The Taliban had a pretty clear message for Donald Trump following the US president’s rather shocking public disclosure of planned negotiations at Camp David over the weekend.
That message: Calling off peace talks will invariably result in more American casualties.
“This will lead to more losses to the US”, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement, adding that America’s “credibility will be affected, its anti-peace stance will be exposed to the world, losses to lives and assets will increase”.
Apparently, somebody forgot to tell the Taliban that after nearly three years of Trump, America’s “credibility” cannot really be “affected”, because the US has no credibility left. Maybe that’s another “genius” move by the US president.
Mike Pompeo made the TV rounds on Sunday to explain what, exactly, Trump was thinking in inviting the Taliban to Camp David three days before the anniversary of 9/11.
“Who though it was a good idea for the President of the United States to meet with Taliban leaders who have the blood of thousands of Americans on their hands just three days before 9/11”, an incredulous Chris Wallace asked.
“Trump ultimately made the decision”, Pompeo responded. “He said, ‘I want to talk to Ashraf Ghani [and] I want to talk to these Taliban negotiators”.
Trump was confident in his ability to discern something about the group’s true motives. “I want to look them in the eye”, Pompeo went on to recount, detailing what Trump purportedly said in the course of asking the Pentagon and State to invite the Taliban to the US. “I want to see if we can get to the final outcome we needed”.
Suffice to say the “final outcome” of this boondoggle will now be more death and more fighting, something Pompeo seemed to realize.
“The president hasn’t yet made a decision on that”, he told ABC, when queried on whether these latest developments mean the US will not be drawing down the 14,000 troops still operating in Afghanistan.
Liz Cheney was not amused with any of this. “Camp David is where America’s leaders met to plan our response after al-Qaeda, supported by the Taliban, killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11”, she said over the weekend. “No member of the Taliban should set foot there. Ever”.