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Taliban Are 'Smart,' 'Great Negotiators,' Been Around for a 'Thousand Years': Donald Trump

Former US President Donald Trump says The Taliban are 'so smart,' 'great fighters' and have 'been around for a thousand years.' Representative photo from AP.

Former US President Donald Trump says The Taliban are 'so smart,' 'great fighters' and have 'been around for a thousand years.' Representative photo from AP.

Former US President Donald Trump says The Taliban are 'so smart,' 'great fighters' and have 'been around for a thousand years.'

For the rest of the world, The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan may be bad news, but former US President, Donald Trump seems to be all-too full of support for the move. Thousands of Afghans rushed onto the tarmac of Kabul’s international airport Monday, some so desperate to escape the Taliban capture of their country that they held onto an American military jet as it took off and plunged to death in chaos that killed at least seven people, U.S. officials said. The crowds of people rushing the airport came as the Taliban enforced their rule over the wider capital after a lightning advance across the country that took just over a week to dethrone the country’s Western-backed government. While there were no major reports of abuses, many stayed home and remained fearful as the insurgents’ advance saw prisons emptied and armories looted.

While the rest of the world, including 12 countries have condemned the takeover, and even signed a treaty saying they will not recognize a government formed by “force," Former US President, Donald Trump has a different take on the Taliban. According to a report in Insider,

Former President Donald Trump praised the group, calling them ‘smart’ and ‘good fighters.’

“The Taliban, good fighters, I will tell you, good fighters. You have to give them credit for that. They’ve been fighting for a thousand years. What they do is they fight,” Trump said on Fox News’ on August 17, reports Insider. “The Taliban has circled the airport, and who knows if they’re going to treat us right? All of a sudden, they’ll say—well, frankly, if they were smart, they’d really—and they are smart. They are smart. They should let the Americans out," Trump further added.

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A small snippet from the interview has gone since viral, triggering many jokes online.

The Taliban is less than 20 years old - for starters. The group emerged in the early 1990s during the cold war. Afghan mujahideen or Islamic guerilla fighters waged a war against Soviet occupation for around a decade. According to a PTI report, they were funded and equipped by an array of external powers, including the United States. Some of them were Mujahedeen fighters against the Soviets. In 1994, the Taliban started a military campaign from the south of Afghanistan. By 1996, the group had captured the Afghan capital, Kabul, without much resistance.

While Trump praised the fighters for being ‘so smart,’ the rest of the world looks upon them unfavourably — The Taliban have been condemned internationally for the harsh enforcement of their interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, which has resulted in the brutal treatment of many Afghans. During their rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban and their allies committed massacres against Afghan civilians, denied UN food supplies to 160,000 starving civilians and conducted a policy of scorched earth, burning vast areas of fertile land and destroying tens of thousands of homes. According to the United Nations, the Taliban and their allies were responsible for 76 per cent of Afghan civilian casualties in 2010, 80 per cent in 2011, and 80 per cent in 2012.

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first published:August 19, 2021, 12:42 IST