DOES ANYONE REALLY BELIEVE DIPLOMACY WILL WORK WITH TERRORISTS?
Diplomacy. Dialogue. Negotiations. Compromise. Consensus building. When it comes to dealing with the Islamic State, these terms are meaningless. They just won't work.
Unfortunately United States President Barack Obama and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau both showed last week that they don't understand this important interplay between human nature and world affairs.
On Wednesday Obama announced a change to the policy governing how the U.S. deals with hostage-takers. While the U.S. still won't pay ransoms, he wanted to alter things so that the policy "does not prevent communication with hostage takers."
In other words, the U.S. can now negotiate with terrorists.
The day before, Trudeau appeared on the CBC program Power & Politics to explain that if elected PM he'd end the combat portion of Canada's fight against the Islamic State.
When pressed to state his preferred alternatives to combat, he included: "I truly believe that Canada has a tremendous role to play on the world stage -- including with our military -- but also around development and diplomacy."
Diplomacy? Development? Let's try to square these otherwise lovely and noble concepts with the news that made headlines on Friday: the three terrorist attacks that rocked the world.
In Tunisia, dozens of tourists were gunned down on a beach. These included people from Tunisia, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Ireland. All they were doing was what people do on the beach - swimming, tanning, playing.
In France, a man was decapitated at a gas plant by another man police believe was one of the employees. When firefighters arrived at the scene they found the man trying to open canisters, presumably to create an explosion. Prosecutors have revealed that alongside the decapitated head was a profession of Islamic faith written in Arabic on two flags.
In Kuwait dozens of people were killed and 200 wounded in a suicide attack at a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers. An Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for the attack. Why did they attack other Muslims? Because they won't even tolerate sectarian divisions within their own religion. They're hardline Sunni, so the lives of Shiites are fair game for their campaign of total submission.
The motivation for the first attack is still unclear, but the other week an Islamic State spokesperson called on followers to increase their attacks during this month of Ramadan. These are the types of people we're dealing with. While most people use religious or civic holidays to deliver treats to their neighbours, these guys deliver bullets and bombs.
The world needs to be clear on one thing: These people are not rational actors. The caliphate, currently "celebrating" its first anniversary, has world domination as its goal.
Sound crazy? You're right. It is. But it's still real. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi wants to rule the world. This is not a group of fair-minded individuals who have modest requests that can be resolved through dialogue. They're not "freedom-fighter" terrorists who will go away if you give them a small plot of land or let their uncle out of jail.
There is no diplomatic solution to be had with a group whose endgame is religious supremacy or global domination. Diplomacy and negotiations (also known as appeasement) clearly didn't work when dealing with Adolf Hitler. Nor does it have any place in a conversation about the Islamic State.