Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.
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Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Many far-right MAGA Republicans are blaming President Joe Biden for the disaster in Afghanistan, where Taliban extremists have seized control following the withdrawal of U.S. troops — and are conveniently overlooking the fact that Biden was mostly following former President Donald Trump's plan for withdrawal. But one non-U.S. politician who isn't overlooking that fact is U.K. Defense Minister Ben Wallace, who was vehemently critical of Trump's "peace plan" for Afghanistan during an August 16 interview with BBC Breakfast.
Wallace, a member of the Conservative Party who serves under Prime Minister Boris Johnson, argued, "The die was cast when the deal was done by Donald Trump, if you want my observation. President Biden inherited a momentum, a momentum that had been given to the Taliban because they felt they had now won. He'd also inherited a momentum of troop withdrawal from the international community, the U.S."
In 2020, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Taliban extremists to discuss Trump's "peace plan." Trump believed that U.S. troops had been in Afghanistan "way too long," and on April 19 — almost three months into Biden's presidency — Trump said that U.S. troops needed to "get out" sooner rather than what Biden had in mind. Biden wanted to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, which will be the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has fled the country, and Taliban fighters have overthrown the government that the U.S. was supporting.
Wallace told the BBC, "The seeds of what we're seeing today were before President Biden took office. The seeds were a peace deal that was (effectively) rushed, that wasn't done in collaboration properly with the international community — and then, a dividend taken out incredibly quickly."
During an interview with Sky News, Wallace was equally critical of Trump's "peace plan."
Wallace told Sky News, "At the time of the Trump deal with, obviously, the Taliban, I felt that that was a mistake to have done it that way. That, we'll all, as an international community, probably pay the consequences of that…. I think that deal that was done in Doha was a rotten deal. It told a Taliban that wasn't winning that they were winning, and it undermined the government of Afghanistan."