Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:July 18th, 2007 07:32 EST
Free World Sends Signal: Crime Pays Off

Free World Sends Signal: Crime Pays Off

By Krzys Wasilewski

North Korea has agreed to shut down its nuclear reactor after years of tortuous talks with the United States and its allies. This time, the price was 50,000 tons of fuel oil sponsored by the American government. In Libya, Colonel Qaddafi held five Bulgarian nurses hostage threatening to execute them, until the European Union paid a multi-million dollar ransom. The Free World is sending a clear signal: crime pays off.

The official policy of the United States government is that it never negotiates with terrorists. A similar approach has been adopted by most other civilized countries. Yielding to political and financial demands not only gives a sign for others that crime pays off, but discloses a state`s weakness. So far the no-bargain policy has bore fruits. Here are several examples:

On July 5, 1972, two desperate men hijacked an airplane flying from San Fransisco to Sacramento and ordered the pilots to redirect the course to the Soviet Union. The authorities` strong response made the terrorists agree on landing back in San Fransisco for further negotiations. When the two were preparing for talks, the FBI broke into the plane and freed the 77 passengers. Both terrorists were killed.

In October 1985, four Palestinians took over the Italian ship, Achille Lauro, with 400 passengers on board. To prove their determination, the terrorists killed a disabled American tourist and threatened to execute the rest of the tourists, one by one, if 50 Palestinian fighters for freedom " were not freed from Israeli prisons. Since neither the Americans nor the Israelis wanted to negotiate, Egypt offered a safe haven for the hijackers. When they began to feel relaxed on board an Egyptian airplane, which was to take them to Cairo, a pair of American air fighters intercepted the airplane and forced it to land in Sicily, Italy, instead. There, the Italian forces arrested the terrorists and handed them over to American authorities.

On September 11, 2001, 34 passengers of United Airlines flight 757 chose to crash rather than plead the Islamic fanatics for mercy. They died bravely, outside of Pittsburgh, and saved hundreds if not thousands of other lives.

Since the no-negotiation policy has worked in the micro-scale, governments should also avoid bargaining on the micro-scale, with rogue states. Israel, which is hardly like any other country, has a long history of dealing with terrorists and has become a touchstone for coping with such problems. In 1981, Israel did not refrain from bombing Iraq`s nuclear plant when it became obvious that the French-built reactor could be easily transform into a production center for nuclear weapons. Two F-16s did more in several minutes than months of pointless talks at the Security Council table.

It is obvious that the United States as well as any other reasonable country should act alike. Only a strong reaction to such international law violations, such as harboring terrorists or developing a nuclear program, can guarantee that the horror of 9/11 will never again be repeated. Otherwise, the West may soon face new states following the example of North Korea and Libya, which, depending on foreign aid, would commit any crime to get more free medicine, food, oil, or money. The North Korean dictator has watched millions of his people starving to death while the country invested each dollar into its nuclear program. It paid off " the West got scared and promised to send food and fuel oil for the fatuous satrap. Libya`s Qaddafi is equally smart and cruel " even if he releases the five Bulgarian nurses (what isn`t that certain yet), soon he will find another threat of which to impose upon democratic states.

President Bush and his European counterparts should say enough is enough. We do not negotiate.

Please send your comments to: krzys_wasilewski@yahoo.com