Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
A Question
I've been thinking about this for some time.

The United States and many other countries have a policy of refusing to negotiate with terrorists. For the Bush administration, this extends to Iran and North Korea as well. My question is really quite simple.


Maybe I'm being incredibly naive or stupid or something. But exactly what do we lose? Does sitting down and talking in some way mean we're committed in any way to a particular action? Does not talking discourage international rouges? What exactly is accomplished with such a policy? Is it a policy to simply pander to vengeance driving voters? Is it not possible to convey toughness more clearly face to face?

Talk about turning the tables. What if Bush came out and said that he wanted to immediately open negotiations with al Qaeda. Wouldn't that change some dynamics in the international arena?
Blogger Lynne said...
That policy does seem stupid when one considers that we have given China a "most favored trading nation" status despite their human rights abuses; partnered with Saudi Arabia despite their human righs abuses; partnered with Pakistan (the mother of the Taliban and extreme Islamic fundamentalism), squashed democratic overtures in South America so we could have cheap bananas, etc.
I think the basic reason is this: the current regime in Washington needs an enemy to focus on. It detracts from the failed domestic agenda. It is especially effective if the enemy does not look like us.
It doesn't seem to occur to anyone in D.C. that if the United States stopped its quest for empire and saber rattling, other nations would not feel the need to hurry their nuclear programs along or make veiled threats. Right now, WE are the biggest bullies in the world.