While Republicans across the country are rushing to falsely blame President Joe Biden for the chaos unfolding in Afghanistan, former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting Ben Rhodes masterfully explained why they are wrong.
As American troops withdraw from Afghanistan and aid evacuation efforts, the Taliban has swiftly taken control, including in Kabul, much faster than anticipated.
But just like they did when they blamed former President Obama for the withdrawal from Iraq, Republicans are trying to blame Biden for the withdrawal from Afghanistan even though it was their Republican predecessors who signed the withdrawal orders.
It was George W. Bush who signed the order for the withdrawal from Iraq prior to leaving office. And it was disgraced Florida retiree Donald Trump who signed a similar order to withdraw from Afghanistan, all without including the Afghanistan government in his negotiations with the Taliban, thus undermining their legitimacy. Trump even agreed to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners, as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is being reminded this week, many of whom are now rampaging across the war-torn country.
On Sunday, Rhodes made it pretty clear that the Trump administration is directly to blame for this unfolding travesty.
“Donald Trump clearly was in this huge rush to both claim responsibility for withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan and also weirdly, to have some kind of peace deal with the Taliban,” Rhodes pointed out.
“You’ll even remember he was talking about inviting them [the Taliban] to Camp David for a big ceremony around the 9/11 anniversary,” Rhodes continued. “That is a thing that actually happened. And the reality is that efforts at diplomacy over the years were always predicated under successive administrations on the Afghan government being in the lead in any negotiation with the Taliban.”
Indeed, Trump’s desire to meet with Taliban leaders on the anniversary of 9/11 sparked mass outrage, resulting in such a meeting never happening. But Trump’s recklessness clearly undermined the Afghan government and emboldened the enemy we have been fighting for two decades.
“You don’t negotiate your own exit with the adversary of the government you’re supporting,” Rhodes continued. “What the Trump administration did, they cut a deal with the Taliban that excluded the Afghan government— effectively demoralizing them and making them feel like we were leaving them holding the bag entirely. That was the one opportunity to try and have a diplomatic resolution that could have mitigated some of the damage.”
Here’s the video via YouTube:
Republicans should never be trusted with foreign policy ever again. Trump’s failure in Afghanistan has made that perfectly clear.
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