As the Taliban and its al-Qaeda allies wage jihad to conquer Afghanistan, the Biden administration clings to the fanciful idea that a negotiated settlement to the war is possible. On Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price produced a short summary of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s most recent conversation with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
As Ghani’s forces fight for their lives, this is what the U.S. government decided to say:
The Secretary and President Ghani emphasized the need to accelerate peace negotiations and achieve a political settlement that is inclusive, respects the rights of all Afghans, including women and minorities, allows the Afghan people to have a say in choosing their leaders, and prevents Afghan soil from being used to threaten the United States and its allies and partners.
In reality, there are no “peace negotiations.” The Taliban has no interest in a “political settlement,” other than one in which Kabul surrenders and the jihadists’ totalitarian Islamic emirate is resurrected. The Taliban certainly isn’t going to respect “the rights of all Afghans, including women and minorities.” There is nothing in the group’s history or current behavior to indicate that is even remotely possible. Instead, the Taliban is waging a violent campaign against Afghanistan’s civil society, attempting to roll back the “rights” ordinary Afghans have enjoyed since the end of the Taliban’s authoritarian rule in late 2001. Nor is the Taliban going to allow the “Afghan people to have a say in choosing their leaders.” The jihadists reject any form of democracy, because it is anathema to them. And the Taliban remains closely allied with al-Qaeda, which continues to threaten the U.S.