When the Al-Qaida leader offered a conditional "truce" last week, it was summarily rejected by the White House. No-brainer, right?
Good thing that Professor Douglas A. Borer doesn't work for the National Security Council. Borer--who (amazingly) is on the faculty at the Naval Post-Graduate School--has written an op-ed for The Christian Science Monitor, suggesting that we accept bin Laden's proposal. He writes:
"If our goal is to roll back terrorism and reduce its global appeal, sooner or later we are going to have to deal directly with terrorists. Even if such negotiations fail, history has shown that a silver lining is often found..."
"The same might be true by now engaging with bin Laden. I very much doubt that his offer to negotiate is genuine, but if we cannot make a deal that is acceptable, President Bush can show the world that bin Laden is a bogus partner, thus undermining his undeniable legitimacy in parts of the Muslim world. In the all important battle for global public opinion, the US might be able to use this opportunity to reverse some of the decline we have suffered in Iraq. Ultimately, if negotiations fail, CIA Predator drones and elite military units can again be sent on search and destroy missions against Al Qaeda. By calling to the table bin Laden's truce offer, we do not give up the military option; however, if we play this right, even if negotiations fail, we may have more to gain than to lose by exploring peace."
Let me get this straight. Professor is suggesting that we "partner" with a madman with the blood of more than 3,000 Americans on his hands. And what sort of deal would he deem "acceptable?" Bin Laden has already made it clear that any deal hinges on getting the U.S. out of the Middle East, so he can re-establish the "caliphate" based on radical Islam. The caliphate would, of course, serve as a launching pad for bin Laden and his minions to expand their influence into Europe, the Asian subcontinent, and southeast Asia. With Al-Qaida in charge, any hope for democratic reform in the region would vanish; Middle East oil would top $100 a barrell--assuming it was still available to "infidels"--and Islamic terrorists could concentrate on attacks in the U.S. and Western Europe, possibly using nuclear weapons. Please explain how striking a deal with bin Laden would enhance our security.
Andrew Cochran of the Counterterrorism Blog has it right: Professor Border should be fired immediately. The idea that he is training our military's best and brightest at the Post-Graduate school is simply beyond comprehension. Academic freedom is one thing; teaching a "surrender" strategy at a prestigious military institution is intolerable and unacceptable.