Report: Biden Administration Considers Releasing Money to Taliban
The Afghan news agency Khaama Press, citing the BBC, reported on Tuesday that the administration of President Joe Biden may soon unfreeze Afghan government assets, allowing the Taliban to access them, in the name of helping the impoverished people of the country.
The Taliban does not currently have access to Afghan government assets in American banks. Global institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Funds (IMF) have also barred the jihadist terrorists from accessing funds that belong to the government of Afghanistan. The formal government of Afghanistan collapsed in August, however, leaving Taliban terror leaders in charge of the country.
The Taliban took over Afghanistan, storming the capital Kabul, on August 15, shortly after Biden abruptly ordered the withdrawal of all American forces from the country. Under predecessor Donald Trump, Washington had agreed to a deal with the Taliban that would have seen the 20-year Afghan War end in May 2021. Biden broke the deal, extending the war and angering the Taliban, which took Biden’s extension of the war as a license to engage in a nationwide conquest campaign that ended with then-President Ashraf Ghani fleeing Kabul, reportedly in a helicopter carrying $169 million in cash.
No country around the world has formally recognized the Taliban terrorist group as the government of Afghanistan. Rogue states like China, Russia, and Iran, however, have begun referring to the Taliban as the “de facto” government and funding its success. China and Russia, in particular, have vocally demanded that the United States fund the Taliban terrorists, insisting that doing so is necessary to ensure the survival of the Afghan people.
The United Nations has similarly warned of impending famine in the country as a result of the Taliban takeover and U.N. agencies have been cooperating with the Taliban, funding it in an alleged attempt to save Afghan civilian lives.
“A US official has been cited as the Biden administration is considering easing financial restrictions on Afghanistan and the country will issue a license to allow financial aids to Afghanistan, reported BBC,” according to Afghanistan’s Khaama Press, which did not offer a link to the original source of the report. “The source has said that the US administration has held a meeting in which easing sanctions on Afghanistan has been discussed in order to allow international aid organizations to deliver humanitarian aids to Afghanistan.”C-SPAN
While anonymous, the report appears to echo what State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters about Afghanistan on Monday, defending America as the “global leader in providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.”
“We have provided, since August, $208 million alone, we provided nearly $475 million over the course of this year,” Price claimed, assuring reporters that the Biden administration was “working with the various U.N. bodies … to find creative ways that we can infuse not only humanitarian aid, but also liquidity into the Afghan economy.”
Like the United Nations, Price repeatedly asserted that Biden administration funding was going to “the people of Afghanistan,” without elaborating. The only pseudo-government institution in Afghanistan functional enough to accept any aid at all, however, is the Taliban. The U.S. has openly offered the Taliban doses of Chinese coronavirus vaccines, which Taliban officials have confirmed they received without the same fanfare they have deployed for any donation from the Chinese Communist Party.
The Biden administration is under intense leftist pressure to fund the Taliban. In a letter published Monday, dozens of far-left members of Congress – including Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Cori Bush (D-MO) – demanded that Biden fund not only release frozen assets to the Taliban, but repeal sanctions on Taliban terrorist leaders.
“We deplore the new Taliban government’s grave human rights abuses, crackdowns on civil society and repression of women and LGBTQ people,” the letter read in part. “However, pragmatic U.S. engagement with the de facto authorities is nevertheless key to averting unprecedented harm to tens of millions of women, children and innocent civilians.”
The progressives claimed that “the overwhelming majority of reserves returned to the central bank of Afghanistan will be used primarily to purchase imports by Afghanistan’s private sector,” not the Taliban, without elaborating on how this would be possible given the total control Taliban leaders have over the country.
The U.S. assets frozen total nearly $10 billion. The radical leftist lawmakers appeared to be responding to a letter the Taliban sent to every member of Congress in November asking for advocacy on its behalf.
The Taliban terrorist organization is strutting and bragging that the Biden administration has agreed to provide aid to Afghanistan. https://t.co/5X1hHMUPTY
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 12, 2021
“It is quite surprising that with the announcement of the new government, the administration of the United States of America slapped sanctions on the assets of our Central Bank,” the letter, formally from the Taliban “foreign ministry,” read. “This goes against our expectations as well as the Doha Agreement. The Afghan people, after attaining personal security following decades of war, have a right to financial security.”
The “Doha Agreement” is the deal the Trump administration signed with the Taliban, which Biden broke.
“Despite the fact that following the signing of the Doha Agreement in February 2020 we no longer find ourselves in direct conflict with one another nor are we a military opposition, what logic could possibly exist behind the freezing of our assets?” the letter asked.
At home, Taliban leaders have addressed famine concerns by dismissing their role in helping alleviate them. Taliban “prime minister” Mohammad Hassan Akhund said in a speech last month that the famine – caused by disruptions directly related to the Taliban takeover – was a “great test of Allah” that befell Afghans because they had “begun to rebel against Allah.”
“We must all cry out to our Lord to bring down upon us the rain of mercy so that the drought may be eradicated from our country and our existing problems may be solved,” Akhund said. The “prime minister” also described gratitude towards the Taliban itself for its years of war as “obligatory.”
The Taliban has a message for Joe Biden's State Department: "Tell the State Department to f**k themselves." https://t.co/xyJoOO1bxS
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 4, 2021
Abroad, rather than celebrating the humanitarian disaster as proof of their faith, Taliban leaders have decried it as an American atrocity. In remarks to the Organization for Islamic Cooperation this weekend, Taliban “foreign minister” Amir Khan Motaqi demanded the United States unfreeze Afghan government assets to the Taliban because not doing so would violate the “human rights” of the Afghan people.
Extensive evidence documented by Amnesty International and United Nations human rights reporters suggests the Taliban has little regard for the human rights they claim America is violating.
“The months before the government collapse in Kabul were marked by repeated war crimes and relentless bloodshed committed by the Taliban, as well as deaths caused by Afghan and US forces,” Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnès Callamard said last week. “Homes, hospitals, schools and shops were turned into crime scenes as people were … killed and injured. The people of Afghanistan have suffered for too long, and victims must have access to justice and receive reparations.”