Where does one begin a negotiation process with an enemy dedicated to one’s complete annihilation? Is there an acceptable number between 100% annihilation and zero? How many dead are we willing to capitulate? Would we accept something less than 100% dead, perhaps some dead while others are only maimed and tortured for their disbelief? Maybe we could negotiate down to 50% dead, 30% maimed and another 20% only mildly tortured. Or, can we substitute a larger number of dead for a smaller number of those raped, coupled with some property destruction? To negotiate with such an entity, we must first determine acceptable maximums on our end.
If you’re like me, you believe that the acceptable number is zero.
Call it what you want, but the Carter/Obama policy is a belief system that suggests if we just try to reach out and understand the other side (Radical Islam), they will “play nice” and stop killing, raping, torturing, burning, etc. In essence, this is a type of negotiation which brings about the original question.
Let’s just say that whatever the number, there is a certain segment among the followers of Muhammad that wish those like you and me either converted or dead as they are instructed in their faith. I will call that segment the enemy. Maybe there’s another term for them, but I think enemy is fitting. Again, they want us to convert or die, so I think enemy is fair.
We can debate about the actual number that fit this category, but suffice it to say that even 1% of 1.5 billion is a number that does not bode well for you and me. Pollsters can work out the numbers while I will remain focused on the group that wishes me dead regardless of its size. We can refer to this as the “enemy that wishes me dead universe”, or ETWMDU.
As a nation, we continue to be faced with this foreign policy question that political correctness has not been able to solve. Appeasement of an enemy bent on one’s destruction does not seem to be a working solution.
As proof, turn for a second from “As the World Turns” to any 24 hour news channel and watch “As the World Burns”. There are more carbon emissions currently coming from a short radius of any US Embassy in the Middle East than all the coal fired plants in the US combined. I’m still waiting for GreenPeace and Al Gore to condemn the tire and flag burners, but I digress.
To begin, it is necessary to understand what brings parties to the point of negotiation. Negotiation requires one of two sets of circumstances. It can be used by two or more parties for their mutual benefit or it can be used to avoid their mutual destruction.
It is important to understand that we are not at a point of negotiation with the ETWMDU because they do not seem to be interested in mutual benefit and they are not convinced of our commitment to their total destruction (which neither are we). This brings about a key point in negotiating: In order for a party to be successful at negotiation, that party must begin negotiations from a position of strength. This is why the Carter/Obama doctrine is an utter failure. It meets neither criterion for successful negotiation nor does it begin from a position of strength.
For successful negotiation, it is vital that both parties believe that the other is negotiating in good faith. This is a stumbling block for liberals. I believe the ETWMDU when they state that they want to kill all non-believers who do not convert. You know, the “Death to America” thing. Apparently Liberals are not willing to accept the veracity of an enemy who is willing to commit suicide as a tactic to forward their agenda. Generally, I take someone seriously who is willing to die for his beliefs. Call me old fashioned.
Liberals who adhere to the Carter/Obama doctrine somehow believe that this crowd is not as serious as they appear and that if we’re just nice to them they won’t wish us dead or actually kill us. This flies in the face of the ETWMDU and its actions throughout the last several decades.
Some Libertarians, on the other hand, believe that if we just withdraw completely from that side of the world and leave them alone, they will do likewise. This might be a working solution if it were not for the stated objective of the ETWMDU to convert the entire human race to its belief system. So, withdrawal without containment is not an option at least for those of us who do not wish to be converted or killed.
This brings us full circle. So how does one negotiate with an enemy dedicated to either the absolute conversion or destruction of all mankind? Answer: You don’t and you can’t.
Image: Wladislaus I of Poland breaks negotiations with Theutonic Knights in Brześć Kujawski; 1879
courtesy of Jan Matejko; public domain; copyright expired