From Gitmo to Camp David (almost): The Taliban's long journey

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Crescent International

Muharram 10, 1441 2019-09-09

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Taliban waiting for Big Macs and fries prior to meeting the Donald?

The Taliban must be truly disappointed. They had packed an extra pair of shalwar-kameez as well as a patkay in their bags!

America’s moron-in-chief (aka Donald Trump), a certified nut and narcissist, canceled his ‘invitation’ to the Afghan group at the last minute.

Or, this is what we are told.

The Taliban were ready to head to the land of the freaks (sorry free) and home of the brave (or not so brave, depending on your perspective).

Now they will not get a chance to sink their teeth into a Big Mac and savor greasy French fries that the Donald had planned to serve them at Camp David. The MacDonaldization of Afghanistan will have to wait a little longer!

One can forgive the Taliban for not getting too excited about an invitation to Camp David. What do those country pumpkins know about the presidential retreat in the mountains?

True to form, old man Donald resorted to twitter to announce on September 7 that he had ‘canceled’ the meeting with the Taliban at Camp David.

His twitter storm took almost everyone by surprise. What on earth was going on?

Taliban at Camp David? It is almost like people from Mars landing on earth!

The Donald’s excuse was that the Taliban had killed an American sergeant, Elis Barreto Ortiz, in a bombing on September 5 (actually still September 4 in Washington).

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack near the US embassy in the heart of Kabul in which 11 other people were killed.

It was a deadly week. On September 2, they had killed dozens of other people as their campaign of bombings has escalated while talks have been going on with the Americans.

Appearing on Sunday TV shows, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Taliban had “overreached” with their bombing in the heart of Kabul.

But keeping his options open—what else can the US do; the Taliban have them by the throat—Pompeo did not want to rule out future talks.

He told Jake Tapper of CNN on “State of the Union” (Sunday September 8) that “The US is still interested in striking a peace deal with the Taliban… but won't move forward until there is proof that the Taliban can deliver on its (sic) commitments under a potential agreement.” (Taliban is plural; Talib is singular but ignorant Westerners won't know this!)

But what commitments is Pompeo talking about? There is no signed agreement so there is nothing that either side has committed to. But American officials can be expected to lie through their teeth, and on television.

Let us deconstruct Trump’s twitter claims.

While the latest bombing occurred on September 5 in Kabul, it was still September 4 in Washington DC. Trump did not cancel the meeting then, as he claimed in his late night twitter messages of September 7.

On Friday September 6, Ashraf Ghani, the US puppet in Afghanistan told aides he was flying to Washington for a meeting. The Americans had sent a plane to pick him up.

What else could the poor man do? He is a slave of the Americans and cannot say ‘no’ to his masters.

Even on Saturday September 7, US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad was in Doha holding talks with the Taliban. What was being discussed at the last minute? Both sides are tight-lipped about it but one can read between the lines.

So if Trump had 'canceled' the Camp David meeting as soon as he learned about the killing of a US sergeant—from Puerto Rico, a place that Trump has no regard for—why did it take him until September 7 evening to announce it?

What is more likely is that the Taliban flatly refused to meet Trump before the deal was signed. And they wanted a specific timeline for the withdrawal of all US and Nato troops, not just a token withdrawal.

Khalilzad as well as the Taliban spokesperson had confirmed after the ninth round of talks that the deal was nearly complete. It is highly unlikely that the Taliban would have agreed to the presence of any foreign troops on their soil.

The Americans have been saying they would withdraw 5,000 troops from Afghanistan in 135 days. The other 8,600 troops would remain.

There is no evidence the Taliban had agreed to this.

The Taliban had reportedly pledged not to allow any terrorists to use Afghan soil for attacks against the US.

The group also said they would not monopolize power and were willing to talk to other Afghans for a power-sharing arrangement. But those Afghans would come in their individual capacity, not as part of a government delegation.

In its commentary on the conflicting reports about Trump’s outlandish twitter announcements, the Moon of Alabama on September 8 quoted the following from Dalchico @Dalchico 1:14 UTC· Sep 8, 2019

“I hope reporters will investigate this. As a resident of Frederick County, where Camp David is located, I'm highly skeptical as I have seen no evidence of planning and preparation. There is usually increased helicopter activity for events held at CD [Camp David].”

The entire story about Taliban coming to Camp David is likely a Trump fantasy designed to camouflage American impotence in the face of a determined Taliban challenge.

The group already controls 70% of Afghanistan and rapidly increasing their reach to other areas.

Trump is desperate to get US troops out of Afghanistan before presidential elections in 2020. His re-election bid hinges on achieving this.

He either gets them out or they will have to flee without their boots. The choice is his. It is not a pretty one!

And the Taliban are not coming to Camp David, with or without the offer of a Big Mac!

END

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