Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a campaign stop in Ontario on Tuesday that he spoke with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by telephone to discuss their shared “concern for Afghan women and girls” after the Taliban takeover.
Trudeau said Clinton “welcomed our efforts and urged Canada to continue our work.”
“Governments, international organizations, and civil society must continue to work together to support women and girls in Afghanistan,” Trudeau said. “The Afghan people need the world to stand with them, and that is what Canada will continue to do.”
Trudeau’s remarks prompted incredulous reactions from observers who noted the actual President of the United States Joe Biden has disappeared and refused to have any contact with world leaders about Afghanistan so, evidently, the task of talking to foreign heads of state has been subcontracted out to non-Administration operatives such as Hillary Clinton:
Yesterday, the White House said that Joe Biden has not taken any calls with world leaders in regards to Afghanistan.
Justin Trudeau stated that he spoke with Hillary Clinton yesterday about Afghanistan.
What is going on? Why is the US President not taking calls but Hillary is? pic.twitter.com/nFn4t97M2K
— Amy Tarkanian (@MrsT106) August 18, 2021
The White House did indeed state on Tuesday that Biden “has not yet spoken with any other world leaders.”
Hillary Clinton would furthermore seem like an exceptionally poor choice of correspondent to discuss the fate of people trapped behind the lines after an Islamist takeover.
Trudeau and Clinton were among numerous political actors this week making a show of signaling to the Taliban that they expect the new regime to be inclusive, respectful of human rights, and less hostile to women than the previous Taliban government.
The Biden administration on Tuesday took great pride in sending a strongly worded letter to the Taliban in defense of women’s rights:
🇺🇸 Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield says U.S. expressed "in no uncertain terms" at the United Nations through "a very strongly worded press statement" from the Security Council that "we expect the Taliban to respect women's rights" and "to be respectful of humanitarian law." pic.twitter.com/32TEyRFu4O
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) August 18, 2021
“We are deeply worried about Afghan women and girls, their rights to education, work and freedom of movement. We call on those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan to guarantee their protection,” said the joint statement cosigned by Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and several other countries.
“We will monitor closely how any future government ensures rights and freedoms that have become an integral part of the life of women and girls in Afghanistan during the last twenty years,” the signatories warned.
The Taliban ignored this international virtue-signaling and reportedly set about beating women bloody with chains, murdering them for refusing to comply with its demands, forcing women and very young girls to “marry” Taliban fighters, and shooting at least one woman dead for failing to wear a burqa. Taliban gunmen forced women to give up their jobs to men in the cities they conquered on their way to Kabul.
Possibly embarrassed by a swift declaration on Monday evening from the opposition Conservative Party that it would never recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, Trudeau issued a statement on Tuesday that said his government has “no plans” to do so, and insisted the Taliban remains “a recognized terrorist organization under Canadian law.”
Trudeau caused a stir on Monday by refusing to say if Canada would recognize the Taliban. His foreign minister, Marc Garneau, said on Monday that the Trudeau administration would take a “wait and see” approach to the Taliban.