Negotiation is not a policy. It is a technique.Says H.E. John Bolton of Obama’s notion that acquiescing to Ahmedinejad will make him nice. All it will do is happen too soom, and force America to negotiate from a position of weakness. The outcome will be good PR and bad for the future, merely postponing a conflict with the Iranians so hell bent on imposing themselves on others.
A pacifist, it was once said, is someone who believes that if you throw a hungry lion a steak, that he’ll become a vegetarian. Given that among out many drive-by commentators here, we know that their affection isn’t for peaceful discussions with Iran, Hamas, and Hizballah – it’s the erasure of American involvement on the world. A funny position to hold when the Arab world is divided but frequently in favor of America, and Europe is generally not divided, otherwise disinterested, and their public prefers to see a supine US at whatever cost it comes to them.
Like all human activity, negotiation has costs and benefits. If only benefits were involved, then it would be hard to quarrel with the “what can we lose?” mantra one hears so often. In fact, the costs and potential downsides are real, and not to be ignored.The industrial power, in this case is the building of the means to decimate populations in the west, and the non-conformists within. Not exactly the thing you want to see when you’re “giving peace a chance”.
When the U.S. negotiates with “terrorists and radicals,” it gives them legitimacy, a precious and tangible political asset. Thus, even Mr. Obama criticized former President Jimmy Carter for his recent meetings with Hamas leaders. Meeting with leaders of state sponsors of terrorism such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong Il is also a mistake. State sponsors use others as surrogates, but they are just as much terrorists as those who actually carry out the dastardly acts. Legitimacy and international acceptability are qualities terrorists crave, and should therefore not be conferred casually, if at all.
Moreover, negotiations – especially those “without precondition” as Mr. Obama has specifically advocated – consume time, another precious asset that terrorists and rogue leaders prize. Here, President Bush’s reference to Hitler was particularly apt: While the diplomats of European democracies played with their umbrellas, the Nazis were rearming and expanding their industrial power.
It’s also worth noting at this point that Sarkozy may be playing using talks as a gambit on a much smaller scale with Hamas:
U.S.-brokered peace talks between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have made little tangible progress, and few observers expect them to reach a deal by the end of the year as planned. But they will be, and it may well be part of something larger that stands a chance. Again, it’s WHAT you’re talking about, not just bringing home to your eternally baleful voting block some atmospheric notion that talking itself is a goal.
Kouchner played down the talks between France and Hamas.
"They are not relations. They are contacts," he said.