Saturday, April 10, 2004

WE DON'T NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS


Or do we?

Cheney: "you can't negotiate with them, there's no treaty at the end of the day here."

Ari Fleischer: "the United States government does not and will not negotiate."

Bush: "It's hard to negotiate -- stop terror. You either stop terror or you don't stop terror. It's not -- oh, yes, they understand, they know our feelings, they do, yes. "

Bush: "You can't talk to them, you can't negotiate with them."

Bush: "No nation can negotiate with terrorists."

Al Jazeera: "Talks are under way with Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, whose militiamen and supporters have taken up arms against occupation forces in Iraq."

(Just browsing AJ this evening, trying to see past the US reporting and find out more about the Iraq uprising).

BBC: "The US declared a truce in Falluja."

Gee, that sounds like negotiating to me.

**UPDATE: To be clear, it is not always wrong to negotiate with terrorists, as Roger Fisher and William Ury will attest. It depends on the costs and benefits of our next best alternative to a negotiated settlement. The rhetoric of "we do not negotiate with terrorists" is valuable to the Bush administration as tough talk, but if taken to heart could create a whole host of new problems in ending the violence in Iraq and ending generic terrorist aggression against the US.

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