'Liberal' Media Lets Nikki Haley Memoryhole Trump Admin Cuddling Up To Taliban
It's a shit sandwich.
After 20 years of pretending there was a win to be had in Afghanistan, we're finally leaving, and it's not pretty. The New York Times reports, as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was planning his own exit from the country, that he was simultaneously pressuring President Joe Biden not to yank American embassy staff, which would be interpreted as a vote of no confidence in the Afghan government. And the same generals who told a succession of American presidents that victory was just one more surge around the corner assured President Biden there would be time for an orderly retreat -- that the Afghan army would be willing and able to slow the Taliban's inevitable takeover of the country long enough for embassy staff to safely issue special immigrant visas to our Afghan allies, even when there were no more American troops on the ground.
They were wrong. And it's horrible that tens of thousands of people who helped us are being left in danger.
But we don't want to hear a single goddamn word about it from Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, or anyone else who helped set this disaster in motion.
Just look at this shit from Haley the Washington Post decided to publish this morning, for some unknown reason.
Accusing the president of "bungling" the withdrawal, Haley demands, "He must not also bungle the coming decision on whether to recognize these barbarians as Afghanistan's legitimate government. Doing so would bring the United States even lower while raising up a regime that deserves nothing but scorn and isolation."
Three years ago when Donald Trump was negotiating with the Taliban, Nikki Haley congratulated him, saying "The U.S. policy on Afghanistan is working. We are seeing that we are closer to talks with the Taliban and the peace process than we've seen before. [...] And I think we really are going to work toward a peace process with the goal being that we do not want Afghanistan to be a safe haven for terrorism anymore."
"We think peace is important. We think the Taliban coming to the table is very important. And we think the entire international community needs to support this process," she added later.
And yet, Haley is out this morning warning that "This is not a run-of-the-mill transfer of power. It is a violent coup against a democratically elected government." As if Trump himself didn't negotiate an agreement with the Taliban a year and a half ago, in contemplation of handing the country over to them once he announced a date certain for the US to declare victory and go home. FFS, Trump wanted to invite the Taliban to Camp David on the anniversary of the September 11 attack to ink a deal to hand the country over to them. So Nikki Haley can piss off with trying to pin this disaster on Biden.
But she won't.
Just yesterday Haley appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" to spew more lies about her own party's role in legitimizing the Taliban.
"Someone you know well, the former secretary of state in the Trump administration, Mike Pompeo, stood alongside one of the Taliban founders and helped negotiate this deal in which President Trump signed an agreement to have United States forces out earlier this year," Major Garrett asked Haley. "Did that set in motion what we're seeing now?"
"You know, I think everybody's wanting to go back and talk about Trump. The truth is, under four years of Trump, Afghanistan was safe," she said. "We made sure that we kept terrorism at bay and that we came from a position of strength."
Which is bullshit, of course. The Taliban controlled broad swaths of the country during the Trump administration and constantly staged deadly attacks on government troops. Human Rights Watch reports that "more than 700 civil servants, members of the judiciary, and politicians" were killed in targeted attacks during 2020 alone, most of them by the Taliban and other radical insurgents. And we'd note that the Taliban's continued relations with al Qaeda were no barrier to negotiating with them in 2020 when her guy was in power. What she means is that fewer Americans lost their lives once we told them we were leaving.
"What's happened in seven months of Biden is we've completely surrendered and we've humiliated ourselves in the eyes of the world," she said, citing no evidence whatsoever. "The thing is, there are times where you have to negotiate with the devil, but you negotiate with the devil from a point of strength. You don't do it from a point of weakness."
Naturally Major Garrett failed to point out that Trump had already given the Taliban everything it asked for, including the release of 5,000 former fighters and a promise to begin drawing down troop levels immediately, in exchange for a vague agreement to negotiate with the sitting government. So much "point of strength!" By the time Biden took office, there was precious little to negotiate, since Trump had already given away the store.
Which is not to say Biden bears no responsibility for the unfolding humanitarian disaster. The buck has to stop somewhere, and he had seven months to get this right. To the administration's credit, it seems to be working very hard to correct this fuckup, evacuating more than 10,400 people on Sunday alone, enlisting private planes to boost the number of flights out of Kabul, and working with Qatari allies to help Americans and our Afghan allies get through Taliban checkpoints and safely into the airport.
But of course, Republicans don't want to talk about that, since so many of them are opposed to resettling Afghan refugees who put their lives at risk to work with us. Nikki Haley doesn't want to talk about the unpleasant choice to either take these people in or let them get slaughtered. So much more fun to tell whoppers about Joe Biden knuckling under to terrorists, right?
Luckily the Post and CBS are there to launder her bullshit. Librul media censorship strikes again!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.