One year ago, the Donald released 5,000 Taliban fighters in exchange for a cease-fire to help his flailing presidential campaign, despite strenuous objections from both the Pentagon and the Afghan government. President Ashraf Ghani warned that their release would be a “danger to the world.”
We are finding out that many of these fighters entering Kabul, such as Mawlavi Talib, are top Taliban commanders who oversaw the assaults of the key cities this week. And they go up from there.
Why did Trump do something like that? Why does Trump do anything—it’s about himself:
Worse, the Taliban leader who is set to take over Afghanistan, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, has Trump to thank for his release:
The disaster unfolding in Afghanistan came from the deal that Trump made a year ago, except he wanted it to happen sooner—by Christmas of last year. He postponed it after his loss for Biden to deal with it in May. The Pentagon asked for more time, so Biden pushed it to the end of August. This enraged conservatives for delaying the withdrawal.
Keep in mind that Donald J. Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David the week of Sept. 11 to strike what was essentially a surrender deal, but cancelled after the obvious backlash of hosting the Taliban on 9/11. Instead, he sent Pompeo to Qatar to sign the deal with the Taliban, and announced that he had given the Taliban everything they asked for because “everyone is tired of war.”
“[It’s] time for someone else to do that work and it will be the Taliban and it could be surrounding countries.”
Trump even had private discussions with the top Taliban leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. I could only imagine what was said and promised. Not only did Trump cave to the Taliban by giving them everything they asked for, but no members of the Afghan government were present. None. Trump completely cut them out of the deal.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker, who was appointed under George W. Bush, blames Trump’s “peace” deal with what is happening now because Trump would only work with the Taliban and completely delegitimized the Afghan government.
To be clear, Trump’s deal was a complete disgrace that diminished our allies and strengthened the enemy. Trump reinforced the Taliban with their top fighters, and promised a quick retreat of American forces.
This essentially would establish the Taliban as the de facto regime once U.S. forces left. Trump is now lying, to no one’s surprise, saying that the peace accord he signed was “conditions-based.” It wasn’t.
You can read it yourself:
To be clear, Biden didn’t foresee how weak the Afghan government truly was. No one did. Other than that, I have no problem with leaving Afghanistan. If after 20 freaking years and trillions of dollars spent the Afghan government can’t hold up for even a week, what the hell is the point? How many more decades are we supposed to stay? How many more trillions need to be wasted? How many more American soldiers need to be killed? It turns out the whole Afghan exercise was about military contractors and corporations raking in profits. I suppose we shouldn’t have been so surprised.
Unless we wanted a permanent occupation, we needed to leave. If not, we should have just petitioned Afghanistan to be the 51st state in the union. That way, when they asked for money, we could tell them that’s not the federal government’s job and you can’t solve problems by throwing money at it.
If Trump was a better president, he would have worked out a withdrawal with the Afghan government. Yet Trump negotiated and got burned by a group of terrorists. Biden was handed a lemon, so he had two choices. He could have backed out of the deal or kept it in place. What he did was delay the withdrawal to Aug. 31.
I notice that all of the Republican legislators complaining about our troops not staying didn’t say crap about Trump’s withdrawal plan last year. Now they whine that we should have stayed forever. Of course, none of them have children who serve in the military, because endless wars are fine as long as it’s someone else’s kid. But let’s be honest: Afghanistan is no longer a major threat to our security. There’re other places our troops need to be. Yes, the Taliban are terrible for the people there, but there are no shortage of nations that oppress their own people. We can’t police all of them, nor should we. That certainly isn’t an excuse to stay there indefinitely.
At the very least, this will replace cancel culture and critical race theory as the Fox News outrage du jour, but it will ring hollow. The GOP loves to start endless wars. They had no problem selling out our Kurdish allies. They didn’t care that Trump’s hasty exit from Syria, on orders from Putin, forced us to bomb our own bases.
They said nothing when Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David during 9/11, or released thousands of their fighters—including the leaders who took over Afghanistan today.
Heck, the GOP had no trouble orchestrating a terrorist attack on our own Capitol.
Keep that in mind when they overuse the fainting couch this week.