Trump flubs again: This time on Afghanistan

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Photo Credit: trac1

The bipartisan outrage over President Trump’s doomed-from-the-outset effort to negotiate peace with the Taliban has been misdirected.

The outrage shouldn’t be over the effort itself.

It should be over the president outing its failure.

Of course it was never a full-faith pursuit on the part of the president, but rather the optics, as everything is about optics with the reality-show POTUS.

He saw Sept. 11 coming up on the calendar, decided he needed to do something to win the news cycle, and rushed his aides into finalizing the details of a peace accord so that he could get what would probably be, at best, a 12-hour boost in the polls.

The stated reason for calling the whole thing off – a Taliban attack that killed an American – was not a reason, but instead an excuse.

Somebody had second thoughts, and good thing they did.

Not, again, because the idea itself is bad, but because the whole thing seemed so rushed, again, to fit the president’s idea of optics.

The Afghan government, rightly, was balking at the idea of releasing hundreds of Taliban prisoners as part of the deal, given that the Afghans still have to live there and all.

Then it emerged that neither side wanted to take part in the Trump photo-op at Camp David. Something about the Afghan government not trusting the Taliban to live up to any deal that it would agree to, and the Taliban not even recognizing the legitimacy of the Afghan government.

This is what happens in sensitive negotiations. Nothing new in that sense.

If things like this were easy, they’d be done already, is the thinking in that sense.

Trump, being Trump, had to take credit for something, so he dropped his trousers and took a big dump on the proceedings.

Going public with an almost deal, as you can guess, guarantees that there will never be a deal, at least not with this president and this administration.

Trump will never be able to get the parties to the table now.

Why would you, if you’re the Taliban, if you’re the Afghan government, believe anything the Trump team would have to say going forward from here?

This, you know, is the issue the Trump team has with … pretty much everybody internationally, aside from Vladimir Putin.

Trump has pulled the rug out from allies and frenemies alike, to the point where his world on the global stage is about what it is among contractors in the New York City real-estate market.

People who routinely renege on deals can’t make deals. Bottom line.

Column by Chris Graham

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