Saturday, March 15, 2008

Keeping the Lines of Communication Open

Lars Vilks has just released Act Two of his musical “Dogs”, an audiovisual adjunct to his Modoggies which is also part of the Art Project. Here’s an excerpt from the lyrics to one of the songs in the video (with subtitles in Arabic):

We are offended
So very offended
We are offended
As time goes on
Everybody will be

I wonder if he has anyone specific in mind…?

And another one:

More talk
And less action
It’s time to understand your reaction

In the diplomatic circles of the West, more talk and less action is definitely the preferred method of dealing with any significant issue. There’s no problem so troublesome that it can’t be resolved by discussion, negotiation, and compromise. Right?

That’s the rationale that led President Bush to send Sada Cumber to Dakar this week as the United States’ presidential envoy to the OIC. The OIC has now concluded its two-day conference, issued declarations, made resolutions, and handed out press releases to the world’s media.

According to Reuters:

OIC flagLeaders of the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which represents 1.5 billion Muslims from across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made the “Dakar Declaration” after a two-day summit in Senegal’s capital.

“We continue to strongly condemn all forms of extremism and dogmatism which are incompatible with Islam, a religion of moderation and peaceful coexistence,” the declaration said.

So the OIC is completely in synch with the stripey-pants set. More talk, less action. Negotiation can solve anything.

With one exception:

But, in an apparent reference to the Palestinian fight against Israel, it said terrorism should be differentiated from “legitimate resistance against foreign occupation”.

Ah, yes — when it comes to the legitimate resistance to occupation, anything goes!

The OIC made its stance towards the Zionist entity explicit and official in a communiqué. According to Ynetnews:
- - - - - - - - -
The world’s largest Muslim body will accuse Israel of committing war crimes against Palestinian civilians, according to a draft of the final communiqué of an Islamic summit in Senegal seen by Reuters on Friday.

“The conference denounces the current and increasing Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people and the serious violation of human rights and war crimes including the killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians,” the draft said.

It called Israel’s “collective punishment of civilians” a violation of international human rights law and said “the occupying forces must be held responsible for these war crimes.”

The collective punishment of Israeli civilians by Hamas with its Qassam rockets? Legitimate resistance against occupation!

The targeting of Hamas leaders by Israel? War crime!

Yes, the OIC really is communicating, isn’t it?

So what did Sada Cumber, the American envoy, think about the proceedings? Remember: the president who appointed him doesn’t expect him to condemn the OIC for its illiberality, its backwardness, its belligerence, or its anti-Semitism. Mr. Bush said, “The core of his mission is to explain to the Islamic world that America is a friend — is a friend of freedom, is a friend of peace, that we value religion.”

In other words, Mr. Cumber’s job is to assure the Ummah that America is unparalleled in its dhimmitude. Based on his own statements, he’s keeping to his mission. According to The Arab News:

“The Islamic Ummah (community) is moving in a moderate direction and almost on a progressive path, we’re all moving in the same path,” said Sada Cumber, who was appointed by President George W. Bush last month to be the US envoy to the OIC.

If by “progressive” he means the same thing that the totalitarian Left means when it uses the word, then I’m in complete agreement with him.

But the prize for the Most Enthusiastic Communicator of the Day must go to Jonathan Powell, a former aide to Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mr. Powell wants to go the whole nine yards and talk to Al Qaeda:

A top aide to former Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that Britain must be prepared to talk to terror groups including al-Qa’eda and the Taliban if they hope to end their campaigns of violence.

Jonathan Powell, the long-term Downing Street chief of staff, said it was essential to keep a line of communication open with the terror groups.

The Northern Ireland peace deal, which Mr Powell played a central role in securing, showed how talking to terror groups could ultimately work, he said in an interview with The Guardian.

Secret contact established with the IRA during the 1970s helped to pave the way for the Good Friday Agreement.


He said: “There’s nothing to say to al-Qa’eda and they’ve got nothing to say to us at the moment, but at some stage you’re going to have to come to a political solution as well as a security solution. And that means you need the ability to talk.

“It’s very difficult for democratic governments to do — talk to a terrorist movement that’s killing your people.

“If I was in government now I would want to have been talking to Hamas, I would be wanting to communicate with the Taliban and I would want to find a channel to al-Qa’eda.”

If Wretchard is right, and Osama bin Laden is close at hand in a Pakistani city, at least he will be easy to find when the time comes to talk to him.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

The idea of negotiating with Al Qaeda fills one with revulsion.

But why is that? If it was OK to talk with the IRA, why not the world’s premier Islamic terrorists? They’re in the same business, right? Infiltration, the taking of hostages, blowing up innocent people, etc. — in other words, they’re people we can deal with.

One reason why Islamic extremists are different is that they do not negotiate in good faith. Thirty years of the “peace process” with the Palestinians should have taught us that. There is no promise that can believed, and no deal that won’t be broken when the time is right. It’s taqiyya from start to finish.

Another reason is that the IRA, vile as its methods were, was working towards recognizable goals within a Western political context. Like Al Qaeda, the IRA was a bunch of merciless and unscrupulous thugs, but their goal was to attain political control in Ulster, not to convert the entire world to Irish Republicanism.

It’s an unfortunate fact that Mr. Powell and many other well-meaning but deluded Westerners prefer to ignore: there’s no way to negotiate with a man who wants above all else to slit your throat.

What can you offer him? The removal of your collar, to make his job easier? The bending of your neck at the optimum angle?

And what can he offer you in return? A keener blade? A swifter and more painless cut?

Some illnesses do not respond to a talking cure. For them, strong medicine is required.

Hat tips for everything: TB.


Henrik R Clausen said...

If by “progressive” he means the same thing that the totalitarian Left means when it uses the word, then I’m in complete agreement with him.

Ah. Woodrow Wilson & "War socialism".

For negotiations with Al-Qaeda, I propose using their favorite means of communication, delivery of Nitrogen compounds at high velocity directly to their headquarters.

OT, anyone watching Sleeper Cell? It's being broadcast on Danish television, and the systematic display of completely amoral 'holy' warriors is surely a much greater insult to Islam than any old Arabian book or any cartoon or something. These guys are depicted as mafia types using religion as their apology to do all kinds of stuff the rest of us would never get away with...

Debbie said...

"We continue to strongly condemn all forms of extremism and dogmatism which are incompatible with Islam, a religion of moderation and peaceful coexistence,”

Ironic then that at the same conference, the OIC is demanding redress and legal actions from nations like Denmark that have "allowed" the publication of cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad.

In an AP article on this meeting, Senegal's president, Abdoulaye Wade, the chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference stated, "I don't think freedom of expression should mean freedom from blasphemy. There can be no freedom without limits." See my latest post (deadbambi blog) that goes into this a little further.

How is that peaceful coexistence or moderation when even left-wing groups like International Humanist and Ethical Union in Geneva and Human Rights Watch are condemning this OIC position on free speech?

It's okay for OIC countries to publish these cartoons, but don't you dare blasphame Islam or their prophet, or else...

Debbie said...

I should've added, this prohibition of images of Mohammed seems to be a recent development. See the Mohammed Image Archive for evidence of Islamic art in which they have consistently produced images of Mohammed, without retribution, since Islam was invented.

Francis W. Porretto said...

"We continue to strongly condemn all forms of extremism and dogmatism which are incompatible with Islam..."

Could a creature with a three-digit IQ have said anything this self-deprecatingly funny on purpose?

PRCalDude said...

I can't believe it! They arbitrarily bumped up the total number of Muslims from 1.3 billion 6 months ago! Does anyone keep track of their population statistics?