But can they Negotiate with George Bush?Or alternatively, can we afford NOT to negotiate? These are the interesting questions posed during my meanderings on the net.
Owen seems to share my own views, that there can be a diplomatic solution contrary to Bush's war cry "we're gonna hunt down and smoke out those terrorist killers".
|"The latest statement from Ayman al-Zawahri, broadcast by al-Jazeera on 4 August, does not support the claims by President Bush that they want to "impose their dark vision on the world". As I noted here after the London bombings, there is no suggestion that the muslim extremists want to change the way western countries are governed (or as George Bush put it, that "they hate our freedoms"); rather, if the statement is to be believed, the fundamentalists have a much more limited goal of encouraging western countries to stop interfering in the Middle East. al-Zawahri says:"|
"Your salvation will only come in your withdrawal from our land, in stopping the robbing of our oil and resources, and in stopping your support for the corrupt and corrupting leaders.""Tony Blair has claimed that there is distinction between terrorists with, and those without, rational and achievable aims. He said:"
"And the reason for negotiating with the IRA is nothing to do with terrorism, the reason for being prepared to enter into a dialogue with Republicanism is because you do have a demand that is, I may agree or disagree with it, but you can hardly say it is a demand that no sensible person can negotiate on, it is a demand that is shared by many of our citizens in the north.""This is a rather important, and potentially dangerous, distinction for Blair to have drawn. Because if the agenda of muslim extremists is to cause western powers to stop supporting Israel and to withdraw their armies from the Middle East: well, you might not agree, but you can hardly say that it is a demand that no sensible person can negotiate on."
It is not a sensible notion that a few terrorists can force nations to withdraw support for another sovereign country, let alone Israel. All that they would accomplish is to marginalize their own interests. It's all smoke and mirrors.
Time again the terrorists have repeated their demands that the western nations remove their influence from what is perceived to be their holy land. But that doesn't sit well with the self-serving interests of the Bush oil barons and Haliburton.
Talk about a conflict of interest. That is the real issue here and it is that simple. Sounds like wisps of Lawrence of Arabia, and if he were still alive I'm certain he would be telling us the same thing.
Instead, Bush and his colleagues push us deeper into the oil-rich middle east, and that is what this struggle is really all about. It is a struggle over land for vested interests, and has nothing to do with crusades, good guys vs bad guys or liberating oppressed peoples.
The question posed is, can we negotiate with al Qaeda? That question can only be answered with another question. Can they negotiate with Bush?
But more importantly, can we afford NOT to negotiate? What will be the consequences? Given all the rhetoric we are hearing about the "war on terror" that seems unlikely. In Texas they call it a Mexican standoff. I suppose we will just have to wait and see until George finishes his holiday.