Officially, the U.S. Government does not negotiate with terrorists (except for those occasions when it holds formal talks with them). Such is the case for the Afghan Taliban, which was declared a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization) by U.S. President George W. Bush. This week Obama Administration officials are meeting in Doha, Qatar with their “respected” adversaries in face to face peace negotiations. U.S. diplomats, eager to legitimize the Taliban, have agreed that the Taliban can open an embassy of sorts in Qatar.
The war against the Taliban has been a trillion-dollar, decade-long, colossal failure. The Taliban did not win the war, the Pentagon, CIA and State Department lost the war. It was lost due to an inept war plan, a dismally managed reconstruction plan, support for corrupt regional warlords and excessive civilian casualties, which fueled the opposition. Virtually all those American officials responsible for this debacle have been promoted or otherwise rewarded, as have their lackey consultants at the Brookings Institution, Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute. Failure has become the new American success. Losing a war is now politically acceptable as long as your political party can shift the blame. American, NATO and Afghan forces have died, and died for nothing, but their families have been inexplicably silent. That silence has emboldened the culpable to slide to new depths.
The looming failure in Afghanistan has been eclipsed in Washington, D.C. by scandal. The Obama Administration is currently engulfed in scandals. There are scandals within the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Justice, the Secret Service, the National Security Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Department of Agriculture, the General Services Administration and the Veterans Administration. The latest scandals are within the U.S. Department of State, which has covered up sexual abuses by U.S. Ambassadors and members of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail. The cover-ups were reportedly approved by Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) has once again emerged as a second-rate, bumbling group that is unable to police itself. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told the press this week that DS was seeking help from “experienced law enforcement officials” from outside the Department. As there continues to be no adult supervision at the State Department, America’s image is being tarnished yet again.
Into this mess comes Secretary of State John Kerry who, oblivious to the cancer and scandal spreading within his Department, supports negotiating with Taliban terrorists. Apparently, as long as the Taliban state they will support democracy and voice their opposition to al-Qaeda, they are welcome at the White House. If they but mutter a few words unconvincingly spoken, decades of terror and abuse will be forgotten. America’s negotiating policy can be summed up as a whiff of cologne to cover up the stink of perfidy.
In order to negotiate with its peace partner, the Obama Administration will have to slide into the Taliban’s slime pool. Battlefield failures often result in humiliating spectacles for the defeated.
Just as the Kurds were sold out by Henry Kissinger and the Marsh Shia in Iraq by George H.W. Bush, Afghan women are poised to enter the auction block where, in the interests of American geopolitics, they will be sold off to the Taliban. The Obama Administration will then call on its Hollywood backers, Democratic Party cheerleaders and MSNBC apologists to help package this betrayal as something noble.
Hillary Clinton saw the Taliban victory approaching and she resigned in order to distance herself from the consequences she helped to engineer. The problem for President Obama is that he cannot easily resign. As he descends into the Taliban slime pit, he needs to recognize that history is not kind to those who betray the helpless, and slime is not easy to wash off.