Appeasement: Trump Administration Wants U.S. Taxpayers To Subsidize Taliban Expenses
The Republican Party has long liked to posture as the so-called “tough party” on national security issues. As I’ve discussed here before, the GOP record on national security has been one of weakness and failure for almost thirty years. Any credibility the GOP ever had on national security should have disappeared in the sands of Iraq.
This GOP weakness on terrorism began during the 1990s. While he was president, Bill Clinton did more than any of his predecessors to prevent a major terrorist attack on the U.S. What people forget is that the Republicans opposed Clinton’s anti-terrorism policies. As a matter of fact, the D.C. Republicans believed that Clinton responded too aggressively to Al Qaeda.
After the embassy attacks in Africa in 1998, Clinton ordered missile strikes on a factory in Sudan. Prominent Republican Senators accused Clinton of “wagging the dog” and trying to create a diversion from the Lewsinky controversy. Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) alleged that: “We may have a president that is desperately seeking to hold onto his job.”
The GOP’s obliviousness towards the threat of international terrorism carried over into the Bush Administration. This caused the Bush Administration to overlook several warnings of an imminent Al Qaeda attack in the run up to 9/11. On August 6, 2001, Bush’s daily intelligence briefing contained a memo entitled: “Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.” After Bush received this prescient briefing, he told the intelligence official: “ All right. You’ve covered your ass, now.”
After 9/11, the Bush Administration failed to bring to justice the perpetrator of these attacks. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld allowed Osama Bin Laden to escape from Tora Bora in 2001. After that blunder, Bush no longer made the killing or capture of OBL a high priority. Instead, on March 13, 2002, George W. Bush said of bin Laden, “I truly am not that concerned about him.” Subsequently, in July 2006, the Bush administration closed its unit that had been hunting bin Laden. In September 2006, Bush told Fred Barnes of Fox News that an “emphasis on bin Laden doesn’t fit with the administration’s strategy for combating terrorism.”
After he took office, President Obama made the capture or killing of Bin Laden a high priority. That renewed emphasis caused Obama to send U.S. military forces into Pakistan to take out the terrorist evildoer in a daring raid on May 2, 2011. Both John McCain and Mitt Romney in the 2008 presidential campaign opposed any U.S. military action in Pakistan to take out the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
This long standing GOP weakness on national security has carried over into the Trump presidency. The Administration has asked the Congress to refund the Taliban’s travel expenses for participating in peace talks. “ The money would cover the Taliban’s costs for expenses such as transportation, lodging, food and supplies,” said Kevin Spicer, spokesman for Indiana Democrat Rep. Peter Visclosky.
The Defense subcommittee chaired by this Indiana Democrat has rejected the Administration’s request to fund the brutal regime that harbored Osama Bin Laden between 1995–2006. Steve Ellis, executive vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, said the request for reimbursing the Taliban is like “life imitating The Onion.”
In other words, the Trump Administration attempted to subsidize the terrorist, outlaw regime that murdered 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. This request is an outrage that dishonors the memories of the Americans who died that terrible day and spits in the face of the brave first responders who tried to save them. If Obama had proposed to pay for any portion of the Taliban’s operating expenses, it would have been the subject of outrage in the right wing media on a 24/7 basis.
Trump is in a spirited competition with George W. Bush for the most incompetent president in U.S. history. Trump’s incompetence is only matched by his arrogance and ignorance. We must do everything we can to make him a one term president. I can tell you right now that I will back the Democratic nominee in 2020. Now let’s get it done!