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Negotiate with al Qaeda?

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by vyo476, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    I must admit, I was a bit floored when I saw this on Yahoo this morning.

    Talking to al Qaeda? Don't rule it out, some say

    By Mark Trevelyan, Security Correspondent Thu Sep 13, 11:04 AM ET

    LONDON (Reuters) - Six years after the September 11 attacks, a few cautious voices are beginning to suggest the unthinkable -- maybe it is time to consider talking to al Qaeda.

    The idea will revolt some people and raises obvious questions -- through what channels could such a dialogue take place and what would there be to negotiate?

    But proponents say al Qaeda has established itself as a de facto power, whether the West likes it or not, and history shows militant movements are best neutralized by negotiation, not war.

    "No insurgency or terrorism has been defeated by warfare or violence," former Anglican church envoy and hostage negotiator Terry Waite said in a debate on BBC World television.

    "There are some rational players in al Qaeda but it also attracts the psychotic. We need to seek an entry point," said the Briton, himself a captive in Lebanon from 1987 to 1991.

    Jan Egeland, a Norwegian who helped broker secret talks between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation in the 1990s and later, as a top U.N. official, dealt with warlords and guerrilla leaders from Colombia to Uganda, told Reuters: "I wouldn't rule out speaking to anybody, a priori."

    He went on: "It depends on who you speak to, but also what you speak to them about. I'm willing to speak to the devil to help the victims in the depths of hell. If I could have a meeting with al Qaeda where one could impress upon them that they are the biggest anti-Islamic force around, why not?"

    ENDLESS STRUGGLE

    But Egeland and others point out there are huge obstacles to negotiating with al Qaeda, even if Western governments could overcome their revulsion towards it.

    Unlike, say, Colombia's FARC rebels, the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland or the Afghan Taliban, to whom President Hamid Karzai renewed an offer of talks this week, al Qaeda is not so much an organization as an idea.

    Its vision -- to create a global Muslim caliphate and convert even the United States to Islam, as its leader Osama bin Laden urged in a video last week -- is a dream that is not confined within national boundaries and leaves no room for compromise, or even realistic discussion.

    "Al Qaeda is a universal movement and its demand is universal. It cannot be met by one single government. They're talking about the whole Islamic world from Chechnya to Yemen," said Mustafa Alani, security analyst at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai.

    Some experts use the terms 'tactical terrorism' and 'strategic terrorism' to differentiate between traditional militant groups, typically fighting for negotiable demands such as political representation or independence, and those like al Qaeda for which perpetual struggle appears an end in itself.

    "It's an endless struggle. The principle of jihad will not accept half-solutions. Either you are in the black or in the white. There is no middle ground. You are either a kafir (infidel) or you are a jihadi," said Alani.

    CALCULUS OF PAIN

    Historically, analysts say, the issue of whether to talk to groups labeled terrorists is usually decisively influenced by the realization that there is no way to defeat them, as in the case of the United States with North Vietnam's Vietcong or South Africa with Nelson Mandela's African National Congress.

    "When we can't win a war, we sit down and talk with terrorists and we stop calling them terrorists," said Mark Perry, Washington-based director of Conflicts Forum, which tries to build bridges between the West and political Islam.

    So if the war on terrorism fails to beat al Qaeda, might we one day sit down with them?

    "I suppose it's thinkable. You'd have to make a pain-pleasure calculus ... how many casualties are we going to be able to sustain?" said Perry, whose organization promotes dialogue with groups like Hamas which -- unlike al Qaeda -- take part in the democratic process.

    For Egeland, who now heads the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, one peril of entering negotiations is to confer legitimacy on your opponent, sending a signal that anyone who commits mass murder will be treated as a serious actor.

    But he believes there may come a time when cracks appear in al Qaeda and negotiations can help split it further.

    "One likely scenario with al Qaeda is that they will indeed become increasingly unpopular in the Muslim world and they will split and there will be back channels (of negotiation) to various of their networks," he said.

    "That will be done by religious groups, by Muslim groups working with smaller actors, smaller countries. Middle Eastern countries, perhaps radical countries will be involved, that's the new way of diplomacy. It's not going to be the European Union or the U.S. doing it."
     
  2. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    Our government never negotiates with terrorists. End of story... unless their Irish.
     
  3. PoliticalMessager

    PoliticalMessager New Member

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    Its sad to see or know how the American government
    has tryed,and is trying to brainwash most Americans
    with their unreal bullcrap. But what's really a damn
    shame is how Americans continue to be fooled by our
    Government.

    Today a local library commission sponsored a Government
    Open forum to give a reality insight concerning government
    affairs, and how all down throughout history the U.S Gov't
    has always taken over land without permission (Like it did
    the native Americans).

    From my viewpoint I am seeing how the American gov't
    was back in the 1800's, and I see no differences in today's
    government. Each conflict or war was always about control
    starting at the Civil Wartime up to the invasion of Iraq.

    My great Grandmother's Mother was the second generation of
    Seminole (native americans), who passed tales down through
    the years about how the Government suckered many of the
    Seven nations into giving up their land.

    Now here we are one hundred and some years later, and the
    Government is in almost every country in the world stealing
    land that's not ours. Look at the Middle East our Gov't really
    don't know who its looking for, and believe me if ANY of you
    think that Al-Qaeda is going to negotiate with the U.S you
    are sadly mistaken. Another piece of Government wishful thinking.

    MAYBE.....JUST MAYBE, Once Bush is out of office, and no other
    Bush look or acted alike gets in office. Maybe years there might
    be a chance for negotiating until the Middle East crisis is calmed
    down there will be none.
     
  4. Castle

    Castle New Member

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    Well your grandmother's mother would be proud to see how the Seminoles made out wouldn't she. They don't pay taxes. They own the entire Hard Rock chain and they rake in a mother load from the gambling casino's here in South Florida. Not bad indeed! How do I get on that ride?

    Oh I see....you must have missed this part.
    Its vision -- to create a global Muslim caliphate and convert even the United States to Islam, as its leader Osama bin Laden urged in a video last week -- is a dream that is not confined within national boundaries and leaves no room for compromise, or even realistic discussion.
    Was Osama not clear enough for you? Or are you willing to be assimilated into Islamic extremism for the sake of pacifism?

    -Castle
     
  5. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    I believe you and I actually agree on something. Here, in Washington state, the assorted tribes have casinos all over the place without paying taxes. Ok whatever, but 5 members of the Makah tribe killed a Gray Whale off the coast last week,a violation of the Marine Protection Act. They claimed it was in their blood and it was their right to shoot a whale with a 50 caliber rifle. I used to be all for Indian rights but, actions as this have changed my mind completely, I think it's high time they payed taxes and obeyed the law like the rest of us.
     
  6. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    obeyed what law? and pay what taxes?
     
  7. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    Even now, the tribe members who killed the whale are going to be punished by the Makah tribal council, they should be subject to the same laws as you or me and stop hiding behind old treaties.
     
  8. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    Taxes on their casino earnings, and killing a gray whale can be charged as a felony.
     
  9. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    Question.


    Were these people in a place where it is illegal to kill a grey whale?

    If they were not, then what punishment could be enacted upon them?
     
  10. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    Why should they?
     
  11. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    Gray whales are under The Marine Mammal Protection Act it is illegal EVERWHERE.
     
  12. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    Because it's no longer 1880 or even 1920, it's 2007 and many of the tribes here in Washington have become rich with their tax free casino earnings. They're not to be felt sorry for anymore.
     
  13. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    I dont feel sorry for them.

    But are they not considered to be sovereign nations? Should the people of Canada have to pay US Taxes too?
     
  14. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    Something can only be illegal if the people agree that it is illegal. If the indians whent somewhere where it was illegal to kill Grey Whales, then yes those poeple should be punished.

    So my question would be, where did they kill these grey whales?
     
  15. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    Yes, they are sovereign nations and they killed the whale in Neah Bay off the coast of their reservation. However, even being there, they are not immune to the dictates of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Just because a so called Native American is on the reservation, does not make it okay to drink a bunch of fire water and then go out and kill whales.
     
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