The Trump Taliban Fiasco

So this happened:

President Donald Trump has thrown almost a year of delicate peace negotiations with the Taliban into doubt after canceling a summit with leaders of the militant group, leading to fears of renewed Taliban violence in Afghanistan ahead of elections later this month.

Trump surprised everyone on Saturday night when he announced that a previously secret summit with Taliban leaders, due to take place in Camp David on Sunday, had been canceled, citing an attack by the terrorist group in Kabul last Tuesday that left one U.S. soldier dead.

The idea of inviting representatives of the Taliban to Camp David on the eve of the September 11 anniversary left a lot of conservative pundits sputtering. I’m almost sorry the big reveal at Camp David didn’t happen, because the explosion in Trump’s face would have been nuclear. And to think we probably wouldn’t have learned that Taliban had even been invited to Camp David had Trump not tweeted about it.

The original excuse for canceling an agreement with the Taliban was that Trump learned of a suicide attack that killed an American serviceman. But subsequent reporting revealed that the real reason was that the Taliban wanted the deal to be announced before they made the trip. For Trump, the whole point was that he wanted to get credit for the negotiation that would (he was no doubt ready to claim) end the war in Afghanistan.

U.S. officials told the New York Times that the meeting was canceled abruptly because the Taliban balked at Trump’s desire for a made-for-TV moment that would make it look like he finalized the peace deal at Camp David. The Taliban had wanted the deal signed before they traveled to the U.S., so that the Camp David meeting would a celebration of the agreement.

The Taliban wouldn’t go along with Trump’s Art of the Deal theater, so Trump lost his temper and pulled the curtains on the farce.

I’ve read that the government of Afghanistan had not been included in the negotiations, which seems rather hinky to me. The President of Afghanistan had been invited to the Camp David summit, presumably to rubber stamp whatever was agreed to and then smile for the camera. What the President of Afghanistan really thinks of all this I do not know.

According to a writer at Informed Comment, this was the deal that had been struck before Trump blew it up:

Within 135 days of signing a peace accord, the US would withdraw 5,400 of its 14,000 troops now in Afghanistan. It would depart from five military bases or give them to the Afghan military. If the Taliban meets US conditions, then all US troops would be withdrawn in 16 months.

This timetable would have had troops withdrawals going on during the November 2020 election, which I suspect was the point. And while I’m all in favor of getting U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, seems to me the real deal needs to be between the Taliban and the Afghani government, not us.

But inviting the Taliban to Camp David so near the September 11 anniversary also reveals that Trump is insensitive to how that would have felt to most Americans — like a capitulation. And now it’s believed the Taliban will have no reason not to ramp up the violence. People are going to get killed.

In other Trump news, we have learned that a top secret spy had to be removed from Russia because of intelligence Trump shared with the Russians. And there’s a new report on how Trump is trying to shake down Ukraine to give him dirt on Joe Biden.

18 thoughts on “The Trump Taliban Fiasco

  1. Recently James Poniewozik, television critic at the NYT, wrote an opinion piece titled "The Real Donald Trump Is a Character on TV. Understand that, and you’ll understand what he’s doing in the White House."

    He's a perfectly awful character on every level. It's been laugh track worthy every time a Republican or conservative whines that Trump doesn't stand for "Republican" or "conservative" values. Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, Lee Atwater, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Roger Ailes and all the other leading lights of the modern Republican party and conservative movement made trolling the opposition an art, especially on TV. Their becoming minions of a tragicomic TV troll is poetic justice at the least. Too bad the rest of us are along for the ride.

  2. There is nothing that this thing that's our president has touched that hasn't turned to shite!


    He's even even f*cking with weather forcasts!

    During a hurricane!  A CAT 5 HURRICANE!!!

    Well, at least the House is starting to move on impeachment!

    I don't know how much more "winning" we American non-tRUMPniks can take…

  3. It's beyond crazy. Negotiating a peace deal minus the participation of one of the principals? I guess that's what's called thinking outside the box. Evidently, Trump has got this art of the deal thing down to a science, but to the untrained observer to such artful maneuvering it would appear that somebody was going to get shafted and that somebody was hoping to suck up some accolades at somebody else's expense.

    Maybe winning trade wars are easy, but winning Nobel Peace prizes has proven to be a bit more difficult.

    What I thought was funny is that Trump said that the Taliban was an untrustworthy negotiating partner.

  4. Trump has NEVER been on my TV before being president*.  When he leaves the office I will work to ensure that I repeat that NEVER.  Even the Great Swami has no words to cover what that thing is.

  5. The Taliban were stating today that they had a signed agreement and the camp David show was to be the show of an already done deal. And trump tweeted that he was surprised the Taliban were still murdering people. What an asinine fool.

    He was so intent on getting a plum for his reelection campaign and would go to any length to get it. Any length.  Gee you think he had agreed to get a few hotels in the deal also? Nothing surprises me. 

    • Yeah, and the Taliban also said that next few American's killed will be a direct result and response for Trump being such an asshole. They are going to make an effort to target American's so that their blood will be on Trump's hands.

       Good going, Donny! Your negotiating style of walking away after the deal is done to try and get more concessions doesn't work so well outside of the real estate business.

      I wonder when the Taliban are going to start writing Trump love letters? "And then we fell in love"…SWAK

  6. On the plus side, John Bolton's out!

    Yes, "The Great Walrus Mustache of Death," has gotten the boot – at least according to one source.  Or, he offered to resign.

    Let's see what dark slimy creature tRUMP pulls out from under a rock to be NSA.

    • Trump must have detected an iota compassion hiding within him. Probably hiding under his mustache But then again, somebody has to take the fall for Trump's fuckups. Lamb of Trump takes away the sins of the Presidency?

      What were those prophetic words that Michael Cohen spoke? Something about if you cover for Trump you're gonna end up getting burned. Take heed all those who surround him!

      • I read that Bolton lost out in the power struggle between him and Pompeo.  He wanted to blow up Iran and Pompeo represented reason.  I can't believe I just wrote that.

        • I think they were in an ass kissin' contest and Pompeo won. The golden sycophant award? 

          Bolton is claiming he resigned in an effort to deny Trump his full measure of joy. It's gotta hurt.

  7. Somehow I always felt less secure with Bolton as National Security Adviser.  I am not sure his ouster improves anything, but good riddance to bad rubbish anyway..  If he would have listened to any Job Security Advisor, he would have never taken the position in the first place.   

    The list grows on.

  8. The good news of Bolton's departure is that we move away from imminent war. Trump ran on not being the world's cop and a new war wasn't going to improve Trump's standing with his base. Bolton was dead set on war and making the world fear our military wrath.

    It does look like Bolton disagreed with Trump's Taliban Deal. What offended Bolton isn't clear yet but showboating for the Nobel Prize wasn't gonna thrill Bolton. Afghanistan may blow up what Trump did publically – they will bear the brunt of Trump's stupidity in terms of escalating terrorism. 

    What Trump wants on Biden is "evidence" that doesn't exist. Trump doesn't care if Ukraine makes up phony evidence as long as Biden gets smeared. The economy is still the thing that will tank Trump in 2020. 


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