Taliban to Trump: Jihadists 'Will Not Welcome You with Roses'
The Taliban declared that President Trump defined America's role in Afghanistan "brighter than the sun" and "exposed his war-mongering face" by deciding talks with the terror group wouldn't be a good idea.
Both the Obama and Trump administrations have encouraged a negotiated settlement with the terrorist group, and have not branded the Taliban -- longtime allies of al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network -- a foreign terrorist organization.
A Taliban bombing over the weekend -- conducted with an ambulance as a car bomb -- in central Kabul killed more than 100 people. The Taliban argued afterward that by targeting a government building they couldn't have killed innocent civilians and claimed fake news was skewing casualty reports. They justified an earlier brutal attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul by claiming jihadists "only searched for foreign invaders and left our countrymen alone."
At a meeting Monday with UN Security Council ambassadors, Trump said the group would "discuss what more we can do to defeat the Taliban."
"I don't see any talking taking place. I don't think we're prepared to talk right now. It's a whole different fight over there. They're killing people left and right. Innocent people are being killed left and right. Bombing in the middle of children, in the middle of families -- bombing, killing all over Afghanistan," Trump said. "So we don't want to talk with the Taliban. There may be a time, but it's going to be a long time. We're all out, and that's taking place right now, and it's a whole new front. And it's a whole new set of principles that we're being governed by."
"When we see what they're doing and the atrocities that they're committing, and killing their own people, and those people are women and children -- many, many women and children that are totally innocent -- it is horrible," he added. "So there's no talking to the Taliban. We don't want to talk to the Taliban. We're going to finish what we have to finish. What nobody else has been able to finish, we're going to be able to do it."
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Trump's comments proved what they've said all along.
"American invaders and their supporters use peace as mere rhetoric while their true strategy is war and continuation of occupation. Trump openly dismissed any notion of peace or reaching an understanding," said the group behind the Kabul bombing. "Since Trump and his allies rejected peace, all responsibility of war and bloodletting will also befall upon them, because they have not only lit the fire of the ongoing war with their invasion but have spurned any possibility of peace and understanding."
He added that through "resilient struggle and deep patience" the Taliban would "force the invaders to recognize realities and present them to the table of talks and logic."