FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why Not Negotiate With ISIS?

Being the child of union organizers, the first word I taught my infant son was “negotiate”.  He learned too well.  As soon as he learned to talk every time we disagreed over his behavior or a chore he demanded to “’agotiate” it.   Progressive parents be warned.  The first word should have been “no”.

Why not “agotiate” with ISIS if it saves even a few lives?  Such as the Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and Jordanian pilot Lt. Kasasbeh if they are still alive.  Who knows if the ISIS bosses will keep their word?  Only one way to find out.  Give them the money, we have oodles of it to waste on corrupt Afghan narco-pols, the insanely expensive poorly performing F35 Strike Fighter as an outright gift to Lockheed Martin, and anything you want to look at in the bloated Pentagon’s “defense budget”.

Sooner or later, as we learned in Northern Ireland and elsewhere, and as all trade unionists know, you have to sit down with your worst enemy and work out a deal.  It ALWAYS seems impossible at first.   Their atrocities and a desire for blood revenge fog our mind, and the very idea of talking to the suicide bombers’ shot-callers is “appeasement of evil”, which it is.

But why stick on a failing principle when lives are at stake?  ISIS doesn’t want our money but our recognition of the Caliphate as a legitimate state.  Whether we like it or not that’s pretty much where it is.  They ain’t going away any time soon.  Journalists have stopped calling ISIS the “so called” or “self styled”.  That’s how we tried wishing away the IRA with stunning lack of success at first.

“We don’t negotiate with terrorists”?  Sure, we do.   After swearing on the King James Bible “no surrender to terror”, the British government, with lots of talk and some money, bought peace from the armed and quite ferocious  IRA (which on one occasion bombed me out of my bed).  Yet today former IRA killers like deputy first minister Martin McGuinness and Mary McCardle sit in the Northern Ireland Assembly as part of the peace agreement with Sinn Fein (alias IRA).

Israel, which trumpets the “we never reward terrorists” line, CONSTANTLY negotiates prisoner releases and swaps all the time in return for dead or alive IDF soldiers.  It’s a fairly open secret that the French and probably British and Germans deal via foreign intermediaries, or their own secret services, with some pretty nasty ISIS genociders.  Is there any alternative other than continuing to bomb the crap out of ISIS which I’m not against?

I’m sure Henry Kissinger would love my devious two-track proposal.  Give ISIS money (and hence implied recognition) in return for lives…and then drone them back to the stone age, in Curtis Le May’s immortal warning to the North Vietnamese.  (Incidentally, Hoorah! For the “low life scum” – Sen. McCain’s term – of Code Pink protestors who invaded the Senate testimony of war criminal Kissinger.)

ISIS is our original sin because of the lying, deadly way we invaded Iraq.  You break it, you pay for it, in the no less immortal words of one of the chief liars, Gen. Colin Powell.

Shit, man.  It’s only money.

Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Hemingway Lives

 

More articles by:

Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset

November 15, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Ukania: the Land Where the Queen’s Son Has His Shoelaces Ironed by His Valet
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Spraying Poisons, Chasing Ghosts
Anthony DiMaggio
In the Wake of the Blue Wave: the Midterms, Recounts, and the Future of Progressive Politics
Christopher Ketcham
Build in a Fire Plain, Get What You Deserve
Meena Miriam Yust
Today It’s Treasure Island, Tomorrow Your Neighborhood Store: Could Local Currencies Help?
Karl Grossman
Climate of Rage
Walter Clemens
How Two Demagogues Inspired Their Followers
Brandon Lee
Radical Idealism: Jesus and the Radical Tradition
Kim C. Domenico
An Anarchist Uprising Against the Liberal Ego
Elliot Sperber
Pythagoras in Queens
November 14, 2018
Charles Pierson
Unstoppable: The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline and NAFTA
Sam Bahour
Israel’s Mockery of Security: 101 Actions Israel Could Take
Cesar Chelala
How a Bad Environment Impacts Children’s Health
George Ochenski
What Tester’s Win Means
Louisa Willcox
Saving Romania’s Brown Bears, Sharing Lessons About Coxistence, Conservation
George Wuerthner
Alternatives to Wilderness?
Robert Fisk
Izzeldin Abuelaish’s Three Daughters were Killed in Gaza, But He Still Clings to Hope for the Middle East
Dennis Morgan
For What?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Government is Our Teacher
Bill Martin
The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend
Rivera Sun
After the Vote: An Essay of the Man from the North
Jamie McConnell
Allowing Asbestos to Continue Killing
Thomas Knapp
Talkin’ Jim Acosta Hard Pass Blues: Is White House Press Access a Constitutional Right?
Bill Glahn
Snow Day
November 13, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Midterm Results are Challenging Racism in America in Unexpected Ways
Victor Grossman
Germany on a Political Seesaw
Cillian Doyle
Fictitious Assets, Hidden Losses and the Collapse of MDM Bank
Lauren Smith
Amnesia and Impunity Reign: Wall Street Celebrates Halliburton’s 100th Anniversary
Joe Emersberger
Moreno’s Neoliberal Restoration Proceeds in Ecuador
Carol Dansereau
Climate and the Infernal Blue Wave: Straight Talk About Saving Humanity
Dave Lindorff
Hey Right Wingers! Signatures Change over Time
Dan Corjescu
Poetry and Barbarism: Adorno’s Challenge
Patrick Bond
Mining Conflicts Multiply, as Critics of ‘Extractivism’ Gather in Johannesburg
Ed Meek
The Kavanaugh Hearings: Text and Subtext
Binoy Kampmark
Concepts of Nonsense: Australian Soft Power
November 12, 2018
Kerron Ó Luain
Poppy Fascism and the English Education System
Conn Hallinan
Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon
Robert Hunziker
Tropical Trump Declares War on Amazonia
John W. Whitehead
Badge of Shame: the Government’s War on Military Veterans
Will Griffin
Military “Service” Serves the Ruling Class
John Eskow
Harold Pinter’s America: Hard Truths and Easy Targets
Rob Okun
Activists Looking Beyond Midterm Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Mid-Term Divisions: The Trump Take
Dean Baker
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Destroy Insurance Pools
George Wuerthner
Saving the Buffalohorn/Porcupine: the Lamar Valley of the Gallatin Range
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail