The Real Reason The Internet Is Furious At Nikki Haley's Afghanistan Comment

Nearly a week after President Joe Biden made the decision to begin the sweeping withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan 20 years after former president George W. Bush sent them in, Nikki Haley — the Republican ex-governor of South Carolina and one-time diplomat under the Donald Trump administration — openly criticized Biden's move. Haley has a record of waffling on certain issues (such as publicly opposing the anti-trans bathroom bill in her state in 2016, but later rallying against an executive order which protected members of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination), but she appeared resolute in her attitude about Biden's U.S. withdrawal. Unfortunately for Haley, however, her statement has sparked outrage among political commentators and ordinary netizens alike.

On August 18, Haley lambasted the withdrawal seemingly on a single point: negotiations with the Taliban, who American soldiers were originally sent to combat in 2001 at the beginning of the "War on Terror." "To have our Generals say that they are depending on diplomacy with the Taliban is an unbelievable scenario," Haley tweeted. "Negotiating with the Taliban is like dealing with the devil." 

But as many pointed out, that same deal was something Haley wasn't exactly unfamiliar with.

Nikki Haley's 'dealing with the devil' comment went over poorly

The internet response to Nikki Haley's tweet about the withdrawal from Afghanistan was swift, with many pointing out a major flaw in the former diplomat's logic: that in 2018, the same year Haley last served as an American emissary, Donald Trump did the exact same thing as Joe Biden. And as MSNBC noted, not only did Trump's foreign policy team attempt to negotiate with the Taliban, but Haley herself was a major player throughout.

The irony (or to some, hypocrisy) of this was hardly lost on Haley's critics. "Nikki acts like the previous things you said can't be found on the internet," one Twitter user wrote. Others elaborated upon the context of it all. "I hate to point this out, but it was the last administration that started negotiating with the Taliban," another tweeted. "If that was an effort to drag out withdrawal, keep the Taliban at the table so they wouldn't fight U.S. and allied forces, that is one thing. But it wasn't."

In addition to the internet backlash against Haley, others, like CNN host Jake Tapper, pulled no punches on calling out Haley's statement. "There is this attempt to memory hole the last four years under President Trump of an attempt to have a peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban," Tapper said on-air, before pointing out Haley had praised Trump in 2018 for the very thing she blasted Biden for in 2021.