Globe Trot
A resident of Hailey, Idaho, hangs a sign celebrating the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl
Associated Press/Photo b Ashley Smith/The Times-News
A resident of Hailey, Idaho, hangs a sign celebrating the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

Globe Trot: Did the U.S. negotiate with terrorists?

International

AFGHANISTAN: The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is raising more questions than answers.

  • Did President Barack Obama’s administration negotiate with the Taliban for his release, a breach of U.S. policy?
  • What were the additional conditions of his release, which led to a swap for five top Taliban commanders in prison at Guantanamo Bay?
  • Was Bergdahl in the act of deserting when he was captured? That could bring about a conflict between the Obama administration, which is making a public relations coup of his release, and the military, which may have grounds for bringing him to trial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Bergdahl, whom the Taliban apparently held captive for five years, attended an Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Idaho. His family has spoken to WORLD over the course of his captivity, but would not consent to an interview out of concern for his safety.

SUDAN: Reports over the weekend that Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy, was to be freed may have been premature. As of yesterday, her lawyers say, she was still in prison, along with her 20-month-old son, and newborn daughter to whom she gave birth in prison last week. Meanwhile, the Sudanese Air Force attacked civilian targets in the Nuba Mountains in May, killing at least one Christian and targeting the region’s only hospital.

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 NIGERIA: While the U.S. and other forces make a show of hunting down the 267 girls kidnapped from a Chibok school in April, at least 29 Christians have been killed in two days’ worth of attacks in Gwoza. On Friday, terrorists waylaid and killed the emir of Gwoza. On Saturday, they overwhelmed a village in Borno, killing at least 40. Both attacks were retribution. The emir had been a vocal opponent of Boko Haram, and the town of Kalabalge once organized its own militia to combat the terrorists. The bottom line is the weak international response to Boko Haram’s brutality is actually emboldening the group to see how far it can attack without serious repercussions.

U.S. FOREIGN POLICY: Coming off a speech at the U.S. Military Academy last week that even his supporters panned, Obama seems to have adopted a foreign policy doctrine that at best can be called “minimalist” and at worst is being labeled “high school.” The administration and the president are pushing the “Don’t do stupid sh—” tagline as what’s actually driving foreign policy decisions. Even a would-be fan like Thomas Friedman points out that the more accurate tagline may turn out to be “Present at the Disintegration.”

ARENDELLE: The Disney mega-hit Frozen has been translated into 41 languages, but none perhaps so problematic as Arabic, where the refrain for the hit song “Let It Go” comes out “discharge thy secret.”

Mindy Belz
Mindy Belz

Mindy travels to the far corners of the globe as the editor of WORLD and lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

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