Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 14, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

NEGOTIATING WITH TERRORISTS....Most everyone agrees that you don't negotiate with terrorists or accede to their demands in order to win the release of a hostage. But did the United States really halt the release of prisoners it was already planning to release just so no one would think we were releasing them because terrorists had demanded it? Jeanne has the story.

Kevin Drum 8:21 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (32)

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Most everyone agrees that you don't negotiate with terrorists or accede to their demands in order to win the release of a hostage

Careful with that "most everyone." Republicans, for example, don't agree with it, as they proved when the Reagan Adminstration negotiated with terrorists sponsored by Iran and traded arms to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages.

Posted by: Stefan on February 14, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Negotiate is the incorrect word.

The Republican talking points with clear this up.

Posted by: Sideline on February 14, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know. Is that really such a bad idea? I mean, if one thinks the "never ever negotiate with terrorists" position is a good one, then if one were to give the impression of negotiating with terrorists (even if one were not) than all of the possible consequences one was worried about if one actually negotiated with terrorists would still apply, no? The terrorists would claim a victory, bloggers would suspect the gov had caved, and so on. Delaying the release of said prisoners would seem to be prudent, if one believed in the negative consequences of negotiation--or even just appearing to negotiate. Right?

Posted by: alex on February 14, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone agrees to pretend they never negotiate with terrorists, but almost everyone actually does.

Posted by: jefff on February 14, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

They're gonna fuck around trying look tough and get Jill Carroll killed. Then they'll try to make partisan hay out of the situation, 'Muslims are violent by nature' and all that...All to build fear and support for military action in Iran.

Bastards.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 14, 2006 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

This is completely reasonable. Terrorists support the release of the prisoners. Therefore refusing to release the prisoners is a perfectly legitimate retaliation against them. If terrorists want X and are willing to engage in terrorism to promote X, then we should do everything in our power to deny them X. It's really quite simple.

Congratulations, Mr. President, on finally doing something right.

Posted by: FXKLM on February 14, 2006 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Jefff. If you do a little study of history, you'll see that most governments do negotiate with terrorists at one point or another, if the terrorists demands are reasonable and the deal can be kept secret, so that it appears that there are no negotiations.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on February 14, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

If these terrorists ever read a book about reverse psychology we're really in trouble.

Posted by: ranaaurora on February 14, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

So if they did release them. You'd blame Bush. If not, you blame Bush.

Why do you love terrorists so much, Kevin?

Posted by: McA on February 14, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

So if they did release them. You'd blame Bush. If not, you blame Bush. Why do you love terrorists so much, Kevin?

According to Iraqi officials, U.S. officials delayed the scheduled release of six female prisoners whom they knew had already been found innocent because of the kidnappers' demand for their release. Then they refused to speed up the review of the files of the five remaining female prisoners, in violation of a policy of giving priority to females in the review of detainee files for release.

You're so fucking dense it hurts.

Posted by: trex on February 14, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Well, they could've tried the Israeli approach, which would've been to arrest a hundred more random women, and then free those women in exchange for the terrorists freeing Carroll. Or maybe only free half of the 100 seized women - the others might come in handy.

Marwan Barghouti used to talk about the Israeli style of negotiation by telling a story from when he was in prison, and the Israelis stopped letting them take library books into their cells or something. They staged a non-compliance and hunger strike, demanding their books back. So the Israelis took away their mattresses. The hunger strike broadened, and they insisted on getting their mattresses back. Then the Israelis gave them their mattresses back, and they considered it a victory and called off the strike. They never got their books.

Of course, this approach has given the Israelis a 20-year-long insurrection in the West Bank and Gaza, so it obviously doesn't work as well as they seem to think it does.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 15, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

But did the United States really halt the release of prisoners it was already planning to release just so no one would think we were releasing them because terrorists had demanded it?

If so I don't know that this is such a bad thing. Psychology is important in warfare.

Posted by: Sunset on February 15, 2006 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

According to Iraqi officials, U.S. officials delayed the scheduled release of six female prisoners whom they knew had already been found innocent

Posted by: trex on February 14, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Innocence is irrelevant. Fact is, Kevin would attack regardless of the conclusion.

Posted by: McA on February 15, 2006 at 3:22 AM | PERMALINK

If one were to give the impression of negotiating with terrorists than all of the possible consequences one was worried about if one actually negotiated with terrorists would still apply

Posted by: gur on February 15, 2006 at 4:46 AM | PERMALINK

Ronald Reagan negotiated with the terrorists who murdered our Marines in Lebanon. the SOB sold them weapons.

Posted by: gus on February 15, 2006 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, actually standing up against an enemy, I know it's a new concept for you.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 15, 2006 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

You know, I'm reading down through this tripe, and I've got plenty of beefs with the way Bush is handling the war, and our allies, and the rest of the world.

But you clowns just simply have no clue.

Could you make at least some small measure of an attempt at doing anything reasonable? Could you indicate in any way that you have the moxie to do what needs done? Here we have Bush, an absolutely pathetic President, and he's still preferable to your alternative.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 15, 2006 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush secretly negotiated with the Iranian terrorists who held the U.S. Embassy hostages in Teheran in 1979-80, in order to make Reagan appear to be a real tough guy. It should have earned both of them convictions for treason and possibly, the gallows.

See the story here: http://www.consortiumnews.com/archive/xfile9.html

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 15, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: I've got plenty of beefs with the way Bush is handling the war, and our allies, and the rest of the world.

You should quit hiding them then behind your claimed facade of lemming-like devotion to Bush.

But you clowns just simply have no clue.

To see a clueless clown, cn, just look in the mirror.

Hmmm, actually standing up against an enemy, I know it's a new concept for you.

Yeah, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, LBJ and Clinton wouldn't know a thing about that, eh?

Not to mention Kerry who stood so tall he got wounded, while Bush stood so low he just got drunk and Cheney couldn't even stand up period.

Get a new lie; that one is growing old.

Here we have Bush, an absolutely pathetic President, and he's still preferable to your alternative.

No, he isn't. Your infatution with Bush, despite your self-servingly mendacious claim about how negatively you view him, just gets in the way of your seeing it.

Could you indicate in any way that you have the moxie to do what needs done?

Since "moxie" to you is limited to talking tough but not acting tough, communicating what needs to be done to you is a waste of time.

You would have to actually understand the word "moxie" to get anything out of such a communication.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 15, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK
If so I don't know that this is such a bad thing. Psychology is important in warfare.


So, tell me, when people find out your are deliberately extending detention of innocent women, how does that help the perception of the American presence?

Posted by: cmdicely on February 15, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

AoG
Check the archives, you don't see me defending Bush nearly as much as just pounding you moonbats. You know, pretty much the same thing I just wrote.

And here's your clue: You're no longer the party of FDR and Truman. You're now the party of Michael Moore and Ward Churchill. You moonbats certainly don't sound like JFK

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
You are now the party of cower, cringe, and capitulate.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 15, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut, if all you can do is splutter incoherently, why post?

Posted by: No Preference on February 15, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

C-Nut, do you recall that, in this passage:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

"any foe" includes anyone opposed to the survival and success of liberty. Including people like you that want to through liberty out the window for a fleeting illusion, based on fraud (see the Guatanamo thread for a perfect example), of security.

We're still the party of JFK. The enemies of liberty aren't all foreign.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 15, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Ya cm, but when you view Republicans as the main problem, that's a problem. Given that Bush's policies are virtually indistinguishable from Clinton's policies, and you still think Republicans are taking us to hell in a handbasket, that's a problem.

In short, when your priorities are as screwed up as they are, it's mighty hard to take you seriously. So I don't.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 15, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: You are now the party of cower, cringe, and capitulate.

Yawn.

Nobody cringes better than Bush.

Talking tough, but acting like a pussy when push comes to shove (abandoning the real fight and the hard fight in Afghanistan and Pakistan) is a Bush specialty.

Just like his support for the Vietnam War while he ducked any risk.

You've failed time and again to point to any time that Bush has stood tall - plenty of pointers to talking tall, but not to standing tall.

Bush's backbone is about as stiff as a slug's body.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 15, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

conspiray nut: Given that Bush's policies are virtually indistinguishable from Clinton's policies . . .

In short, when your conclusions are as transparently mendacious and idiotic as the above, it's mighty hard to take you seriously.

So, we don't.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 15, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

But you are fun to kick around, since your mendacity and illogic are so easy to expose.

You should get together with rdw.

I hear Bush has a free buttcheek that needs kissing.

But beware which one you choose, 'cause rdw has dibs on one of them and he's very jealous of his possession!

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 15, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Ya cm, but when you view Republicans as the main problem, that's a problem.

I don't recall saying "Republicans" were "the main problem".

Now, there is a certain faction -- currently dominant -- of the Republican Party that, by virtue of actually holding the Presidency and actually using that position to destroy liberty, is one of the most significant threats to liberty faced in recent years. But Republicans, per se, aren't the main problem.

Given that Bush's policies are virtually indistinguishable from Clinton's policies,

Strange, then, that so many of the people that hated Clinton love Bush and vice versa. You, and maybe Ralph Nader, seem to think the two are indistinguishable, but most of the rest of the US -- and the planet -- can see a difference.


Posted by: cmdicely on February 15, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

I don't recall saying "Republicans" were "the main problem".
I know, you just inferred it. But your desire to want it both ways (saying it and not saying it) isn't going to go far with me.

Strange, then, that so many of the people that hated Clinton love Bush and vice versa.
Heh, I think this makes the second thing I agree with you on.

I will freely rob from an old post at Dean Esmay's

Bush says he believes in global warming and wants to do something, but opposes Kyoto. Clinton said that he believed in global warming and we needed to do something about it, but the country wasn't ready for Kyoto. Clinton said he believed in the 2nd amendment, but signed the Brady Bill. Bush says he supports the 2nd amendment, and has done absolutely nothing to loosen gun control.
Bush raised Federal education spending. So did Clinton. Both men are pro free trade, but both have made occasional compromises on tarriffs. Neither was involved in massive increases in the regulatory state [depending on definitions, Bush has become worse here]. Bush believes in allowing religious groups to compete freely for Federal funds alongside of secular groups. Clinton supported a Constitutional amendment to return prayer to the public schools.
Clinton wanted abortion "safe legal and rare," while Bush wants "encourage a culture of life," the sum total difference between them being that Bush cut funding for abortions overseas and has cut a few million dollars from funding for stem cell research--a compromise position that is, perhaps, 2% to the right of Clinton's own hemming and hawing on stem cells.
On Affirmative Action, Bill Clinton wanted to "mend it not end it," while Bush wants to, uhm, alter it slightly but still keep racial preferences in place.
Both men oppose medical marijuana and support the "war on drugs."
Now, your inability, and the inability of others, to see the similarities in policy positions between these two is not my problem. We can find some differences, Bush cut taxes. But he did so in a recession, not exactly an earth-shattering move. Bush initiated the WoT, but he had 9/11; do you want to believe that Clinton would have rolled over and played dead after that? And Clinton actually vetoed things.

But the difference between them is not so much policy, as perception. Your perception. And again, it makes you hard to take seriously.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 15, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Good work, AoG; 3 comments and no content. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 15, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

In January, 2009, terrorsts demand that Bush leave office. Bush, to tumultuous applause from CN and his ilk, announces that the US does not negotiate with terrorists, and declares himself president for life . . .

Posted by: rea on February 15, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

The point being, CN, that we can never be deterred from doing what is right, merely on the grounds that it is also what terrorists demand. If the women were found innocent, we must let them go.

PS CN, I've heard rumors that Osama demands that you continue breathing . . . ;)

Posted by: rea on February 15, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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