Donald Trump Has Harsh Words For George W. Bush Regarding Afghanistan

Former president Donald Trump had one message to deliver when he appeared on Fox News to talk about Afghanistan with Sean Hannity, and that was a condemnation for President Joe Biden's decision to follow through on a deal he himself had closed in 2020 calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the restive country. "It is a terrible time for our country. I don't think in all of the years our country has ever been so humiliated. I don't know what you call it — a military defeat or a psychological defeat, there has never been anything like what's happened here: You can go back to Jimmy Carter with the hostages," Trump said (via Fox News).

But the former president wasn't just there to vent about his successor. He also took aim at predecessor, former president George W. Bush, for making what he called was "the worst decision in history" by going into the Middle East (via Independent). 

Trump called out Bush over his decision to invade Afghanistan

In the same Sean Hannity interview, Donald Trump doubled down, expressing his frustration over the decision to invade the Middle East in the first place. Calling it "the worst decision in the history of our country," Trump did not mince his words about the conflict in Afghanistan that arose 20 years ago and the United States' response — under the George W. Bush administration — to the ongoing war on terror (via Independent).

The former president continued by saying that the Middle East is "much worse" than it was all those years ago before U.S. troops took hold of the region, as the entire area now needs to be rebuilt. "It's been blown to pieces," Trump said. "The worst decision ever made was going to do strike as retribution and it could be a big strike for the World Trade Center but to get stuck in there was like quicksand so we did a terrible thing." But, as Trump put it, if the Taliban is smart — "and they are smart" — they would let the Americans out of Kabul.

Mike Pence also stated his position on Afghanistan in an op-ed

Donald Trump was not the only face of the previous administration now trying to swing the narrative surrounding Afghanistan to their advantage. In an op-ed published by The Wall Street Journal, former vice president Mike Pence claimed that the deal the Trump administration had reached with the Taliban in February 2020 "immediately brought to Afghanistan a stability unseen in decades. In the past 18 months, the U.S. has not suffered a single combat casualty there" and that by the time the Trump administration had wound down, "the Afghan government and the Taliban each controlled their respective territories, neither was mounting major offensives, and America had only 2,500 U.S. troops in the country — the smallest military presence since the war began in 2001." He also accused the Biden administration of weakness, pointing out that "the magnitude of evil now rising in Afghanistan speaks volumes about the weaknesses of Mr. Biden."

At no time did Pence acknowledge a 2019 exposé by The Washington Post, which revealed that U.S. senior officials knew that the strategies employed in Afghanistan were problematic, and that Washington wasted huge sums of money trying to control corruption, build a credible army and police force, and curb the country's opium trade. Simply stated, as The Post put it, senior U.S. officials from the Bush to Trump administrations "failed to tell the truth" about the effort in Afghanistan because they couldn't admit that the war was "unwinnable."

Enraged Twitter users lashed out at Trump and Pence

The Trump administration's collective effort to distance themselves from events unfolding in Afghanistan didn't sit too well the Twitterverse, and many took to social media to give the former president and vice president a piece of their mind. "That's an interesting take I hadn't heard before. What about the 4 years before Biden took office?," said one person on Pence's Wall Street Journal op-ed. Another pointed out that, "... if U.S. troops had left sooner, the Taliban would have taken over the country sooner. What's going on with those though processes?" 

A third remarked that, "The hot air and steam amalgam issued by Republicans this week produces enough wattage to propel the United States' energy requirements for the next 6 months." A fourth incredulous Twitter user posted, "Wait. Full stop. Who showed 'weakness' by releasing Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo Bay? Who showed 'weakness' by releasing 5,000 Taliban fighters? Who showed 'weakness' by negotiating a surrender agreement with the Taliban? The Taliban were taking over regardless!"

As for Donald Trump's thoughts on George W. Bush and his initial decision to send troops to Afghanistan, the 45th president couldn't have been more clear with his verbiage. 

"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," he said (via Independent).