When I was a kid, I remember drawing a big circle in the dirt on the outskirts of the playground. Tommy put in his five marbles, and I put in mine. Both of us checked each other’s marbles for scratches, and then we shot for the wall to see who played first. I won. I knelt down, pulled out my knuckle-pad and my best Aggie, and shot for the center.
But “playing” marbles was only half of it. “Trading” marbles was the other half. Without this skill you couldn’t win no matter how well you shot. On the south side of Chicago in the 1930s, we didn’t have any of those expensive marbles like the Cat’s Eyes or the Benningtons or the bright red Micas. Only the rich kids had those, and they never played with us. We used a marble called the Commie, because it was so common, and a shooter called the Aggie because it was made of agate. The bigger and smoother your Aggie -- the better your chances at winning. We traded for pristine Aggies.
Today, we’re trading for people. Bowe Bergdahl comes to mind, and the trade was five for one -- five killers for one pacifist. Five terrorists for one AWOL soldier. I remember trading five Commies for one pristine Aggie, but never five Aggies for one Commie. Who won in this trade? All of us are glad an American is home, but we wonder who negotiated this kind of trade? Who put up the marbles? But we’re told it doesn’t matter what price we paid. This was an American soldier sitting in a foreign prison. Our president said: “We never leave our men behind.” We will pay any price, go to any length, make any concession just to get him back.
Or will we? How about Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi? As I write these words, this Marine veteran of two tours of duty in Afghanistan has been sitting in a Mexican prison since March 31. He didn’t desert his post during the war. He didn’t surrender to the enemy. He returned to America as an honorable reservist with “post-traumatic stress disorder” and tried to get treatment in a San Diego VA hospital when he “illegally” crossed the border into Mexico. Why haven’t we begun the trade for him? In terms of marbles, this Marine is a priceless Aggie.
We have 20 million illegals here in America. Would Mexico want any of them back? Probably not. What would Mexico take for one American soldier? Well, we know what the Zeta Cartel wants. They’re delighted that the gringos can’t figure out how to close the border. It enhances their drug trade income, and they’re thankful President Obama released 36,007 of their best murderers, rapists and kidnappers who had committed 88,000 crimes here in America last year. But what else could we give them for one American soldier?
Come on. We’ve given enough, already.
It’s time to bring our boy home. Instead of going to an expensive golf resort, I want President Obama to hop on Air Force One and fly to the El Hongo prison in Tecate, Mexico, and stay there until this Marine is released.
Our president stood in the White House Rose Garden and proudly announced to the world that “We never leave our men behind.”
Dr. Bill Cummings is the CEO of Cummings Consolidated Corp. and Cummings Management Consultants. His website is digitallydrc.com.