what embarrasses Obama.
If the war is ending, then we are about the business of bringing our soldiers home. If we are not about the business of bringing our soldiers home, then the war is not ending.
It is hard to fathom. Major elements of the once-proud Republican Party have stooped so low that they are systematically attacking an American prisoner of war because they believe it discredits their political adversaries.
The prisoner exchange would be much more acceptable if the United States was ending the war with the Taliban immediately and withdrawing its forces so they wouldn't have to fight these Taliban leaders again.
Would giving up prisoners who have undoubtedly been replaced by new recruits or promotions embolden the Taliban? It's doubtful, considering that they don't need any more motivation than the "political, religious, and social purpose" they already possessed.
When I was invited to go to Afghanistan a few weeks back, what came immediately to mind were scrambling images of a war-torn country that had seen many decades of war and foreign interference.
Although Pakistan's political leaders have expressed optimistic sentiments with respect to the election of the right-wing Narendra Modi as prime minister of India, let us not forget that the country's true center of power does not lie in Islamabad -- it resides in the cantonments of Rawalpindi.
"I don't think there is a civil society in Afghanistan. There are many people from overseas who are working in Afghanistan, but they will leave as soon as there is some turbulence."
"The most important factor is the conservatism that prevails with respect to social issues. Lack of education and economic poverty are other factors. Women are consistently used as a means of labor in families."