Suddenly it seems as if the Biden administration has launched into a flurry of meetings with foreign governments (and pseudo-governments) about all sorts of things. And they aren’t all countries you’d expect us to be talking to. On top of scheduling a meeting with the Saudi royal family (who are supposedly persona non grata because of assassinating a Washington Post journalist) and meeting with the unrecognized and illegitimate “president” of Venezuela, we’re now learning that a delegation is heading to Qatar to meet with the Taliban. And what will be on the agenda there? Why, they’ll be talking about unfreezing the Taliban’s overseas assets, of course. But we’re not doing it to help the Taliban. Perish the thought. We’re just making sure they have enough money to help their oppressed people after the recent earthquake in that country. (KRDO)
Afghan finance and central bank officials from the Taliban-led government have departed for Qatar to meet with U.S. officials. The move comes after last week’s deadly earthquake highlighted how critical relief efforts have stumbled under the weight of the country’s spiraling economic woes. The quake in southeastern Afghanistan killed at least 770 people. That’s according to the U.N, though the Taliban put the figure at around 1,150 people killed. Wednesday’s meeting in Qatar was confirmed by Afghanistan’s foreign ministry. The Washington Post first reported that Biden administration officials are considering ways to allow Afghanistan’s government to use its frozen central bank reserves to tackle the humanitarian crises there.
There’s no question that the earthquake that rocked Afghanistan was bad. It absolutely was. At least one thousand people are dead and many more remain missing. What little infrastructure they have was damaged badly. It was yet another body blow to the rank-and-file people of that country who have already been through hell and back again after the return of the Taliban.
But are we seriously talking about unfreezing their assets and treating them like a legitimate government? I’m not denying in any way that the people of that country need help. They clearly do. But foreign nations have already been pumping large amounts of cash and other forms of relief into Afghanistan but “mysteriously” the conditions for the average people on the streets have not been improving. If anything, they’ve gotten worse. And that was true long before the earthquake struck.
If we unlock all or most of their foreign-held assets, does anyone honestly believe that the pack of terrorists in Kabul is going to apply that money to sending out food and improving the lives of regular Afghan citizens? Also, by releasing the funds, that would be just one more step on the journey toward what the Taliban has desired all along. They want to be recognized by the world as the legitimate government of the country they took over in a violent coup after our botched withdrawal from the country last summer.
There is a way around this and it could be done by an existing international coalition if the Taliban would allow it. Send in humanitarian aid workers with food, medicine, and other needed supplies (but not cash) and see if the Taliban allows them to distribute the aid to the people who are actually in need. If they agree to that, then maybe we can begin thinking about them as a potentially legitimate government in the future. But I won’t be holding my breath. The Taliban don’t care about their own people and they have made that clear. And not to put too fine of a point on this, but we didn’t cause the earthquake. Earthquakes happen sometimes.
We seem to be cutting deals with some of the worst people in the world these days. And we’re doing it at the same time that we’re edging closer and closer to a potential war with Russia and/or China. There is little rhyme or reason to America’s current foreign policy.