Negotiating With Terrorists

English: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 1...
English: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 1996 - Peres, Arafat & Schwab (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Arafat said that. What is ISIS? Is it religious fervor? Is it a state? Is it mafia? Is it a terrorist organization? Is it organized crime? Is it Islamic revival? Different people can have different opinions.

ISIS took responsibility for Brussels, as for Paris before that. Both times it has claimed it was merely getting even for what is being done to it in its own territory. That back and forth only ends up in a much bigger war.

There is a saying in democracies. Never negotiate with terrorists. Those whose only ways are the ways of violence are not seeking political solutions. And so don't negotiate.

I think it is possible to negotiate, but only if ISIS were to agree to a wholesale ceasefire. If ISIS were to cease all plots of global violence, if ISIS were to cease all acts of violence in its own territory (some have reported small scale genocide), if ISIS were to cease all acts of sex crimes, if ISIS were to accept mediation over the same, if ISIS were to allow international observers who would oversee that the ceasefire indeed is being respected, then negotiations are possible. Remember, no political issues have been discussed yet. This would be a ceasefire whose only basic requirement is that all violence and all sex crimes to an end. If ISIS could do this much, it might even be possible to carve out a new country for the territory that ISIS holds.

That country's boundaries would be a political decision taken collectively by all parties. The current line of control could end up the final boundary. As to governance in that territory, there would be need for a constitution. Elections can be held to a constituent assembly. The only rule would be the constitution may not clash with the Human Rights Charter, and to that end there would be international judicial oversight. Other than that there would be no rules. Maybe ISIS will become a political party. Its armed members will get pulled into the country's police and army. Maybe ISIS will emerge the largest and the ruling party.

Pan Arabia is an option. If all Arab countries attempt a political and economic union, then why not? But that would be a non-violent, political act. If Europe is any example, the process is not easy, and it is supposed to take time.

Islam is a valid religion. It is as valid as Christianity. But any message against peace, justice and kindness are invalid in all religions.

ISIS in its current form comes across as a mindless, fascist, blasphemous, criminal organization. There are lawful uses of force. Currently ISIS can legitimately be at its receiving end. But a ceasefire could change that. Is there a mediator that ISIS would accept?



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