Leaving Islam




Negotiating With the Terrorists 

By Clifford D. May 

IRAN'S THREAT: Last week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed to wipe Israel "off the map." So now, there can be no doubt: The Islamist-Fascist dictators of Iran are intent on genocide.

Scholar Michael Ledeen notes that while this may be frightening it is hardly new. The father of the Iranian Revolution, the Ayatollah Khomeini, made the same promise back in 1979 after he left France (where his hosts did their best to make him comfortable) and took power in Tehran. I was reporting from Iran at the time. I remember.

Ledeen also recalls that the first guest of the new Iranian regime was Yasser Arafat "whose terrorists had trained the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Lebanon starting in 1972. (Don't tell the CIA; they think Sunnis and Shi'ites can't cooperate)."

Hezbollah, an Iranian-controlled terrorist organization based in Lebanon, Israel's northern neighbor, also hopes to exterminate Israel; as does Hamas which has bases in Gaza, the West Bank and Syria.

So if these threats are not new, is there a reason for urgency now? Yes -- because Iran's theocrats are now well on their way to developing nuclear weapons which they could use -- or hand off to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas to use.

With normal enemies, deterrence could be a solution. Soviet leaders believed that if they fired missiles at Washington, Moscow's destruction would follow. They saw that as no bargain.

But Iran's Militant Islamist clerics might be wiling to trade Tehran for Tel Aviv: the psychology of the suicide bomber on a larger scale.

Iran has long seen America as its enemy -- no less than Israel. To the mullahs, America is the Great Satan; Israel is the Little Satan, an outpost of Western values in a part of the world they consider theirs alone.

Iranian Militant Islamists seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and took U.S. diplomats hostage. We did not respond forcefully to that aggression -- thereby encouraging more aggression.

It arrived four years later. In 1983, Hezbollah bombed the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 servicemen. Hezbollah terrorists also assassinated our diplomats in Lebanon and tortured to death our CIA station chief, William Buckley. We did nothing to Hezbollah in response.

Most recently, in 1996, Iran was responsible for the attack on U.S. troops in Khobar Towers. Nineteen Americans were murdered. Again, the U.S. government refused to hold Iran accountable.

Related: Kathryn Lopez, writes on the National Review's Corner: "Regime Change Iran shows you more from the Iranian president's wipe-Israel-off-the-map speech this week than you've seen." In particular, the blog shows that Ahmadinejad's threat was directed unambiguously at the United States as much as at Israel.

Click here to for a fuller explanation.

Kathryn highlights this quote from Ahmadinejad's speech:

"They [ask]: 'Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism?' But you had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved...

"This guy wants both Jews and Americans dead -- he is our common enemy," Kathryn writes.

"Too much for the MSM [mainstream media]." "For good measure, Ahmadinejad threatened all those that recognize Israel, meaning Jordan, Egypt and perhaps the Palestinian Authority."

MEMRI's translation of Ahmadinejad's remarks is here.

An FDD Briefing on the response to this threat -- including strong words from Tony Blair and almost nothing from Arab leaders -- is here.

Washington Post
columnist Jim Hoagland says Ahmadinejad "reminds a distracted world at crucial moments of the true nature of Iran's regime, of the abiding source of conflict in the Middle East and of the deeper meaning of global terrorism. ... He seems to have been shepherded into office by the ruling ayatollahs to pursue the politics of hatred and confrontation after a period of conflicting signals on their intentions. Thanks for the reminder, guys." Hoagland's column is here.

Finally, a couple of quotes that may surprise you:

"It is no wonder that among Israel's enemy states there is not a single democracy".
- Arash Sarhaddi, Iranian-born actor and director who also called for the complete isolation of the Militant Islamist regime.

"Israel will still exist when Iran is a democratic state, Egypt has ... democratic elections and even... Syria is democratized."
- Cem Oezdemir, a prominent Turkish-German politician from Germany's Green Party

More words and pictures here.

Hat tip: Andrew Apostolou

Allen Zerkin, an academic at New York University, suggests in this LA Times oped that it's time to negotiate with Osama bin Laden.

Anyone with any insight into the goals of Militant Islamism would not consider such an idea -- they would understand that Militant Islamism seeks nothing less than the destruction of Judeo-Christian civilization.

They would understand why these extremists will take whatever we offer but not honor any pledge made to infidels.
But of course many in the professoriate have no such insights, indoctrinated as they have been for years by Middle East "experts" supported by Saudi Arabia's "Wahhabi Lobby."

And Wahhabism, as former CIA director Jim Woolsey has said, is "the soil in which bin Ladenism grows."

Expect to see more such recommendations that terrorists whose mission is to destroy democratic societies through catastrophic bloodshed be treated with respect and deference -- without even demanding that they first give up terrorism.

But here's what's even more peculiar: Why would anyone even think of bargaining with bin Laden now? The last time he struck the United States was 9/11/01. Since then, he has not been able to do much -- not a single attack on U.S. soil. Surely, that's because he hasn't been able to manage the task and not because he's showing his appreciation for President Bush's good behavior.

And what would we negotiate for? Would we ask bin Laden to order al-Qaeda's commander in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, to stop sending out suicide bombers and to form a political party instead? How would that work since he's not even an Iraqi?

OK, let's suppose that bin Laden said: "Fine. I'll call off Zarqawi. Here's what I want from you in return. Get out of Iraq and stop supporting Israel and Egypt."

For the sake of argument, let's say we agree -- and then two days later terrorists blow up the Smithsonian.

The group that claims credit: "al-Qaeda 2," whose leader issues a statement via al-Jazeera saying he has no intention of caving in to the infidels as easily as that coward and apostate, bin Laden.

Our next step would be what? To negotiate a deal with the new guy and with every terrorist that murders a few of us? Or would there be a cut-off for qualifying? Perhaps we'd only negotiate with those terrorists who kill more than 500 Americans?

This is a strategy so ignorant and wrong-headed only an intellectual could defend it.

Except, come to think of it, we already tried it. In 1972, terrorists murdered Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. The group responsible, the Palestine Liberation Organization under Yasser Arafat, wasn't punished or even de-legitimized -- it was rewarded. Arafat remained a terrorist master for the rest of his life.

It's the economics, stupid: Reward terrorism, you get more terrorism. Make terrorism a dead end -- literally and figuratively -- and there is at least a chance you can defeat it.
: A group not heard of before, the Islamic Inquilab Mahaz, or Front for Islamic Uprising, claimed responsibility for Saturday's bombings, which police said killed 59 people and wounded 210. No doubt Professor Zerkin (see above) would advise the Indian government to open negotiations with them.

"Al-Majd channels acknowledged this week that Saudi suicide bomber Mohammed Shathaf Al-Shehri, who attacked the Al-Hamra Oasis Village compound in Riyadh on May 12, 2003, was a math teacher and a hired comedian for the television station."
More in this article by Steven Stalinsky in the NY Sun.

Hat tip: Kathryn Lopez.

It's taking shape. Read what our friend Omar has to say here.

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