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Marc Thiessen: Trump's Taliban Invite Insults 9/11 Victims

12 September 2019

Two Taliban vehicle bombs shook Kabul last week, killing several civilians and two members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission.

Violence in Afghanistan has escalated amid talks between the United States and the Taliban movement, which has in recent days conducted a number of terrorist attacks that have killed dozens of people in the war-torn country.

In New York relatives of victims, survivors, police officers, firefighters and city leaders marked the anniversary of the terrorist attacks with a ceremony at Ground Zero, where planes hijacked by al-Qaeda crashed into the World Trade Center.

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The decision to hold the talks, as well as to pull out of them, was ultimately made by Trump, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump said if terrorists ever attack on U.S. soil again, the USA troops will go wherever they are, "and use power, the likes of which the United States has never used before". Trump has cited the death of a US service member in one of those blasts as the reason why he now calls the US-Taliban talks "dead". "Yet this is precisely what President Trump tried to do when he initially invited the Taliban to Camp David for a meeting this past weekend", the Fox News contributor and AEI fellow wrote.

"We love you, we miss you and you will always be America's heroes", said one woman after reading out the names of her brother and cousin.

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The US president said that the Taliban did this because they thought by doing this, they will have an upper hand in negotiations. However, the US-backed Afghan national government remained skeptical that the militant group would stick to the deal. Trump's USA negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad had announced a peace deal "in principle" with the Taliban on Monday. However Khalilzad said final approval still rested with Trump.

As many as 100,000 U.S. troops were in Afghanistan at the invasion's peak, and more than 2,400 have been killed.

The permanent representative also appeared to back Trump's claim that the goal of the attack earlier this month was to prepare a better negotiating position. In his address at the Pentagon memorial, Trump said, "18 years ago, the terrorists struck this citadel of power and American strength, but the enemies soon learned that they could not weaken the spirit of our people".

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Marc Thiessen: Trump's Taliban Invite Insults 9/11 Victims