By Savannah Popick ’20
Donald Trump and his administration surprised the country this September when it was revealed they were planning a secret meeting with the opposition of our country’s longest war: the Taliban.
The world first found out about the meeting when the president broke the news through Twitter on September 7th, stating that a meeting with the Taliban at Camp David has been cancelled due to a bombing that killed an American soldier in Kabul, Afghanistan: “unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday…I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations.”
The Taliban, the opponents of the United States in the US-Afghan war who have been responsible for countless American deaths, were scheduled to have a secret meeting with the President of the United States at the presidential retreat, Camp David. The reaction from the public showed true concern about the meeting, but quickly transformed into pure shock that no one knew that this was taking place.
The news of the meeting being held was given to the public almost in a backwards style. People today are used to finding out breaking news stories like these ones from the big news companies on TV. However, the public found out from the president through Twitter. To make matters stranger, no one knew about the meeting until the very day it was cancelled.
Reactions to this tweet occurred immediately. Adam Kinzinger, U.S. Representative (R.) from Illinois, tweeted “Never should leaders of a terrorist organization that hasn’t renounced 9/11 and continues in evil be allowed in our great country. NEVER. Full stop.” Another element that added to the surprise was when the secret meeting was supposed to be held: just a few days before the 18th anniversary of 9/11. Due to this reason, the shock soon started to turn into concern that left the country speechless.
Concern levels continued to remain high as the Taliban released their reaction to the news of the meeting being cancelled. As CNN reported, “the move ‘would not harm anyone else but the Americans themselves…’ Did tensions just boil over even more after multiple tries at peace talks?”
Worry and concern remain common feelings amongst the American public. One thing after this shocking news though, is that the U.S. and the Taliban are no closer to peace. For what might have come from those talks, the world may never know.