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Shold we *ever* negotiate with terrorists?

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  • Shold we *ever* negotiate with terrorists?

    Are there any occassions under which it is acceptable to negotiate with terrorists?

    A plane full of hostages is a pretty big deal, and with today's media coverage in the 'age of information', every word and action will be examined and debated under intense public scrutiny. Just how bad does it look if the terrorists blow up the plane, killing everyone aboard, in spectacular color, live on network TV? 'Look world, we failed, in digital'.

    Public relations nightmare? Should this even be a concern? And even if the answer to that is no; isn't the reality that it is, and forever will continue to be? The facts of the matter are that the 'big man' will generally take the fall, be he a mayor, chief of police, head of a tactical strike team, what-have-you. And if something goes awry, you can bet that the big guy will pay for it, (or try to pass the buck).

    Just how can this help the situation? How are we to deal with occurrences like this when people with the most influence on events might not be focused on the proper problem? ("Everyone and the dog is watching every move I make, I'd better try to look good out there, my ass is on the line").

    Just who is the media actually helping, anyways? While I agree that undue restrictions on the media, and the 'public's right to know' are bad for a society in general; what about the specific? Is it potentially possible that the media does more for the terrorist's cause than anything that could happen were there no cameras around?

    And under what conditions is it acceptable to deal with hostages? Is there an amount of lives at stake that makes it ok? What if they have a large bomb? Or a small yield nuke, perhaps? (This must be awaiting us in the future somewhere).

    That makes the question a little murkier.
    "When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my country. I make up for lost time when I am at home."

    Winston Churchill

  • #2
    Re: Shold we *ever* negotiate with terrorists?

    Originally posted by Shane Sohnle
    Just who is the media actually helping, anyways? While I agree that undue restrictions on the media, and the 'public's right to know' are bad for a society in general; what about the specific? Is it potentially possible that the media does more for the terrorist's cause than anything that could happen were there no cameras around?
    This is a good question to ask Al-Jezeera. I think they are so counter-productive to world stability it is ridiculous. Why in god's name do they broadcast subversive statements by Bin Laden? What can that possibly help other than whip ignorant Muslims into a frenzy (I separate them from the common-sense Muslims who are normal just like the rest of us).

    I sometimes believe the media should be supressed in some instances...car bombings are one. The only reason Palestinians get such prominance is because they go for spectacular suicide bombing locations killing kids and mothers so they can make the evening news. There should be NO media coverage of those types of attacks. Of course, taking it a step further could anyone have NOT covered the WTC attacks? Probably not.

    In the end, there are probably too many pitfalls to try to prevent the media from covering terrorists...but perhaps a study of ethics by journalists would help them differentiate between getting a good story and helping the cause of those who are obviously using the media to further their cause. No easy answer...
    Our forefathers died to give us freedom, not free stuff.

    I write books about zombies as E.E. Isherwood. Check me out at ZombieBooks.net.

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    • #3
      The answer to your title:
      No. NEVER.

      (This does not include "tactical negotiation" as a tool to gain time or divert the criminals attentions.)

      Is the media "helping" the terrorists? It looks so, but actually you cannot blame the media for this ---- if you do and restrict the media on such base, YOU are actually indeed helping the terrorists. Destroying the normal civilized life is probably their second most important goal. (the first goal is probably forcing their "ideas" onto others, yet, they probably have no ideas at all, thus this "second" goal is the #1 actual reachable and definable task for them.) And the single most important part of modern civilization is the liberty of speech, esp. broadcast.

      Then, isn't the media really "helping" the terrorists? In my opinion, no. Even the funny stupid Iraq famous "no American" guy is not helping them. (apparently he did not help even if he wanted to..) Broadcasting OBL's provoking words? Well, even if the TV does not do it, the fanatics will still spread it out in a even more "divine" way somehow through the demanding muslims. And if the media is somehow restricted ---- which, will be viewed as "suppressed" by their "west-friendly" govt.s ----- things will only become worse ---- a kind of "anti-everything" psycology will develope among the crowd, a kind of "disbelief", a kind of "being fooled" or "being covered" will be the source of anger and hatred. Even MORE sympathy may go to OBL as he will be viewed mroe like a "divine" but "suppressed/oppressed" "leader".

      So in other words, I believe, the media HAS to report as much as possible. However, instead of "terrorizing people" or "provoking people", there should be more thoughtful education in the broadcast business' concern. How to do that? It is hard, but the basic idea is to use facts as tools to let people know what is right, what is wrong, and how to prevent bad things from happening, how to protect yourself and others...etc. Covering things up won't help.

      Do not "force things to go the 'right' way", instead, lead them to right ways.
      Attn to ALL my opponents:

      If you sent me your turn and after 24 hours, you still did not get anything from me, please be sure to post in the forum to ask for what is going on.

      Remember, I ALWAYS reply within 24 hours, even if I do NOT have time to play my turn, in which case I will at least send you email to tell you that I will have to play it later, but I DO receive your turn.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ER Chaser
        The answer to your title:
        No. NEVER.

        Somehow, I suspect if a terrorist group ever did announce that they'd managed to smuggle a WMD into a western city that you'd see some negotiations going on.

        Never say never.

        The ultimate goal is deterence. The primary argument against negotiation with terrorists is that it encourages others to do the same. That's only true if negotiation is the end of the story. If you make it clear that, regardless of whether negotiations occur or not, you will hunt the terrorists down, then deterence is still preserved.

        For example, there were clear cases where governments negotiated with hijackers. However, nobody hijacks planes anymore. Why? Because hijackers mostly end up dead.

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        • #5
          yep, that is what I meant by "tactical" ...
          Attn to ALL my opponents:

          If you sent me your turn and after 24 hours, you still did not get anything from me, please be sure to post in the forum to ask for what is going on.

          Remember, I ALWAYS reply within 24 hours, even if I do NOT have time to play my turn, in which case I will at least send you email to tell you that I will have to play it later, but I DO receive your turn.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Shane
            Are there any occassions under which it is acceptable to negotiate with terrorists?
            IMO No, if we give in once they will see what worked and will do it again, where would the line be drawn?

            [QUOTE-Shane]The facts of the matter are that the 'big man' will generally take the fall, be he a mayor, chief of police, head of a tactical strike team, what-have-you. And if something goes awry, you can bet that the big guy will pay for it, (or try to pass the buck). [/QUOTE]

            What ever happened to personal responsibility? These days if you eat to much Mcdonalds and become fat, you can sue Mcdonalds for becoming fat even though it was not force feed to you, so if someone hijacks and blows up a plane then why would whos ever jurisdiction said plane was hijacked and blown up in would be responsible? Unless there is a clear sign of security neglect?

            Originally posted by Shane
            Just who is the media actually helping, anyways?
            The favored party, as wrong as it is, the news is all about who they want elected in 2004 here in the states, and right now that is Wesley Clark.

            Is it potentially possible that the media does more for the terrorist's cause than anything that could happen were there no cameras around?
            Absolutly!! Without a doubt, Sadaam and Laden both have the media right where they want them, making them to be martyrs and wrongfully accused and attacked, all the while portraying us evil Americans as bullies.

            Originally posted by shane
            And under what conditions is it acceptable to deal with hostages? Is there an amount of lives at stake that makes it ok?
            Loss of life as tragic as it is, is never ok be it 1 or 1000, but as a retired soldier I can tell you that when you enter the military it is a known fact that you are there to give your life for your country, and I believe these extremist are a definate threat to not just America but to the world. Who here thinks that their agenda is going to stop after the rebuilding of Iraq? Not I. They will just move on to another camp.

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            • #7
              Ahh I see quote=... does not work here should have previewed first, just like a woman so eager to spout off, they fail to take a min to look to see how it is hitting the fan :P

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              • #8
                No.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Xena ~HS~
                  Ahh I see quote=... does not work here should have previewed first, just like a woman so eager to spout off, they fail to take a min to look to see how it is hitting the fan :P
                  I think I'll just let that one slip under the radar....
                  "When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my country. I make up for lost time when I am at home."

                  Winston Churchill

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Xena ~HS~
                    Ahh I see quote=... does not work here should have previewed first, just like a woman so eager to spout off, they fail to take a min to look to see how it is hitting the fan :P
                    Hmmm,I thought the men were a little more eager to spout off?

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                    • #11
                      I would say a terrorist in down town L.A. with his his hand on the detonator of a nuke or a big chem weapon will cause some talks.

                      Its a catch 22....

                      look at the Russians recent terror attack in the theatre.They didnt play around because lesss than a thousand people were there.

                      Where do you draw the line?1,000 or 1,000,000 lives?

                      the only way to deal with them is attempting to go about it like the US is.....try to get them at home....take it to them instead of waiting to be a victim.

                      Its a tough call,i always try to think ....what if my loved ones were in the building or plane they are attacking....jeez,a terrible thought.

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                      • #12
                        No you never deal with terrorists. In those dire situations, you play along long enough to try a manuever to save or take out the terrorists. Once you negotiate with terrorists, more will follow suit. Afterall if it worked once, all other terrorists will try also.

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                        • #13
                          Negotiate with terrorists?

                          "Are there any occassions under which it is acceptable to negotiate with terrorists?"

                          A resounding "NO!"

                          Terrorist, whatever their origin, their stated aims, their target(s) and however they choose to pursue their actual aims depend on that made implicit in their label, "TERROR". Terroirsts generally deliver their message in one of two manners: 1) by killing (e.g. suicide bombers); or 2) threatening to kill (e.g. hostage taking). In both these instance, as well as the generally less common bombing, they are in control, they decide what will or will not happen. Look at a variety incidents since, say, 1970, when terrorist acts seemed to both increase and get increased media exposure. In each instance where an innocent person was killed, it tends to occur when the terrorist(s) sense some threat, some loss of control. This is excepting suicide bombers, the detonation is their utmost expressiom of control, resulting in death. One example was the Entebbe (Uganda) hostage situation. The hijackers were, for the most part, cordial with their hostages until events seemed maybe to be slipping through their fingers. This occurred both by the hand of their Host, President Field Marshall Idi Amin Dada, and the Israeli Knesset. Amin exercised some control over the actions and freedom of movement of the terrorists, while the Knesset, stalling for time while debate raged. used Amin to have the deadline advanced. Whether the terrorists had some inkling of an Israeli strike, it is certain that they were nervous, and this showed in their deteriorating conduct towards their hostages. A similar situation played out in Munich, though with much more tragic results. After taking Israeli athletes prisoner, Black September (aka Baader-Meinhof) felt themselves in complete control. It was when negotiations with the German government were dragging on that they felt their control dissipating. They demanded an aircraft to fly them out of Germany to safety. An ill-conceived rescue by the German Federal Police resulted in the death of all 11 Israelis and several of the terorist.

                          Terrorists depend on control. It provides them with the strength they need when facing possibly astronomical odds. To deny them this control from the beginning is to deprive them of their most powerful weapon. While it may seem trite to declare, it is likely that any killing undertaken allegedly because of not negotiating with a terrorist would quite probably have occurred anyway.
                          Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                          (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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                          • #14
                            The answer is clearly "No". Whatever the cost. We need to show those hostile sand monkeys the United States of America doesnt bend over and pull its panties done for any scruffy camel jockey who thinks he can push us around.

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                            • #15
                              I have two words for any "tactical consideration" that may necessitate negotiating with terrorists.....

                              Delta Force

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