“They’re dead,” Trump told White House reporters Monday, referencing the previously scheduled negotiations with Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David. The US president went on to claim that he did not consult a single soul before halting the presidential retreat.
“When I heard very simply that they killed one of our soldiers and 12 other innocent people, I said there's no way I'm meeting on that basis. There's no way I'm meeting. They did a mistake," he added, falsely bringing the death toll from last week’s bombing to 13 rather than the actual count of 12, including the referenced American soldier.
"The Americans will suffer more than anyone else for cancelling the talks," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid vowed shortly after receiving word of the breakdown.
Matthew Hoh, a veteran, peace activist and winner of the Ridenhour Prize for Truth Telling who in 2009 resigned from the State Department over the American escalation of the war in Afghanistan, joined Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear on Monday to discuss the abrupt cancelation of negotiations and provide insight on what’s really at play when it comes to Washington and Trump’s decisions.
“The US has dropped more bombs on Afghanistan in the last several years than it ever has. [The war] is killing more Afghans than it ever has,” Hoh told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou. He went on to explain that Trump wanted to use Afghanistan as a political trophy to hold over the heads of former US Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
Trump and Washington’s interventionist tactics are nothing new, however. Hoh pointed out that there are a lot of historical parallels between Trump’s move in Afghanistan and tactics used by then-US President Richard Nixon and then-National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger in 1972 amid the Vietnam War.
“You’re gonna escalate the war in Vietnam; you’re gonna do this massive bombing campaign; you’re gonna sign the same peace deal that the North Vietnamese were offering you before you escalated and did this huge bombing campaign and killed tens of thousands of people, but it looks like your tough action got you peace,” Hoh explained
“And then you hope you have a decent interval where you have this period of time where nothing really occurs, and then it takes a couple years for the North Vietnamese to take Saigon - or it takes the Taliban a couple years to take Kabul - and then you can point and say, ‘Look, it wasn’t us that lost this war, it was the Vietnamese - the Afghans - they just didn’t want it bad enough!’”
Liz Cheney, a “proud rodeo mom” and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, gained significant attention on Twitter and from Western news organizations for her one-sided take on Trump’s intended meeting.
Camp David is where America’s leaders met to plan our response after al Qaeda, supported by the Taliban, killed 3000 Americans on 9/11.— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) September 8, 2019
No member of the Taliban should set foot there. Ever.
The Taliban still harbors al Qaeda.
The President is right to end the talks.
“There’s no conversation about what is actually happening in Afghanistan. There’s no conversation about the level of violence the United States is inflicting there,” Hoh said of Cheney and the overall mainstream news narrative.
Even Fox News host Steve Hilton called out the hypocrisy of Cheney, considering her father’s well-documented history.
"She talks about deaths. Her father literally was responsible for not just the thousands of deaths that she rightly attributes to the Taliban, millions of deaths, billions of dollars wasted -- funneled into the company that he was the CEO of," Hilton said on “Outnumbered” Monday morning. "The corruption of this military-industrial complex ... led to all these problems that Donald Trump is trying to clear up."
Meanwhile, the new talking point for mainstream neoliberal media appears to be faux concern for the women of Afghanistan, who outlets say will suffer most from peace negotiations.
“The reality is Afghan women have continued to suffer,” Hoh said, adding that there are a “record number of Afghan women who have lighted themselves on fire, because of the situation of how women are treated in Afghanistan, in areas that are controlled by the US military.”
“The Afghan government is composed of warlords and drug lords and war criminals, and it is an incredibly misogynistic government … there have been all kinds of laws enacted under the Afghan government that we have put in place, that we prop up, that allow men to beat their wives - that allow men to basically kill their wives, effectively.”
“So you have this rallying cry for the Afghan women, but the reality is that yeah, it was bad under the Taliban, but it’s still bad now, and I think if you ask most Afghan women they would say their biggest concern right now is that their sons and daughters are being killed by either American bombs dropped in from the air or by Taliban bombs put in the roadside,” he concluded.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.