Wednesday, September 15, 2004

should we talk?

Interested to see the reasons that the terrorists claiming responsibility for the Jakarta bombing gave in their statement. We were bombed because (in order of appearance):
* we're "Christian";
* we "took part in the war against [their] brethren in Iraq and supported the invading forces";
* we're infidels ("enemies of God");
* we need to "leave Indonesia";
* we need to "withdraw from Iraq";
* they want "liberation of the lands of Muslims".
Hearing their justifications spelt out like this makes me wonder if we could ever engage in some kind of dialogue with them. I noticed that Brian Deegan, who lost a son in Bali and is campaigning for Alexander Downer's seat, thinks we should. Australia, as we know, categorically refuses to negotiate.
Well, maybe we don't have to negotiate, but I reckon we do have to at least challenge them through the world's media. We may not be able to rationalise with them, but perhaps we can make them appear deranged to their support base by deconstructing their position.
If we had some kind of open dialogue with terrorists, maybe we could ask them curlies like, "at the end of the day, even if there were no Western interests in Muslim countries anywhere, would you really stop bombing us, or would you just keep bombing us for being infidels and/or Christians?"
I mean, if their ultimate message is really killing all non-Muslims, well then, at least they have put paid to their claims that it's about the liberation of Palestine or Iraq or Indonesia or wherever.
The other day I was surprised to read the words of a commenter around at backpages, Fred, who asked, "if they already have one [reason to attack the West], why does one more [Iraq] matter?" Geez. Luckily Glenn Condell was around when Fred tried that line at surfdom.