EDITORIAL: No deal with the devil
Three months to negotiate, three months to acquiesce to his demands, three months to make a murderer happy. That is the amount of time Osama bin Laden gave European nations to remove troops from all Muslim countries as a sort of truce between his al-Qaeda terror network and countries he perceives as American allies. Additionally, bin Laden, who didn’t extend that same offer to the United States, vowed to seek revenge on Americans for Israel’s killing of Sheik Yassin weeks ago.
Not surprisingly, the deal was given little consideration by European powers. Britain, Spain, Germany, Italy and even France immediately rejected the offer, citing various examples of al-Qaeda’s treachery, not just against the United States, but in Europe as well. In fact, it is hard to believe that bin Laden expected anything by an all out rejection on the part of the Europeans. He isn’t that stupid.
Speculation around international circles is that bin Laden was trying to drive a wedge between the United States and its European allies. Given the recent developments in Iraq, many of the alliances between this nation and those in Europe have become tenuous, and it is possible that bin Lade was trying to exploit that situation in the hopes that perhaps just one European nation was so frustrated with the Bush Administration that it might at least consider his offer.
Many European nations are probably frustrated with the president. And many would have liked to see a different approach to the situation in Iraq. Those, however, are differences of policy opinion, not the kind of disagreement that would persuade any nation to accept the offer of a murderer.
However, this recent grasp at straws does show onlookers something about the terror kingpin. Bin Laden is probably getting desperate. Many point to the fact that nothing along the lines of Sept. 11, 2001 has happened since the war on terror began and say that it proves that the terrorists’ organization has been destroyed. This seems a little na?ve. Plotting something like the Sept. 11 attacks took a good amount of manpower and resources, so many factors could affect their ability, though not their willingness, to carry out another attack on that scale.
No, the fact that bin Laden hasn’t repeated Sept. 11, 2001 doesn’t necessarily demonstrate that his abilities have been crippled. This tape could be more convincing evidence of his limited abilities. It seems clear that bin Laden is getting desperate. Why else would he offer to make a truce with so many sworn enemies and allies of the evil Americans? He couldn’t have expected the Europeans to take an offer like that, but given a dire situation, an audio cassette isn’t a very expensive way to find out.
Predictably, though, the Europeans didn’t accept the offer, which was open to an extension. And the entire world, aside from the detestable terrorists and their equally detestable supporters, can applaud the Europeans for demonstrating a kind of solidarity with an ally that has been hurt.
Cloaked in a veil of religion, bin Laden is still nothing more than a callous, disgusting murderer, and any nation or person who accepts him as anything more than that ought to think twice. Luckily, no European nation had to think twice about this offer. Besides, is there any way they could have trusted him?
Bin Laden gave the Europeans three months to accept his offer, but gave the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks no option to reject his murderous plan. Those people suffered mentally and physically then died without any chance to accept a truce from a crazed madman who has set out to destroy a society simply because he doesn’t like it.