I was listening to the BBC yesterday, as I often do, and the program host introduced a colleague, Peter Taylor. He had a new documentary called ‘Al Qaeda: Time to Talk?’.
Talking to Al Qaeda? Legitimizing their aspirations and demands? Giving them credibility?
Israel has been through this before, and learned the hard way that talking to terrorists never leads to anything but more terror. True, there are exceptions.
For instance, Israel is getting Gilad Shalit back – in exchange for a bunch of prisoners that Israel probably doesn’t want anyway. And of course, Hamas has paid such a heavy price for kidnapping Shalit, that they’ll hesitate the next time.
Not so, Al Qaeda. Talking to Al Qaeda after the many ‘victories’ it’s achieved would be an open invitation to more terror.
But, Peter Taylor didn’t stop there. You could tell from his barely repressed excitement that he had something that he REALLYWANTEDTOTALKABOUT. He had an answer to the whole problem. He, the lowly journalist that he was, knew the solution to the problem with Al Qaeda and was dying to tell us about it.
He said that Osama bin Laden had communicated with the West his demands and that they were realizable. And then, he listed them off. Most of the demands were multiple rewordings of ‘Get America Out’.
That of course, was cool with me, and probably cool with most Americans. America never really wanted to be ‘IN’, so getting OUT should be easy (once, of course, Al Qaeda stops murdering innocent Iraqis).
However, I said that fateful word ‘most’. Yes, only MOST of Al Qaeda’s demands were about getting America out. It was the other one that rocked me back on my feet.
Stop the support for Israel.
I know, I know. That’s an old one, and you can’t expect ANY demands from terrorists to include anything else. I mean, they demand the halt of support for Israel from countries who don’t even know who Israel IS.
So, that wasn’t the problem.
The problem was Peter Taylor. He was excited at how simple the solution was. He was in awe of how reasonable Osama bin Laden was being. He was thrilled at the chance to stop terrorism in it tracks by abandoning Israel.
And when Israel and Iraq have been destroyed, and Al Qaeda comes back with even MORE demands, what will Mr. Taylor be in awe over next?