Thursday, January 19, 2006

Osama Offers Truce

This seems like a big deal. But if you ask me, it's a brilliant political ploy on the part of Osama bin Laden. Think about what he's asking for. He's asking for a peaceful truce if we basically adhere to "fair conditions" which seems to me to mean: get out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here's an excerpt here:

The speaker cites unspecified polls that "show the Americans don't want to fight the Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their land." However, he says, Bush has ignored the polls and "claims that it's better to fight his enemies on their land rather than on American land."
The speaker continues, "In response to the substance of the polls . . . we do not mind offering a long-term truce based on just conditions that we will stick to. We are a nation that Allah banned from lying and stabbing others in the back. Hence both parties of the truce will enjoy stability and security to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan, which were destroyed by war."

These are perfectly logical and reasonable statements. But what this is going to do is galvanize the conflict. George Bush has said that he will "not negotiate with terrorists." So, even if there was a chance of peace, it's not going to happen this way. Next, bin Laden uses very specific ideas in this tape that echo calls of Americans from the left and the center. What this is going to do, sadly so, is drive a wedge further between left and right. How quickly do you think you'll be taunted with, "you sound just like Osama," or, "if you're for pulling out, that's what the terrorists want, and that makes you a terrorist," or, "you stupid liberals, if we pull out, the terrorists win."

You'll also get Bush and co. and the Fox News pundits screaming that because of this message, the last thing we can ever do is pull out, because that's what the terrorists want. I would argue that they do want us out, but they'd almost rather have us stay. We're a much better enemy to them when we're there killing them in person.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe George Bush will come to his senses and realize there are just as many political solutions to the "war on terror" as imagined military ones. I doubt it, but it's possible.

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