30
May
08

On-Air; Time to talk to Al-Qaeda ?

He could become London’s top policeman, and he oversaw the end of the IRA ,  so people are taking the words of Sir Hugh Orde  seriously. He’s not the only prominent figure to suggest negotiating with the architects of 9/11, and numerous atrocities from Bali to Baghdad.

 Tony Blair’s ex Chief of Staff, Jonathan Powell, thinks it’s worth a try too , as does Security Minister Lord West.

As recently as February , we were reading stories of the organisation in retreat in Iraq, so it might be a good time, the argument goes. 

You might not see it that way if you’ve lost a loved one to the killers. You might not see it that way on a point of principle to never talk to murderers. And you might not see it that way as it’s hard to know what Al Qaeda actually wants.

Or you might think something’s got to stop the violence and this as good an idea as any.

 

 


198 Responses to “On-Air; Time to talk to Al-Qaeda ?”


  1. May 30, 2008 at 14:12

    Well we all know what Bush would say to this….

    “Appeasement! turrrrist!!! LESS TALK MORE BOMBS!”

    You have to ask the question “Why not?” Someone answer me this. The “War on (of) Terror” isn’t working. I know the idea has been kicked around for a ‘surge’ into Afghanistan. Military action has failed to produce results for the resources spent. So one must ask themselves “When bombs don’t work, whats next? Why not?”

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  2. 2 Virginia Davis
    May 30, 2008 at 14:29

    See comments under 5 Talking Points on blog from Mark.

    Virginia in Portland, OR

  3. 3 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 14:36

    How do you propose to talk to an organization wuth such stated goals as:

    “After the liberation of Afghanistan, coalition forces searching through a terrorist safe house in that country found a copy of the al Qaeda charter. This charter states that “there will be continuing enmity until everyone believes in Allah. We will not meet [the enemy] halfway. There will be no room for dialogue with them.””

    “This manual declares that their vision of Islam “does not… make a truce with unbelief, but rather confronts it.” The confrontation… calls for… the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing, and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine gun.””

    from: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/09/20060905-4.html

    They want to establish the caliphate over the entire world. There is no negotiating with people who hold such views. They simply must be killed, talking would be appeasement. There’s your ‘why not’. Unless you are willing to sacrifice everything (land, way of life, freedom, etc) you do not have anything to being to a negotiating table.

    The idea of talking to terrorists is beyond stupid, that is why not. Maybe if you bothered to look into WHY these people do what they do (hint, it isnt anything material) you would know why you cannot talk to them.

  4. 4 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 14:37

    being = bring

  5. 5 Xie_Ming
    May 30, 2008 at 14:42

    “Talking with people” is not the same as “negotiating”.
    (Let us be careful about editorial bias on WHYS).

    Neutralization, accomodation and conversion can best be achieved by offering a platform, by careful questioning and by sympathetic analysis.

    That means especially those against whom an agenda is mounted:
    Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinians and Muslims in general.

    Those who do the moderating should be selected for competence and lack of bias. Hopefully, those asking the questions should also possess some of these qualities.

  6. 6 debbie in Cleveland
    May 30, 2008 at 14:46

    Good Morning,
    Very interesting topic. Talking with the “enemy” may be the thing to do because I believe talking will get all the crap out of the way so real conversation might happen.
    ALSO, did anyone else hear the news the other day that AL-Qaeda is arguing amongst themselves? I only heard it on the fly but it sounded like there may be a revolt amongst the ranks with second thoughts on all the killing and the killing of “their own” and moving way “off base” with the real message of their faith.

    Thanks

  7. 7 Will Rhodes
    May 30, 2008 at 14:49

    @ Tino

    That is their starting point – all organisations have a starting point. If they stuck with the view stated in that document, they know they would be dead.

    “If you ever want to stunt the appeal of a terrorist organisation – bring them into politics.”

  8. May 30, 2008 at 14:50

    The idea of talking to terrorists is beyond stupid, that is why not. Maybe if you bothered to look into WHY these people do what they do (hint, it isnt anything material) you would know why you cannot talk to them.

    The idea of taking the same strategy as ‘them’ and just bombing them into oblivion because ‘they’ want to kill ‘you’ makes you no better if you cannot say you at least tried to discuss your differences.

    They simply must be killed

    Wow…. This comment is strikingly similar to another stance Ive heard….

    Oh yea! “They” wish the same for “Us”!

    Who is the terrorist then when both sides use violence to advance their agenda in the absence of dialogue?

    Besides, who determines who is classified as a turrrist?
    Its a very dangerous slope to be on when you promote war and violence first over dialogue.

  9. 9 John in Salem
    May 30, 2008 at 14:52

    If we allow the commiting of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history to qualify someone to be on the same negotiating level as a foriegn government then we will deserve what the future brings.

  10. May 30, 2008 at 15:08

    If we allow the commiting of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history to qualify someone to be on the same negotiating level as a foriegn government then we will deserve what the future brings.

    Yet we legitimize innumerable atrocities and countries’ actions throughout history by holding alliances, discussions, talks, agreements with them. Heck, we even commit a large number of these such attrocities, all in the name of democracy!

    NOTE: I’m not sympathyzing with them, agreeing with them, or even understanding them; Just identifying the importance of talks before bullets and bombs.

  11. May 30, 2008 at 15:12

    We have to admit fault. We have been biased. We have used veto to stop Arab justice in Palestine. We treat their equivalent to the Free French abominably. By association we are more guilty than we ever were with the IRA. We must enforce justice for the Palestinians and stop seeing them purely as gorillas. We have to ask what makes people give of their own bodies for their cause. We have to examine their cause and see if we have been remiss? We must ensure that Arab peoples are getting a good shake and that we are not being greedy and therefore blind to their rights to life and to their oil. we might have to cut back on our consumption and to our dependence on middle East oil?

  12. 12 Joel Salomon
    May 30, 2008 at 15:20

     Talk about what? and to whom? I do not mean this as a rhetorical question: what room for discussion is possible between the West and al-Qaeda? The organization does not merely have a set of demands (Jews out of Palestine, stop supporting the House of Saud, Chechen independence, &c. &c.) which might be the basis of negotiations; al-Qaeda is founded on a mission to rid the world of non-Islamic (defined as they please) influences (“Jahiliyyah”). The decentralized nature of al-Qaeda means that even if individual members—no matter how influential—relax on these imperatives they will simply be written out of al-Qaeda by the rest of the bunch, who will continue their version of jihad.
     Summary: They want you dead or Muslim (their brand). If some will compromise, enough won’t to remain a threat. What are you going to talk about?

  13. 13 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 15:28

    When al quaida says “adopt sharia”, will will he then say? Talking with an insane, islamist group and expecting them to make “peace” without you seriously appeasing them is likely to happen when muslims start eating pork and drinking beer. Ain’t gonna happen.

  14. May 30, 2008 at 15:29

    Every time this topic comes up it seems necessary to restate the obvious. There are only two forms of winning a conflict as I know them. 1) Diplomacy and talking to the perceived threat. 2) Killing every member of the perceived threat. Most conflicts end with a mixture of these two approaches. Resolving with only elements of #1 is called a “Cold war”. Resolving conflicts using only elements of #2 is called “genocide”.

    @ talking to Al-Qaeda- The first thing that has to happen is to identify “who” Al-Qaeda is. There was this rag tag group of extremist from Saudi Arabia struck the World Trade Center on 9/11/01. The next things you know they were getting credit all over the world. Time and again different National and world reports have proven that there wasn’t an Al-Qaeda presence in Iraq until after the invasion. Many other countries association with Al-Qaeda were not made until after their fame came to fruition. Talk about “give a group legitimacy”. The US has done all of the marketing for them. They have given them credits and they have given weight to their argument to get people to join them. The United States captures a guy and advertises that they have caught the leader of this group that had a different guy that went to Afghanistan so they are deemed, “Al-Qaeda”.

    So who are you going to talk to. The entity that attack the US on 9/11 has been incapacitated to do anything outside of Afghanistan and maybe, Saudi Arabia, since 9/12. The rest of their strength has been through viral media and representative membership that encompasses an ideology. This ideology is perceived, interpreted, and adopted by small bands of extremist looking to invoke the name Al-Qaeda to increase their importance factor.

  15. 15 kat
    May 30, 2008 at 15:30

    I have mixed feelings about this. I see the conversation between the two groups going something akin to this:
    Why did you do it? (9/11)
    Because we hate you
    What can we do to have you not hate us?
    Change your ways
    What way would you like us to change?
    Submit to what we believe is Islam
    But some people don’t believe in that
    They’re wrong
    We don’t believe they’re wrong. They have as much right to do what they would like under the laws we created.
    You’re wrong. There is only one law, god’s law
    Who makes god’s law?
    God
    Who talks to god?
    We do

    To me it would be a repeat; a constant verbal circle; and not completing anything before one side actually does an action. I don’t necessarily agree with the war, but I don’t think they (Al-Qaeda) want to talk. They don’t like the western way of life. You could call it culture, but then you could argue that at one point in life it was cultural for all societies to have slaves (or the equivalent thereof) and now it’s considered a taboo. Culture does not necessarily dictate a correct position, Nazi culture for example.

    It’s difficult for me to place my finger exactly on how I feel about this. As a previous immigrant and now an American, I feel a loyalty to this country that I want to defend. I have more here in the United States that I have had before, and I have opportunities. I have the choice to be upset with my government. What happened on 9/11 was wrong, and I think its right that we hunt down those who did it. Now, on the other hand…I don’t necessarily agree with simply going after every country, which burns the US flag, with bezerker mentality. I think we should approach them with a more peaceable mind.

    Now also as a woman, I would be afraid of complacency in our government to talk to people that had I been born in their circle, they would have married me off the first day I menstruated, and treat me abysmally simply because of an accident of birth.

    So you can understand my American dilemma, the desire to do good-both at home and abroad- and not necessarily knowing the best way to do it. Perhaps, defending yourself is better. Now whether or not you believe we should have entered in the war, we’re still in it. I’m of the kind that believes, we’ve made our mess…we should clean it up and then leave. I understand that may take years, and I’m wiling to help. Finish these wars, and then build up your own defenses.

  16. 16 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 15:31

    “They simply must be killed

    Wow…. This comment is strikingly similar to another stance Ive heard….

    Oh yea! “They” wish the same for “Us”!

    Who is the terrorist then when both sides use violence to advance their agenda in the absence of dialogue?

    Besides, who determines who is classified as a turrrist?
    Its a very dangerous slope to be on when you promote war and violence first over dialogue.”

    Can you negotiate with a rabid animal? Unfortunately, rabid animals need to be killed. I really think insane religious fervor is a lot worse than a rabid dog. Rabid dogs can’t kill mass amounts of people. As much as you want to talk to the rabid dog, give it hugs, it’s still nuts.

  17. 17 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 15:32

    “Who is the terrorist then when both sides use violence to advance their agenda in the absence of dialogue?”

    The ones targeting civilians for no other reason than they are non-Muslim. We are not terrorists, because we are responding to an attack not bombing innocents on purpose. Simple difference.

    Once again, their charter calls for conversion of the world to Islam and re-establishment of the caliphate – how do you talk to people like that. Also, they openly stated they do not want to talk? Is it supposed to be us talking to ourselves?

    It is ridiculous to ask the question “Should we talk to them?” When they do not want to, and when their goal is your total destruction. VictorK made the very important point that they are NOT like the IRA, with stated, concrete goals to work with. You cannot talk to someone who wants to kill you and destroy your way of life – you must fight them. I know some people cannot handle the idea that not everyone likes to hug trees and sniff flowers all day but this is real world and sometimes people just want you dead. The only response to that is violence – sorry if that sucks but it is reality.

  18. 18 Bob in Queensland
    May 30, 2008 at 15:32

    Those who have read my previous posts will know that I’ve frequently advocated negotiation with “terrorists” as the only way to solve problems. Military action alone cannot defeat a small band of determined guerilla fighters. I suppose to avoid hypocrisy I’d better not exclude Al Qaeda.

    However, I don’t hold out much hope of negotiation with Al Qaeda. Most terrorist organisations are actively fighting FOR something: a united Ireland, a Palestinian homeland or to overthrow a specific government. Al Qaeda, on the other hand, seem simply to be against anything to do with “the west”. As such, is there anything we could concede in negotiations that would appease them–even if we don’t treat that as a dirty word?

  19. 19 Soi Mix
    May 30, 2008 at 15:33

    Here in Africa there is a saying that “When a blind mans thretens to throw a stone at you when you provoke him, he knows that he has his leg stepping on a stone. I gues Sir Hugh knows what he is talking about. Lets take his comments seariously, he can help turn the invisible Al queda visible.

    regards!
    Soi Mix 4 Real

  20. 20 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 15:34

    “Besides, who determines who is classified as a turrrist?”

    Who cares? Too much emphasis is placed on that word. They want to kill me, and my way of life – so I have no problem stating they simply must be killed. It is quite simple.

  21. 21 VictorK
    May 30, 2008 at 15:47

    If you’re not willing or able to do what’s necessary to defeat terrorists then you really had better talk to them.

    When the US and UK decided to use soldiers as armed social workers for an impossible abstraction called ‘nation-building’ they signalled that they weren’t serious about defeating the enemy by concentrating their efforts on killing enough of them to break their will to fight (what armies are best at). But it’s worse than that. The US and UK decided to make the problems of Iraq and Afghanistan their own for no better reason than liberal imperialist arrogance, since it is no business of Britain’s or the USA’s to bring ‘freedom and democracy’ to Iraq, not even to make up for lies about WMDs and Saddam being linked to 9-11. Bush and Blair unnecessarily got their countries into an unwinnable fight: you can’t defeat an enemy when the civilian population hates you and will never wholeheartedly co-operate with you, not because you are in the wrong but because you are ‘infidels’. That was the lesson that should have been taken from Somalia and wasn’t: there’s no helping people against their will.

    al-Quaeda share the religion, culture and values of the people of Iraq and the Muslim world, or at least a good many of them. They are every bit as legitimate as a government that came to power in elections held during a time of occupation and organised by the occupying power. Their methods are acceptable to most Muslims, at least if you go by the fact that Muslims across the world have never thought them something worth protesting about, unlike the thankless efforts of the Coalition to bring Iraqis ‘a better life’.

    I agree with Tino that al-Quaeda’s general manifesto for Islamic world domination (which, of course, is a perfectly orthodox Islamic position) cannot be the basis for any sensible negotiation. I’d assumed that ending the violence in Iraq (which al-Quaeda and its allies are largely responsible for) is what any talks would be about. Surely that’s acceptable, if it means saving lives? Al Quaeda’s main demand is obvious: a withdrawal of the Coalition forces. To accept this would mean inescapable national humiliation for Britain and the US. And though I don’t relish that, can anyone really deny that the lies and folly that have inspired the British and American governments throughout the whole sorry story of Iraq entitle them to anything better than a humiliating retreat? A country that authorises a senior commander to kiss the Koran – which is to Queda what the Communist Manifesto was to the Russians during the Cold War, or Mein Kampf to the Nazis – a country that authorised that act of symbolic submission cannot sink lower when it comes to national humiliation.

    It’s not an objection to submitting to al Quaeda’s demands re withdrawing from Iraq to claim that it means surrender in the war on terror. There is a perfectly effective way to combat terrorism without getting entangled in the affairs of foreign countries. Neither is it an objection to say that without the coalition Iraq will turn into a bloodbath: as if it weren’t a bloodbath already, partly because the Coalition presence gives al Quaeda and the insurgents a reason to fight. And in any case it is for the people of Iraq to resolve the problems they face by either defeating al Quaeda themselves, or else accepting the peace that will come by embracing government by al Quaeda.

    Or the Coalition could simply withdraw now, of its own volition, instead of finding itself departing as a result of negotiations with victorious terrorists. Walk or run, there’s no denying that in the batttle of wills al Quaeda has come out on top. That’s reason enough to talk to them.

  22. 22 Alpha Child
    May 30, 2008 at 15:58

    I support what Soi Mix is saying. By the way, why is Ros absent? Regards to you Tom

  23. 23 Nick in USA
    May 30, 2008 at 16:01

    @ everyone who is against speaking with al qaeda

    What do you think is the worst possible outcome that will result from speaking with terrorists? You can make them out to be evil people who just want to kill you, but talking to them doesn’t give them a better ability to kill you. Nobody is talking about giving into demands or even negotiating. Sometimes just starting a dialogue can really open up doors. Let them see that we are people, and we’re really not that much different than them. Maybe, they will be less willing to kill our innocent people then.

    Just because someone has found some evidence showing that some Islamists are hell bent on killing people who don’t believe in Allah, it doesn’t mean that they are all like that. I’m sure there are even Al Qaeda members who don’t think like this. Let’s face it, people in Iraq and Afghanistan have been forced into a pretty bad situation. If someone came over here and occupied the USA, we would certainly have some problems with those people, and we would certainly do anything we could to get them out of here. That includes terrorism. This is not a black and white issue.

    These people are constantly getting bombarded with propaganda from their biased news, political leaders, and religious leaders. They have made the USA out to be just as evil as we are making them out to be. Don’t believe the hype. Talk to the enemy and try to understand where they are coming from. Wars don’t solve problems, they only take lives.

  24. 24 John in Salem
    May 30, 2008 at 16:02

    Brett
    We’re not talking about the actions of present or past U.S. administrations in regards to foriegn policy decisions they make without regard for the will of American citizens. The question is whether or not it is rational or beneficial to sit down with someone who stated goal is to kill as many of us as he can until the rest of us believe as he does.
    I do believe that violence is the last refuge of the incompetent but if we negotiate with al-Qaeda we won’t have simply lowered the bar on who is worthy of a place at the table, we would be sending a loud message to the rest of the crazies in the world that all you have to do is kill some of us and we’ll be ready to discuss concessions.
    You don’t try to reason with cancer or infections or pathological killers – you fight them, and in the case of al-Qaeda that includes doing more good in the world than evil and taking the wind out of their sails by addressing some of the inequities we have helped to create. It does NOT include recognizing them as a legitimate political group.

  25. 25 VictorK
    May 30, 2008 at 16:21

    @Patrick Lockyer: what you say really does sound like appeasement and surrender.

    Talk to al Quaeda in Iraq? Yes. I would much rather have seen them exterminated, but they have proven themselves – given the Coalition’s lack of will -a force to be reckoned with over there (and no one has yet shown that the al Quaeda frachise in Iraq is not mainly indigenous) and the Iraqi people, without whose help they cannot be defeated, have shown that they care less for ‘infidels’ trying to help them than they do for rabid killers who will enslave them under a Shariaist theocracy. In the circumstances its best to come to terms with al Quaeda about getting out of Iraq and hopefully ending the violence.

    But to start talking to them about Palestine, justice to the Arabs etc…no way. Al Quaeda have not yet been appointed spokesmen for the Arab and Muslim world, which has dozens of established governments to represent their legitimate interests. You are at risk of taking them at their own valuation as the representatives on earth of Islam’s God. They are a set of determined terrorists who have stuck to their objectives in Iraq where their enemies have faltered. Nothing more.

  26. 26 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 16:24

    I guess if we talk to the terrorists, given how extreme their demands will be, and how they won’t be able to negotiate rationally, with insane people, I think even the most far left liberals will finally accept the truth, that insane religious fanatics unfortunately need to be killed.

  27. 27 Nick in USA
    May 30, 2008 at 16:28

    Tino said:

    “Who cares? Too much emphasis is placed on that word. They want to kill me, and my way of life – so I have no problem stating they simply must be killed. It is quite simple.”

    Wow, it’s that simple? So… I can just point out any muslim and say “he wants to kill me” and then kill him first? Why stop at Muslims? We have terrorists like Timothy Mcveigh in the USA. I can just point at anyone and say “he wants to kill me, so I’m going to kill him first”. My point, you don’t know until you talk to these people. Maybe they do have real demands. Maybe some of them are even reasonable. We don’t have to strike a deal with them, but let’s at least hear what they have to offer.

    Also, you keep referring to Al Qaeda like it is one man who makes all the decisions. Sorry, like all things in life, it’s not so black and white. They are not robots who go walking around saying “attack infidels”. There may be some members of Al Qaeda who joined up after their brother, sister, or father was taken to Gitmo for some unjustified reason. That’s just an example, but there are millions of possibilities. Maybe they are just sick of seeing a foreign presence occupying their country. Just ask people like Lubna. A lot of people had better lives under saddam. So if some koran thumping eastern dictator walked into the USA right now and said he was going to solve our crime problem, would you just sit there and let him do it Tino? I don’t think so. A lot of these terrorists are just like you. They’ve been dealt a bad hand, and I’m sure some of them would back off once they realized that we are people just like they are. They’re not all out to kill us because we don’t believe, some of them may have a pretty valid reason for fighting.

  28. 28 Nick in USA
    May 30, 2008 at 16:38

    John in Salem said:

    “I do believe that violence is the last refuge of the incompetent but if we negotiate with al-Qaeda we won’t have simply lowered the bar on who is worthy of a place at the table, we would be sending a loud message to the rest of the crazies in the world that all you have to do is kill some of us and we’ll be ready to discuss concessions.”

    Steve said:

    “I guess if we talk to the terrorists, given how extreme their demands will be, and how they won’t be able to negotiate rationally, with insane people, I think even the most far left liberals will finally accept the truth, that insane religious fanatics unfortunately need to be killed.”

    Once again, nobody is offering any concessions to Al Qaeda here. Steve the liberals aren’t afraid to kill people trying to kill us. However, what if they weren’t trying to kill us? What if talking to them actually worked? Yes, there are some insane religious fanatics out there, but we don’t even know if they’re the majority in Al Qaeda. I realize that we won’t be able to get all of these men to lay down their guns, but Al Qaeda is not exactly the red army. They work independently from one another. We might get some groups to chill out by talking to them.

  29. 29 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 16:48

    @ Nick

    This is what will happen if we negotiate with al qaeda, they will say “we will leave you in peace if:

    (1) non muslims get out of the middle east
    (2) israel must be destroyed
    (3) sharia in the west where muslims live
    (4) islam must be respected everywhere on earth, but in muslim countries all other religions can be forbidden

    some of the more extreme members of al qaeda will ad on demands for a caliphate including formerly muslim ruled areas like Spain.

    Anything less and they won’t be happy. How will you respond to this? That’ it, it’s you accept that or terrorism goes on. What will “negotiating” with this accomplish since we’re obviously not going to agree to it? You just want to hear their voices?

  30. 30 VictorK
    May 30, 2008 at 16:52

    @Steve: if Britain and the US had been serious about this fight they would long ago have identified and killed the heads of all militias, and killed anybody foolish enough to step into their shoes, until they got the message across that there was no mileage in heading up milita groups. But they weren’t even prepared to kill somebody like al Sadr, whose whereabouts – when he wasn’t receiving instructions in Tehran – were known to them. They are playing at fighting terrorism at the real cost of the lives of thousands of heroic soldiers and at a frightening expense to their own economies..

    Why didn’t Saddam have a problem with insurgents? Because Saddam was a man of force who did whatever he thought necessary to attain his objectives, including executing potential rivals let alone actual insurgents. Iraq is plainly a country that needs Saddamesque government, not the ineffectual Blair-Bush airy-fairy, well-intentioned, nation-building, freedom & democracy liberalism. Remember, the British government consistently thwarts countries that are serious about fighting terrorism by REFUSING to deport the nationals of those countries who are wanted for terrorist outrages. The reason for these refusals: Britain is afraid that the governments in question might do something to ‘hurt’ the terrorists. Really. Seriously. I’ve already mentioned the American general who, with the blessing of the White House, basically worshipped a Koran, an act whose very deep symbolic importance cannot have been lost on the Muslims who heard about it, including those in two minds about joining al Quaeda (I can’t think of an act better calculated to tell them with whom the future lies).

    Democracy does not produce men of force or conviction: it produces people like Blair and Bush, whose entire public life is based on compromising and truckling to the wishes of electorates and special interests. Bin Laden turned his back on a fortune and a playboy lifestyle (jets, women casinos) that would have representd the height of earthly happiness for most Westerners. Men of the stamp of Bush, Blair and Brown (the second now busy making a fortune like any other greedy materialist) are simply, for force of character, not in the same class as bin Laden. His ability to inspire people to fight against the world’s only superpower, and their failure in Iraq to defeat a motley crew of terrorists and criminals, proves beyond all doubt that bin Laden and al Quaeda are a force that must be taken into account in Iraq. Even if that means talking to them.

  31. May 30, 2008 at 16:52

    Hi Mark Sandell
    Everyone is talking to everyone else at the moment, so why not al-Qaeda! Look at Condoleeza Rice looking attentively as Iran Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki addresses the confab on Iraq in Sweden! The same in Lebanon, apologies all round and applause.
    There is so much involved in the Mideast, including Iran, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. All these issues are related, so why not step in and start talking.
    Thirty years back, no one was willing to talk to the Mujahedin from Afghanistan. They’ve come and gone. Let’s not make the same mistake.
    Also, there is so much money floating about to finance the various movements, and money doesn’t grow on trees. Who supplies who with money and why?
    It’s worth finding out, averting explosions in London or New York and cutting down on the number of casualties in Iraq.

  32. 32 Nick in USA
    May 30, 2008 at 16:54

    The point is that you don’t cut off the the dialogue. It’s not just hearing voices. It’s making people feel like they are being heard. It’s showing the world that their demands are ridiculous. If they go into the negotiations and ask for these things, then fine, you shut me up. Isn’t it worth it to shut me and my liberal buddies up. On the other hand, what if they agree to suspend violence during the talks. Then we just saved the lives of the american soldiers who would have died if the talks weren’t taking place. There are many possible good outcomes, but I’ve yet to hear a bad outcome.

  33. 33 Anthony
    May 30, 2008 at 17:01

    I don’t see why not. The negotiations should be recorded and then posted all over the internet, radio, and TV. Then at least we’ll have good proof how irrational and crazy these people really are. Just another reason to kill these extremists and at least it will look like the U.S. tried :).

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  34. 34 Bryan
    May 30, 2008 at 17:04

    ‘As recently as February , we were reading stories of the organisation in retreat in Iraq, so it might be a good time,” says mark sandell.

    It’s a good time for the WINNING side to talk? How about the terrorists intiating talks, since they are apparently losing. And I can’t think of anything to talk about, other than their unconditional surrender.

  35. 35 Rashid Patch
    May 30, 2008 at 17:07

    The argument against talking to Al-Qaeda seems to boil down to: They will never change, they are intransigent, incorrigible, so why talk?

    The argument Al-Qaeda uses to justify it’s terrorist actions boils down to: They will never change, they are intransigent, incorrigible, so why talk?

    Interesting. And both sides claim the high moral ground.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  36. May 30, 2008 at 17:08

    Hi Steve
    Islamic Iran has its back against the wall. It must negotiate or else!
    Al Quaeda has been largely financed by Saudi Arabia. The Royal house of the Saudis has its own qualms and fears.
    Muslims have been neglected and shunned for too long. They have become clannish. British Muslims must be integrated into the mainstream of society.
    Look what the Indian community has achieved through diligence and hard work. It didn’t happen overnight. At some point, they became integrated and accepted as respectable traders and members of the professions. No reason Muslims shouldn’t do likewise.

  37. 37 Mark Sandell
    May 30, 2008 at 17:12

    Hi Bryan, just for the record Mark Sandell didn’t say it might be a good time to talk. I could have made it clearer, but i was reflecting arguments put forward on some U.S blogs. I will amend the post.
    all best
    Mark

  38. 38 selena
    May 30, 2008 at 17:29

    @Steve my darling,

    Your words are the reason why we can never have peace. If you have made up your mind already without ever having seriously looked at the other’s position, it is not possible to change a thing.

  39. 39 Venessa
    May 30, 2008 at 17:30

    I agree with Nick & VictorK.

    We have been fed just as much propaganda about Al-Qaeda as the people in the Middle East have been fed about the negativity of the US. Fear has been a driving force to support this war perpetuated by the media.

    Obviously the “war on terror” isn’t working out ~ why can’t an open dialogue happen? Everyone is worried about the demands Al-Qaeda may have; that doesn’t mean we give them those concessions. How do you really know what will happen until you at least try? What can trying to talk lose? Perhaps this approach can save innocent lives and promote some forward progress.

    If talks don’t work out then we can resort back to the violence that is already going nowhere.

  40. 40 Shirley
    May 30, 2008 at 17:31

    I find the comparison of humans to animals disturbing. The fact is that humans do have the ability to perform mental processes involving logic and reason, an ability that is limited in animals. When we treats humans as if they are animals, huge and abhorrent abuses of human rights take place. Slavery did not come to us from a vacuum. Neither did a baseless attack on a sovereign middle eastern country that has killed innumerable civilians. When we make assumptions about a person or a group of people, such as “they have no soul,” “they only know the language of violence,” or “they are rabid animals,” the results are usually disastrous.

    This is from a typo-filled post of mine on the other related thread:
    I prefer a diplomatic approach where a violent crime has not yet taken place. If a group of people have donned long robes and conical headgear and have gathered around holding signs and making speeches, it might be possible to talk to them at least to the point where they refrain from burning a cross on someone’s front lawn or throwing flaming bricks into someone’s house. I hate the kind of people who have dedicated themselves to such a lifestyle, and I hate the values that they uphold; but if a non-violent means can convince them to remain non-violent, wouldn’t it be worth the effort?

  41. May 30, 2008 at 17:32

    “They must die.” – Wow, I wonder if that is how the Nazi death camp guards felt? They “threaten your way of life”? How? By sitting on the other side of the world saying they would like to rule it? To date, the chances of dieing at the hands of a terrorist attack over the past 10 years is .000035%. I think that estimate will be a little high once the numbers for this years natural disasters are figured in. You are most likely to die at the hands of a McDonald’s cheese burger then you are a “turrist.” The way we consume, spend, eat, drink, breed, and stumble around the globe with no concern or understanding of our impact is a finite lifestyle. As an American, the biggest threat to “our way of life” is our way of life.

    If you have 10 Iraqis in a group, only one of them is an Al-Qaeda operative. The rest are scared of you, scared of them, and angry that you have rounded them up. For all intents and purposes they are identical. Which one do you kill?

    Every book about martial arts or military strategy ever written, and I have read a lot of them, all have a chapter or two dedicated to the following understanding. When you strike you are opening up a vulnerability. So never strike blindly and without an assured target. No one has ever lost a war to an enemy that couldn’t penetrate their defenses.

    9/11 was perpetrated by 15 Saudi nationals. None from Afghanistan or Iraq. Yet who right now has us “over a barrel”. (Pun intended). Just last week we saw our president groveling at the feet of the Saudi king saying, “Please produce more oil kind master.” If that is your way of life, it is a far cry from what our forefathers had in mind.

  42. May 30, 2008 at 17:33

    Calling people dogs is irrational, irritating and unbecoming of worldhaveyoursay bloggers.
    Alqeda are killing people, but they too are people.

    americans have gone to Irap, Afgan and soon they’ll be in Iran to hunt out alqeda and in the end, kill so many civilians, make wives widowes and children orphans.

    kenya was invaded by Alqeda in 1998 and 200 innocent kenyans were killed, scores injured and no compensation has come to survivors 10 years later.

    kenyans have set a trend by offering to talk with the terrorist group mungiki which has troubled kenyans for long and outwitted the police force.
    The world should learn from us.

  43. 43 Mark from kansas
    May 30, 2008 at 17:35

    Speaking with any terrorist or resistance group couldn’t hurt anything.
    In the case of Al-quaida the only effevtive negotiator would have to be religeous leaders, that they respect. With a few accceptions, I dout you would find very few musilm vlericks who support mass murder. Anything to help stop the killing.

  44. 44 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 17:39

    @ Selena

    Do you think you could negotiate about making pork halal and alcohol okay for muslims to drink? An Islamist accepting Israel, non muslims in the middle east is about as likley to happen as my above example. It’s simply not going to happen. It would be like the Pope advocating that everyone come a protestant. It’s simply not going to happen. However talking to them will allow people to see how extreme they are as if the killing they do wasn’t enough to convince you. So I’m all for it, for their demands will provide for a good chuckle.

  45. 45 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 17:44

    “The argument Al-Qaeda uses to justify it’s terrorist actions boils down to: They will never change, they are intransigent, incorrigible, so why talk?”

    No, their justification, as taken from THEIR CHARTER, is that we do not believe in Allah.

    “However, what if they weren’t trying to kill us? What if talking to them actually worked?”

    What kind of nonsense is this? What if they weren’t trying to kill us?! lol, I am sure the thousands who died in the WTC attacks would agree. Maybe they weren’t trying to kill us, you suggest? Perhaps the hijackers did not mean to hit multiple targets in coordinated attacks? Wake up.

    “There may be some members of Al Qaeda who joined up after their brother, sister, or father was taken to Gitmo for some unjustified reason.”

    I do not even care what their reason is. The fact of the matter remains that they joined an organization who states their goal is: “there will be continuing enmity until everyone believes in Allah. We will not meet [the enemy] halfway. There will be no room for dialogue with them”, basically – Islam ruling the world. Do you forgive people in the KKK or neo-nazi groups for joining for any reason? Maybe a black man beat up their sister – does that make joining the organization right? Your arguments are empty and pure conjecture. Mine have a starting point of these people’s own words.

  46. 46 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 17:47

    “Your words are the reason why we can never have peace. If you have made up your mind already without ever having seriously looked at the other’s position, it is not possible to change a thing.”

    Are you people completely missing the fact that we are ‘making up our minds’ based on a PRIMARY SOURCE (IE: their own words) and you guys are making up yours based on your imagination that these people are somehow good? It is insane – I just want your side to pull one shred of evidence to back up your point.

  47. 47 Bryan
    May 30, 2008 at 17:49

    Using the standard false argument of moral equivalence between terrorists and those who fight terror, Rashid patch has this to say:

    “The argument against talking to Al-Qaeda seems to boil down to: They will never change, they are intransigent, incorrigible, so why talk?

    The argument Al-Qaeda uses to justify it’s terrorist actions boils down to: They will never change, they are intransigent, incorrigible, so why talk?”

    No, it’s the illusion of the left that Al Qaeda is contemplating talking to anyone. On the contrary, it is simply working on killing the maximum number of people in the shortest possible time.

  48. May 30, 2008 at 17:51

    @ Tino:
    The ones targeting civilians for no other reason than they are non-Muslim. We are not terrorists, because we are responding to an attack not bombing innocents on purpose. Simple difference.

    So we respond with attacks, and they respond with attacks, and we respond with attacks…. And I think you can see where this keeps going.

    The fact that “we” or anyone else don’t kill civilians ‘on purpose’ in our international endeavors doesn’t change the fact that civilians are still dead, at ‘our’ hands, and ‘theirs’.

    I’m not ruling out military action, but asking that dialogue is at least attempted before we run up into another country with cowboy hats, shooting six shooters and throwing TNT all over the place.

    @ John:

    I see and understand your arguments. Great points.

  49. 49 Bryan
    May 30, 2008 at 17:51

    Mark Sandell, thanks for your clarification at 5:12 pm

  50. 50 Anthony
    May 30, 2008 at 17:56

    @ steve RE: Selena

    Exactly. Just by listening to this show, I’ve heard some Muslims stating extreme and crazy views, with their yelling and not letting anyone else talk, and Ros ends up cutting them off (hehe). Imagine some of the crazies of the crazies. This would show the world why “we” want them dead.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  51. 51 Akin
    May 30, 2008 at 17:56

    Excuse me for ignorance, but who do they ( terrorists represent)? Do they represent an identifiable constituency? They never present a coherent political agenda, but a list of ‘perceived populist agendas’ And in case anyone forgot they ran a nation (Afghanistan) by summarily executing/ repressing those very people they claim they represent. Please make a clear distinction between drug dealers and murderers who make populist appeals and a coherent political movement. You start negotiating with a band of murderers and you will get thousands of gangs of all affiliations popping up claiming legitimacy.

  52. 52 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 17:57

    @ Brett:

    1.) What would you even say to them?
    2.) They stated they do NOT want to talk to us, how would you address this?

  53. May 30, 2008 at 18:04

    How can you talk to something that is constantly shifting and changing it’s face. Al- Qaeda is vapor, air, sand – you can scoop a hand full but a few grains will always slip through your fingers.

  54. 54 Ayo
    May 30, 2008 at 18:05

    I agree with Brett. WHY NOT? The violent “up in arms” tactic is not working, hasnt worked and will not work. Its breeding more ferocious, more determined, ever bolder terrorists. Women, children and grandmamas included. Its alienating nations, its bankrupting economies and while America is busy trying to fight any country where the women wear scarves,even round their necks, China is becoming the biggest empire after the Romans. So why the H.E double hockey sticks NOT. Diplomacy just might work. People have this surprising ability to respond to respect and non-violence; at least it got the British out of India faster than violent uprisings did. So why not? Its worth a try than all the arrogance that some leaders whose countries are fast becoming 2nd world countries are exhibiting.

  55. 55 Nick in USA
    May 30, 2008 at 18:11

    Dwight in Cleveland said:

    “If you have 10 Iraqis in a group, only one of them is an Al-Qaeda operative. The rest are scared of you, scared of them, and angry that you have rounded them up. For all intents and purposes they are identical. Which one do you kill?”

    Thanks Dwight, this is the reality of the situation. I’d like to add one thing. Next, these people are all interrogated. Finally, by some stroke of complete luck (or miracle) you found the Al Qaeda member and shot him. Well you’ve just given 9 other people such a bad experience that now they all hate you. And 2 of them hate you enough to seek out that Al Qaeda recruiter who hangs around the mosque. Great job! You’ve just killed 1 Al Qaeda member and recruited 2.

    Steve said:

    “So I’m all for it, for their demands will provide for a good chuckle.”

    Great, so we’re in agreement? I’m glad you’ve come around.

  56. May 30, 2008 at 18:12

    Tino:

    1.) What would you even say to them?

    I’d invite them over for horseshoes and lemonade.


    2.) They stated they do NOT want to talk to us, how would you address this?

    Who is they? Are the persons responsible for issuing that statement representative of the entire group and all of its members? Your telling me that there is not one member of the organization that would speak with ‘The West’?
    I think you are incorrect there.

    Start where you can and work your way in. At very least it will be informative even if no agreements or understandings are made.

    But here lies the problem in talking. Who will talk and where will they talk? I can’t see the US knowingly allowing an Al-Qaeda member to slip through its grasps, not after all of the botched-up captures theyve committed thus far in the War of Terror.

    Now Tino; What do you propose we do? The military action you are so eagerly backing has given us pitiful results. So, what now? More failing military action?

    I am in complete agreement with the gentleman on the show who advocated stopping recruitment through education and other methods. Stop the problem at its source.

  57. 57 Ayo
    May 30, 2008 at 18:17

    Additionally, we cant kill them all, in case that is what some people are thinking. Trying to kill all terrorists and we’ll be fighting for the rest of human existence. Violence begets violence.I think alqaeda is a problem group, but at the same time I dont think such people cant be reasoned with. I am sure they can. plus they are hidden among the masses and we would have to kill innocents and terrorists ALL-TOGETHER if we were to rid the world of them. and that would be nothing more than Hitleristic.

  58. 58 Theophilus in Bomet, Kenya.
    May 30, 2008 at 18:17

    Honesty people!
    is the argument here about who is licensed to kill?
    whether it’s a terrorist group or a government, killing involves loss me life and pain.

    let up talk together, let up chatt the way out violence will never be a solution to any conflict, even if it be in self defence.

  59. 59 Mason - Park City, Utah
    May 30, 2008 at 18:18

    As Desmond TuTu has said a country MUST talk to their enemies if they really want peace.  The claim that certain terrorist groups are not valid is ridiculous, particularly in the case of Hamas, which has won an election in Gaza.  Al Qaeda may be a different story in that I don’t think a viable representative of the organization could be found, or would come forward to speak with the West, even if we were willing…But the United States wont even talk to Iran or Syria, based on their support of terrorists…the US government clearly does NOT want peace,  they want a war, or conflict that they can exploit to pad the pockets of their cronies in business…see Haliburton and all of the Oil Companies…it is embarrassing how far away from the ideals of Democracy and Freedom this country has come. 
     

  60. 60 James in London
    May 30, 2008 at 18:18

    This is absurd! How about tea with Hitler and a glass of port with Pol Pot?! The only answer is to eliminate Al Queda from the face of the Earth.

  61. 61 Ayodeji
    May 30, 2008 at 18:18

    The violent “up in arms” tactic is not working, hasn’t worked and will not work. Its breeding more ferocious, more determined, ever bolder terrorists. Women, children and grand mamas included. Its alienating nations, its bankrupting economies and while America is busy trying to fight any country where the women wear scarves, even round their necks, China is becoming the biggest empire after the Romans. So why the H.E double hockey sticks NOT. Diplomacy just might work. People have this surprising ability to respond to respect and non-violence; at least it got the British out of India faster than violent uprisings did. So why not? Its worth a try than all the arrogance that some leaders whose countries are fast becoming 2nd world countries are exhibiting.

  62. 62 Prince Pieray Odor - Lagos, Nigeria
    May 30, 2008 at 18:19

    If we are candid and honest with ourselves, and wish to promote brotherhood, security, and peace in the world, we will say that the government of the USA is the cause of world insecurity and wars or the lack of peace. Therefore, it would be a mark of repentance, wisdom, moral humanism, and Washingtonian leadership for the USA government to share views and speak for security and peace, and to throw away the policy of individualistic internationalism, authoritarianism, dictatorship, totalitarianism bigot, globalism, bully-boyism and self-serving or sadistic murder — in short, terrorism — under the pretence of securing the world and achieving national interests.

  63. 63 Jared - Makerere University, Kampala
    May 30, 2008 at 18:21

    No problem talking to terrorists or Al Qaeda for this case. Any committed government should hear their grievances urgently, and strike a compromise where possible. Talking to them means cutting the pain and distress caused by terrorists.

  64. 64 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 18:21

    You should only negotiate with someone who is rational. Al Qaeda kills people over what they think their fictional sky deity wants. that is absolutely insane. You don’t talk to insane people, because they are nuts. Understand? You can negotiate with secular terrorists, like Marxists, despite being extremists, because they are rational. Remember, Al qaeda kills over religious beliefs. That’s absolutely insane.

  65. 65 devadas.v - kerala, india
    May 30, 2008 at 18:22

    hello,
    who is alqueda in first place .is it a organization or a set of people operating allover the world for attaining a goal based on some reasons like religion etc.
    and whom shall the world talk .with ira it was easy .
    just also look at indias plight when an indian airlines flight was hijacked to afghanizthan by terrorists of taliban movement .there also indian government didnt know at first whom to talk to and several days were lost at last indian defense minister has to carry a top terrorists for handing over to taliban for the passengers in plane .
    so this example must be in mind when we debate about talking to terrorists ..and also remember that a top afghan rebel war lord was killed by alqueda by inviting for talks and blowing him away ?
    so if they are in for negotiations only persist for talks or else catch them as early as possible and give a fair trial .

  66. 66 Jason
    May 30, 2008 at 18:23

    I think there is one way to get al-Qaeda to put down their arms and end this entire Christian/Jew vs. Muslim mess. Pull all troops out of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, declare all 3 as international territories and quasi-city-states much like the Vatican. Al-Qaeda and all Muslim’s biggest problem with America is that we put boots on holy land. Jerusalem will always be a nasty subject in Israel as well and inspires terrorists too. If we could liberate these 3 cities from all military influences, I am certain that the situation would improve dramatically.

  67. 67 Bishnu - Nepal
    May 30, 2008 at 18:24

    Hi,
    I think talking to such people with irrational beliefs and deep rooted extremism and vengeance can be nearly impossible. It requires clever diplomacy.
    To start with stop calling them terrorists and respect what they are fighting for, at least pretend to do so.

  68. 68 Darin in the USA
    May 30, 2008 at 18:24

    There is no comparison between Al Qaeda and the IRA, the Basque movement even the FARQ. Those are localized movements, AL Qaeda has a global agenda, very similar to the Nazi world view of domination and assimilation. I don’t think the IRA ever had the stated goal of converting everyone to Catholicism and making everyone in the world an Irish citizen. Al Qaeda dreams of a global caliphate and nobody can reason with such an ideology.

    The key to fighting Al Qaeda is to hold them at bay militarily in the short term while in the lond term encourage development and above all education in the countries where they find support. We also need to stop supporting the regimes that oppress these poor people. That’s exactly what happened in Iran, the west supported a dictatorial monarchy and the end result was an extremist Islamic state that threatens world stability.

  69. 69 Shelley
    May 30, 2008 at 18:26

    Why do you have on air a person who is clearly prejudiced against Palestinians and Muslims? It is such a turn-off to hear him rant and rave without logic

  70. 70 Sadiq
    May 30, 2008 at 18:26

    For those who believe that Pakistani Gov’t should be able to control movement of terrorist across the border to Afghanistan, try controling movement of Mexicans across the US borders first will all the money US government has.

  71. 71 Mason - Park City, Utah
    May 30, 2008 at 18:26

    I am sick of these Irish Americans down playing the IRA…the IRA WAS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION…your caller said “Its totally different, the IRA wanted the English out of Northern Ireland”  well Al-Qaeda wants the west out of the Middle East…I think in many cases the belief that the IRA was a political resistance movement, but Arab fundamentalist belief is terrorism is based on racism and differing ideological religious views..  if you place a bomb in a tavern in Northern Ireland, or in Bazaar in Iraq, you are the same thing, A TERRORIST.
     

  72. 72 Mason - Park City, Utah
    May 30, 2008 at 18:27

    Although I am sorry for his loss your guest from New York is wrong, strife between Arabs and Jews has NOT been going on for thousands of years…certainly there were periods of violence, but for the most part Jews were fairly well treated in the Middle East…better than they were in Europe at the same…it was not till the rise of the Zionist movement, and the subsequent creation of Israel that deep seated hatred for each other have been fomented.
     

  73. 73 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 18:28

    @ Mason:

    So jewish self determination makes muslims get violently crazy? I don’t see Jews having much problem with the 50+ muslim nations out there.

  74. 74 Andrew - Australia
    May 30, 2008 at 18:29

    The answer to that is no. At any rate it is pointless. Other terrorist organisations had an agenda whereby they hoped to gain something tangible such as the IRA and they could be negotiated with. If what we are led to believe about Al Qaeda is true then they cannot be reasoned with. How can you reason with a group that are not only prepared to die, but see it as glorious to do and have no hesitation to sign up to that end. Their intention is to exterminate the infidel and the non-believer. That is their stated goal and their behaviour. So as the infidel you can have no bargaining power with them at all, ever. Theirs is an organisation with the express intention to exterminate those they see as alien to them and their ideology and they can only be defeated by their elimination not co-existence.

  75. 75 Stuart - San Francisco
    May 30, 2008 at 18:30

    Tom –

    The only alternative to talking to terrorists is to hope they can all be killed, a ridiculous proposition.

    As an American Jew, I believe we need to acknowledge that Al Quaeda have, at least in their own minds, legitimate grievances. And then we have to talk to them.

  76. 76 Alan
    May 30, 2008 at 18:30

    I notice the BBC often quotes US officials concerning terrorist acts in Iraq by “Al Qaeda” yet your programme about the Sunni Shia divide did not mention Al Qaeda’s influence at all or its terrorists in Iraq. The issues were the terrorist acts between these two Muslim groups. It was the US that fomented this limited civil war under the old divide and conquer principle.

    From my researches Al Qaeda in Iraq was a propaganda invention by the White House to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq after the 9/11 attack. Saddam Hussein had nothing whatever to do with Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda – they were both diametrically opposed to each other in every way. But the BBC continues to keep up this nonsensical myth. Your news reporters today quoted an American official that Al Qaeda had been destroyed in Iraq.

    Al Qaeda is also blamed to be behind all the various religious problems from Somalia to southern Thailand – conflicts that have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years.
    This is being used by the US to keep the so-called war on terror going, it’s good for the arms industry, military exports and geo-political policies to control the world’s resources.

  77. 77 Sadiq from USA
    May 30, 2008 at 18:31

    People who believe that there is a difference between IRA and Al Qaida are correct and wrong at the same time. Al Qaida is not centrally controlled. I think we should talk to each terrorist group claiming to be part of Al Qaida on a local basis and take away there reasons/rationale for recruitment. With no local support this movement will become eventually impotent.

  78. 78 Allan, Ohio
    May 30, 2008 at 18:31

    Terrorists are reactionists. You can’t talk to someone whose actions are to strike fear. It’s like defending a horror film in saying that the villain could have been given a second chance.

  79. 79 kipsang in Bomet, Kenya.
    May 30, 2008 at 18:31

    let us embrace dialogue. violence will forment more violence and in the end, blood, innocent lives lost.

    giving dialogue a chance means we have exhausted all the possible options in search for elusive peace!

  80. 80 Steve - USA
    May 30, 2008 at 18:36

    I think the type of terrorist determines what kinds you can and should talk to. There are some types, such as marxists that perhaps are rational and can be negotiated with. There were in the 1970s, Palestinian terrorist groups that were secular in nature, and despite being terrorists, targetting innocents, they were rational people, and can be negotiated with. However with Islamist terrorists, like Al Qaeda, they are irrational. You cannot negotiate with someone who is irrational and insane. These people are willing to die over fictional deities, to kill over fictional deities. That’s INSANE. You lock up crazy people, you don’t talk to them.

    Steve
    USA

  81. 81 Tito
    May 30, 2008 at 18:39

    How absurd. Al Qaeda is an idea, not an organization. Nazis and KKK still exist, even though their leaders were vanquished. You cannot talk to an idea. Let us leave other societies alone and they will leave us alone.

  82. 82 Sadiq from USA
    May 30, 2008 at 18:39

    I don’t think Jewish self dermination make me or my friends crazy and I am a muslim. However, Palestinian self determination makes most Jewish people crazy. Why can’t there be a acceptance from Israel for a Palestinian state to co-exist? It will take at least this reason from average muslims away for hating Israel.

  83. 83 Eliel From Brooklyn
    May 30, 2008 at 18:39

    Terrorist in general commit acts of terror for attention as much as punishment. They have a grievance of some sort, they are upset for some reason or another, and I am not sure that their victims and adversaries know what they are. You can’t fight an enemy you don’t understand. If there was an opportunity to speak to anyone, it should be taken.

    We’ve already seen the failed attempts of trying to fight a group that doesn’t exist as a Country. When one approach doesn’t work, you shift your approach and go a different route.
    If we must talk, then talk may be the way to go, before they recruit another few thousand, people who are just looking for hope, and what they consider to be the side of “the good guys”.

  84. 84 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 18:39

    One of the great double standards in dealing with terrorism is the “why” question, of why they do it. I’ve asked a bunch of liberals, and they always condemn terrorism, but then say “but we need to understand why they do it” so I have them the hypothetic that I cannot stand Iranian policy, and if I were to hijack an Iranian airliner and crash it into a Tehran office building, would they then say “I condemn what Steve did, but we have to understand why he did it”. They said no, they would just condemn without reservation what I proposed and said they would not do the “yes, but” thing. I asked why, and they wouldn’t answer, so there clearly is a double standard. I personally think they are “racist” and don’t seem to think that everyone is capable of rational behavior and self control.

  85. 85 Douglas, Canada
    May 30, 2008 at 18:40

    The problem for the US and the west is that al qaedas demands are not fundamentally unreasonable and the reality is that the truth is on their side. The middle east IS ruled by hypocritical leaders that do nothing for their people and these leaders are often under the direct control of the US. It may not be strategically helpful for the US to relinquish control of that oil rich region but neither is it their emperical right to keep it in shackles…

  86. 86 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 18:40

    “Who is they? Are the persons responsible for issuing that statement representative of the entire group and all of its members? Your telling me that there is not one member of the organization that would speak with ‘The West’?”

    Who cares if one is willing to speak. If the leadership/majority are not what in god’s name are you going to achieve? Concessions for: nothing.

    “Now Tino; What do you propose we do? The military action you are so eagerly backing has given us pitiful results. So, what now? More failing military action?”

    No more kid gloves, systematically hunt and KILL (not capture) all members of their organization. Our troops act more like police than military – which is sad.

    ROE need to be changed: http://www.blackfive.net/main/2006/12/roe_rules_of_en.html

    Think about it. If you are Al-Qaeda, by now you MUST know that to avoid being killed, all you have to do is run to a mosque. We are NOT allowed to fight in there. We cannot bomb it. We aren’t fighting a war – we have tied our own military’s hands. So what I would do, to answer your question, is change the ROE. If they run and hide in a mosque – go in and kill them or even bomb it for all I care. My primary concern is for my troops lives. My only other concern is for civilian life – and it honestly takes a distant second for me. These people are putting their lives on the line so I can sit here and type to you people while going to school at GT. Words cannot express what kind of sacrifice that is and it is absolutely reprehensible that we shackle them down to self-defense only, IN A WAR.

    Other glaring examples of ROE problems: http://www.military.com/news/article/taliban-leader-spared-by-german-roe.html?col=1186032310810

    “For example, he said, American snipers couldn’t shoot unless they saw a weapon in the target’s hands” (http://www.captainsjournal.com/2008/05/21/more-roe-problems/)

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/09/18/america/abuse.php

    Official documents (long): http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/dod/docs/cjcs_sroe.pdf

    “(1) Attempt to De-Escalate the Situation. When time and
    circumstances permit, the hostile force should be warned and given the
    opportunity to withdraw or cease threatening actions (see Appendix A of
    this Enclosure for amplification).”

    See, we have to attempt to de-escalate the situation. In a war.

  87. 87 Nick in USA
    May 30, 2008 at 18:41

    That was a miscommunication Tino.

    I said:

    “However, what if they weren’t trying to kill us? What if talking to them actually worked?”

    I meant: What if them talking actually worked, and they weren’t trying to kill us?

  88. 88 Kumar Vijay
    May 30, 2008 at 18:41

    The terrorists are waging the war on civilzation and following their Allah’s diktat given via the great messanger , peace be upon him, to destroy anyone not accepting Quran. Fitna shows it authentically .Let the world make no mistake the Islam of post 1990 is back in action as was for centuries crushing all and taking the girls and women as a war booty.

    How can the terrorists who are ardent followers of Islam negotiate anything but what is ordained to them by Allah.

    In 1990, in Kashmir , at 9 PM on Jan 1990, every mosque across the valley simutaneously blared ” we want Kashmir without Hindus but they should leave their wives and daughters behind”. Each and every mosque blared it. Again following the rule book, sharing the war booty of enemy women folk.

    The west will destroy itself if they think they can talk to guys who have chosen to crush and maim Kafirs. They don’t value life as each of their suicide bombers blows his/ her self in bits and pieces, just on the promise that in heaven beautiful women are on the menu for this senseless act!

    Even women are brain washed and they are no better than a baggage in these tribes!

  89. 89 Zak
    May 30, 2008 at 18:42

    From the US the goals are obvious: No we will not talk to this group because putting distance between the leader Bin Laden puts us closer to his family, which has similarly disowned him, and to the oil interests his family has control of in Saudi Arabia.

    But when it comes to the FARC, we’re all for the Columbian government accepting rebel defectors and that involves a certain amount of negotiation.

    And what about the Abu Sayyaf Group we’re certainly willing accept negotiations for American prisoners.

    Talk is cheap, if it doesn’t interfere with getting what we want then we’ll talk, otherwise it’s complete blind shooting ignorance.

    Ultimately you can’t win a battle being that ignorant of your enemy. You have to talk just to draw them out. You have to know how to talk to your enemy to get them to desert their armies like the FARC, or kill them in close quarters like the Abu Sayyaf.

  90. 90 Jill - Michigan
    May 30, 2008 at 18:42

    Hello,

    Please mention the book ‘Three Cups of Tea — One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time’. This is a MUST READ for everyone. Over a decade beginning in the 1990’s, Greg Mortenson built not just one but 55 schools – especially for girls- in the forbidding terrain that gave birth to the Taliban. The war on terror a/k/a Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, etc. begins with education. The governments of Pakistan & Afghanistan are failing their students on a massive scale. If these students receive a balanced education, it will make it much more difficult for the extremist madrassas to recruit them. We have to think of ourselves as citizens of the world and understanding the reasons people turn to groups like Al-Qaeda & the Taliban.

    Killing Bin Laden isn’t the answer! We need to reach young people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere and give them more than religious education. And yes, we need to talk to to these people. Talking to them doesn’t mean we are appeasers!

  91. 91 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 18:42

    @ Sadiq:

    “Why can’t there be a acceptance from Israel for a Palestinian state to co-exist? It will take at least this reason from average muslims away for hating Israel.”

    What do you think the Roadmap is all about? Israel gave over power to the Palestinians. It’s the Palestinians who seem more interested in destroying Israel than creating a Palestinian state. I don’t see Israel or Jews shouting “Death to [insert country]” like the muslim world does all the time to the US or Israel. Are you sure most Jews don’t believe in Palestinian self determination? I think they just dont’ want Palestinian terrorism. Remmeber, the Palestinians never resorted to terrorism, they began with terrorism, and then resorted to talking when they realize the terrorism wasn’t working. They got onto the world scene by killing Olympic teams and hijacking airplanes.

  92. 92 Wesley - Oregon
    May 30, 2008 at 18:43

    Hello All:

    I think we need to differentiate between “talking” and “negotiating” In the context that negotiate is used it is assumed that we will be giving them something. We don’t need to give them anything to have a discussion with them. I believe we can talk to them, educate ourselves on their thought processes and gain insight into their ways without negotiating to an end.

    Educating ourselves on their beliefs and ways of thinking will only put us in a better position to defeat them. The best way to defeat the enemy is to know the enemy

  93. 93 Zak
    May 30, 2008 at 18:44

    Ultimately you can’t win a battle being ignorant of your enemy. You have to talk just to draw them out. You have to know how to talk to your enemy; to get them to desert their armies like Columbia does to the FARC, or kill them in close range, like Philippine army does to the Abu Sayyaf.

  94. 94 Waithira
    May 30, 2008 at 18:44

    Yes it is very important to talk to Al Qaida…the idea that the West decides whether Al Qaidas sole purpose is terrorism or not is at the very heart of the issues…Only the people that Al Qaida represents, assists and protects can truly tell you what Al Qaida does

    As for the Irish…how ironic that they can make judgments about another freedom fighter movement

    Lastly, remember Al Qaida is opposed to the West being in their countries…a very valid concern which many in the west selfishly ignore. Furthermore who decides what a terrorist is…does invading and occupying another country qualify as terrorism…

    Lately…I am getting very frustrated with the “experts” you choose to have speak on the subjects…I question your motive…and you should have a person who sees Al Qaida as a social and freedom movement , as many in the middle east believe they are

  95. 95 Sadiq from USA
    May 30, 2008 at 18:45

    The biggest setback the West has in talking to or understanding fanatics with muslim background is that they have people who try to make all muslims look like devils and have no friends who have muslim to help understand the fanatics. For the person who is bashing muslims at this time on the radio claims that Christians never have try to wipe out muslims of the face of the earth. It looks like this Englishman never heard the TV sermon from Pastor Haggee.

  96. 96 David
    May 30, 2008 at 18:48

    Who teaches, “kill your neighbor”?

    Is it not supposed to be:

    “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR”…

    Love, Peace, Compassion…

  97. 97 Nick in USA
    May 30, 2008 at 18:49

    Tino said:

    “Are you people completely missing the fact that we are ‘making up our minds’ based on a PRIMARY SOURCE (IE: their own words) and you guys are making up yours based on your imagination that these people are somehow good? It is insane – I just want your side to pull one shred of evidence to back up your point.”

    You are assuming that everyone in Al Qaeda thinks exactly the same way. They are not robots. Just because someone found a manifesto from an Al Qaeda member, it doesn’t mean that every member agrees. Do you agree with everything George Bush or Bill Clinton said? Are you still an american even though you disagree?

  98. 98 aba
    May 30, 2008 at 18:49

    I disagree that Muslim terrorists only want to kill all Westerners because they are non-Muslims. There is a definite political agenda that many terrorists have, and it has much to do with political and territorial disagreements. Many Islamist terrorists disagree with Western political and economic involvement in Middle Eastern countries; and many take issue with the way that Israel treats Palestinians, as well as Western support for Israel. The assumption that they hate the West because the West is Christian is laughable, especially when Islamic texts do not support unprovoked attacks on non-Muslims.

  99. 99 Dedi - SLC, Utah
    May 30, 2008 at 18:50

    I don’t know what was going through the mind of Atkins even to think of introducing this topic for debate. The terrorism that was in N. Ireland cannot be compared to the terrorism we see from Al-Qaeda now.

  100. 100 Richard - Salem, Oregon, USA
    May 30, 2008 at 18:50

    America has been trying to kill its way to popularity for too many years. But the problem with relations around the world is getting worse and not better. Too much killing, too little diplomacy. 3000 civilians killed here, 100,000 civilians killed there in response . . . its insanity. America is like the abusive spouse who cannot talk, only hit.

  101. 101 portlandmike
    May 30, 2008 at 18:50

    Islamists are their neighbors problems. Until, Muslims start ‘snitchin’ on their crazed true believer neighbors, who want to blow themselves up, their lives will be desperate and scary.

    Muslims everywhere must negotiate with their children, their neighbors, their mosques, and purge these people from their midst.

    But, I would never negotiate with them. They are religious fanatics, who think that their god loves what they do. That is ridiculous.

  102. 102 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 18:51

    “To start with stop calling them terrorists and respect what they are fighting for, at least pretend to do so.”

    You are suggesting I respect the fact that they want me to convert to Islam or die. That is, simply put, dangerously stupid. These people do not have grievances, they have religiously motivated designs of world domination. They do not fight for better economic and social conditions as (please look it up if you doubt me, or I can dig up the link again) the vast majority are of middle class with at least a high school education – plenty have college level.

    “I believe we need to acknowledge that Al Quaeda have, at least in their own minds, legitimate grievances”

    THEN WHAT ARE THEY?! You people keep saying “we need to understand why” and they “have legitimate grievances”. I point out their charter declares they will not stop until everyone in the world believes as they do and they are not willing to negotiate and you respond with useless conjecture. They do not have legitimate grievances. In fact, they do not have ANY excepting the fact that part of the world is not Islamic. If they do, prove it. Show me an Al-Qaeda member saying what they are fighting for, that is not what I pulled from their charter.

    “I am sick of these Irish Americans down playing the IRA”

    I do not mean to downplay their horrible actions (I am mostly Italian, but a little Irish). I find the attacks they committed atrocious. I only mean that they could be reasoned with as their stated goal was not – the complete elimination of non-Irish until the entire world is Irish. You are correct – both are terrorists.

  103. 103 Andy
    May 30, 2008 at 18:51

    As an American, I say, the whole problem with terrroists is America’s blatant support of Israel. Get the Zionists out of Palestine, keep the the jews that were living there prior to the 1948 occupation and peace will be restored immediately in the Middleeast. How would any listener like it if some people came to their home country/neighborhood and occupy their house/property. Islam has a history of living side by side with Jews and Christians.

  104. 104 Mason - Park City, Utah
    May 30, 2008 at 18:51

    Your guest sure knows a lot about how Al Qaeda and Muslim extremist thinks, yet he has not and will not talk to them, but his knowledge is based solely on their public statements and rhetoric…he should know enough that leaders from all sides, the West, the Extremists often say things in public that differ greatly than thier private views…they hate America because America has spent half a century in the Middle East, stealing oil, ignoring Arab views, and supporting thugs like Saddam Hussein…frankly your one guest (I don’t know his name) is really misinformed and if his view prevails the world is doomed….We wouldnt be bothered by it, your guest is missing the economic drive that has forced the west into the middle east…he is extreamly naive and narrow minded
     

  105. 105 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 18:51

    I have a friend who is a special agent in the FBI, and several years ago he interviewed a terrorism suspect (a muslim) and he was just chatting with him, more of an informal interrogation while the guy was in custody, and my friend asked him “so why do you want to kill us?” and he said, “because you exist.” Not because of Israel, or US policy, or anything. HE said simply because “we exist”. That’s how crazy these people are. Want to negotiate with them?

  106. 106 Shirley
    May 30, 2008 at 18:53

    Steve, I would appreciate it ever so much if you would cease your insults of my religion. Just because some extremists twist Islam around into an ugly form to suit their political interests does not mean that you can mock and insult the one whom I worship. The tone of some of your posts really is not conducive to dialogue, and it does not seem to be appropriate on WHYS.

  107. 107 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 18:54

    @ Andy

    It’s sure easy to blame all the problem on the Jews isn’t it. I’m sure those evil zionists are the reason why Muslims in Thailand behead bhuddist schoolgirls. I’m sure the Islamists in the Phillippines are kidnapping and killing people and fighting the government because of Israel.. Come on, it gets really old and boring blaming the Jews for this stuff.

  108. 108 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 18:56

    “Just because someone found a manifesto from an Al Qaeda member”

    Not a manifesto: a CHARTER. “A document outlining the principles, functions, and organization of a corporate body; a constitution:”

    That is the definition. It is a document outlining their CORE VALUES AND GOALS. Anyone who joins that organization should either hold the same views or not have joined at all. There is no gray area. If you join a group whose stated goal is the elimination of all non-Muslims until only Allah is left – then you deserve to die.

    As for: “Do you agree with everything George Bush or Bill Clinton said? Are you still an american even though you disagree?”

    Completely different. This is not a Bin Laden speech. It would be akin to me disagreeing with the constitution or the declaration of independence. If I did those things, then no – I do not think I would be an American. That would be to deny the entire foundation of my country – as would denying Al-Qaeda’s charter.

  109. 109 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 18:57

    @ Shirley

    I’m not singling out Islam. There is no God. They are all fictional sky deities, and I’d much rather insult someone’s beliefs than kill over a fictional deity. What’s worse to you, words or killing people? I don’t kill people. These religious fanatics do. Prove God exists, right now. Let God post a message on here, I’m sure he has the power to do that if he exists. So long as people kill in this monster’s name, he isn’t legitimate, and would at least need to prove his existance, nicht Wahr? There no such thing as God. IF there is, why are there birth defects? WHy are there evil people? Time to leave fiction where it belongs, in books, but not in action. The moment people stop killing over their fictional beliefs, is the day I should give religion more “Respect”

  110. 110 Shirley
    May 30, 2008 at 18:58

    Jason (May 30, 2008 at 6:23 pm) has a spectacular suggestion. I wonder, though, how Muslims around the word, including the extremists, would react to the internationalisation of Mecca and Medinah. Lubna, if you have any thoughts on this, please share, sister.

  111. 111 jasonh97045
    May 30, 2008 at 18:59

    Your guest says Muslims are killing Muslims in Sudan. That’s not entirely right, most of the people dying are Christians, not Muslims. Also he said they brought their war to us, that’s wrong. The western world has been supplying, training, and playing a chess game with the “Muslim World” at least since the Cold War. From a revolutionary perspective, I can understand why they would think that their only retaliation to stop us was to retaliate against us. Your guest is a scary religious fundamentalist whom is advocating a genocide as if Muslims are non-thinking rabid dogs; he makes me fearful.
    I agree with your other guests that “talking” doesn’t mean negotiating. Diplomacy should always be used, before during and after even the most bloody of wars.

  112. 112 Zak
    May 30, 2008 at 19:01

    There are some types, such as marxists that perhaps are rational and can be negotiated with.

    One of the great double standards in dealing with terrorism is the “why” question, of why they do it.

    Those 2 statements combined show the exact ignorance I’m talking about. You cannot talk to one group and not another, you compromise your position that way by showing a hand to one and not the other.

    The enemy has reason to obtain positions to attack your army; we now realize that understanding why they plant the IED’s where they do is not racist profiling – it’s called survival. Talking, shouting, calling out, exploiting the weakness of the enemy is the only way to force them to target you in a way that allows you to defeat them.

  113. May 30, 2008 at 19:01

    Hugh Orde is nuts and does not know what he is talking about. GWB has the best policy! No negotiation with terrorists.

  114. 114 Kumar Vijay
    May 30, 2008 at 19:05

    I once met a dozen Muslim youth in Handwara, Kashmir. They were surprised to see a non-muslim in their town after the entire minority community of Hindus called Pandits had been ethnically cleansed in 1990. They said that even though they would not mind my coming back and living in Kashmir, my safety could not be guaranteed.If the cleric after Friday prayer preached that the Hindus( Pandits) had to be slained, they would follow the Cleric.

    Look at these Muslims. They live sub-human lives in Pakisatn and other Muslim countries. The life is no better than life in kennel. However, these very people are given a decent life in west. Rather than appreciating and showing gratitude, they wage war against the host state. Cite stupid reasons like Israel.

    The liberated west is in danger as they have sort of given up on organized resistance to the virus of bigotry that is seeping through each and every Muslim mind. No exceptions in reality indeed. Let’s have no illusions.

    I was born and raised in Kashmir. I was driven out , home encroached and household item looted by my Muslim neighbours. All in the name of “Nizame-Mustafa, establishment of the faith of God”.

  115. 115 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 19:07

    “Just because some extremists twist Islam around”

    No. Not so simple as that. They take a literal interpretation of your holy book. Also, the ‘non-extremists’ are 100% silent in terms of: protesting the extremists, cooperating with authorities (flipping said extremists over). They are rather vocal when it comes to: Cartoons, teddy bears named Mohammed, ‘Islamaphobia’, and UN declarations that limit free speech – as you are trying to do in a way. Not falling for it.

  116. 116 Anthony
    May 30, 2008 at 19:08

    @ steve

    But if there is no God, then why not live the “evolutionary theory” and “natural selection” way of life. Since there is no God, then who cares if people die. Its just a part of life and natural, so why are you against the killing?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  117. 117 Shirley
    May 30, 2008 at 19:09

    Steve, I personally do not any desire or intend to kill someone who does not have the same religious beliefs as do I. I am not demanding that you ackowledge any of my religious beliefs as truth, just that you refrain from using mocking and insulting tones of speech when referring to them. I also think it unfair to demand that everyone with religious beliefs stop killing others before you use respectful speech patterns when referring to my or any other religion. I personally will do my utmost to respect your views; all that I am asking is that you show respect for mine. I don’t think that this is so hard to ask of you or anyone who posts on WHYS.

  118. 118 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 19:09

    @ Mason

    Do you know any better than he? At least he is using their own words to justify his position, you are putting words in their mouths. Isn’t that just a little bit arrogant. In addition, why would one claim in public to wish to convert or destroy the entire world if they had legitimate grievances. So not only is your position incredibly arrogant but it is illogical.

  119. 119 Jim
    May 30, 2008 at 19:17

    The British were surely successful in handling murderous Wahhabist Muslims in India back in 1857. What would stop that methodology from working today?

  120. 120 portlandmike
    May 30, 2008 at 19:31

    @ Steve

    Oh I agree with you so much about the “respecting” of other people’s magical beliefs. I have no respect for any of them.

    As a matter of fact, I believe the way to defeat al Queda once and for all, is to laugh at their god, to make cartoons for UTube, and publish comic books with (imaginary) images of their god. Their argument reminds me of children playing in the schoolyard. There was always one thing that if you said it, then fighting would follow. Islamists somehow believe that they can blow up innocent folks in the name of their supernatural invisible god, AND we shouldn’t draw images of this invisible magical non-being! And, so we don’t! We don’t want to make them angry? We respect their magical thinking?

  121. 121 Syed Hasan Turab
    May 30, 2008 at 19:37

    We may address core issue where we can resolve first humanetrian problems then political issue of Phalistine & Kashmir.
    Any dialoque with Alquida will open the doors of sick politics without consideration of humanity exactly like US & EU sick attitute in regard to unconditional support to Isriel created a human desaster in Phalistine & Kashmire.
    If mashall attitute is the solution of core issues may be resolved earlier then formation of Alquida, how come no one is ready to fight War against attitute of US & EU in regard to core issues?

  122. 122 Nick in USA
    May 30, 2008 at 19:39

    @ Tino

    The Constitution and declaration of independence were both written by men. A very small very rich group of men. President Bush said he would like to amend the constitution to ban same sex marriage. Do you agree with that? It could pass with the right people in congress. What if Bill Clinton proposed an amendment that all chubby chicks need to carry around cigars? It’s just a piece of paper. That’s all. What if they had put a clause in there about the right to own slaves? The people who wrote it were slave owners. One piece of paper does not make a country, even something as great as the constitution.

    Tino said:

    “I do not think I would be an American. That would be to deny the entire foundation of my country – as would denying Al-Qaeda’s charter.”

    No, it wouldn’t. The foundation of the USA is it’s people. You, your family, and your neighbors. I don’t believe that the president should have veto power, but the constitution grants it. Am I not an american anymore?

  123. 123 Bryan
    May 30, 2008 at 19:41

    Andy, at 6:51 pm, educate yourself a bit. Way before 1948 Arabs in Palestine were killing Jews in unprovoked pogroms. And it is a myth that the Jews came to steal Palestinian land. Jews have lived in the Holy Land, though at times in small numbers, since the days of ancient Israel. And yes, there were periods of harmony between Jews and Arabs but also much oppression and killing of Jews by Arabs, going back to the time of Mohammed.

    But I guess you can comfort yourself by the knowledge that you are not alone in your ridiculous belief that the removal of Zionists from Palestine will bring peace. Al Qaeda only latched onto that convenient idea recently, and long after 9/11. Al Qaeda’s terrorist ambitions go way beyond Israel. Don’t be so easily fooled.

  124. 124 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 19:45

    If the USA ever passed anything into the constitution I would leave the country and renounce my citizenship. I would not be associated with something I disagree with strongly. There is no reason someone who does not want to convert the entire world should be in Al-Qaeda – what possible reason would they have?

    PS @ Brett:

    I wrote a response to your ‘what would you do?’ question, but it has not gotten posted yet – I think its stuck in spam filter due to links keep your eyes open though.

  125. 125 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 19:47

    anything into the constitution = anything I fundamentally disagree with

  126. 126 BB NYC
    May 30, 2008 at 20:00

    I love all these comparisons to Ireland. It happens all the time. Just at a big Church here in NYC last week.

    Big difference with Ireland was that EU was happening all around them during that time and suddenly Ireland was no longer a forgotten place, but a much in demand place for economic development and wealth creation for a lot more people than the former ruling elite Protestants and Earls.

    It is pretty easy to ‘hand in arms’ when all your pals and bros are getting good jobs and wives, and buying houses and having kids, and in fact you’d kind of like to do that same and ‘let bygones by bygones’. The political will of the ‘nation’ and patience for disruptive violence was really getting transferred on to prosperity and being part of the EU and the World, because there were suddenly opportunities for a tribe that had been disenfranchised in Europe for 500+ yrs.

    Much different situation in the Middle East and Palestine in particular. Those places are still run by Oligarchs, and Theocrats, and much much caste system and apartheid like ‘living’ going on there. Not only that, lots of Western Imperialists out there still doing their money making games they’ve been doing out there for 100s of years, and that led to the Iranian Islamic Revolution (let’s look at the cauldron brewing in Gulf States in this regard).

    How fix all of that? Can the Irish policeman figure that out?

  127. 127 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 20:03

    “Its just a part of life and natural, so why are you against the killing?”

    Evolution is not a religion, it is a scientific explanation. You betray your ignorance with such questions. I am atheist, but think murder is wrong. I would not like to be killed – for obvious reasons – so I do not go out killing people. I condemn it as wrong, unless said person plans to, say, kill you or your family.

  128. 128 Miche Norman
    May 30, 2008 at 20:03

    We in Israel are rightly outraged at the behaviour of a prime minister who appears to have taken 150,000 dollars in backhanders. At the same time Europe is seeing unrest caused by high oil prices which the perception is that the high oil prices make the Arabs richer. But that is not the case – the money goes not to the people but to the oil sheiks and that is a main cause of grievance in the Arab World. The corrupt leaders – and yes there are a lot of corrupt leaders and the complete lack of any genuine democracy cause a groundswell of discontent. The leaders have to distract the masses from their corruption and inept leadership – and hence we have the Arab Israeli conflict whose main victims are the Palestinians.

    We have seen the peace process derailed time and time again by the extremists.

    El Kaida is the side of Islam that the BBC would rather sweep under the carpet. There is a side to Islam which argues that all land that was once muslem is always to be Muslem.

    With growing Muslem birth rates and populations in Europe (1/3 of dutch Schoolkids are Muslim)Look at birmingham – if there is not a genuine cause of resentment among moslems then the extremists will create it. today it is Israel (And one can judge the seriousness of the Arab world’s commitment to Palestinian welfare by the fact that they are still in refugee camps after 60 years) –

    Extremists such as El kaida aim at nothing other than destroying the western way of life as you know it. What do you want to talk to them about.

    Perhaps going after Iraq and Afghanistan was a knee jerk reaction – We in the region will have to suffer the aftereffects of the UK/USA destabalization of the region for years to come. Perhaps supporting Lebanon would have been more sensible.

    But there is nothing to talk to El jkaida about – they will offer a hudna – just like Hammas – you are about to beat us so lets have a truce so we can build up our strength for the next round – that is all they offer.

  129. 129 Miche Norman
    May 30, 2008 at 20:10

    Andy
    May 30, 2008 at 6:51 pm
    As an American, I say, the whole problem with terrroists is America’s blatant support of Israel. Get the Zionists out of Palestine, keep the the jews that were living there prior to the 1948 occupation and peace will be restored immediately in the Middleeast. How would any listener like it if some people came to their home country/neighborhood and occupy their house/property. Islam has a history of living side by side with Jews and Christians.

    Andy – this is as logical as saying Kick out the Americans who arrived in the USA after 1650.

    Living side by side – if that is what you mean by a koran that says”There is a jew hiding behind a rock kill him” – for your information the Jews were given Dhimmi status – made to wear special clothing – yellow hats – yellow stars – and yes protected – in exactly the same way that the Mafia gives protection for protection money – have you wondered were all those jews came from? – from the Muslem world – they either fled or were expelled – if life was so good there why are ther almost no jews left there??

    Christians too are discriminated against – try building a church in Saudi Arabia.

    And as to Israel being the cause of all of the wars – well for sure there would not have been an Iran Iraq war, an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the Yemen-Egypt war, the Yeminte civil war, border tensions between Egypt and Libya, Syrian domination of Lebanon.

  130. 130 bjay
    May 30, 2008 at 20:14

    FUTURE d/RAMA
    Time to talk to Al-Qaeda ?

    It is a sub entity for a more major interest.

    First and fore most, who is funding Al-Qaeda?
    YE! (Now you talking!)
    You know you got a problem just listens to the average (uneducated ignoramus)’Arabic’ Joe’,
    then you know you got problems.

    For the next century by the share number of(youth)people (undedicated)Muslim will be something to be deal with?

    Solution: no democratic solution. (that you can take it to the bank) If there is no equivalent of Martin Luther,
    then there will be war for many centuries to come,
    even with Luther would be a long time fight.

    bjay connotation with accent.

  131. 131 Scott Millar
    May 30, 2008 at 20:16

    + Conceptually—I have to agree with the “why not” talk to them. However, people this irrational are most likely not going to respond to conversation. So why bother? Is this being proposed with sincerity, and with the belief it will actually make a difference? Or is this just a gimmick or a marketing ploy to differentiate some groups by making them seem more diplomatic and engaging?

    – Portland, Oregon

  132. May 30, 2008 at 20:26

    When al quaida says “adopt sharia”, will will he then say? Talking with an insane, islamist group and expecting them to make “peace” without you seriously appeasing them is likely to happen when muslims start eating pork and drinking beer. Ain’t gonna happen.

    steve u are damn good and i would give u an excellent if it comes to this. if u say we negotiate, then you need to go back in your bedroom and have a better another constructive dream that this

  133. 133 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 20:52

    @ Shirley

    I’m sorry, but so long as one person gets killed due to religion, religion is illegitimate. Life is more important than beliefs. I stick to that, and cannot see how anyone could disagree.

  134. 134 John Augustine
    May 30, 2008 at 21:09

    With respect to Hugh Orde, Sinn Fein was legitimately elected in 1917 by a 73 per105cent majority, making the question of who to negotiate with in Ireland considerably different than negotiating with al-Qaeda.

    Terrorists should never be legitimized. That said, this does not mean that legitimate grievances should not be redressed, regardless of who shares them. Ossama Bin Laden has clearly spelled out many legitimate grievances, essentially dealing with the way the global economy keeps making the rich richer.

    Don’t negotiate with al-Qaeda’s leaders, undermine them with a message directed at their followers, by making ourselves a greater enemy of the unjust social and economic structures which they clearly recognize. And we will clearly be recognized by our deeds.

    John D. Augustine
    Milwaukee, WI USA

  135. 135 Bryan
    May 30, 2008 at 21:13

    Steve at 8:52 pm, sure millions have killed and been killed in the name of religion throughout human history, but also without religion as the motivating factor. Religion didn’t drive Nazism or communism, which both killed millions, so why single out religion for blame?

    That said, we currently obviously have a real problem with Islam as the religion that so many Muslims all over the world use as a justification for the slaughter of others, even their fellow Muslims of a different sect. But if people were going around killing everyone with blue eyes that would obviously be equally reprehensible.

    As long as someone else’s faith does not infringe on my rights, I have no problem with it. And there is nothing wrong with a belief in God. In fact, it makes more sense to believe in some sort of divine guiding hand in this world than just chaos.

  136. May 30, 2008 at 21:16

    Better late than never. George Bush, rather America, should have done this long back. Al Qaeda is only a symptom of the problem. America needs to shed a lot of its prejudices and start talking not just to Al Qaeda but to a number of people in Latin America, Middle East, East Asia and parts of Europe.

  137. 137 selena
    May 30, 2008 at 21:18

    @Steve

    Your words seem to be making a lot of sense.

    But what exactly is a religion?

    Is the person who believes that s/he is right about everything and simply pronounces what s/he believes, with a closed mind, deeply religious, even if there is no classic religion involved?

    Do you have any beliefs, Steve?

  138. 138 Nick in USA
    May 30, 2008 at 21:31

    Tino said:

    “Evolution is not a religion, it is a scientific explanation. You betray your ignorance with such questions. I am atheist, but think murder is wrong. I would not like to be killed – for obvious reasons – so I do not go out killing people. I condemn it as wrong, unless said person plans to, say, kill you or your family.”

    I agree with this 100%

    Tino said:

    “what possible reason would they have?”

    This is the problem. Put yourself in their shoes. For example, it’s 1981 and the Soviet Union actually attacks because they want us to convert to communism. You have 2 choices. 1 convert to communism (not bad), 2 there is a group of capitalists who say I want to kill anyone who is not capitalist. Next you see the communists kill your whole family. Are you going to join up with group 1 or 2? A lot of people would join up with group 2. Not because they want to kill all communists, just because their circumstance made them go that way. You act like these people have grown up just like you. They are in a tough position.

  139. 139 Nick in USA
    May 30, 2008 at 21:39

    Steve said:

    “Life is more important than beliefs. I stick to that, and cannot see how anyone could disagree.”

    There’s no question that religion has brought about most of the worst things to happen in human history. Even if the religious people were the victims, they would have lived long lives if they had just abandoned their belief for an institution created 2000 years ago to control people. That’s my problem with religion.

  140. 140 Roberto
    May 30, 2008 at 21:44

    people are taking the words of Sir Hugh Orde seriously. He’s not the only prominent figure to suggest negotiating with the architects of 9/11, and numerous atrocities from Bali to Baghdad.
    ————————————————————————–

    ———- Damned shame we don’t have Jeffrey Dahlmer to talk to Bin Laden.

    We still got OJ Simpson and Charles Manson though. I think you might be able to charge a world record PPV to watch them make a peace agreement with each other as cell mates.

  141. 141 Tino
    May 30, 2008 at 21:58

    “You act like these people have grown up just like you. They are in a tough position.”

    “In terms of socio-economic background, three-fourths come from upper and middle class families. Far from coming from broken families, they grew up in caring intact families, mildly religious and concerned about their communities. In terms of education, over 60 percent have some college education. Most are in the technical fields, such as engineering, architecture, computers, medicine, and business.”

    That sounds roughly like my upbringing. Middle class, parents mildly religious/concerned with community. Very caring, currently getting college education in engineering. They are not in a ‘tough position’, their ideology motivates them. The people in tough positions are working to the basics like food and water. You cannot pull off an operation like 9/11 without educated and wealthy people.
    Quote from: http://www.securityaffairs.org/issues/2005/08/sageman.php

    “2 there is a group of capitalists who say I want to kill anyone who is not capitalist.”

    I have some serious problems with Islam, but never in my wildest dreams would I join an organization with that stated goal. I take the attacks on my country extremely personally and would love to see everyone responsible killed, but I am not about to assume each and every Muslim is bad. I think their ideology is extremely flawed (and part of the problem) but there are good individual Muslims. I happen to enjoy a particular middle eastern restaurant near the mosque in my area. Back in FL, I went to a hookah bar where most people were Muslim and the TVs played Arabic channels. Do I think they should all be killed? Of course not. You cannot excuse such a position because it is inexcusable. Instead of deciding to kill them all, pressure should be put on them to reform their religion. If they had a problem with us, the same stance should be taken – it is not ok to join an organization who states their goal is ‘making everyone like us and killing the rest’.

  142. 142 Neal H
    May 30, 2008 at 22:40

    What exactly would we chat with them about? We know what they want, they want Isreal and it’s ally dead and buried, and an Islamic Caliphate stretched the length of Asia and Europe. I think they are beyond reasoned discourse.

    The only people who can stop Al Qaeda are other Muslims. When people get tired of their parents, siblings and children being blown up in the marketplace, you’d think that people would rise up and say, heck with this, we are putting you down. Pakistan needs to clean house, they know where Osama bin Laden is, they just aren’t saying.

    That, coupled with a more sane US administration (please Bush, no last fleeting grab for history by attacking Iran before January, you’re already due in court after your term for what you’ve already done) will yield more peace throughout the middle east.

    Isreal, for its part, needs to be less belligerant with its neighbors, counting on big daddy America to stand behind it with a big stick. Time to make nicey with your neighbors like a civilized nation.

  143. 143 viola anderson
    May 30, 2008 at 22:51

    Jill: Just so you know you’re not alone, I read “Three Cups of Tea” and agree with you. The author of this book shows that the commonly held view of Americans as greedy, power mad hedonists who are on a crusade to destroy Islam is wildly exaggerated. The work the man does is an example of a quiet, helpful, and realistic way of helping people.

  144. 144 Dennis
    May 30, 2008 at 23:29

    i think that talking to the al-qaeda group and there cohorts, is not a brilliant idea…..
    what is the next step….

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A..

  145. 145 Shirley
    May 31, 2008 at 03:31

    Steve
    May 30, 2008 at 8:52 pm
    Steve, thank you for stating your views in a respectful manner. I look forward to dialogue with you on many issues, including ghosts (if I can ever get a post to go through on the blank page.

  146. 146 nick in USA
    May 31, 2008 at 05:32

    “In terms of socio-economic background, three-fourths come from upper and middle class families. Far from coming from broken families, they grew up in caring intact families, mildly religious and concerned about their communities. In terms of education, over 60 percent have some college education. Most are in the technical fields, such as engineering, architecture, computers, medicine, and business.”

    Who took this poll? I was under the impression that it was pretty tough to get in contact with Al Qaeda. Did they just use one of those automatic dialing machines? It’s amazing to me that we can’t find Osama Bin Laden, but someone took the time to poll Al Qaeda. Don’t believe this propoganda. We don’t know anything about these people because we haven’t actually talked to them.

    Tino said:

    “I have some serious problems with Islam, but never in my wildest dreams would I join an organization with that stated goal. I take the attacks on my country extremely personally and would love to see everyone responsible killed, but I am not about to assume each and every Muslim is bad. I think their ideology is extremely flawed (and part of the problem) but there are good individual Muslims. I happen to enjoy a particular middle eastern restaurant near the mosque in my area. Back in FL, I went to a hookah bar where most people were Muslim and the TVs played Arabic channels. Do I think they should all be killed? Of course not. You cannot excuse such a position because it is inexcusable. Instead of deciding to kill them all, pressure should be put on them to reform their religion. If they had a problem with us, the same stance should be taken – it is not ok to join an organization who states their goal is ‘making everyone like us and killing the rest’.”

    So in my hypothetical situation, you wouldn’t side with the group of people who wanted to force the communists out of the country? Great, you just got forced out of your house by the capitalist lovers and the communists put you in prison.

  147. 147 Miche Norman
    May 31, 2008 at 05:55

    Neal H – I think that there is no such thing as a good occupation and most of us here see it as the lesser of two evils. We are in a pretty unique situation and one should not underestimate (as Iraq has shown) the power of Iran to destabalize things. the rockets that Hammas fires at us are either Iranian imports or made by people who have been on training courses in Iran -the weapons that Hizbollah turned on Lebanon are supplied by Iran via Syria.

    Entities like Hammas, Hizbollah, Iran and Al Qaida – thrive on creating poverty which is their natural breeding ground. And it is somethign that noone in the West has learned how to fight.

    Talking to them presupposes that there is something to be gained that you can have a dialogue.

    They represent the view of Islam which the West does not want to here about or listen too.

    It is naive to think of Islam as well being like Christianity except instead of Jesus there is Mohammad. It goes much deeper than that.

    Maybe we shoul have one country called Extremiststan – we could all send all of our religious fundamentalists who “know” that they are right and let them fight it out. I know that here if we had only secular people we would have peace within 5 minutes.

  148. 148 CMK
    May 31, 2008 at 09:04

    When ingnorance is bliss it is folly to be wise. So dont be fooled you cant negotiate with OSAMA. Nuke him if theres is a chance but will that end it ? i dont think so.

  149. May 31, 2008 at 10:18

    Should governments talk to al-Qaeda? First that is a name made up to point to individuals grouped together that are aware of governments abuses and want in their limited way to fight against it. You governments established by a military lie to your people about the world, what your people are and what you want your people to do is serving only a few at the demise of their self. Your own people would fight against you and anyone else that would mistreat them if they had a mind capable of self thought.

  150. May 31, 2008 at 11:25

    For all sorts of pragmatic reasons, not to mention reasons of sanity and morality, it is clear that there is no alternative but to talk to terrorist groups, and even to re-define the whole predicate of terrorism. Perhaps ‘terrorist’ should be used to signify an organization that kills and destroys for merely arbitrary reasons. If so-called terrorists are fighting for a socio-political aim it becomes difficult to distinguish them from ‘terrorist’ governments that use the same tactics to achieve their political and ideological ends.

    As the ‘devil’s advocate’ in Paris recently replied when asked whether he would defend Hitler in a court of law; ‘Yes’, he said, ‘And I would even defend George Bush’.

    When dissenting and conflicting groups are brought into a serious and well-structured negotiating forum, there is far more chance that solutions and agreements can be found than when bloody warfare is the preferred method. Violence and cycles of violence make the possibility of eventual negotiation that much harder, and the irony is that, eventually, the problems have to be solved by talking anyway.

    But the current thinking seems to be: if the so-called terrorist group is perceived as weaker than you, kill rather than talk; if they appear stronger than you, talk, beg, trade, curry favour, until you win them over. So there isn’t even a consistent ethical pattern here.

    Bravo to all those heroic figures who want to give talking a chance.

  151. 151 Bryan
    May 31, 2008 at 12:58

    donovan roebert claims that “…eventually, the problems have to be solved by talking anyway.”

    Untrue. As a couple of examples among thousands, talking did not put an end to Hitler’s genocide and desire for his “thousand year Reich.” Nor would talking have prevented the intended genocide of Jews by Arabs from 1948 up to the present. In 1967 Israel told Jordan that it had no conflict with it and would not attack Jordan if it stayed out of the war. Jordan attacked anyway. A lot of good talking did there.

    The one and only thing that Al Qaeda wants to talk to the West about is the terms of the West’s surrender. And the only option is therefore to fight these vile terrorists until they are utterly destroyed.

  152. 152 Shirley
    May 31, 2008 at 13:16

    Tino:
    May 30, 2008 at 9:58 pm
    You might remember these.
    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/do-palestinians-need-to-accept-there-can-never-be-a-home-coming#comment-25488

    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/do-palestinians-need-to-accept-there-can-never-be-a-home-coming#comment-25495

    It is not the religion of Islam that needs a reform, but the people of Islam, so many of whom do not even know the teachings of Islam on many issues.

  153. 153 Emile Barre
    May 31, 2008 at 14:40

    This is old news. The World Service has reported months ago that the US authorities in Iraq have been having frequent talks with Al-Qaeda. And for all anybody knows,they still are doing so “behind the scenes”. It seem this cop must have got wind of it?

  154. May 31, 2008 at 16:01

    Bryan, you are quite right. Talking did not end WW2, and millions of people had to die. Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war with Japan. Such are the lessons of history. The question is whether we wish to learn from them or not.

    It may be possible that negotiation with Al Qaeda will fail, as negotiation with Hitler failed. Remember that there was a possibility to end the war with Japan without recourse to the bomb. The Japanese had already indicated a willingness to discuss terms of surrender, but the bomb just had to be tested first…twice.

    So, although negotiations with Al Qaeda may fail, the point is that negotiations should be given a chance. The situation is entirely different than that which obtained in Germany, where the world was dealing with a powerful, highly militarized state.

    Other factors and potentials obtain in the case of modern terrorist organizations, and we are much more skilled at tough negotiated conflict resolution. So, my point is, give talks a chance. After all, they have worked in other seemingly impossible cases: Northern Ireland, South Africa, where the situations were tough and seemed to allow of no final resolution.

    Negotiation is the responsible first option. Violence should be a last resort; and we should, in fairness, ask ourselves whether Muslim extremists are not using violence as a last resort, all else having failed.

    We really do need to try, at least, to take a step forward in the way we deal with global conflicts. Why simply surrender to methods from the past, however violent and destructive, only because, with distant hindsight, we can complacently affirm that they ‘worked’.

  155. 155 Tino
    May 31, 2008 at 16:14

    “Who took this poll? I was under the impression that it was pretty tough to get in contact with Al Qaeda. Did they just use one of those automatic dialing machines?”

    If you had read the article:
    “The following analysis is based on the biographies of about 400 terrorists collected from open sources. This sample includes only people who are linked to the perpetrators of the attacks of 9/11 and are therefore part of al Qaeda or its affiliates. It excludes other terrorists, who have more nationalistic goals, such as the Palestinians or Tamil Tigers.”

    You could also read Alan Krueger’s book (heres an article by him): http://www.american.com/archive/2007/november-december-magazine-contents/what-makes-a-terrorist

    “Don’t believe this propoganda.”

    These people actually researched the issue in a rigorous manner. You simply guessed at their background, yet you call THIS propaganda. What a ridiculous assertion, back yours up with some evidence…

    Shirley, I will try to make a response again (last time it never got posted) with contrasting views from your selection of scholars.

  156. 156 Roberto
    May 31, 2008 at 16:45

    This is old news. The World Service has reported months ago that the US authorities in Iraq have been having frequent talks with Al-Qaeda.
    ————————————————————————————–

    —– Al Qaeda in Iraq has almost zero links to Al Qaeda of Bin Laden.

    In fact, there have been so many off shoot terrorist groups created after 9/11 that those have become the primary threat, not really Bin Laden who has been pinned down ever since.

    Since Al Qaeda in Iraq is such a tiny group in such close proximity and conflict with US and Iraqi forces, of course there will be some contact. There is always contact with the enemy, but any negotiations by the US revolve around AQII disbanding their cause unilaterally rather than negotiate some kind of terms where they return to civilian life. Most are from Syria and Saudi Arabia who came in for just this one struggle and are not really even a factor any more since the Iraqi Sunnis they allied with have mostly turned on them and have mostly driven them out.

    The major conflict in Iraq is a sectarian Sunni/Shiite civil war as the sides struggle for power in the still developing government. Those sectarian militias can be negotiatiated with.

  157. 157 Tino
    May 31, 2008 at 16:53

    Mutahhari: Close friend of Khomeini (not a good person as far as I am concerned)

    remember he opposed: “In January 1963, the Shah announced the “White Revolution,” a six-point program of reform calling for land reform, nationalization of the forests, the sale of state-owned enterprises to private interests, electoral changes to enfranchise women and allow non-Muslims to hold office, profit-sharing in industry, and a literacy campaign in the nation’s schools.”

    “Khomeini believed in Muslim unity and solidarity and the export of Islamic revolution throughout the world.”

    And he was really close friends with him.

    Bashir Rahim: “The views expressed by the Shi’ah ‘ulemah were unheeded if not dismissed as anti-Islam. The majority distanced themselves from the true meaning of jihad and developed a kind of religious fervour based on implacable hostility.”

    So while he may feel that way, even he acknowledges the MAJORITY does not. Nice try.

    Mufti Ebrahim Desai: “Muslims all around the world should assist the oppressed Palestinians in every possible way.” In reference to: “Is it obligatory for Muslim all over the world to go for Jihad against the Jews this time to liberate the Holyland in Palestine? We do accept that the Jihaad in Palestine is a true Jihaad. ”

    “In principle, if a Muslim country is attacked, they have a right to defend themselves and declare Jihaad. Jihad will be Fardh-e-Ain upon the males of that area (in this instance, Afghanistan). If they are unable to defend themselves, then the obligation extends to those closest to them, Pakistan. Thereafter, the obligation will extend accordingly. ” In response to: “Is it fardh on the muslims of america britain etc. to go for jihad in afghanistan ?”

    The religion is flawed. The clerics hold horrific views. While a small minority may not – the vast majority does (as evidenced by your own choice of scholar to back up your point, he admits he is in the minority). Most of Islam still calls for death for apostasy and obligatory Jihad. Islam needs to reform or one day the west will stand up and say enough. We have not even come close to bringing our full power to bear and hopefully that never happens…the kid gloves are still on.

    Which brings me to the answer to Brett’s question of what I would do to fight Al-Qaeda (I made a detailed post but its never gotten up). I would loosen the ROE. They cannot step into mosques, so terrorists can easily use them as safe points. Germany let a top commander go because their ROE does not include killing. We act like policemen, not an army.

  158. 158 Bryan
    May 31, 2008 at 19:35

    donovan roebert at 4:01 pm,

    You make a lot of sense except that I don’t see what the terrorists have tried before “resorting to violence.” Taking Israel/Palestine as an example, the Arabs were practising terror on the Jews back in the 1920s, way before the establishment of Israel, and have not stopped since. When Hamas talks about ceasefires, it is simply looking for a gap in which to regroup and rearm. And it insists on Israel withdrawing to indefensible boundaries before it will even talk about talks. The aim is not compromise but the weakening and eventual elimination of Israel as a Jewish state, no matter how long it takes. Hamas is quite open about this. So is Hezbollah. Is Al Qaeda any different in its conflict with the West? The aim is to get the entire planet to either bow or convert to Islam.

    Granted this is a very different conflict to that of the Second World War and difficult, if not impossible, to be assured of complete victory. But given the intentions of the terrorists, I really don’t see what there is to talk about.

    And I really wish people would stop using BBC and CNN and Reuters terminology in discussing these issues. There is no reason why we have to follow their lead and mangle the English language by applying inappropriate language to terror. These people are not “extremists;” they are terrorists. And they don’t “resort to violence;” they practice terrorism.

  159. May 31, 2008 at 20:38

    Bryan, I think all resort to violence is not worthy of our human dignity, unless it is used to defeat an evil that cannot be defeated by any other means. It doesn’t matter whether one calls it ‘terrorism’ or ‘state-sponsored warfare’ or whatever. ‘Extremism’ is not a euphemism for ‘terrorism’; it refers to an extreme interpretation of a given religion or ideology, and it may or may not express itself in acts of terror. First comes the extremism, and afterwards there may be a decline into terrorist acts.

    Perhaps it would be saner to talk to extremists before the decline into terrorist activity. But we should not hesitate to talk even to established terrorist groups. There can be no point in saying that we can’t speak with them because we already know what their response will be. The fact is, we don’t yet know. It is impossible to know unless we make the effort.

    My own feeling is that Islam does not want to convert the entire planet, but rather wants to be left alone in its own cutural and territorial mileu, to pursue its own cultural and socio-political aims in its own part of the planet.

    Perhaps I am wrong about this. But I won’t know for sure until some sort of non-violent, sensible interaction takes place between the west and Islam. We have to give talk a real chance, even a very extended chance, before we give up and simply settle for perpetual enmity.

    Remember, there have been periods in history ( and even relatively recent history) when the West and the Islamic societies of the Middle-east were able to co-exist without hatred and violence.

    We have to grow up and become human. This planet has about 20 to 30 years good living left before things begin to fall apart at all sorts of levels. At that time, we do not need global warfare to be adding to our difficulties.

    We have to try. We don’t really have a choice.

  160. 160 Tino
    May 31, 2008 at 21:07

    “Remember, there have been periods in history ( and even relatively recent history) when the West and the Islamic societies of the Middle-east were able to co-exist without hatred and violence.”

    In general, they have not been at peace. Since its inception, Islam has tried to conquer the world. Europe vs Islam happened ridiculously soon after Islam came into being. Then of course there were the crusades (launched to TAKE BACK Christian holy land conquered by Islam. This was a defensive war – could you even imagine if the west ever conquered Mecca? The outcry would be incredible, yet people bring up the crusades as an example of the west being bad!) .

    “We don’t really have a choice.”

    Yeah we do. It is called fighting, but taking off the kid gloves. Be willing to pursue terrorists into Mosques, kill them to a man on the spot – do not capture. Fire with fire I always say.

  161. 161 John LaGrua/New York
    May 31, 2008 at 21:39

    Of course ,we should develop a dialoque.The question is how! A mid level contact by a US specially selected ,arab speaking ,knowledgeable representative who understands the politics and culture of the Mid East could open a door to reason .The policies of the Bush team is not only a failure but has done immeasurable harm to America.and the west.and human misery to millions .9/11 did not sping out of the head Zeus ,nor did Pearl harbor which also had clear roots in foreign polices which can breed conflict.It is not to condone viloence but to understand its cause .Governments often lie to suit the facts to their pre-determined policies and dupe their citizens into supporting actions which are not in their interest..We should be willing to talk ,listen and learn ,then make our judgements..We should dismiss those who would suppress the truth out of self interest The US media continues its craven behavior ,incapable of honesty for fear of retribution from those who favor the status quo.Only a public out cry will bring the truth .

  162. 162 Bryan
    May 31, 2008 at 21:54

    donovan, yep the whole planet is the aim. Look at Europe. What Muslims can’t take by force they are taking through stealth, infiltrating all sectors of society and slowly Islamising them, using the ridiculous political correctness of countries like Britain to erode local traditions and replace them with Islamic ones. The BBC is complicit in this, denigrating Christianity while regarding Islam as beyond criticism – apart from exceptions like this blog, of course.

    “First comes the extremism, and afterwards there may be a decline into terrorist acts.” Possibly. I look at it the other way round: that the terrorists regard extremism as the decline – a shirking of their duty of jihad through terrorism.

  163. June 1, 2008 at 02:26

    time to talke to Alqaeda,it is good subject,relating to very serious situation created after 9/11.tragic incident occured at World Trade centre in the United States.
    Number of people had lost their lives there so reaction had become essential on behalf of the U.S government.

    Who is resposible for that crime,it is still question but according to Americam investigation they found Alqaeda and Talban involved in the attacke.

    It is considerable that national gew grafic chnnel has presented a different pic regarding the henious crime but it was put it aside and insisted ,argued Talban and Alqaeda was really resposiable for that capital offence.

    A new chapter of bloodshed was opened american with its war ally attache on Afghanistan Talban made trenches on the sky high hills and fight is still continued.

    Now the question is that who is winner in the battle?Both side are claiming their victory,
    Merican striking is going on,Suide attackes are also not stoped.

    In fact,blood game is being played,where is its end? no one know.

    Solution of this conflict has become the need of the day otherwise the present situation may engulfe the world.

    State Department has declared,Hamas,Hizbullah,Talban and Alqaeda terroist orgnisation and not ready have talke with at any cost.

    And on the other,the abovementioned orgnisation and groups diskike cast down their heade before a superpower and describing their struggle as a wholi war.

    In such circumstance,i have seen a ray of hope in the shape of Mr.Jimmy Caterformer president of the states.He has a unique political experience , he is also internationalist,wit unique knowledge of world affairs.

    Every peace loving figure would agree with his proposal when he says Bush adminitration should have negotiate with Hamas and Alqaeda and settle the issus so that particular part of the world burning with sophisticated weapons may be able to see peace pass their life delightfully.

    I have a example for those who are disagree with Mr.car,s plane of peace.
    Musharraf is front ally of Mr.Bush against the war of terror,he follows americam policies and in resulting we have to face insurgency in our country just like Iraq.
    a sequence of bomb blast was started.Horrible suicide attackes were made.Every big city like Lahore ,karachi and Islamabad came under war lords.

    The government of Pakistan , under the dynamic leadership of Mian Nawaz Sharif negotiated with them ,subsequenly an agreement was signed.Conflict came to end and now we are passing our with peace and security.Life is protacted now.

    I am clearly of the view that the same procedure must be adopted by war lord and Bush Administration because that is only way can save human being from the fire of hell.

  164. 164 Andre P. Llewellyn
    June 1, 2008 at 02:33

    TO WHAT END?

    I find that our deliberation on this issue of negotiating or initiating dialogue with Al Qaeda or any other terrorist group(s) that are Islamic often lacks the necessary clarity that would reduce the complexed nature of the issue. The discussion about the ‘great dialogue’ must consider both religion and politics. This is primarily because the root of Terrorism (the type of terrorism as being discussed) is deeply political as it is religious. So we must ask; to what end should we initiate dialogue? Are ‘we’ seeking to embark on dialogue…

    1. …that will act as a precursor to political change, reform, or alleviate the depressing situation in predominantly Islamic states?

    2. …as the vehicle to changing centuries of entrenched Islamic religious ideologies that have manifested itself in grossly debilitating ways throughout nations in the west and east?

    3. …as ameans of achieving questions 1& 2 and/or something else?

  165. 165 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 1, 2008 at 03:27

    Tino:
    Dont be sentimental, we are having just constructive discussion’s, no one is pointing gun on us.
    Living in opposition with solid principals & motivation is greater then runaway.
    Your sentiments are trying to over come on your brain, come down you are shining star & have a long way to go towards brightness, you are really great because you care for other’s without personal benifit.

  166. 166 Rick
    June 1, 2008 at 04:13

    The Palestinian issue is the number 1 issue drawing muslims to the extremist’s cause. The establishment of Israel and it’s support by the west was and is profoundly unjust. The more the Israelies suppress the Palestinians the more moderate muslims will be drawn to their cause. If Isrealies don’t return the Palestinian’s land and property this situation will go on for a thousand years. The Palestitians have nothing to loose. Those of us who want to blame religion need look no further than the recent history of our own country’s foreign policy to find the culprit. Terrorsim and its threat are the wages of our own governments mistakes after WW2. The Iraq war adds another draw card to the cause. Unfortunately we never seem to learn by our mistakes.
    Afganistan is the same. The Taliban fighters are there for the long hall. If it takes a thousand years, it takes a thousand years, so dig in. Just ask the Russians.

  167. 167 Shirley
    June 1, 2008 at 04:23

    Tino May 31, 2008 at 4:53 pm:
    You’re asking the wrong people who is letting the salafists preach in the mosques. Lubna, Zaynab, and I are all Shia Muslims. We Shia Muslims don’t let the filth of salafist teachings into our mosques.

    The legislates of Islamic practise, whether daily rituals or ways of conducting special events, are based on four bases: the Qur’an and its sciences; the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, his faithful companions, and his sucessors; the consensus of the scholars, and logical analysis. All fours of these and their related sciences are taught in depth at seminaries and in traditional scholarly circles. A Muslim does not legislate from the Qur’an alone, and the Qur’an itself testifies to this in the passages that describe the character of Prophet Muhammad and refer to his legislation as valid. The Qur’an refers to the fact that some of its passages need interpretation and tells us to refer to those who have deeply studied the sciences of the religion for questions on those issues. Determining what Prophet Muhammad legislated from the volumnous compendiums of his collected sayings is precisely one of those sciences that must be studied for decades by seminarians before they can be qualified to act on them, let alone advise others to do so. So yes, we take the interpretations of the Qur’an from a dead man – one whom we respect tremendously – and then we go from there by using other sciences of Islamic legislation. And no, not all of the recorded words of Prophet Muhammad carry equal weight. Some were delivered as commands, others as suggestions. Some sayings were fabricated, others are questionable in their authenticity. Many need to be understood in some sort of historical or situational context. Like I said, it is a science that is to be undertaken by seminarians and relgious scholars. I myself, a layperson, will not crack open a book of collected Prophetic sayings and determine for myself how I should worship, give my tithing, slaughter my meat, or do my Pilgrimage. I ask a reliable, qualified scholar who has studied deeply the sciences of the religion.

  168. 169 Shirley
    June 1, 2008 at 05:32

    Bryan
    May 31, 2008 at 7:35 pm
    You seem to have been referring to the Nabi Musa riots. My reading of the Wikipedia article on that topic at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1920_Palestine_riots seems to indicate that the Nabi Musa riots in Hebron in 1920 were the results of tensions between Palestinians and Jewish immigrants as the result of Palestinian fears regarding the potential loss of their homeland. Here is my summation of some of the information from the Wikipedia article.

    “The riots followed rising tensions in the relations between Palestinians and the Jewish immigrant population over the implications of Zionist immigration. Emir Faisal I expressed support for a Jewish National Home in Palestine by signing the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Fears arose regarding Nabi Musa procession in Jerusalem, which had usually been well-policed during the Ottoman Turkish rule. In response to rising Palestinian tensions, Jewish volunteers were trained in self-defence and began to organise. The chants during the Nabi Musa event reflected both nationalistic ideals – the fear that Palestine would be divided or taken away from the Palestinians, and racist rhetoric against Jewish people. The aftermath reeked of halfhazard and shoddy efforts by the British to maintain calm and security in a tense, riot-filled atmosphere.”

    It rather sounds to me like the breakdown that occurred in Los Angeles after the policemen who beat Rodney King were acquitted. And while I can see how the tactics employed in each situation were terrorist, I also feel that the underlying tensions need to be understood. It seems that the general populace of Palestine felt that no-one was representing their concerns and their wishes, which made it all the easier to incite them to violent protests and rioting.

    The fact is that inexcusable acts of terrorism occured at the hands of both Palestinians and Israelis even before the process of Israeli statehood began with UNGA 181 on 29 Nov 1947. Yes, anti-Jewish and anti-Arab racism was involved. However, I strongly feel that the underlying tensions had much more to do with fears of the loss of a homeland on the part of the Palesitnians and fears of not having a place to call home on the part of the Jewish immigrants. We can all look back and what-if or declare the potential outcomes of perhaps-if-we-hads, but it would not change our present situation. It is important to udnerstand what happened in the past, but we must use that understanding to move forward.

    I feel that violence begets violence. For the one who has more power to use violence to respond to the violence of the one who is less powerful is, in my mind, inexcusable. It is like the 14-year-old bully on the playground who uses his weight, muscle, and whatever other implements he has attained by virtue of his status in life to physically dominate a pesky kidnergartener who pinched him. The pesky kidnergartener will only devise new ways of physical retaliation. If, however, the two were to engage in dialogue, perhaps an understanding of that initial pinch could be established and steps taken to reduce the chances of its repetition.

    Better that than a playground full of blind and toothless children.

  169. June 1, 2008 at 05:53

    read about these talks with al queda quite some time ago.

  170. June 1, 2008 at 07:19

    I think that’s enough. Let’s keep to discussing the suggestion of talking to al-Qaeda, and stop going off on Israel-Palestine tangents. You might want to continue that debate on the blank page, or in private. We need to keep the blog moving and not clogged up with comments about something only tangentially related.

    Thanks.

  171. June 1, 2008 at 08:25

    Bryan; the Islamic wars on the Byzantine empire were fought to reclaim territories originally conquered by Rome and later ruled by the Christian emperors of Byzantium, who had established a theocratic Christian empire. These wars were continued for economic and territorial reasons, and ended in the conquest of Constantinople by Muhammad the Great, who managed to overthrow Constantinople largely because the Roman Christian West would not come to the aid of their Christian brethren in Byzantium, whom they regarded as heretics!

    The crusades were thus never an attempt by Christians to reconquer lost Christian territories. Actually, the crusades were mainly arranged to keep the plundering knights, warlords and other rabble-rousers and threats to the papacy out of Europe and occupied with a ‘godly’ cause.

    As for recent history, relations between the West and Islamic countries were quite good until the establishment of the State of Israel. Thus, we can generally date the decline in relations from that time, with growing resentments developing throughout the sixties and seventies and so on until the present. Therefore, the Israeli question is not tangential or peripheral, as Zak suggests. It is actually central to the decline in Western-Islamic relations.

    As for the Islamisation of Europe through unchecked immigration; that is a real and very difficult and threatening problem. It will not be solved until Europe learns to speak openly and honestly about what it wants from immigrants, and acts to enforce the imposition of its social, cultural and economic values on all immigrant communities. Otherwise, there will probably be a sharp return to right-wing thinking, and violence will eventually erupt as in the Nazi era. It’s a multicultural nightmare which needs to be dealt with quickly.

  172. 173 Waleed
    June 1, 2008 at 08:41

    I don’t think talking to terrorists would make a big shift in their practise. We have and are still witnessing this with continous killings of inccont people in Iraq and the same with the ruthlessness terrorisim of the Isrealie Jews.

  173. 174 Ogola Benard
    June 1, 2008 at 09:18

    Terrorism means the use of violence to achieve some political aim.
    Accordingly, the al Qaeda is a religious political organ preaching death as an entrance to the kingdom of God.
    I remember the former ISI Boss(pakistan) said in an interview here that the al Qaeda is winning on the war on terror. I dont know how he meant?
    However, many countries across the Glob are using the name al Qaeda as a business of tapping more foreign AID for personal gain.
    Am so astonished that nobody spoke to the al Qaeda at the begining before it assimilated their lunatics.
    The fact that one is considered successful when he drives his geese down the cheap side would call for a talk with the al qaeda.
    But what are you going to talk about? With whom? What about the Err? Even the word negotiate does’nt suit here!!
    The al Qaeda have caused wars and contentions through out the world.They are numerous,they slay people, they lay waste many cities and have spread death and carnage in the world.
    It has therefore become expedient that the works of the secret societies should procreate.
    Its not time to talk but its time to compell the safety of the lives of men, women and children and to maintain their rights and prrivileges of worship, their freedom and liberty.
    Because of this sorry and misery, why dont you try to talk about religious ethics and conduct?
    This weekend I was watching my favourite film “The Kingdom”.

  174. 175 Bryan
    June 1, 2008 at 11:13

    Rick at 4:13 am, you really have swallowed the propaganda hook, line and sinker:

    “The establishment of Israel and it’s support by the west was and is profoundly unjust. The more the Israelies suppress the Palestinians the more moderate muslims will be drawn to their cause. If Isrealies don’t return the Palestinian’s land and property this situation will go on for a thousand years. ”

    I suggest you study the history of nations and how they were established before you jump to your PC confusions. Israel’s establishment was in fact more just than most since it was established on the same land as ancient Israel – a country that the Jews had never completely left in the intervening thousands of years as it passed hands from conqueror to conqueror. Study the history and learn. This sudden profound attachment of the Arabs to Palestine was an invention of the 1970s for politically expedient purposes. And as far as “Palestinian land and property” goes, much of that land was bought by Jewish settlers from absentee Syrian landlords.

    With the internet, there is absolutely no excuse for ignorance.

  175. June 1, 2008 at 11:55

    The time has has come,decision will have to take in favour of bloodshed or in favour of peace.peace is better,peace is favouirable .We should support peace process initiated by any quater.it is better.I say and should admitte.

    As you have seen,more than five years are smeared with human blood.Soils of those were seprated from their beloveds are still crying can you hear.If you can pls don’t talke about conflict, war and friction.

    American lost their lives in Iraq,Afghanistan and other like places.
    And on the name of wholy war suicide attackes are being made but islam or quran does not permitt for doing so.Not understandable totally not understandable.

    Negutiations is a unique weapon and has been unique in the past by which complicated issue were solved.Why we say it ”bye”

    There is a great institution having inter national representaion namely The United Nations.There is a ban Ki Moon ,a man with great ability and unique wisdom,invite him and put the table for discussion.I hope,you can solve all matters attriibuted with world politices.

  176. 177 Shirley
    June 1, 2008 at 13:54

    ZK’s request at June 1, 2008 at 7:19 am: Let’s keep to discussing the suggestion of talking to al-Qaeda, and stop going off on Israel-Palestine tangents. A recent WHYS Palestine-Israel topic is here. A recent WHYS topic on fighting Islamist extremism is here. Hopefully these serve to divert unrelated topics from this page in order to focus discussion on negotiating with Al Qaeda. My apologies to ZK and other WHYSayers.

  177. 178 viola anderson
    June 1, 2008 at 19:05

    Has Al-Queda waved a white flag, so to speak? If not, they intend to continue their war against the infidels, so what could be negotiated or talked about? Rules of the war? There are none. Exchange of prisoners? Maybe. Propagandistic statements to garner media support? Forget it.

    One thing they could talk about: The turning over to a world court of every single person involved directly or peripherally in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the sovereign nation of the United States of America, in which thousands of innocents were killed, not to win a war but to start one.

  178. 179 Tino
    June 1, 2008 at 19:32

    Well stated Viola.

  179. 180 Roberto
    June 1, 2008 at 19:58

    As for recent history, relations between the West and Islamic countries were quite good until the establishment of the State of Israel. Thus, we can generally date the decline in relations from that time, with growing resentments developing throughout the sixties and seventies and so on until the present. Therefore, the Israeli question is not tangential or peripheral, as Zak suggests. It is actually central to the decline in Western-Islamic relations.
    ———————————————————————————————

    —- I study the science and history of boxing.

    Reviewing an old NY Times article concerning the Jeffries/Johnson fight touted as the fight of the century, there on the front page was the story of a prominent Imam in Turkey proclaiming Holy Jihad on America because of the presence of US troops there circa 1910. Not sure what the troops were doing there, but obviously a problem.

    The Ottomans were part of the losing axis side in WW1, so most assuredly there were Western troops rolling through these territories just as there were in WW2, so I think it’s disingenuous to think that everything was mostly hunky dory until Israel was established. I would suggest that the conflict increased, not just suddenly erupted.

    There’s a book out by a perfessor Cline of GWashington Uni. Middle eastern studies is his thing and he claims there have been 118 serious conflicts over Jerusalem alone in 4000 yrs. Obviously Islam has only been around for 1400 yrs of those disputes.

    This Al Qaeda negotiations thing is just a strawman argument anyways. Islamic terrorism has so many splinter groups you might as well negotiate with a grain of sand. Al Sadr icommands the strongest militia in Iraq cannot even control all his Shiite minions, but he can be negotiated with because he has no global agenda, just a local one and he’s a key figure.

    Binnyboy is just a name at this point, nothing more. The movement has long ago surpassed his influence.

  180. June 1, 2008 at 20:43

    Roberto, I don’t claim that there was perfect peace between the West and Islamic countries before the founding of the State of Israel; only that its founding and subsequent events caused a decline in relations and are central to the West-Islam conflict today. This is so obvious, it doesn’t need expanding on.

    On the other hand, I am far from blaming the Israelis exclusively, although they must take their portion of the blame too.

    But to return to the issue of talking to Alqaeda: one way or another, it should be tried. This is not to say that Alqaeda in any way deserves the privilege of a hearing. They do not deserve it. Still, it should be tried.

  181. 182 Tino
    June 1, 2008 at 21:20

    “This is not to say that Alqaeda in any way deserves the privilege of a hearing. They do not deserve it. Still, it should be tried.”

    How is this not contradictory? I do not think we should talk to them for many reasons, but someone brought up another good one earlier. Talking to them and giving them anything would lead others to believe they merely need to attack us to get what they want. We should instead pursue dialogue with those who try talking, not bombing.

  182. June 2, 2008 at 02:15

    The terrorists only started to speak of palestine or Israel after hearing it from the western news media outlets that hate America, and tried to make the terror attacks on 9/11 Americas’ fault. They are ideologically driven to impose Islam on the whole world. Good luck negotiating with them dummies. It worked so well with Adolf Hitler.

  183. June 2, 2008 at 02:19

    Oh yeah, one more thing. You may laugh at the thought of them conquering the world but as long as they are serious, that is their goal, and they act on it, there can’t be any negotiating that will change their minds. You must kill them.

  184. 185 A.R.Shams, Pakistan
    June 2, 2008 at 07:43

    When nothing works TALKS does miraculously if undertaken in a strategic manner.

  185. 186 Rick
    June 2, 2008 at 07:49

    Bryan
    May I suggest that we all choose to read and believe the history that suits our previously biased positions.
    I was talking about modern history, not ancient, and pointing out the obvious. Im sure you can justify your position to yourself and obviously, other persons who want to justify Israel’s existance. I base my prejudices on current human rights, the ugliness of the present situation in Palestine, and the refusal if Isreal to seriously address the problem. They just keep building more settlements and walls. And by the way, the statement that ‘God gave us Palestine 4000 years ago’ is not going to win anybody over to your cause.

  186. 187 Rick
    June 2, 2008 at 08:44

    Bryan
    May I suggest that we all choose to read and believe the history that suits our previously biased positions.
    I was talking about modern history, not ancient, and pointing out the obvious. Im sure you can justify your position to yourself and obviously, other persons who want to justify Israel’s existance. I base my prejudices on current human rights, the ugliness of the present situation in Palestine, and the refusal of Isreal to seriously address the problem. They just keep building more settlements and walls. And by the way, the statement that ‘God gave us Palestine 4000 years ago’ is not going to win anybody over to your cause.

  187. 188 Bryan
    June 2, 2008 at 10:47

    Rick at 7:49 am,

    I note that you choose to completely avoid my statement that Jews have always had a presence in Israel over the intervening centuries from ancient Israel to the present. Perhaps this is the first you have heard of this fact, so I suppose it may take a while to sink in. So I suppose I really have to point this out again: I am not basing my argument for Israel’s inalienable right to exist on the fact of ancient Israel but using that as a starting point to show the long history of Jews in the Holy Land. I note that you also have nothing to say about the arriving Jewish settlers buying land from absentee Syrian landlords. I guess you never heard of that either. Much of the land that you and others jump up and down about while yelling at Israel was legally purchased and much of the land was unoccupied. And what about the endless Palestinian terrorism? What would you do to stop terror against your country? Hand it over to the terrorists?

    Granted that there are prejudices and then there are facts. By your own admission and the content of your comments, you are big on the former and short on the latter. Finally, since you object so strongly to Israel’s existence, what are you suggesting here? That Jews in the Holy Land pack up and try to go back to the countries where they were citizens until they were driven out – like Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, Iran or the European countries that collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust?

    Where do you live, Rick and what is the history of the establishment of your country? Has anyone ever told you that your country has no right to exist? Damn right they haven’t.

  188. 189 nick in USA
    June 2, 2008 at 15:24

    Geez, another Israel palestine debate?

    Tino said:

    “They are not in a ‘tough position’, their ideology motivates them.”

    ok supposing that these people did grow up in middle class, mildly religious families. Do you really think that their upbringing was just like yours? The article also stated:

    “Consistent with the work on international terrorist incidents, countries with fewer civil lib­erties and political rights were more likely to be the birthplaces of foreign insurgents.”

    Do you come from a country that has few civil liberties? Would you call growing up without civil liberties an easy position? I didn’t say anything about how educated they were. These people see the suffering of their people everyday. Just like Che Guevara did. He was also a med student. If some other country invaded america and made it considerably more dangerous, you wouldn’t just sit on your duff and let it happen. These people have been exposed to a lot of propaganda. Just like you and I. They think we’re evil, and we have yet to show them that we are not. Bombs and bullets won’t help this situation. It just causes more and more people to join up.

    The more western countries try to wage war in the middle east, the more it appears to be a holy war. Even if our intentions are good, to these people it looks like a western nation is trying to kill muslims for oil. That’s what they are hearing from their peers, middle eastern news sources, our own news sources, and even a large group of american citizens. In this situation, people who don’t have extremist beliefs are going to join Al Qaeda, just to get us out of there.

  189. 190 Tino
    June 2, 2008 at 16:17

    “In this situation, people who don’t have extremist beliefs are going to join Al Qaeda, just to get us out of there.”

    Why can’t they just start their own movement, with stated secular goals? Al Qaeda wants to end everything non Islamic in the entire world, and plainly says so. I am sorry but there is no excuse for joining with that.

    “Do you come from a country that has few civil liberties?”

    No, but plenty of non-Islamic people do and guess what – THEY STILL ARE NOT BEING TERRORISTS. My god, you people refuse to acknowledge reality.

    EX: The list, which covers the period from December 1, 2004, to November 30, 2005, pinpoints eight countries as having the worst human rights records over the past year. They are: Burma, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. From: http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/09/4553E9DE-78A6-444C-82FF-001C91BD71B4.html

    Seen any NK terrorists recently….nope. Cuban…..nope. Burmese…..nope. The only people with large scale terrorist problems are Muslims. Cut it any way you lake, the actual reality of the world supports my claim.

    “Do you really think that their upbringing was just like yours?”

    Yes. Like I said many received a college education – plenty of them HERE in my country. So they were exposed to exactly my lifestyle and chose to destroy it rather than take the opportunities offered and run with them.

    Britain is monitored by CCTV all the time, and now is authorizing random stop and search on young people. Think there will be any non-Muslim british terrorists soon? I doubt it. Or is that not a drastic enough erosion of ‘civil liberties’. Perhaps you could explain to me exactly when a lack of civil liberties turns you into a terrorist.

    Also, how about Iran. They have a lack of civil liberties, and many polls show dissatisfaction with the government. So why are their terrorists bombing us in Iraq instead of their own government. The conclusion that terrorism is due to a lack of civil liberties is quite frankly stupid.

    As to why someone would come to such a conclusion, look at the Muslim countries in the world. By and large they have a lack of civil liberties. However, one of the two characteristics is much more important (religion) than the other (civil liberties). Indeed (from the article): “He found that a high proportion of mem­bers of al-Qaeda were college educated (close to 35 percent) and drawn from skilled professions (almost 45 percent). Research on members of the Israeli extremist group, Gush Emunim, that Malecková and I conducted, also pointed in the same direc­tion.” Most people, like yourself, are unwilling to face the reality. Despite terrorist groups openly stating religion is their motivation, despite Islam being the only religion producing terrorists in huge numbers, etc you instead choose to project some kind of fantasy into their motivations. THESE PEOPLE OPENLY SAY THEY ARE DOING IT FOR ISLAM. But youve got a better explanation, right….founded on absolutely nothing?

    Does Israel have a lack of civil liberties, or is it more likely that the group is motivated by religion?

  190. June 2, 2008 at 16:50

    Tino, I don’t think my statement that talks should be tried, in spite of my position that Alqaeda do not merit this treatment, contains any contradictions. There have been many scenarios where the protagonists did not deserve a hearing but were given one anyway; the IRA, for one. In the case of the IRA ( described doggedly as a criminal organization by Margaret Thatcher), talks eventually succeeded where a very extended and severe cycle of violence did not.

    There’s no use in simply going along with the sentiments of hatred and dismay at Alqaedas record, or in taking the line that Muslim extremism can only be dealt with by an ongoing process of extermination.

    Of course, this is not the same as sympathizing with them. Still, talks should be tried. But, you would find this position self-contradictory, no doubt.

    I find it self-contradictory that we should try to put an end to violence by practising violence. But perhaps you will not see the contradiction here.

  191. 192 Nick in USA
    June 2, 2008 at 17:19

    Tino said:

    “Why can’t they just start their own movement, with stated secular goals? Al Qaeda wants to end everything non Islamic in the entire world, and plainly says so. I am sorry but there is no excuse for joining with that.”

    Oh sorry, I didn’t realize it was so easy. I guess it must be pretty easy to get in touch with ex-KGB and get AK-47’s and explosives. Oh, and they are free too. I forgot about that. (heavy sarcasm)

    “The conclusion that terrorism is due to a lack of civil liberties is quite frankly stupid.”

    This was in the report that you quoted. It might not be causal, but it correlates. So, you are discounting evidence from the very article that you quoted?

    “Yes. Like I said many received a college education – plenty of them HERE in my country. So they were exposed to exactly my lifestyle and chose to destroy it rather than take the opportunities offered and run with them. ”

    No, they were not exposed to exactly your lifestyle. Just because they shared one thing in common doesn’t mean they were exposed to your lifestyle. Even if they did study in america it doesn’t mean that they had anywhere close to the same experience as you did.

    Che Guevara went to med school, does that mean he had the same experience as Dr. Drew from MTV? No, absolutely not. He went out and saw injustices being done to his people. It changed his whole life.

    “No, but plenty of non-Islamic people do and guess what – THEY STILL ARE NOT BEING TERRORISTS. My god, you people refuse to acknowledge reality.”

    Exactly, this is my point. There were lots of people who were non-extreme muslims who became extreme when this war started. The reality is that the religion is not the base of the problem. It correlates, but it’s so much more complex than that. Here is a quote referring to an NIC report:

    “According to the NIC report, Iraq has joined the list of conflicts — including the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, and independence movements in Chechnya, Kashmir, Mindanao in the Philippines, and southern Thailand — that have deepened solidarity among Muslims and helped spread radical Islamic ideology.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7460-2005Jan13.html

  192. June 2, 2008 at 18:48

    The other problem is that Alqaeda is actually winning the war, both in terms of military and economic strategy, and of propaganda.

    The overdone US response, overreaching itself in the Iraq invasion, has weakened America to a degree that may prove irrecoverable. In terms of global isolation, economic disaster, an overstretched military and an exposure of all its weaknesses ( including security and intelligence weaknesses ), the US has come off very badly indeed.

    The war on Alqaeda may yet deprive the US of its superpower status, if it hasn’t already done so, leaving the People’s Rep. of China to fill the vacuum. That would be a very ironic and tragic price to pay for refusing to negotiate with Alqaeda.

    The contention that Alqaeda (and Muslim extremist groups generally) are not to be compared with the IRA, in that the former have no goals other than to ‘take over the whole world’ is sheer nonsense. A terrorist group that stupid would long ago have been defeated.

    They have goals within their own region and the first most useful thing that talks would accomplish would be to have those goals formulated. From that point on negotiations can commence.

    If, as Tino would have us ‘tree-huggers’ believe, their goal really is to take over the planet, that would come out soon enough in the course of negotiations. Perhaps they could then be persuaded that taking over the whole world is not a viable aim, given the sheer size of it.

  193. 194 Tino
    June 2, 2008 at 21:29

    “There were lots of people who were non-extreme muslims who became extreme when this war started. ”

    And there were lots who WERE. 9/11 was not the first attack, not even against the US.

    “Oh sorry, I didn’t realize it was so easy. I guess it must be pretty easy to get in touch with ex-KGB and get AK-47’s and explosives. Oh, and they are free too. I forgot about that. (heavy sarcasm)”

    Oh I didn’t realize if you were so motivated to kill others that taking the easy path was required. I would have thought that by the time you were ready to fight for your country (as you say they are, a secular reason) they might just take the time and effort to do these things. In addition, it is rather easy to make an IED. Also, we have established these people come primarily from middle – upper class, so they could easily purchase AK-47s in their country where it is NOT illegal. Nice try, glad you feel the need to excuse someone for joining an organization that wishes to kill you and your way of life. THERE IS NO EXCUSE. Your heavy sarcasm was cute, but you have revealed the depth of your knowledge quite well. Just because you might not be able to build an IED does not mean everyone else cant.

    “So, you are discounting evidence from the very article that you quoted?”

    I already addressed this – Muslim countries have low civil rights, but so do others. The only people blowing themselves and others up are the Muslims. Pretty easy to figure out which one provides the real cause, dont you think?

    “No, they were not exposed to exactly your lifestyle. Just because they shared one thing in common doesn’t mean they were exposed to your lifestyle. Even if they did study in america it doesn’t mean that they had anywhere close to the same experience as you did.”

    I do not care what they experienced. They are trying to kill me, my family, and my entire way of life. Change or die, those are the only two options. Plenty of people have hard lives and don’t decide to kill everyone not like them. What is so hard to understand about that?

    “The reality is that the religion is not the base of the problem.”

    Yet: “deepened solidarity among Muslims and helped spread radical Islamic ideology.””

    Sounds like the base of the problem to me. Also, once again, they have been doing this long before 9/11. 1993 WTC bombing comes to mind very quickly. Plenty of embassy bombings before then.

  194. 195 Tino
    June 2, 2008 at 21:33

    “The contention that Alqaeda (and Muslim extremist groups generally) are not to be compared with the IRA, in that the former have no goals other than to ‘take over the whole world’ is sheer nonsense. A terrorist group that stupid would long ago have been defeated.”

    You people just like to ignore the fact that they SAY THAT IS THEIR GOAL dont you? Like to pretend they have some other reason and they just made that up or something? Show me one instance of Al Qaeda saying: “Our charter no longer applies, the entire goal of our organization has changed to .

    You guys just cannot face reality. First it is that they are poor and uneducated (completely proven false). Then it is civil liberties (despite plenty of other countries having little to none, and still not being terrorists). When is it finally going to be: Ok, maybe they need to look at their religion. How is it our fault that they blew up 3000 people? You guys are just like Dwight, shifting blame from the criminals to the victims. Everyone seems to think its wrong when Muslims come out and say : “We raped her because of the clothes she wears” but that is EXACTLY what you are doing here.

    “Perhaps they could then be persuaded that taking over the whole world is not a viable aim, given the sheer size of it.”

    So 35% of them went to college and the vast majority of the rest completed high school, but they haven’t figured out how big the world is. You guys really think they are some primitive backwards people don’t you? Hate to break your bubble, they know how big the world is – they still want all of it Under Allah or dead.

  195. 196 Tino
    June 2, 2008 at 21:36

    ““Our charter no longer applies, the entire goal of our organization has changed to .”

    Should be “‘tree-hugger’ nonsense” after the two, didnt realize the “” would cancel out

  196. 197 Rick
    June 7, 2008 at 10:13

    @Brian
    I am an Australian. The Aboriginals have always had a presence here. Does that mean we have to give the country back? My landlord sells the house I am living in to an Aboriginal, does that mean he can kick me out of my country? The outback is empty, does that mean you can have it? Where is your logic? The establishment of Israel is indefencible. Yes you should go back.
    Speaking about Nazis, how did you Israelis become so much like them?
    Or maybe its this horrible left wing media I listen to.
    If people as one eyed as you are running Israel our great great great grandchildren will still be having this arguement.

  197. 198 arshams
    June 8, 2008 at 10:09

    There remains always room or chance for compromise and persistence on that when it contains virtuous intentions.


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