We Don’t Negotiate With Terrorists
The Enemy Who Hates Our Freedoms has gotten unruly, crossing borders dreamed up by imperial empires. Impudent weeds with AK-47s and machetes impertinently raise their masked heads, taunting, braying, slashing American throats and luring the big bad bully into yet another unwinnable war. It’s time to mow the grass. Here we go. Again.
It’s been 13 years since the Bad Guys got our attention and, barely trying, won the War on Terror. They left us terrified and flummoxed and hysterical, perfectly prepared to plunder our treasury in exchange for the delusional belief that we would be more secure, that somehow – and this would all work itself out, we were assured – our drones and bombs and torture camps would eliminate the threat, not increase it.
Well, reader, you and your neighbors have spent trillions to feel better. You and your precious children are altogether safer today than ever before, right?
Is the Islamic State a threat to the United States of America? No. Our homeland is not currently under attack, and despite the blowsy rhetoric issuing forth from the caliphate (which mimics our own, “we will destroy you,” “we will pursue you to the gates of Hell”), they cannot hurt us. We have the TSA on our side.
Is the Islamic State a new and unforeseen mutation in the world of extremism? No. They’ve been murdering their fellow Muslims for a year, while our state-of-the-art surveillance network reported dutifully and watched approvingly.
Is the Islamic State the latest iteration of a distant, inscrutable villain whose motives are so mysterious that we peace-loving Americans understand them to be Pure Evil? Yes.
At least that’s the standard portrayal.
Except their motives aren’t really mysterious. And they’re not Pure Evil – unless you wish to lump anyone who uses violence to achieve their goals, which would include us nice folks who live here in America, the world’s largest purveyor and consumer of violence.
You’re probably aware that We Don’t Negotiate With Terrorists. And if you’re like most Americans, you understand and support that noble and patriotic stance. We can all agree that if you negotiate with a terrorist they’ll get the funny idea that their terrorism is helping them “win.” So, for the sake of our grandchildren and all that’s sacred, we can’t talk to these people. It sends the wrong message. Plus – and this is the really dangerous part – if we “negotiated” with the terrorists, we might find out what it is they truly want. Israel discovered this recently with Hamas. It’s a problem, because whatever they truly want is always absolutely completely totally unacceptable. So it’s better to try to kill them all before they kill us.
And they’ll try, you know. Wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you if you knew in advance that the only way you could get what you desperately need/want/deserve is to kill for it? When compromise has been preemptively dismissed as impossible, a non-starter, the unheard voice seeks the loudest megaphone at his disposal. Our We Don’t Negotiate With Terrorists policy leads inexorably to more terrorism.
Which maybe isn’t so bad. It keeps the War Machine running, and so long as the banks aren’t stealing too much the economy will always have a reliable engine.
What’s reassuring about our latest foray into the Middle East is how easy it’s going to be this time around. Islamic State. This time it’s not an amorphous, dynamic target. It’s a tangible, knowable State (that happens to currently occupy land in two other States, Iraq and Syria.) As soon as we can get all the terrorists in the world to gather in one place – as well as their offspring and various others who might mistakenly view them as martyrs — we can simply use our superior weaponry and finish them off, once and for all. A couple of well-placed nukes – boom, there’s the end of your terrorist threat.
No more weed-whacking. No more demure trimming around the edges. It’s time to re-sod the desert.
When we eliminate Islamic State, just as we eliminated Al Qaeda, foreign terrorism will be a thing of the past. No one will hate our freedoms anymore. Back home, in our fortress, all the disaffected malcontents who once sympathized with jihadis suddenly will feel rootless and directionless. Our homegrown terrorists will no longer have role models, except their own government.