Reading List for the Ambitious Terrorist

You may hate it, but eventually you will have to communicate with the people you hate to get something done. Communicate with something other than a bomb, that is. These books are a good start on how to do that.

  • Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Paperback)
by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, Bruce Patton (Editor)

Introduces the concept of a win-win resolution.

  • Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies
by John Paul Lederarch

Field stories of building coalitions in war-torn lands.


Michael said...

The trouble with looking for a win-win answer to dealing with the world's current crop of terrorists, is that for them, "win" is defined as killing all of us.

Iranian Pres Ahmadinejad said two days ago that the US and Israel will "die" "imminently," and Hezbollah describes it's goals thus:
"Our goal is to liberate the 1948 borders of Palestine," he added, referring to the year of Israel's founding. The Jews who survive this war of liberation, Ezzeddin said, "can go back to Germany, or wherever they came from."
(citations from Fars News Agency, 23 Jan 2007, and New Yorker Magazine, 14 Oct 2002)

The terrorists won't take "yes" for an answer if it involves leaving us (the free world) empowered. They want domination, and that is final.

This is why negotiations with Japan, in the year prior to the Pearl Harbor attack, failed. You cna't negotiate with someone who's only demand is non-negotiable.

Econo-Girl said...

Michael, I respectfully disagree. The terrorist win is not the death of all of us. Admadinejad's wild rhetoric cannot be confused with the Tamil Tigers' actions. Hezbollah states its goal is returning to the 1948 borders and sending the Jews away, but that is not happening and they know it.

Mu fundamental premise is that any terrorist will eventually HAVE to talk to their enemy. Because all politicians do. That's why I made the recommended reading list. It teaches people how to talk to their enemies and get what they want, or at least some of it.

Do you think FARC will not rest until the free world is destroyed? No. Will the Real Irish Republican Army? No. Will the Tamil Tigers? No. Will the Shining Path? No.

Terrorists don't want world domination as a rule. Even al Qaida. Al Qaida's goal in attacking the U.S. was to stop the inflow of western ideas into the Middle East. They never wanted to dominate, or even convert us. They wanted to hurt our economic power so we would have less influence on their culture and politics.

Michael said...

Econo-Girl, you make some good points, but most of the groups that you invoke as having (relatively) limited aims are either truly nationalist (IRA), or truly ideological/fascist (Shining Path).

In the first case, the aim is mainly territorial, and subject to compromise (this is why N Ireland has been quiet lately), and in the second case, it is about power, and subject to compromise (this is why FARC and the Columbian army are so evenly matched).

About the muslim terrorists, though, I think you are wrong. Their motivation is mainly religious in nature, and involves a belief in absolute muslim supremacy and the requirement of all non-muslims to be inferior in all ways (look up "dhimmi").

Hezbollahs goal is not to "return" to the '48 partition agreement and send the Jews away; it is to negate that plan and expel or kill the Jews. The scary part is, that they think they can do it.

Ahmadjinad's rhetoric isn't so wild in the context of his goal: Iran as a regional Islamic hegemon, to keep out the US and destroy Israel. Again, what is scary is his perception of his own ability.

Al-Qaeda's goal is to recreate the Islamic Caliphate throughout the entire Islamic world: an important point, because to the radical Islamists, the "entire Islamic world" includes India, Iran, Israel, the Balkans, and Spain: everywhere that was ever under and Islamic flag. Their goals are longer term, but again, the scary part is that they believe it can happen.

An enemy like that cannot be negotiated with, but only opposed.