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US never negotiates with terrorists … until now

US never negotiates with terrorists … until now

The United States has had a longstanding policy of never … never … negotiate with terrorists.  It is an important policy. It is a heartbreaking policy when dealing with international hostage situations.  We also never pay off terrorists.  No ransom money since that only encourages the taking of more hostages.

These have been the mainstays of America’s foreign policy.  But apparently no longer.

The Untied States is currently in negotiations with the Taliban.  In case your forgot, they are the officially designated terrorist organization that defeated the United States in Afghanistan — and are the puppet masters for al Qaeda.

Some argue that we must negotiate with the Taliban to get Americans, Afghan team members and others out of harms way.  That may be true – but only because President Biden so badly screwed up the American retreat by leaving so many behind.  People he promised NOT to leave behind.

Not only are we negotiating with terrorists, but part of the negotiation has to do with providing money to the Taliban because they are literally incapable of running Afghanistan without international assistance.  In return for allowing some of the targeted folks out of Afghanistan, the United States seems to be willing to pay the ransom.  Oh, they do not call it that.  The Biden administration peddles it as “humanitarian aid.”

The money is supposed to alleviate some of the terrible suffering being endured under Taliban rule.  In other words, we will pay the Taliban to let a few folks flee the country in return for a probably empty promise to not be too mean to those who remain.  

Anyone who believes that the money will change the Taliban methods of brutal oppression one iota is a certifiable fool.  All we need do is recall the billions we sent to North Korea in the Clinton administration and the plane load of American currency we sent to Iran.  What did that money get us?  “Nothing” is the correct answer.  

History buffs will also remember the negotiations between British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler that brought “peace in our time.”  That was until the Fuhrer invaded Poland shortly thereafter.  And then there was President Roosevelt at Yalta – when the ailing President ceded eastern Europe to Joseph Stalin to avoid a conflict with Russia.

I suspect that these negotiations will have some window-dressing and political face-saving results – but nothing that will deter the Taliban and al Qaeda from wanting to destroy the great American Satan.

We have seen this movie before.  From a position of self-imposed weakness, the Biden administration negotiated our retreat from Afghanistan with the Taliban.  They were to provide free passage for those needing to leave the country.  They did not.  Biden said the withdrawal would be delayed to get the endangered out. The Taliban said no.  Biden deferred.  Biden negotiated with the Taliban to provide security around the Kabul airport.  Thirteen American service personnel died – and more than a hundred Afghans hoping to flee were killed in a suicide bomb attack.

We should not expect to get much out of these negotiations – if for no other reason than Biden is a terrible negotiator.

The very fact that we are compelled to negotiate with the Taliban – and are unlikely to get anything out of it except more money for terrorists – makes the United States look that much weaker and more pathetic on the world stage.  

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Trebor Retsbew

    The US has been negotiating with what we now call terrorist since the beginning. The latest example was in Libya before armed insurrection took place, then there was Iraq before the war, and Iran for the past 40 years, along with Syria. I could go on but the people who read this garbage do not care as long as they can try to make Biden look bad.

    • larry Horist

      You are confusing nations with terrorist organizations. There is an official list of terrorist organizations. And there are nations that we know sponsor terrorist organizations. We do negotiate with those nations but generally not directly with those terrorist organizations that the United States has officially designated. I was expecting someone the left to point out that Trump negotiated with the Taliban — a designated terrorist group. I would call that a huge mistake — and it did not go well. And looking across the range of Biden policies and actions — and his poor ratings with the American people — Biden does a good job of making himself look bad. Folks like me only point it out.

  2. Joseph S. Bruder

    Wow, Larry, you’re like a dog with a bone. The “Great Negotiator”, former President Trump, SURRENDERED. No terms to speak of, “we’re out of here, here are your prisoners, please don’t follow us and we’ll put in a good word with the UN”. It was Trump who “negotiated” with and put the Taliban in charge, not Biden. Like it or not, they are in charge of the country now. If we had to (or have to in the future) deal with Afghanistan’s leadership, they’re the only game in town BECAUSE OF TRUMP. Trump wanted to bring the Taliban to Camp David (on September 11th no less!) until Democrats and Republicans alike howled in protest. He still gave them everything they wanted, with literally nothing in return.

    I think this is Biden/Afghanistan hit piece number 11 or 12, and while you did mention Trump and surrender in the same paragraph in one of the last ones, you have a REALLY hard time admitting that it was Trump’s screw-up that Biden had to deal with. You’re still carrying hod for wannabee dictator Trump and his apologists.

  3. frank stetson

    I am pretty sure the Taliban is not listed as a terrorist organization at this time unless it’s a group from Pakistan:

    I am pretty sure that Trump is the alpha negotiator in all this, he just left out the part about getting Americans out in favor of thumping his chest about what he would do if they neenered neenered him. And I am sure they were as scared as Kim Jong-un who negotiated with Trump and then continued his nuclear program as if Trump didn’t matter at all. Or Iraq. The Taliban would have seen that as a potential model of how to proceed in Trumpian times.

    I am pretty sure there are no active hostages and that the Taliban has supported getting US citizens out of there, not perfect, but they were leaving. 85 have left post our departure, think there are about 100 more seeking evacuation, might be a good time to keep talking unless you want a different outcome than what’s been happening to let Americans out:

    We talked to North Korea, why not talk to Afghanistan until they make their next move. At least until the Americans left who want to be evacuated are determined to be gone or be held. It seems only prudent.