The Taliban Endorse Trump’s 2020 Reelection Bid
Last Friday President Donald Trump received a vote of support for his reelection bid from an entity most in his party would reject: the Taliban.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told CBS News in a phone interview:
”We believe that Trump is going to win the upcoming election because he has proved himself a politician who accomplished all the major promises he had made to American people, although he might have missed some small things, but did accomplish the bigger promises, so it is possible that the U.S. people who experienced deceptions in the past will once again trust Trump for his decisive actions.”
The Trump campaign has rejected the terrorist organization’s endorsement.
The Taliban’s support comes after Trump on Wednesday tweeted that U.S. troops in Afghanistan “should” be home by Christmas amid delicate negotiations with the group.
According to the Military Times, the U.S. military was blindsided Thursday by President Donald Trump’s assertion that all U.S. troops will be out of Afghanistan by the end of the year, with U.S. officials saying they are not aware of such a plan and have gotten no actual order to accelerate the more gradual pullout they’ve been executing. National security adviser Robert O’Brien has said that number would drop to 2,500 by early next year — there are approximately less than 5,000 U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan.
Trump’s comments, nevertheless, alarmed Pentagon and State officials who fear that putting a definitive date on troop withdrawal could undercut negotiations to finalize a peace deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government. They also dread that a hasty withdrawal could force the U.S. to leave behind sensitive military equipment.
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan with one “official” goal: eliminating the country of the threat of al-Qaeda just weeks after the group was accused of plotting the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Trump has agreed to a precarious “peace” deal signed with the Taliban on February 29, that foresees a full pullout of U.S troops. The agreement says the Taliban must “prevent the use of the soil of Afghanistan by any group or individual against the security of the United States and its allies.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went even further in March, insisting that “the Taliban have now made the break” with al-Qaeda.
Yet a U.N. report that shows the Islamist militant group has failed to fulfill one of the central tenets of the agreement — that it would break ties with al-Qaeda — undermining Trump’s biggest foreign policy win as he seeks reelection next month.
As published early this year in Time magazine, Al-Qaeda has 400 to 600 operatives active in 12 Afghan provinces and is running training camps in the east of the country. U.N. experts, drawing their research from interviews with U.N. member states, including their intelligence and security services, plus think tanks and regional officials, say the Taliban has played a double game with the Trump Administration, consulting with al-Qaeda senior leaders throughout its 16 months of peace talks with U.S. officials and reassuring Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, among others, that the Taliban would “honor their historical ties” to the terrorist group.
There are also no layouts to ensure that the Taliban will disavow its sharia-based human rights abuses against women, such as polygamy, child marriage, being forced to wear the burqa, stoning and flogging for adultery, imprisonment and beating for running away from their abusive husbands, denying them education and participation in the work force, etc. In fact, Taliban official and former governor of Herat Khairullah Khairkhwa — he was once a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay; released in 2014 — recently confirmed that the sharia will continue to be a part of Afghanistan under their rule since it was ordained by the Prophet Muhammad.
As a senior member of the Taliban told CBS News: “Trump might be ridiculous for the rest of the world, but he is sane and wise man for the Taliban.” And they are correct, for if the U.S. completely pulls out, the Taliban will have more leeway to expand its terrorist activities with al-Qaeda or any other jihadist group that both wishes to kill American and suppress the liberties the Afghani people, especially women and underage girls.
Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He has a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome; he also holds a M. A. in Medieval History from Fordham University, as well as a B.A. in Government & Politics from St. John’s University. He is also author of Islam: Religion of Peace? – The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up.