With the news that President Obama is embarking upon a Middle East trip, perhaps it is time for Americans to demand he meet with Al-Qaeda representatives while in the region. After all, after so many years of bloodshed, isn’t it time those who seek peace and reconciliation in the Middle East try and give peace between America and its enemies a chance?
Perhaps things are changing for the terror organization. Bin Laden is long dead, it is many years after 9/11 and there is a new reality in the Middle East. Al Qaeda is surely more moderate as expressed by their re-naming as “Ansar al Sharia” (Army of Islamic Law), and the organization is working hard to become a political movement. Surely Americans shouldn’t anger the world’s Muslims by refusing to meet with such a powerful organization that represents so many in that region of the world which is so strategically important to the West?
This week a U.S. Justice Department memo was leaked which showed that President Obama has the authority to order the targeted assassination of anyone – including American citizens – believed to be associated with Al-Qaeda, even if they are not engaged in an active terror plot against the United States. Americans collaborating with al-Qaeda can be killed – even without being charged. The memos vaguely add that “informed, high-level officials” must determine that these individuals are involved in Al-Qaeda.
As Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian wrote, this is “The most extremist power any political leader can assert is the power to target his own citizens for execution without any charges or due process, far from any battlefield.” This startling revelation should prompt Americans to be even more insistent on initiating dialogue. Is Obama not concerned for his legacy as a man of peace?
After all, even the 70-year-old American aid worker who was kidnapped in Pakistan a year ago, Warren Weinstein, and is being held by Al-Qaeda, appealed to Obama to negotiate. As Weinstein said, if Obama negotiates, “then I will live and hopefully rejoin my family and also enjoy my children, my two daughters, like you enjoy your two daughters.” If not, the man will surely die.
Now, of course I don’t agree with any of the above – nor would anyone with common sense. So why then are similar actions demanded of Israel? Terrorists are terrorists, whether they are called Al-Qaeda or Hamas. And guess what, Netanyahu cannot order Israelis to be killed as Obama can Americans.
Now, who is the true man of peace? Let Israel handle its terrorists the same way America does.