President Joe Biden was finally pinned down on the question about whether or not he ‘trusted the Taliban’ on Sunday. Biden’s response once again shows his willingness to dodge questions is legendary.
“On the question of the Taliban, do you trust them now?” a reporter asked. “Now that you have to negotiate with them?”
“I don’t trust anybody including you,” Biden said. “I love you but there’s not a lot of people I trust.”
“Look, the Taliban has a, umm,” Biden said before he paused. “Taliban has to make a fundamental decision. Is then Taliban going to attempt to be able to unite and provide for the well-being of Afghanistan, which no one group has ever done?”
“Since the before… for hundreds of years,” he continued. “And if it does, he’s going to need everything from additional help in terms of economic assistance, trade, and a whole range of things.”
“The Taliban has said, we’ll see whether they need it or not,” he rambled on. “They’re seeking legitimacy. They’re seeking legitimacy to determine whether or not they will be recognized by other countries.”
“They have told other countries as well as us, they don’t want us to move our diplomatic presence,” Biden added.
“So, all this is talk now,” he said. “All just talk now.”
“And so, so far, the Taliban has not taking action against U.S. forces,” he said. “So far, they have by and large followed through on what they said in terms of allowing Americans to pass through and the like. And I am sure they don’t control all of their forces.”
That’s very reassuring, Mr. President. Now we know why he walked away from this same question at his press conference on Friday.
Earlier on Sunday, his Secretary of State confirmed that the United States has essentially had to beg the Taliban not to harm American citizens in a mad scramble to exit from Afghanistan.
Blinken appeared on “Face the Nation” on Sunday with host Major Garrett to explain how such a calamity to U.S. foreign policy could have happened.
“The president said that we have an agreement with the Taliban,” Garrett began. “Mr. Secretary, that implies that we are negotiating with them. Does that not already confer upon them legitimacy?”
“No,” Blinken said. “No, we’ve had for a long time contact with the Taliban, both at a political level, in Doha, going back, going back some years, as well as now on the ground, in Kabul, a working relationship in order to de-conflict, in order to work through any problems with people getting to the airport.”
“That’s been very important to making sure that we can actually advance our own interests in getting people out safely, and as effectively as posssible,” Blinken added. “So, that’s the nature of the relationship.”
“Some in our audience might listen to you, Mr. Secretary, and say, ‘Oh, so we have to ask the Taliban’s permission for Americans to leave’.” Garrett said. “True or not true?”
“They, they are in control of Kabul,” Blinken said. “That is the reality. That’s the reality that we have to deal with.”
“How comfortable are you with that, Mr. Secretary?” Garrett asked.
“What I am focused on, what we’re all focused on, is getting people out,” Blinked responded. “And making sure that we are doing everything possible to do that. In this case, it is, I think, a requirement of the job to be in contact with the Taliban that controls Kabul.”
“Look, what we’ve seen, Major, is also pretty remarkable,” he continued. “Go back a week. The government itself, and by the way, I was on the phone with President Karzai the day before, when he was telling me, as he put it, his intent to fight to the death. Well, the next day he was gone.”
“The military collapsed,” Blinken continued. “In the space of that week, our military went in, secured the airport, got our embassy to safety at the airport, from the embassy compund, began this remarkable evacuation effort.”
There are reports that Americans have been beaten at the hands of the Taliban and are having immense difficulty leaving Afghanistan under the threat of terrorist attack by ISIS and al Qaeda. It’s not just the Taliban that Americans have to worry about, it’s also the terrorist extremist groups that seeking vengeance against U.S. citizens.
If President Biden doesn’t trust the Taliban, then why is he now calling on them to guarantee Americans safe passage out of the country?