Quotes Of The Day: Two Approaches To Negotiating With Bin Laden

From conservative Dick Cheney….

“On the tape, bin Laden warned that his fighters are preparing new attacks in the United States but offered the American people a “long-term truce” without specifying the conditions.

Cheney, in a television interview, rejected that suggestion, saying “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.”

“I think you have to destroy them,” he told Fox News Channel. “It’s the only way to deal with them.” — Newsmax

From liberal Ezra Klein…

“Not to show myself a yellow coward who sleeps with a Koran tucked under my pillow, but allow me a thought experiment: what about negotiating with bin-Laden? I mean, this isn’t a war of aggression, is it? We’re fighting to ensure our safety. And a truce would ensure our safety. So shouldn’t we find out what the guy wants?

…Maybe “negotiate” is the wrong word. I don’t want to have him over for tea, just find out what his demands are. But putting it out of the question is just ahistorical. Palestinians and Arabs have done far more to the state of Israel than al-Qaeda has to us, and not only do Israeli leaders negotiate with them, but American leaders tend to broker the talks. As Sharon and his policy of unilateral withdrawal have shown, there are ways of dampening outrage and fulfilling demands while simultaneously drawing lines and showing who’s in charge. In any case, I’m not sure I fully buy the argument, but it’s worth thinking about, and really shouldn’t be so marginalized in public discourse.” — Ezra Klein

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