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"We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're Going To

by Last Night in Little Rock

Suppose you are an official in a country that espouses free Democratic elections around the world, but when an election comes in a place critical to the balance of world peace and the vote is counted, a rogue government is elected contrary to your expectations? What do you do?

No. I'm not talking about the election of George Bush, although the shoe fits.

This is, of course, about Hamas, and its coming to power in the recent Palestinian election.

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice admits that Hamas' strength in Palestine was misunderestimated, where the Fatah party of the late Yassir Arafat came in second in the election.

Our first response: "We don't deal with terrorists." But what happens when an organization whose name is often associated with terrorism suddenly gains respectability? Why should our first response to the election be relabelling Hamas as a terrorist organization when it holds a majority of the legislative seats in Palestine? As shown by the news yesterday, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's pronouncement last Wednesday ("We do not deal with Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organization. Under current circumstances, I don't see any change in that.") may have to change as Rice recognizes reality.

Arafat was often painted as a villan, but he succeeded in spreading internal power around Palestine to keep it out of one group's hands, as the NY Times noted yesterday, and he tried to keep peace. Will this change? Time will tell.

Groups in the Middle East, while having some ties to terrorist activities, or at least remaining on our list of terrorist-related organizations, have assumed political and social roles in last decade to provide services to the people the government won't or can't. That is how they come into power.

Palestinians often trace the appeal of Hamas to its network of social services, which largely supplanted the crumbling and feeble institutions of the Palestinian Authority. Thus a poor Palestinian family in the West Bank or Gaza might send a child to a Hamas school on a Hamas bus, use a low-cost Hamas medical clinic, play soccer at a Hamas sports club and perhaps rely on a ration of Hamas rice.

While still saying "We don't negotiate with terrorists," the Administration remains hopeful that Middle East peace is possible.

Administration officials said that even in the analysis of Israelis, Hamas's behavior in accepting a period of "calm" in the last year--ceasing its attacks on Israeli civilians--meant that it was willing to break with other groups like Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Israeli and American officials felt that such a trend was to be encouraged.

As for Mr. Abbas's position on disarming Hamas after the elections, an administration official said: "Our sense was that there was a certain logic to his presentation, and we did not see that we could force an alternative on him. But we were also skeptical."

The administration then immediately began working with European and other allies to set up "normative standards" for any group participating in the political process. Those standards are to be the focus of the talks in London, with the financing cutoff an implicit threat to Hamas. But a cutoff could force Hamas to turn to other sources, like Iran, for help.

Ms. Rice told reporters that she was convinced of the wisdom of instilling democracy in the Middle East. Elections have brought into office anti-American Islamic radicals in Egypt, Lebanon and Iran, but Ms. Rice said the alternative was trying to bottle up seething anger in the region that could lead to more terrorist attacks in the West.

So, we are going to deal with Hamas. We have no choice. Will we cut off the $300+M in foreign aid we sent to Palestine? Or will we send them, hat in hand, to Iran, whose newly elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reputed to be one of the 1979-81 hostage takers.

It all depends upon what your definition of "terrorist" is; or how that definition is going to subtly change over time as circumstances warrant, or the ends justify the means. President-elect Reagan, after all, negotiated with Iran when not yet elected to free the hostages as Iran pandered to him. The Reagan Administration also traded arms for hostages, and his supporters thought that was just fine. So, we do, in fact, deal with terrorists when we think it is expedient.

If we want peace in the Middle East, we have to keep Palestine and Israel in balance. The EU has already said it will do its part.

The question now is whether the U.S. has painted itself into a corner on this one, or is Rice finding a way out? Condi may be the only sane person in the White House.

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  • Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 05:31:30 AM EST
    Will we cut off the $300+M in foreign aid we sent to Palestine? Or will we send them, hat in hand, to Iran,
    They will go to Iran no matter what we do. The question us whether or not we buy the airline ticket. All aid should be cut of until the renounce terrorism and agree that Israel exists.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 05:38:32 AM EST
    They will go to Iran no matter what we do... All aid should be cut of until the renounce terrorism
    Good plan. Let's make sure they only have one friend, instead of two. Drive them right into the arms of Iran, then cut off all discourse. Sure... Of course! That'll help. Now why didn't I think of that.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 05:47:52 AM EST
    edger - They have had years to have more than one friend, and they haven't done so. Hamas has no redeeming social value.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 05:49:58 AM EST
    Hamas has no redeeming social value.
    Right. None, whatsoever...
    Palestinians often trace the appeal of Hamas to its network of social services, which largely supplanted the crumbling and feeble institutions of the Palestinian Authority.


    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#5)
    by The Heretik on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:36:08 AM EST
    Is there anything Bush and Condoleezza Rice have estimated correctly? A bit more background on this at Nobody Could Have Foreseen . . . Complexities can't get reduced what we wish was true. Reality demands otherwise.

    Our country is being run by a bunch of high school kids who have the attention span of a gnat.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#7)
    by profmarcus on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:02:35 AM EST
    but condi says... Let's starve Hamas into submission in a post on juan cole's weblog, Gilbert Achcar, author of Eastern Cauldron (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2004) and The Clash of Barbarisms, describes u.s. history vis a vis islamic fundamentalism thusly...
    The story of Washington's relation with Islamic fundamentalism is the most striking modern illustration of the sorcerer's apprenticeship.
    it's an excellent post and gives a great deal of background on how, for instance, hamas swept into power in the palestinian elections this past week... he also issued this caution...
    Any attempt by the U.S. and the European Union to starve the Palestinians into submission by interrupting the economic aid that they grant them would be disastrous for both humanitarian and political reasons and should be opposed most vigorously.
    well, gosh and golly if miss condi hasn't gone and suggested precisely that...
    The United States wants other nations to cut off aid to a Hamas-led Palestinian government, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said ahead of an international strategy session on Mideast peace prospects. Rice ruled out any U.S. financial assistance to a Hamas government. Humanitarian help to the Palestinians, many of whom are poor and unemployed, is likely on a "case-by-case basis," Rice said Sunday. She indicated that the administration would follow through on aid promised to the current, U.S.-backed Palestinian government led by President Mahmoud Abbas.
    Visit my blog: And, yes, I DO take it personally

    "Our first response: "We don't deal with terrorists." But what happens when an organization whose name is often associated with terrorism suddenly gains respectability? Why should our first response to the election be relabelling Hamas as a terrorist organization when it holds a majority of the legislative seats in Palestine?" That's how Neville Chamberlain felt about it. Worked out quite well for him, don't you think?

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#9)
    by John Mann on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:33:44 AM EST
    All aid should be cut of until the renounce terrorism and agree that Israel exists.
    And all aid should be cut off to Israel until it renounces terrorism and agrees that Palestine exists. Israel should also apologize for slaughtering countless thousands of Palestinians while driving them from their land since 1946.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:39:24 AM EST
    profmarcus - Can you tell me why we should be feeding people who are our sworn enemies? Their religious, social and political system has brought them to this point. I see no sane reason for us to keep on supporting it. In fact, had we not, the current situation would not exist. The Heretik - If you want to personalize this situation, I point out that Clinton arranged for a grand summit and Arafat got 90% what he wanted, and rejected it. At that point we should have just said. OK, we are done with you. Do what you will, because that us what you do anyway. Now. Before anyone starts talking about "nuances" and the various groups involved, remember that they all have the same goal. Destroy Israel and attack the west. But Clinton didn't, and Bush didn't and SOS Rice has demonstrated that she has the same lack of understanding.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:42:23 AM EST
    If we want peace in the Middle East.....
    That is the big question. The noecon philosophy is against peace. No, really, they believe it not a good thing and war is better. Strauss said it and wolfe et al are with that program. If you look at the situation in Iran, They offered help in tracking down OBL after 9/11. The leader then was more like a Jimmy Carter compared to what they recently elected. The offer was turned down flatly and we threw in some war inspiring rhetoric calling them the axis of evil. Same with Iraq. Even though those who see how things have backfired, most attribute it to gross incompetence. It looks like the neocons failure to happen. Enemies, bent on the annihilation of America actually strengthen the neocons fascist grip on America. The recent election in Palestine also follows the trend. The palestinians have been the most secular of all the arab people in the Mid-east. Only 6% were allowed to vote and they elected a fundamentalist Islamic party to rule. I see a pattern developing and it looks like Peace is not part of it. All Bush's imperial claims are based on protecting America, a nation at war. How does peace help that? The WH has little incentive in achieving peace as it would weaken their power and inhibit Americans from giving up their civil liberties, as there would be no reason for giving up such a fundamental American principal.

    Hamas now has to decide whether it will lay aside its policy of attacking Israel at all opportunities in favor of governing the palestinians (unlikely, but remotely possible in some alternate universe), ignore its new-found obligations and continue attacking Israel, or attempt to both govern and attack Israel. Problem is, the first requires a level of political responsibility it probably does not have, as well as a real committment to its own people w hich it has never shown, the second leaves it nothing more than a terrorist group and makes it clear to even the palestinians that it can do nothing but kill them, and the third would be an open declaration of war on Israel by the PA, which would most likely result in a clear and decisive war that Hamas would lose. We don't have to do anything except stay out of Israel's way for a change.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#13)
    by John Mann on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 08:00:40 AM EST
    Now. Before anyone starts talking about "nuances" and the various groups involved, remember that they all have the same goal. Destroy Israel and attack the west.
    Hamas wants to attack the west? Could you be a little more specific, Jim, or are you just making this up?

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#14)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 08:15:08 AM EST
    John, Does Hamas declaring that Isreal has not right to exist and their open support of suicide bombers not equate into attacking the west? The leading female canidate for Hamas has sent (2) of her own sons "proudly" to be suicide bombers and says she'd be proud if her other sons would follow. That sends a pretty clear message. That being said Hamas was just as suprised to win. Now they have to put up or shut up. For Isreal this election serves one clear purpose. No longer do they have to deal with a "legitimate" government that was either supporting terrorism or to weak to stop it. Now the governments motives and actions will be out in the open. Certain people will want to believe that Hamas has noble motives but if they start supporting suicide bombers again they won't be able to hide behing an inaffective government since they will be the government.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 08:19:14 AM EST
    Squeaky - The only offer I remember came from the Taliban who said they would turn him over to a neutral country for trial. Actually, this is from the CSM and makes the opposite case about Iran.
    It is not possible to independently corroborate the Saudi chef's story, nor to know his motives for speaking. He may prefer American prisons to those of his captors here. But the detailed picture he offers of bin Laden's last days in Tora Bora, and his possible escape to Iran, correspond with accounts from previous Monitor interviews with other bin Laden associates. It also fits recent US concerns that Iran is harboring Al Qaeda refugees. "There isn't any doubt in my mind but that the porous border between Iran and Afghanistan has been used for Al Qaeda and Taliban to move into Iran," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told "ABC This Week" on Sunday. "We have any number of reports that Iran has been permissive and allowed transit through their country of Al Qaeda."
    Do you have a link?

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#16)
    by pigwiggle on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 08:43:28 AM EST
    Hamas, weren't these the folks that were dancing I the streets of Ramallah as Trade Center 1 and 2 came down? Anyway, that ugliness aside ... The big four won't deal with terrorists, but they will deal with Hamas after they renounce violence and accept Israel's right to exist. Will it happen? I don't know, it depends on how much the Palestinians will miss the foreign aid. My guess is they won't notice, maybe a few less Fata mansions on the beach. What really struck me this week was the juxtaposition of the left's schadenfreund at seeing the execs thrown by their own petard of democracy and the absolute terror and sadness of Palestinian pundits and politicos. Hamas could renounce violence, accept Israel, and provide a corruption free open government. Or, we will see pervasive and bloody violence between Hamas radicals and the predominantly Fata security forces, all while Israel continues to isolate the territories physically and economically. Hope you folks enjoy this show as much as you enjoyed the execs backpedaling.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#17)
    by Sailor on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 08:53:17 AM EST
    Israel killed more Palestinian children last week ( a nine year old girl, and an 11 year old buy in separate incidents) than Hamas killed israaelis all of last year. Who put the taliban in power? Who just released female iraqis last week to secure the release of a journalist? Who sold arms and WMDs to saddam? Who sold arms iranians to secure the release of hostages? Which side is the terrorists again?

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#18)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:14:34 AM EST
    Good point Sailor. Terrorist is a word that describes an enemy and is wholly dependent on ones point of view. Clearly one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. It is used though it is as an absolute term, something that everyone one in their right mind would agree on, like the word water. No one would argue that water is not water. Sadly the descriptive noun "terrorist" is not as clear as "water". Ironically the word is invoked to make people afraid and so one can easily make the case that scaring people with the word is in fact being a terrorist.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#19)
    by swingvote on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:37:48 AM EST
    I doubt very much that anyone would call people who blow up buses filled with innocent civilians, many of them children, "freedom fighters". And what does it mean to "Negoiate" with anyone anyway? Is that a new term Bush coined recently?

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:01:09 AM EST
    justpaul, what about people who from high above, at little danger to themselves, dorp missles in order to blow up house's with innocent people, women and children included. Collateral damage I suppose?

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#21)
    by Che's Lounge on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:02:43 AM EST
    And what does it mean to "Negoiate" with anyone anyway? Is that a new term Bush coined recently? New to him, maybe. Less confrontation and more cooperation from the imperium. Then the support for terrorism will evaporate. Otherwise it's perpetual war. Bush is terrorizing the US with his lies and wars.

    Now that Hamas is in power, Israel has an opportunity for true and lasting peace. You have a monumental shift in this conflict. Up until this time, Israel has been fighting scantily organized groupings of individual people, women and children trowing stones at their tanks. Political correctness and the anti-war left have made it impossible for them to defeat their enemies. However now, Hamas will be doning a Palestinian national soldiers uniform. Now it will no longer be scattered groups taking pot shots at Israel, now it will be one nation attacking another. Israel will have every right to soundly and finally defeat the nation and people who attacks them. Everyone should think hard about what it is they wish for, lest their wish should come true. Legitimatcy is perhaps the last thing Hamas should have ever wished for.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#23)
    by soccerdad on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:43:15 AM EST
    This result is consistent with the surprisingly good showing by the Muslim Brotherhood inEqypt and the trouncing of the secular list of Allawi in Iraq. Taken together, it is consistent with the idea that Muslim's in the ME are becoming more radicalized as a result of unchanged US policy. The role of "honest broker" by the US has been completely abondoned by the US in favor of blind and unquestioning support for Israel. This is then combined with what appears to those in the ME as naked imperialism by the US in Iraq. So the response of the right is to complain that those under the boot of the US and Israel will not quietly subjugate themselves before the almighty purveyors of "democracy". Its bad that elements of Hamas do not recognize the right of Israel to exist, but its ok that members of the Likud party do not recognize the right of a Palestine state. Its evil and reprehensible that Palestinian bombers kill 20-30 Israelis but there is hardly a mention of Israeli killing of palestinian women and children. As long as the US blindly suuports Israel, no matter what they do, and continues its imperialistic actions in Iraq and other parts of the ME there will be no peace and no end to terrorism against the West. But that is a price willingly paid by the neocons for the good of American corporate masters. As always its too much to ask the right to consider the consequences of the the US actions since, according to them, the US should be able to do what ever it wants, whenever it wants, wherever it wants without any protests by the people directly affected by its policies. But such is the nature of an oppressive , imperialistic regime convinced that it has been chosen to do gods work.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#24)
    by Dadler on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:45:08 AM EST
    The real problem: we're all convinced that our OWN sh*t doesn't smell.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#25)
    by desertswine on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:09:55 AM EST
    Rice ruled out any U.S. financial assistance to a Hamas government.
    I'm sure Bush's good friend, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia will be more than happy to make up for any shortfall should Hamas feel a little pinched for funds.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:15:13 AM EST
    Hamas winning is a huge victory for peace in the Middle East. Hamas has had the benefit over the many years of pointing out all of what has been wrong in the negotiations and it will be interesting to see how well they perform with responsibility. I say we cut off funding to both Israel and Palestine and let them figure it out.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:19:26 AM EST
    soccerdad-I agree with everything you write but would clarify this, or disagree.
    But that is a price willingly paid by the neocons for the good of American corporate masters.
    I would make a distinction here. The Military Industrial complex is completely in line (masters if you will) with the neocons who thrive on instability Most corporations thrive in stabile environments and abhor instability. That is where the fearmongering comes in. Bush needs America, the people, to feel unstable (scared) because the corps see him and his neocon agenda as way too radical for them to meet their objectives (making money). Yes he tries to keep them on the hook by corporate welfare, but I do not think they are lapdogs or masters and would prefer a more conservative approach.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#28)
    by soccerdad on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:46:43 AM EST
    Squeaky, Normally, I would tend to agree. But these are not the usual times. I think most corps are willing to sign on because they understand that a sharp reduction in the supply of oil, with a comensurate increase in price, would have devistating effects on the US economy even for Corps. not in the Military industrial complex. Just think of the industries affected, gasoline, plastics, fertilizer, etc. What do you think?

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:56:44 AM EST
    soccerdad-I think that they have no problem in passing the higher costs on to the consumer. The cost of doing biz. And of course the oil cos love it as well as all those (ha ha) who have an interest in them.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#30)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:22:09 PM EST
    First this is not a personal attack but Squeaky and soccerdad represent the reason why democrats cannot and should not be taken seriously when it comes to world politics. The European/UN definition of foreign policy that many on the left adopt is what is wrong with the modern democratic party. Even if we where to accept their moral relitivism, as an AMERICAN if my gov't is just as bad as the other peoples gov't then selfishly I want mine to win. Sue me. If we are all murderers I want other people to die and not me, my family or my neighbors. All things being equal. Realistically of course they are not equal an our government is not a "terrorist" orginization. It is far superior to any government that has ever exhisted, even when a democrat is running it and my belief in such does not make me stupid or naive. Those who would spend so much time to make the point that we are all equally bad or worse then our enemies will never have to stop making this argument because fortunately 80% of the American people will never accept it.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#31)
    by soccerdad on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:50:47 PM EST
    accept their moral relitivism,
    This is absolute BS. It is indeed Slado who practices moral relativism by saying in essence because the US does it its ok. I say willfully killing innocent people no matter who does it is morally wrong. How is this moral relativism? Implicit in Slaso's argument is that people of other nations are not due the same fundamental rights and are not of equal value. Slado also proves my point that the right thinks that the US can do what it wants without consequences. If indeed asking for balance and some reflection on one's own policies spells the death knell for the dem party, it will also spell the death knell for the US as we know it, since the rest of the world in the end will tire of our policies.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#32)
    by John Mann on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 01:29:46 PM EST
    The hypocrisy of (many) Americans when it comes to the Hamas victory in a democratic election is magnificent in its scope - truly breathtaking. Rather than waxing eloquent about another triumph of democracy in the Middle East, (as was done when elections were conducted in Afghanistan and Iraq), anti-democracy Americans now demand that the people of Palestine be starved into submission. Spare me the pious pontificating about Hamas killing innocent women and children; Americans have killed more innocent men, women and children in Iraq than Hamas could if they sent around walking bombs for the next hundred years.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#33)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 01:46:03 PM EST
    God, I hope someone invents a time machine soon so Robertson can go back to 1941. Slado - Exactly; "just as bad" at times, but, as is every govt, eminently capable of doing good. btw, lets get something straight Menachem Begin was a terrorist in every sense of the word; the Algerian "freedom fighters" were terrorists;the contras were terrorists; the Arena party types in El Salvador("well"trained at the School of the Americas as were many of the contras);the list goes on. Most people apply the term "terrorist" based on actions not thier moral or geopolitical/strategic intent. One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#34)
    by glanton on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 01:53:49 PM EST
    as an AMERICAN if my gov't is just as bad as the other peoples gov't then selfishly I want mine to win.
    Slado sees his comment as beside the point, but really it's at the heart of the issue, as soccerdad's rejoinder shows. No American phenomenon is more disgusting at this point in history than spread-eagle patriotism.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 02:34:44 PM EST
    John Mann - The fact that they were "elected" means only that a majority of Palestinians think that it will be a good thing to destroy Israel. Same for Iran. SD writes:
    I say willfully killing innocent people no matter who does it is morally wrong. How is this moral relativism?
    Glad you asked. You take the position that the US and Isarel is fighting and (sometimes) killing innocent people for the same reason that the terrorists are doing so. That is not correct. Israel would be happy to live in peace with Palestine if Palestine would merely do so. The US did not attack Afghanistan and Iraq until after 9/11. Based on the above, you believe defense and/or pre-emptive strike defense is the same as suicide terrorist attacks against civilian targets. Squeaky - Who is, or who is not, a terrorist does not depend on a "point of view." We have well known and well defined descriptions of terrorist. You just don't want to say that suicide bombing is a terrorist attack. Watch my lips. It is terrorism.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#36)
    by Dadler on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 02:45:21 PM EST
    Wow, our turds really do smell like orange blossoms, with tones of passion fruit and the faintest suggestion of Aqua Velva.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 02:48:40 PM EST
    ppj, Of course theyre acts of terrorism. The trouble is you have neither the guts or the integrity to admit that the U.S or Israel have EVER commited any. Your just another hyper-nationalistic fanatic who justifys anything in the service of the cause the same way"the terrorists"do.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#38)
    by John Mann on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 02:53:35 PM EST
    You [soccerdad] take the position that the US and Isarel is fighting and (sometimes) killing innocent people for the same reason that the terrorists are doing so. That is not correct.
    Your usual dismissive nonsense aside, we agree. But you forgot to mention that the reason the United States is killing, and has killed many thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq, is so that the Bush Gang and its cohorts can rape, plunder and pillage the country in order to get its oil and make themselves even wealthier. As with all things American, Jim, it's about money. Countless thousands of lives lost on all sides, Jim, and it's all about money.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:07:15 PM EST
    spread-eagle patriotism
    well coined edger...I'm gonna have to use that one. The last refuge of a scoundrel, a wise man once said.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#40)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:10:15 PM EST
    Jims the reason Groucho Marx once called it "the United Snakes".

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#41)
    by Sailor on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:18:31 PM EST
    Up until this time, Israel has been fighting scantily organized groupings of individual people
    Uhh, like Egypt!?
    The only offer I remember came from the Taliban who said they would turn him over to a neutral country for trial.
    So what's wrong with a fair trial?
    But what happens when an organization whose name is often associated with terrorism suddenly gains respectability?
    Ever hear of the IRA or the American Revolution?
    The US did not attack Afghanistan and Iraq until after 9/11
    Whaaaa!? BTW, iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11!
    I doubt very much that anyone would call people who blow up buses filled with innocent civilians, many of them children, "freedom fighters".
    Please provide a link that HAMAS has killed children in the last year. While I, upon request, can provide many links to children and civilians killed and murdered in the last year by israel. Personally, I don't think we should give a damn cent to either of them.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#42)
    by Lww on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:52:59 PM EST
    What an opportune time to get this off my chest. All this talk about a third party to keep the status quo? Not gonna happen. The Isrealis, who have been brutal in the occupation of the territories for almost 40 yrs have made their bed and we're gonna share it. With the influence on congress and the president we have no choice. We're in in it for the long haul.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#43)
    by glanton on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:57:32 PM EST
    We have well known and well defined descriptions of terrorist.
    Really? Interesting. If the definition is so fixed as all that, then praytell why people who shoot at soldiers are now dubbed "ter'ists," same as those who attack civilians? In truth, Jim, the government and its lackeys in the media have done an excellent job convincing American citizens that anyone who shoots at an American soldier is a terrorist. That's called "fluctation." Heraclitus would be so pleased. Stay alert, and stay with Fox.

    John Mann:
    And all aid should be cut off to Israel until it renounces terrorism and agrees that Palestine exists. Israel should also apologize for slaughtering countless thousands of Palestinians while driving them from their land since 1946.
    Do you think Jordan should pull out of Palestinean lands since it occupies 75% of Palestine? Should Jordan applogize for the tens of thousands of palestineans killed in the 1970-1971 Black September war?

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#45)
    by John Mann on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 04:58:07 PM EST
    Do you think Jordan should pull out of Palestinean lands since it occupies 75% of Palestine? Should Jordan applogize for the tens of thousands of palestineans killed in the 1970-1971 Black September war?
    In my view, one has exactly nothing to do with the other, and I doubt the owner of this site would want this thread changed to a debate on the events leading up to what happened in September, 1970. That being said, I would be delighted to discuss with you, if the opportunity arises, the involvement of the United States and Israel in that particular conflict.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#46)
    by rMatey on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 05:55:39 PM EST
    We don't negotiate with terrorists, but Reagan and Daddy Bush sure know how to....................

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#47)
    by soccerdad on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:12:45 PM EST
    PPJ I want to thank you for presenting one of clearest cases yet of moral relativism. I couldn't have written it better myself. Remember that the premise was the wilful killing of innocents. So to PPJ if your intentions, the real ones or the imagined ones, are deemed by oneself to be better than the wilfull killing of the innocents is no longer has serious. It clearly boggles the mind at the moral bankruptcy of such reasoning. It then becomes but a trival matter to excuse ones actions by simply stating that one has noble intentions. How convienent and easy. One gets to be judge and jury over one's own actions by stating whatever convientent excuse sounds good. This belief in moral relativism is at the heart of the entire Bush debacle including the Iraq mess, corruption, spying etc. since they are doing it for good reason everything is ok. Thanks for making everything crystal clear.

    John Mann:
    The hypocrisy of (many) Americans when it comes to the Hamas victory in a democratic election is magnificent in its scope - truly breathtaking.
    But hardly surprising, or novel, because US claims to be the "champion of democracy" are really just an elaborate PR exercise. After Salvador Allende's election victory in Chile, Henry Kissinger said: "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.". So Allende lasted just 3 years before he was overthrown by a CIA-backed coup. How long do you give a Hamas government?

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#49)
    by Lww on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:20:50 PM EST
    Allende was murdered by us. What I don't get is how this country comes off as some savior of the people. Innocent people. We carpet bombed civilians in Japan and Germany, incinerated untold thousands of men women and children. Put on the History Ch, and you get a birds eye view of the carnage. The commentary discusses the "stragecic" value of killing thousands of innocents. I don't buy it.

    LWW:
    We carpet bombed civilians in Japan and Germany, incinerated untold thousands of men women and children. Put on the History Ch, and you get a birds eye view of the carnage.
    But have you noticed that they don't show the carpet bombing of Vietnam? Why is that?

    John Mann: The sure are related. related but ignored because the Arab world wants the palestineans to stay in those camps. Only one country in the ME offers citizenship to palestineans- Israel. The rest of the ME wants to keep them penned up so they can be used as a distraction from their own countries problems.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#52)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:31:33 AM EST
    SD - Your problem is that you equate the US to Palestine, and any number of other terrorist states. The Left was very good at comparing us to the Soviets during the Cold War, and the talent has survived in you. You ignore the central point of my previous comment. Israel would live peacefully with Palestine if left alone. Prior to 9/11 we were killing no one had a very limited military presence in the ME. All Hamas has to do is say, "No more killing." All OBL has to do is say, "No more killing." Neither will. Wile - Good point. Too many of us forget that. John Mann - This is not about "oil." If so there was any number of ways that we could have taken over without firing a shot, starting with just co-opting Saddam and cutting deals with Iran. If we had done that the Saudis would have had to follow along with Mexico and South America. It is abut religious fanatics who think it is still the sixth century and want to rule the world. Fifty years ago we could have ignored them. In today's world we can't.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#53)
    by soccerdad on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:49:28 AM EST
    PPJ No I make no such equation. I am talking about an act and whether its moral or not. I ignored nothing, you continue to justify the killing of innocents on arbitrary grounds.
    Israel would live peacefully with Palestine if left alone.
    Patently false.
    Prior to 9/11 we were killing no one had a very limited military presence in the ME.
    This is blantently dishonest.
    All Hamas has to do is say, "No more killing."
    All Israel has to say is we will stop killing women and children and will allow you a homeland that is contiguous and not subservant to Israel.
    All OBL has to do is say, "No more killing."
    All the US has to say is we are getting out of the ME and will not meddle in the political activities.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#54)
    by soccerdad on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:54:16 AM EST
    PPJ of course its all about the oil. Saddam had no intention of making deals with the US and in fact prior to the invasion had signed contracts with Russia and China for reconstruction of the oil infrastructure. In addition Saddam wanted to be paid in Euros not dollars. Iran is now setting up a"bourse" for the oil which will trade in Euros not dollars.
    It is abut religious fanatics who think it is still the sixth century and want to rule the world.
    Racist, fear mongering and plain wrong.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#55)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:11:04 AM EST
    Prior to 9/11 we were killing no one had a very limited military presence in the ME. John Mann - This is not about "oil." It is abut religious fanatics who think it is still the sixth century and want to rule the world. All 3 of those statements are transparently manipulative attempts at justifiying illegal aggression, and are made either out of ignorance or out of blatant dishonesty (or out of simple unthinking repetition of bushco memes and talking points): Policy Analysis "Ancient History": U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly Of Intervention
    After 70 years of broken Western promises regarding Arab independence, it should not be surprising that the West is viewed with suspicion and hostility by the populations (as opposed to some of the political regimes) of the Middle East.(3) The United States, as the heir to British imperialism in the region, has been a frequent object of suspicion. Since the end of World War II, the United States, like the European colonial powers before it, has been unable to resist becoming entangled in the region's political conflicts. Driven by a desire to keep the vast oil reserves in hands friendly to the United States, a wish to keep out potential rivals (such as the Soviet Union), opposition to neutrality in the cold war, and domestic political considerations, the United States has compiled a record of tragedy in the Middle East. The most recent part of that record, which includes U.S. alliances with Iraq to counter Iran and then with Iran and Syria to counter Iraq, illustrates a theme that has been played in Washington for the last 45 years. An examination of the details and consequences of that theme provides a startling object lesson in the pitfalls and conceit of an interventionist foreign policy.


    John Mann... Americans now demand that the people of Palestine be starved into submission. There is no 'demand' ... but our question should be...why are we sending money there in the first place????? soccerdad... I say willfully killing innocent people no matter who does it is morally wrong. I really wish you would stop taking isolated cases where innocents are killed (whicH always happens in wars) and assuming it's Government policy! This only confirms to the rest of us how ill-informed you really are! Cymro.... But have you noticed that they don't show the carpet bombing of Vietnam? Why is that? What would be the point of showing that now? Besides, I was involved in that and I can tell you with all certainty that we bombed empty jungle more often than not!

    BB:
    What would be the point of showing that [the carpet bombing of Vietnam] now?
    Beats me! But then what is the point of showing the destruction of Germany and Japan, as the History channel does repeatedly? And if you must have a TV channel that dwells on, even glorifies, acts of war, then why isn't the Vietnam war covered? It's as much a part of US history as Germany and Japan.

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#58)
    by soccerdad on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 05:23:14 PM EST
    BB obviously your reading comprehension skills are such that you can't follow the discussion. I set it up as a case by which to illustrate a point. Maybe your local community college has remedial reading comprehension courses. BTW repeatedly dropping cluster munitions on civilian ares consitutes at the very least military policy. BTW I have come to expect little from Bush apologists such as you regarding the ability to evaluate arguments. You considering me ignorant, just proves to me that I am indded on the right track thanks for the verification

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#59)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 07:21:39 PM EST
    Jim: All aid should be cut of until the renounce terrorism and agree that Israel exists. and later downthread: Israel would be happy to live in peace with Palestine if Palestine would merely do so. You've got things, to use an old phrase, turned a** over teakettle:
    Notes (2); The word "terrorism" is used here with a certain reluctance because of its invidious ideological taint. Terrorism, to judge by standard usage, is something only the adversaries of the United States and its allies can engage in. The conduct of American or allied personnel, no matter how violent, by definition cannot qualify as terrorism. For the sake of perspective, it is worth noting that the number of victims of what is usually thought of as Arab terrorism is minuscule compared with the number of civilian victims of the chief U.S. ally in the Middle East. Israel, whose conduct is never described as terrorism.


    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#60)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 07:38:54 PM EST
    As DA noted in another thread earlier today:
    the ability to admit error is the sign of a mature intellect
    especially in the context of the foreign policies of countries, and especially if and hopefully when it is done by the people in power who are responsible for those policies. Admitting that past mistakes and behaviors are what is causing the problem of "terrorism" is the first step to stopping it, and rather than being "America hating", or "appeasement", is in the long run the probably only way to begin a real and honest effort toward protecting and securing the U.S. Continuing the same policies and actions that are causing the problem will not remove it, only exacerbate it. If removing the problem is in fact the real goal of the administration...

    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#61)
    by Edger on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 06:07:58 AM EST
    An examination of the details and consequences of that theme provides a startling object lesson in the pitfalls and conceit of an interventionist foreign policy.
    the ability to admit error is the sign of a mature intellect If removing the problem is in fact the real goal of the administration... George W. Bush, State of the F***ing Union - January 31,2006
    We have entered a great ideological conflict we did nothing to invite.


    Re: "We Don't Negoiate with Terrorists"; But We're (none / 0) (#62)
    by Edger on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 06:20:23 AM EST