By Thom Hartmann
Let’s never forget that what we are watching happen right now in Afghanistan is the final act of George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection strategy.
After 9/11 the Taliban offered to arrest Bin Laden, but Bush turned them down because he wanted to be a “wartime president” to have a “successful presidency.”
The Washington Post headline weeks after 9/11 put it succinctly: “Bush Rejects Taliban Offer On Bin Laden.” With that decision not to arrest and try Bin Laden for his crime but instead to go to war, George W. Bush set the US and Afghanistan on a direct path to today.
More recently, Trump and Pompeo gave the Taliban everything they wanted — power, legitimacy and the release of 5,000 of their worst war criminals — over the strong objections of the Afghan government in 2019 so Trump could falsely claim, heading into the 2020 election, that he’d “negotiated peace” in Afghanistan when in fact he’d set up this week’s debacle.
“The relationship I have with the Mullah is very good,” Trump proclaimed after ordering the mullah who yesterday named himself President freed from prison over the furious objection of Afghan’s government, which Trump had cut out of the negotiations.
And the UK is coming right out and saying that Trump’s “rushed” deal with the Taliban — without involvement of the Afghan government or the international community — set up this disaster. “The die was cast,” Defense Minister Ben Wallace told the BBC, “when the deal was done by Donald Trump, if you want my observation.” Read more..