Never negotiate with terrorists?

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russ_watters
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Back to the topic at hand (Adam has led you guys waaay OT. Don't follow him.)...
wasteofo2 said:
I know that the USA has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists, but what if there were a really reasonable terrorist? Like another USA soldier or whatever is kidnapped, videotaped, and a ransom of something petty is given, just to see if the USA would bend to their will at all? Say a terrorist wanted $100 for the life of a USA soldier, wouldn't the guy who said "NO NEGOTIATION!" be hated amongst all americans if the hostage was killed because he didn't even want to try giving the terrorists $100?

Of course no terrorist would ask for $100, they all want total troop withdrawl, just a random hypothetical.
Actually, its a pretty simple question and it has a simple answer: No - even if we do find a "reasonble terrorist" (if that's not a contradiction in terms, I don't know what is), we should not negotiate with them. In fact, the more reasonable, the less you should negotiate with them - negotiation encourages future acts of terrorism by making it succeessful/profitable.

Two examples:

In the 1970s and 80s, there were a lot of airplane hijackings, mostly in Israel. It was the tactic of choice. But it has stopped. Why? The Israelis virtually never negotiated and the terrorists pretty much always ended up dead, without any of their demands being met (generally, the demand was 'release my buddy from prison'). The terrorists learned that it was a bad idea and largely stopped.

Kidnapping for ransom in the US: It used to be pretty big. When was the last time you heard of one? The reason, is the FBI is relentless in the pursuit of kidnappers and they almost never succeeded. Message sent/received.
 
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Robert Zaleski
Reasonable men are not terrorist. Negotiating with a terrorist organization increases their status and provides them with an excellent sounding board for recruiting new members. Negotiating with terrorist makes a sovereign nation look submissive and emasculated.
 
Njorl
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Actually, Israel negotiates with terrorists on a regular basis. They frequently exchange prisoners for their soldiers, or even the remains of their soldiers.

Policy is useful as a deterrent, but it should not be a straightjacket. Pay the $100 if you think it will really get the hostage back. Then, make sure it costs the terrorist organization a lot more than $100. Every recovered hostage is a source of intelligence. If terrorists want to shoot themselves in the foot, we should not let our policy stop them. Yes, giving in to terrorist demands encourages more terrorism, but when exploiting terrorist's stupidity outweighs that damage, it should be done. When the dumbass who demanded $100 gets tracked down and captured, he will not inspire more terrorism.

Njorl
 
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RE: "That the US used the proceeds of the illegal sale to illegally fund the contras is not the point. The point is the US sold weapons to the sponsors of terrorists."

Sorry if I misunderstood the point.

But wasn't Reagan roundly criticized for allowing this deal to take place? Wasn't that because the US was perceived as having violated its policy of not negotiating with terrorists?

I will give another example to russ' point: The terrorist activity we had in this country during the late 60s/early 70s. Groups like the SLA never got what they wanted, and the public never supported them. So these groups pretty much vanished.
 
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wasteofo2 said:
I know that the USA has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists, but what if there were a really reasonable terrorist? Like another USA soldier or whatever is kidnapped, videotaped, and a ransom of something petty is given, just to see if the USA would bend to their will at all? Say a terrorist wanted $100 for the life of a USA soldier, wouldn't the guy who said "NO NEGOTIATION!" be hated amongst all americans if the hostage was killed because he didn't even want to try giving the terrorists $100?

Of course no terrorist would ask for $100, they all want total troop withdrawl, just a random hypothetical.
What if they gave the terrorist $100, and they still killed the hostage? Then what happens next? :confused:
 
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russ_watters said:
Back to the topic at hand (Adam has led you guys waaay OT. Don't follow him.)...
Actually I have been 100% ON topic. The topic is whether the USA negotiates with terrorists. They do. Simple. I'll provide a list later if people want it.
 
loseyourname
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Wrong Adam.

wasteofo2 said:
I know that the USA has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists, but what if there were a really reasonable terrorist? Like another USA soldier or whatever is kidnapped, videotaped, and a ransom of something petty is given, just to see if the USA would bend to their will at all? Say a terrorist wanted $100 for the life of a USA soldier, wouldn't the guy who said "NO NEGOTIATION!" be hated amongst all americans if the hostage was killed because he didn't even want to try giving the terrorists $100?

Of course no terrorist would ask for $100, they all want total troop withdrawl, just a random hypothetical.
He didn't ask whether or not the US negotiates with terrorists. He asked whether or not, in this hypothetical situation, the US should negotiate with these terrorists.
 
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And integral to the opening post is the part "I know that the USA has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists" which is false. The answer to the question must be based on history, on real world knowledge, not on patriotic mumbo-jumbo. The real world shows us that yes, the USA will negotiate with terrorists.
 
loseyourname
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That isn't false. The US does have that policy. Whether or not all US leaders have adhered to the policy is another matter for another thread. You still haven't answered his question.
 
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1) The policy is false.

2) Yes, I have. History shows that the answer is "yes".
 
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Adam, using your logic no policy could ever be violated, because as soon as the policy is violated it could be said to never exist.

"We have a policy of no smoking in the men's room."

"You have no such policy."

"Why do you say that?"

"I'm smoking in the men's room right now. So no such policy exists."
 
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Please let me know who provided Saddam with the best weapons in Iran-Iraq war ?
 
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Saddam wasn't known as a terrorist at the time. And he was fighting the people we considered at the time to be the real terrorists. The lesser of two evils, or so it appeared at the time.

Besides, we had no interest in either an Iran or Iraq victory. We supported Iraq just enough to keep the Iranians from winning.

But the answer to your question is "mostly the French and Russians." I am not aware of any US made tanks or aircraft used in the war, although I have not studied it.
 
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JohnDubYa said:
Adam, using your logic no policy could ever be violated, because as soon as the policy is violated it could be said to never exist.

"We have a policy of no smoking in the men's room."

"You have no such policy."

"Why do you say that?"

"I'm smoking in the men's room right now. So no such policy exists."
Are you incapable of reading? I clearly said that the policy exists. I also said that it is false, since the government with that policy does not abide by it.
 
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So the policy exists but is false... right... Lets just keep it at the policy exists and get back on topic.
 
jimmy p
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JohnDubYa said:
Saddam wasn't known as a terrorist at the time.
Not to the Americans anyway. I'm sure the Iranians could have said a few things about him. A terrorist should be a terrorist to every nation.
 
Njorl
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Omid said:
Please let me know who provided Saddam with the best weapons in Iran-Iraq war ?
His tanks were Russian and his jets were French.

Njorl
 
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jimmy p said:
Not to the Americans anyway.
Ummm, nor the English either sir.
 
loseyourname
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Adam said:
2) Yes, I have. History shows that the answer is "yes".
The question isn't would the US violate the policy. The question is should the US violate its policy in the hypothetical situation introduced? Do you even have an opinion on the matter? If not, what the hell are you doing in this thread? Aren't there enough threads for you to spread your hatred of the US?
 
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Adam, if you are going to be blunt, choose your words carefully. A statement like "the policy is false" makes little sense.

Thanks, loseyourname. Expressed my sentiments exactly.
 
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loseyourname: You also must have a reading problem. My opinion has been stated. And no, I do not hate America.

JohnDubYa: I always choose my words carefully. I said precisely what I meant.
 
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I always choose my words carefully. I said precisely what I meant.
Then the problem resides in your unclear thinking.

Sorry, but the statment "The policy is false" makes no more sense than "The policy is true." What the Hell is a false policy? A true policy?
 
loseyourname
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Adam said:
loseyourname: You also must have a reading problem. My opinion has been stated. And no, I do not hate America.
You must have a problem with being a little a-hole with nothing constructive to say. I re-read every post you made to this thread. You continually say that the US does and will negotiate with terrorists. The question is should they in the situation presented, something you have yet to address. Instead you've turned the thread into yet another fight between you and everyone who doesn't hate the US. As if there aren't enough of those already.
 
russ_watters
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Adam said:
Actually I have been 100% ON topic. The topic is whether the USA negotiates with terrorists. They do. Simple.
No, Adam, rerad the first post. The question was should we, not do we. Besides - most of us will stipulate that at some times we have. It just isn't relevant to the question of whether or not we should.

---------------------------------------------------------

Sorry I couldn't this thread back for you, wasteofo2 - did you read my response?
What if they gave the terrorist $100, and they still killed the hostage? Then what happens next?
An issue I didn't address and another good reason why you shouldn't negotiate with hostage takers. Whether the hostage-takers get what they want or not, a hostage is a witness whose existence is dangerous to the hostage-taker. There isn't much incentive to let the hostage live. The next hostage-taker, seeing this, will follow suit.

Now, you may try to bluff the hostage-taker. That's fine. But you shouldn't ever actually give in to their demands.
 
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JohnDubYa said:
Then the problem resides in your unclear thinking.

Sorry, but the statment "The policy is false" makes no more sense than "The policy is true." What the Hell is a false policy? A true policy?
A policy espoused by a state, which is not adhered to by that state. It's really quite clear.
 

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