Never Negotiate with Terrorists

 

Do you remember who was the first person to say we should never negotiate with terrorists?—

America will never make concessions to terrorists–to do so would only invite more terrorism- nor will we ask or pressure any other government to do so. Once we head down that path there would be no end to it, no end to suffering of innocent people, no end to the bloody ransom all civilized nations must pay.

President Ronald Reagan made this statement in 1985 when TWA Flight 847 was hijacked. Although the U.S. was closely monitoring this terrorist act, we did not participate in negotiations.

Then we see President Barack Obama supposedly not negotiating with terrorists for the deserter, Bowe Bergdahl in 2014:

The difference with Bergdahl, as Obama argues, is that he wasn’t really a hostage grabbed by terrorists. He pretty neatly fit the classic definition of a prisoner of war. He had just left a military outpost in an obvious war zone while (presumably) wearing his uniform. History is loaded with examples of nations—including America—making deals to free their soldiers.

And however nasty the Taliban may be, it’s not really a “terrorist” enemy as we commonly understand the word. The group is not on the State Department’s official list of terrorist organizations and has long been a battlefield enemy in the ground war for control of Afghanistan. It is not plotting to, say, hijack American airplanes—even if it does have sympathies with people who are. [my bold]

Many of us would agree that Obama did negotiate with terrorists; funny how events and labels can change in the face of our abandoning Afghanistan to the Taliban.

We are now in the position, because of our disastrous decisions in Afghanistan, of having to negotiate with the Taliban. No matter how many times Jen Psaki tries to wordsmith “negotiate,” the results are the same.

*     *     *     *

Whatever you want to call our collaboration with the Taliban, a group that we are now dependent on to allow the flying of citizens and allies out of the country, there is a major concern that no one has addressed regarding the reliability of the Taliban: taqqiya. The terrorists embrace the practice of taqqiya, and it could dangerously compromise our working with them. Here are a couple of definitions:

Quran (3:28) – This verse instructs believers not to take those outside the faith as friends, unless it is to ‘guard themselves’ against danger, meaning that there are times when a Muslim may appear friendly to non-Muslims, even though they should not feel friendly.

Quran (66:2) – ‘Allah has already ordained for you the dissolution of your oaths…’ For today’s reader, the circumstances for betraying your word are not specified, leaving this verse open to interpretation.  According to Yusuf Ali in his commentary: ‘if your vows prevent you from doing good, or acting rightly, or making peace between persons, you should expiate the vow.’  (Presumably, whatever advances the cause of Islam would qualify as ‘doing good’).

The message from the Koran is loud and clear, according to Muslim extremists: lying is okay, and Allah does not object to lying.

*     *     *     *

Now we find ourselves in the position of having to work with terrorists who are willing to lie to justify their actions. We have no reason to believe that they will follow through on any of their agreements. We have no reason to think that they are telling us the truth regarding their treatment of citizens or allies. We have no reason to think that they will not harbor terrorists like al Qaeda who have already attacked us in our own country; I’m quite confident that the Haqqani network will be happy to help them out in executing foreign attacks.

Who knows what demands they are making, or will make in the future, to get what they need and want? Why should they value the lives of our countrymen and allies when they do not value life but instead celebrate martyrdom? What makes us think that they will change their “transition government” to a group of people more acceptable to us? In fact, why should they do anything that is acceptable to us?

I see no other choice than our sending in military in some way that we can at least temporarily put the Taliban on their heels. Otherwise, our losses may very well be more deadly than we can imagine.

Congress must act. Now.

Do you have other strategies we could try?

Published in Islamist Terrorism
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  1. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    One wonders if we should have a practicing Muslim do all negotiations with the Taliban?  Then, any lies would be a function of their innate untrustworthyness since they would be dealing with another Muslim. 

    • #1
  2. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    I think it was president Thomas Jefferson who declared no tributes will paid to pirates. 

    • #2
  3. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Susan Quinn:

     

    I see no other choice than our sending in military in some way that we can at least temporarily put the Taliban on their heels.

    This is insanity.  We just did that. 

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    I think it was president Thomas Jefferson who declared no tributes will paid to pirates.

    Works for me!

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    BDB (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

     

    I see no other choice than our sending in military in some way that we can at least temporarily put the Taliban on their heels.

    This is insanity. We just did that.

    But these terms would be much clearer and different. We must have learned something in 20 years about the need to have clear strategies. Of course, would I trust our military to be able to do that?

    So we’re just supposed to hope, @bdb

    • #5
  6. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Dbroussa (View Comment):

    One wonders if we should have a practicing Muslim do all negotiations with the Taliban? Then, any lies would be a function of their innate untrustworthyness since they would be dealing with another Muslim.

    They’d declare him an apostate. Problem solved.

    Notice how similar the behavior of the left is to the behavior of Muslims.

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Dbroussa (View Comment):

    One wonders if we should have a practicing Muslim do all negotiations with the Taliban? Then, any lies would be a function of their innate untrustworthyness since they would be dealing with another Muslim.

    They’d declare him an apostate. Problem solved.

    Notice how similar the behavior of the left is to the behavior of Muslims.

    That’s why the Left never complains about Islamists. They kill gays, transgenders and women who don’t cover their faces, but what the heck . . . 

    • #7
  8. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    We must have learned something in 20 years about the need to have clear strategies.

    “We”?   We who?   Not the government   Not the deep state.  Not the people who make money with armchair opining about how to fight the next war. 
    We have just been treated to an epic lesson.  This country is incapable of carrying out your otherwise reasonable scheme.  

    • #8
  9. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    This is a lesson famously not learned for decades.  There is no reason to think that it has been learned now.  The supposedly great Gulf War I was an aberration, like the election of Trump.

    And even Donaldus Magnus, GEOTUS, was unable to get us out of Afghanistan. 

    After Obama and Biden converted our sacrifice to mere waste, let us not compound the horror by failing to learn from the Joebama waste of what was left.  
    Lives, opportunity, position, mere money — these are sunk costs now.  We are not “due for a win”, and there is no justice to take care of us.  We are incompetent at war.  
    You are right about the lessons that *should* be learned, but they are not.  

    I have no doubt that you will get your wish.  We will be back in Afghanistan.  We won’t even leave.  
     
    More’s the pity in both cases.  The gangrene will spread from our failure of resolve to simply amputate.  

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    BDB (View Comment):

    This is a lesson famously not learned for decades. There is no reason to think that it has been learned now. The supposedly great Gulf War I was an aberration, like the election of Trump.

    And even Donaldus Magnus, GEOTUS, was unable to get us out of Afghanistan.

    After Obama and Biden converted our sacrifice to mere waste, let us not compound the horror by failing to learn from the Joebama waste of what was left.
    Lives, opportunity, position, mere money — these are sunk costs now. We are not “due for a win”, and there is no justice to take care of us. We are incompetent at war.
    You are right about the lessons that *should* be learned, but they are not.

    I have no doubt that you will get your wish. We will be back in Afghanistan. We won’t even leave.

    More’s the pity in both cases. The gangrene will spread from our failure of resolve to simply amputate.

    It’s hard for me to even try to argue with you, BDB. I don’t disagree. We have learned nothing. And this time we gave over our people to the Taliban in such a stupid and unnecessary way that it makes me want to tear out my hair. I can’t stand that our citizens may not survive if we “hurt the feelings” of the Taliban, and our allies will be abandoned and killed. There’s no chance the Taliban will let them out. No chance at all. 

    • #10
  11. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Lying is exactly what we did to the Taliban when we broke the deal and did not exit in March. Plenty of blame to go around.

    The Taliban do not require a military solution. Nearly all of our problems in the Middle East come from excessive foreign involvement, going back to Sykes-Picot. The Taliban are a threat to us if our government allows them to be. This is stuff that our intelligence community is more than capable of handling. This is stuff that can be easily prevented with strong border security. I would much rather these agencies perform their legitimate functions than pour more military gas on the fire.

     

    • #11
  12. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    James Salerno (View Comment):
    This is stuff that our intelligence community is more than capable of handling.

    Our intelligence community O HO SAY CAN YOU SEE has higher priorities.  

    • #12
  13. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    BDB (View Comment):

    James Salerno (View Comment):
    This is stuff that our intelligence community is more than capable of handling.

    Our intelligence community O HO SAY CAN YOU SEE has higher priorities.

    Exactly.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    Lying is exactly what we did to the Taliban when we broke the deal and did not exit in March. Plenty of blame to go around.

    The Taliban do not require a military solution. Nearly all of our problems in the Middle East come from excessive foreign involvement, going back to Sykes-Picot. The Taliban are a threat to us if our government allows them to be. This is stuff that our intelligence community is more than capable of handling. This is stuff that can be easily prevented with strong border security. I would much rather these agencies perform their legitimate functions than pour more military gas on the fire.

     

    You mean our southern border if they try to sneak in? Right. . .

    • #14
  15. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    I would be for your rescue in force option if we had competent military leaders at the top. Lately that is in doubt.

    • #15
  16. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    We also can’t ask our allies to help us militarily. Why would they, after our not telling them what we were doing and leaving them stranded with our ridiculous deadline? That insisting on the Aug. 31 deadline was another major mistake.

    • #17
  18. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Our first tactic in our strategy should be to recognize the new government and reopen the embassy. We should never have withdrawn our embassy and all its personnel. 

    One of the complaints is that we have lost all of our intelligence capabilities inside Afghanistan as a result of the debacle. This is largely true. Reopening an embassy is a first step to clawing that capability back. 

    As for never negotiating with terrorists, its nice rhetoric but highly unrealistic. Reagan didn’t follow his own advice. There were back-door channels to Iran and Hezbollah. This precluded embarrassment to both sides. When this became public, there was more than embarrassment. 

    As for lying, the very definition of a diplomat is an honorable person sent to lie for his country.

     

    • #18
  19. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    We also can’t ask our allies to help us militarily. Why would they, after our not telling them what we were doing and leaving them stranded with our ridiculous deadline? That insisting on the Aug. 31 deadline was another major mistake.

    Why not if there is something that we need help with? They will agree or disagree to the extent that their interests are parallel.  We did leave them stranded, but when Biden is gone, a different calculation will be made and a price may be extracted.

    • #19
  20. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Our first tactic in our strategy should be to recognize the new government and reopen the embassy. We should never have withdrawn our embassy and all its personnel. 

    One of the complaints is that we have lost all of our intelligence capabilities inside Afghanistan as a result of the debacle. This is largely true. Reopening an embassy is a first step to clawing that capability back. 

    Gob-smacking.  We evacuated the Embassy because the Taliban doesn’t want our Embassy there, holding it at risk, and we *should not have one there anyway*.  An Embassy is SOVEREIGN SOIL O HO SAY CAN YOU SEE, and if anything bad should happen to our Embassy, why — there might be a war, right?  That’s what keeps Embassies safe.  And nothing else.

    We were already at war with them.  They were already roughing up Americans.  How much do you think they care if we shake our finger at them and threaten to attack?  “You behave or we shall become very, very angry.”  They’ll thumb their noses at us and shrug it off.  And then we attack, right?  Not like we would simply let diplomatic staff be murdered and dragged through the streets.  They would simply absorb the attack and get on with their baby-milk-factory outrage machine — if they even cared that much. 

     

     

    • #20
  21. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    BDB (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Our first tactic in our strategy should be to recognize the new government and reopen the embassy. We should never have withdrawn our embassy and all its personnel.

    One of the complaints is that we have lost all of our intelligence capabilities inside Afghanistan as a result of the debacle. This is largely true. Reopening an embassy is a first step to clawing that capability back.

    Gob-smacking. We evacuated the Embassy because the Taliban doesn’t want our Embassy there, holding it at risk, and we *should not have one there anyway*. An Embassy is SOVEREIGN SOIL O HO SAY CAN YOU SEE, and if anything bad should happen to our Embassy, why — there might be a war, right? That’s what keeps Embassies safe. And nothing else.

    We were already at war with them. They were already roughing up Americans. How much do you think they care if we shake our finger at them and threaten to attack? “You behave or we shall become very, very angry.” They’ll thumb their noses at us and shrug it off. And then we attack, right? Not like we would simply let diplomatic staff be murdered and dragged through the streets. They would simply absorb the attack and get on with their baby-milk-factory outrage machine — if they even cared that much.

     

     

    Embassies are going to reopen. The US should be among those that do. 

     

    • #21
  22. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Is it just me or was there no exaggeration in that cartoon? 

    • #22
  23. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Our first tactic in our strategy should be to recognize the new government and reopen the embassy. We should never have withdrawn our embassy and all its personnel. 

    If I were in the Foreign Service, I’d be loathe to stay in a country the Taliban controlled.

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Our first tactic in our strategy should be to recognize the new government and reopen the embassy.

    I disagree with most of your points, @hangon. So it goes. Also, you’re saying that we should recognize a Taliban government?

    • #24
  25. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Our first tactic in our strategy should be to recognize the new government and reopen the embassy.

    I disagree with most of your points, @ hangon. So it goes. Also, you’re saying that we should recognize a Taliban government?

    The Taliban are the ones in charge of Afghanistan, so yes. Like it or not. If we stand off, we are likely to have zero ability to hear what is going on inside Afghanistan. Which is what everyone seems most worried about. 

    • #25
  26. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Our first tactic in our strategy should be to recognize the new government and reopen the embassy. We should never have withdrawn our embassy and all its personnel.

    If I were in the Foreign Service, I’d be loathe to stay in a country the Taliban controlled.

    Personally, I’d like to assign 100% of CIA and NSA management to Kabul.

    • #26
  27. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Our first tactic in our strategy should be to recognize the new government and reopen the embassy.

    I disagree with most of your points, @ hangon. So it goes. Also, you’re saying that we should recognize a Taliban government?

    The Taliban are the ones in charge of Afghanistan, so yes. Like it or not. If we stand off, we are likely to have zero ability to hear what is going on inside Afghanistan. Which is what everyone seems most worried about.

    Afghanistan is just a chance to bleed.

    We never took leather to Pakistan, which was always (since the 1980s) the key to Afghanistan, because we were busy placating Pakistan at the same time.  Somehow, we got on the wrong side of the power curve there and never figured out that that was the primary problem.  Or never felt that it was worth solving.

    Our government, through some mixture of incompetence and dishonesty, has proven itself unwilling and unable to address these problems forthrightly.  There is not a single thing that will make it worthwhile to waste another life in Afghanistan.  We get nothng for it.

    Yessssss, America will probably get hit again.  We already cannot prevent it.  Up to 100,000 largely un-vetted “refugees” have been brought into the country.  We don’t need intel about what’s going on in Afghanistan.  We need border security, reasonable immigration security, and a government that doesn’t view patriotic Americans as a threat to the country.

    The government is the domestic enemy of the Constitution.  Afghanistan is a hobby for career wonks.  We have a problem to solve at home.  Afghanistan can hang.

    • #27
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Our first tactic in our strategy should be to recognize the new government and reopen the embassy.

    I disagree with most of your points, @ hangon. So it goes. Also, you’re saying that we should recognize a Taliban government?

    The Taliban are the ones in charge of Afghanistan, so yes. Like it or not. If we stand off, we are likely to have zero ability to hear what is going on inside Afghanistan. Which is what everyone seems most worried about.

    What makes you think that the Taliban will allow us to hang around? Once this initial mess is taken care of, and let’s say we recognize the Taliban government, why do you think they’ll let us stay?

    • #28
  29. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    BDB (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Our first tactic in our strategy should be to recognize the new government and reopen the embassy.

    I disagree with most of your points, @ hangon. So it goes. Also, you’re saying that we should recognize a Taliban government?

    The Taliban are the ones in charge of Afghanistan, so yes. Like it or not. If we stand off, we are likely to have zero ability to hear what is going on inside Afghanistan. Which is what everyone seems most worried about.

    Afghanistan is just a chance to bleed.

    We never took leather to Pakistan, which was always (since the 1980s) the key to Afghanistan, because we were busy placating Pakistan at the same time. Somehow, we got on the wrong side of the power curve there and never figured out that that was the primary problem. Or never felt that it was worth solving.

    Our government, through some mixture of incompetence and dishonesty, has proven itself unwilling and unable to address these problems forthrightly. There is not a single thing that will make it worthwhile to waste another life in Afghanistan. We get nothng for it.

    Yessssss, America will probably get hit again. We already cannot prevent it. Up to 100,000 largely un-vetted “refugees” have been brought into the country. We don’t need intel about what’s going on in Afghanistan. We need border security, reasonable immigration security, and a government that doesn’t view patriotic Americans as a threat to the country.

    The government is the domestic enemy. Afghanistan is a hobby for career wonks.

    This is what I was getting it, we are basically asking for problems. As far as I’m concerned, we are not taking in refugees. Refugees are women and children. Look at the pictures of who is coming over, its 95% young men. Fighting age men are not refugees, they’re cowards. They did not fight for their country and they skipped the line over women and children to come here. Why on Earth would we want people like that here? How many of these people even know how to use a computer? How many of these people have skills? How many of these people are going to end up in our high schools when they’re actually in their thirties? It’s insanity.

    This is a border security issue. We easily have the resources to prevent any problems occurring from this, but we choose not to. We’re allocating 100% of our resources against domestic terrorist bogeymen who don’t exist. It’s a joke. If our government did their job and pulled their heads out of their arse, we wouldn’t have anything to worry about. But no, they want these problems to occur. Any future tragedies along the lines of what Europe experiences are blood on their hands.

    • #29
  30. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    I’ll quibble with Salerno on a single point — many of the young men did fight and bleed, and a lot of them died.  No doubt, some of the most motivated to get n the planes were those who fought unashamed, in their own name, for the effort we led.

    But in general, YES.  We have also fought and bled, and we owe Afghanistan nothing.  Not anymore.

     

    • #30