Trump goes off script to attack Bush in Hannity interview

Trump digressed to blame Mr Bush and said that ‘stepping into the Middle East turned out to be quicksand’

Arpan Rai
Wednesday 18 August 2021 13:57
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Trump Praises the Taliban and Erroneously Claims the Group Has Been Around for 1,000 Years
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Donald Trump on Wednesday lambasted the George W Bush-led administration for the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and termed the US administration’s decision “to go into the Middle East” as the “worst decision in history.”

In a televised interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Mr Trump said: “Think of it, we took this horrible place, it was the worst decision to go into the Middle East, I know the Bush family will not be happy but I believe it was the worst decision in the history of our country when we decided to go into the Middle East.”

The former president was answering a question by Mr Hannity on US administration’s agreement with the Taliban in the south Asian nation last year in terms of territorial control.

The Trump-led administration, Mr Hannity said, would have handled the armed group in the same way it handled the Isis caliphate in Syria if the settlement is breached. He stated that more than 60 per cent of the country was in Taliban’s control last week.

While explaining how his administration “got rid of the Isis caliphate,” Mr Trump digressed to blame Mr Bush and said that the ongoing situation in Afghanistan has brought the US military a bad reputation.

“...We have the greatest military in the world and we are giving it a very bad reputation with what’s happening,” he said.

Mr Trump said: “It’s turned out to be quicksand. We’ve destroyed the Middle East, you think it’s better now than it was 20-21 years ago, it’s much worse. It was a horrible decision and cost us trillions of dollars.”

“If you look at both sides, because I like to look at both sides, millions and millions of lives ... and it is no different than it was. It’s much worse because you have to rebuild it, it’s been blown to pieces. The worst decision ever made was going to do strike as retribution and it could be a big strike for the World Trade Centre but to get stuck in there was like quicksand so we did a terrible thing,” Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump also said that “smart and good fighters” Taliban should allow the US citizens and the people who assisted them in Afghanistan to leave.

“The Taliban has circled the airport and who knows if they’re gonna treat us right, you know all of a sudden. If they were smart and they are smart, they should let the Americans out,” Mr Trump said.

Afghanistan is reeling under a major humanitarian crisis after the militant group captured the country from under President Ashraf Ghani’s rule in a matter of 120 hours last week. The armed group announced that it was in control on Sunday after it managed to capture capital Kabul, triggering widespread panic among Afghans who rushed to escape the country.

A day after the Taliban announced its plans to declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the Presidential Palace, once held by Ghani, Afghans swarmed the Kabul International Airport with their families to leave the country. Grim visuals showed Afghans running on the tarmac to hold onto moving US military aircraft and clinging to them in a desperate bid to flee.

The ultraconservative religious group has maintained that it will respect the rights of women and allow them to work, within the framework of Islamic law.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen also said the UK and western allies have a “moral obligation” to “help reconstruct Afghanistan.”

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