President (Biden) cannot recognize the Taliban. He must rally the international community against them. There are political and civil society leaders who believe in freedom and democracy in Afghanistan and are now living in exile. There are so many being targeted by the Taliban and if they are left in the country, the president has sentenced them to death."

Source: USA Today What went wrong in Afghanistan? Perspectives on the 'forever war' from those who saw it up close

The president? Who? The sentence "the president has sentenced them to death" uses present perfect tense so the president is incumbent - who is he? The legal president of Afghanistan fled and the regime toppled; the leader of Taliban cannot be called the president. So is it Biden? Grammatically it seems no. I am puzzled by the grammar - especially it is unclear to me who are "them" (sentenced them to death" - either Taliban or those against Taliban don't fit grammatically to me)

1 Answer 1


It means President Biden has (metaphorically) sentenced the opponents of the Taliban to death.

There is nothing about the grammar that indicates any other meaning.

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