Join 3,524 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Bush Refused a Deal that would have turned over Bin Laden?
October 15, 2001 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Bush Refused a Deal that would have turned over Bin Laden? Does he want a ribbon wrapped around him? Does he want a cherry on top of him? So the Taliban wants to drop him off at a country other than the U.S., is that a bad thing? I know he doesn't want to negotiate, but they're saying they'll hand him over .. aren't they?
posted by tsarfan (46 comments total)

 
I think he (meaning Bush and his staff) rightly are trying to avoid a long drawn-out and painful 'negotiation' period, like Libya managed to do with the Lockerbie hijackers (several years of negotiation, with no guarantee of an outcome). Unfortunately, GWB doesn't explain the motivations too well at all, and this comes across as posturing.
posted by kokogiak at 11:20 AM on October 15, 2001


Not that simple... The U.S. wants him... we don't want him given to a third country and we don't want him tried by an Islamic court.

His crimes are against US citizens, and are on US soil, so he should be tried in a US court of law.
posted by da5id at 11:21 AM on October 15, 2001


the taliban are incapable of giving bin laden to anyone. this is just an attempt to stop the bombing and appear cooperative, thus demonizing the Americans. it's propaganda, nothing more.
posted by techgnollogic at 11:22 AM on October 15, 2001


This might have been the last option for a peaceful deplomatic resolution to this war. Perhaps the last effort by the Taleban to save face and its detoriorating government.

But Mr. Bush has rejected that totally. Perhaps pointing towards the fact that the Bush Regime has made up its mind towards war and playing King Maker in Afghanistan.

Both Al-Qaeda and the USA are speaking the language of absolutism. Calling each other the evil doers and pleading for the world to take sides. Mr. Bush forces his view of the world of either being with him or with Bin Laden. Mr. Bin Laden forces his view of the world of being either believers or non-believers. Both parties has no moral ground to force its view of the world down the throats of the rest of the humanity. This absolutism has eradicated any chance of a compromise. A compromise which, in my humble opinion, is the only honest resolution to not only this conflict, but to the rest of them that are the root causes of any kind of terrorism/freedom struggles in today's world. A free and safe Palestinian state can not exist unless there is a free and save Israeli state at its borders and vice versa. A compromise must be reached and any opportunity of doing so should not go to waste.

It might be that this very idea of compromise, has taken its final breath with Mr. Bush's rejection of a Taleban offer.
posted by adnanbwp at 11:23 AM on October 15, 2001


The full story is that they would not just "Drop him off"; the country of Taliban's choosing would hold him and take him to trial. And it was made clear that that country would also try him. That country would have to be free from US influence. Iraq is shifting its alliegence to Bin Laden; if the Taliban was to surrender Bin Laden to Iraq, who will summarily dismiss him from charges, would that be an acceptable solution?
posted by Perigee at 11:25 AM on October 15, 2001


I think the "very idea of compromise" took its last breath when the second plane hit the second tower.
posted by lileks at 11:30 AM on October 15, 2001


What part of getting their rear-ends bombed off doesn't the Taliban understand? And what have the Taliban done to give anyone the slightest cause for believing they are making this offer in good faith? Once you have shown yourself capable of countenancing the stealing of airplanes, the killing of their passengers and crews, and the murder of 4,000-plus harmless strangers, you lose a lot of credibility. People begin to think you are capable of telling a little white lie now and again.
posted by Faze at 11:33 AM on October 15, 2001


You tipped your hand with the bit about Israel, adnanbwp. Israel just doesn't enter into this equation--at least not as much as it would like to. Maybe it should, I don't know, but as it stands, it doesn't.

This might have been the last option for a peaceful deplomatic resolution to this war.

To believe that agreeing to Taliban demands would result in a peaceful end is taking the Taliban at its word, which would be folly.

This absolutism has eradicated any chance of a compromise.

Crashing those planes is was eradicated any chance of compromise. The US is not fucking around. That's not an endorsement of US policy on my part (I disagree with a lot of what's happening), but it's the way things are.
posted by jpoulos at 11:35 AM on October 15, 2001


last option for a peaceful diplomatic resolution

wow, I was beginning to think we'd lost the "peace at any cost" folks to anthrax or something - three wholes post went by before someone blamed Bush and the US for this mess. glad to see you guys are ok.
posted by nobody_knose at 11:35 AM on October 15, 2001


That "offer" by the Taliban was obviously a sucker's bet, and Dubya was right for recognizing it as such right off the bat. He might have made an effort to explain that to the American people though.
posted by spilon at 11:38 AM on October 15, 2001


Despite what they say, the Taliban has no interest in turning bin Laden over -- they know we won't accept the "offer", so they make it in order to argue that we're being unreasonable in rejecting it. Moreover, the US has made clear that this isn't about one person -- it's about the elimination of the entire al Qaeda network and confirmation that Afghanistan will no longer serve as a fertile site for training and supporting terrorists. I don't see the Taliban making that offer.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:40 AM on October 15, 2001


Is the poster a troll or just dellusional?

US troops will be in Afghanistan until the Taliban is gone and dead. And, as a last resort, the USA will occupy the place, if we must. This is a war, with gravitas of WWII (and way beyond Vietnam), albeit without the military scale. These looney, scary countries (now including India, which just began a new campaign against Pakistan) are not going to veto civilization with their barbarian take on existence.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:42 AM on October 15, 2001


This is not the Taliban offering to simply hand Osama over, this is the Taliban offering to 'begin negotiations' towards handing him over-- their demands could include recognition of them as the legitimate government, lots of aid money, it only being bin Laden and not the other leaders of Al Quaeda, and turning him over to a country, as has already been mentioned, like Iraq. The US has no evidence that this offer is made in good faith, but like everything here, is a propoganda tool for the Taliban...
posted by riffr at 11:55 AM on October 15, 2001


Paris: dear soul, this is a legitimate post.

Nowhere in this article does it say that the country that Osama will be handed over to will try him -- or let him go free after (un)said phoney trial.

My president, however said, "we know he's guilty," totally undermining any idea of innocent-until-proven-guilty concepts that would make for a believable US trial.

Meanwhile people are dying all over Afghanistan, US troops and monies are being spent, all because a couple of macho men want to have a pissing contest.

Bush said he wanted Osama, his request was granted, and somehow that isn't good enough. It baffles me. As does many of these comments.
posted by tsarfan at 11:56 AM on October 15, 2001


So Bush is an ass for saying 'we know he's guilty'? I can't think of a prosecutor who hasn't said -perhaps not so bluntly - the exact same thing about every person they bring to trial.

Bush is not the judge, nor the jury. He's the prosecutor and the police - with the job of getting the perp into the court so that the evidence can be aired.
posted by schlyer at 12:03 PM on October 15, 2001


No, Mr. Bush's request wasn't granted, tsarfan:

Returning to the White House after a weekend at the Camp David retreat, Bush dismissed the latest offer over bin Laden from the Taliban regime. A Taliban leader suggested the Afghan government would be willing to discuss surrendering bin Laden to a third country if the United States provided evidence of his guilt and stopped bombing.

``They must have not heard. There's no negotiations,'' the president declared. ``All they got to do is turn him (bin Laden) over, and his colleagues and the thugs he hides, as well as destroy his camps and (release) the innocent people being held hostage in Afghanistan.''


Yes, Bush could have handled it better. But they weren't offering Osama, they were offering negotiations.

If they are serious, they'll act on and say, "Hey, we've put Osama on a boat headed to Quatar. When you pick him up, please stop bombing." Anything short of that is posturing.
posted by yesster at 12:07 PM on October 15, 2001


Meanwhile people are dying all over Afghanistan, US troops and monies are being spent, all because a couple of macho men want to have a pissing contest.

They were dying, at an equal or greater rate pre-9/11. Except now, hopefully, more Taliban are dying, and less poor slobs who just had the misfortune to be born in Afghanistan.

My president, however said, "we know he's guilty," totally undermining any idea of innocent-until-proven-guilty concepts that would make for a believable US trial.

This is a war, not a trial. You are supremely, hopelessly, self-hatingly naive to sympathize and trust feudal warlords who would be happy to poison or nuke you if the could.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:08 PM on October 15, 2001


Where did I blame this whole mess on Mr. Bush and the USA, I can not find out. But yes, I do blame both Mr. Bush and Bin Laden for seeing the world as a bi-polar play ground.

When the second plane hit the tower, it only confirmed that this was a vicious act of terrorism. And nothing more than that. When stray missiles cause civilian deaths, it again confirms an act of terrorism. The people who died in WTC and who are dying in Afghanistan are not statistics. We can easily call victims of both events a collatoral damage. Which somehow defuses the seriousness of the death of all these people. And we know that is not true.

It would be criminal on behalf of any one to suggest that they are sad at the events of 9.11, but they do understand the WHY. It would be similar to saying that "oh i am so sad at 9.11, but hey america, you had it coming."
My point being when I use the word "Understanding", It does not mean "I sympathize with the murderers." Similarly when I say "I Understand" America's need to bomb someone, I do not mean to sympathize with the Bush regime.

The only people I sympathize with are the American and Afghan people.

People who are waking up to a new America, a new world and who are saying: WHY did this happen to us. We need to understand the causes for our own protection. We need to protect America and its people. And choose the best option for a long term solution.

We need not to root out the terrorists. But to root out all the regimes, situations and environments which give birth to these parasites.

The US being a leader of the world, should at once take back its military, financial and moral support from the oppressive, tyrant and monarch governments of the Arab nations. I often hear the taunt that Israel is the only democracy in the region. What Irony that Israel's closes friend, the USA openly supports oppressive regimes in most of the Arab world. That would atleast allow more public role in the governments of this region. That in turn allows more deplomatic and rational ways of voicing a nation's opinions. Talk to any Arab around you about their governments. And they will tell you, they left their land in pursuence of a dream of individual freedom.


Countries like Pakistan then should refrain from playing King Maker in Afghanistan and stop the militant support of Kashmiri terrorists/freedom fighters.

And others should follow.

When will we stop playing with ideologies, religions, patriotism and nationalism as possible excuses for our horrendous acts.

I just want a safe, peaceful, and nurturing environment for my future generations.

Isn't that what really matters ?
posted by adnanbwp at 12:12 PM on October 15, 2001


In fact, the Taliban has raised the ante since the bombing began. Two weeks ago it was "show us evidence, we'll turn him over". Now it's "stop the bombing and show us evidence, and we'll consider turning him over to someone else.

Anyone who suggests that this was an offer worth considering is either delusional or has another agenda. And, yes, I'm referring to adnanbwp.
posted by jpoulos at 12:17 PM on October 15, 2001


These looney, scary countries (now including India, which just began a new campaign against Pakistan) are not going to veto civilization with their barbarian take on existence.

Or, contrarily, India might just be responding to the threat of Pakistan-funded terrorism in Kashmir. Depends on how you look at it. Of course, by that measure the "sane and un-scary" countries are likely to be "looney, scary countries" in waiting.
posted by holgate at 12:29 PM on October 15, 2001


Well, I know I'd like to see a little more evidence that the bombings were the work of Bin Laden, instead of all this saber rattling.
posted by crunchland at 12:38 PM on October 15, 2001


The people who died in WTC and who are dying in Afghanistan are not statistics. We can easily call victims of both events a collatoral damage.

"Collateral damage" is aiming for military targets and accidentally hitting civilians. The WTC attack deliberately aimed for civilians, and successfully hit them.

We need not to root out the terrorists. But to root out all the regimes, situations and environments which give birth to these parasites.

Actually, we do need to root out the terrorists. That's our immediate concern. Figuring out "why it happened" is important for the long-term, but will do nothing to neutralize the immediate threat.
posted by Dean King at 12:39 PM on October 15, 2001


Silly rabbits. Aren't al-Qaeda and the Taliban more or less linked at the hip, with al-Qaeda providing the Taliban with money, troops, finances? So I've read in many places (can't remember where, so can't link, but certainly more than one source). If what I've read is true, then expecting the Taliban to turn over al-Qaeda would be like expecting Bush to turn over Cheney. Or his dad.
posted by mcwetboy at 12:42 PM on October 15, 2001


I can't even imagine a trial of Osama bin Laden. It couldn't be televised, but it would have to be. It's inconceivable, and certainly isn't likely.
posted by zangpo at 12:46 PM on October 15, 2001


When the second plane hit the tower, it only confirmed that this was a vicious act of terrorism. And nothing more than that. When stray missiles cause civilian deaths, it again confirms an act of terrorism.

Try again. The Taliban have had a way to stop the bombs. The US had no way to stop those planes headed for the WTC.
posted by ChuqD at 1:08 PM on October 15, 2001


Jpoulos - Isn't it pretty understandable that the Taleban has changed its demands in the last two weeks? Naturally, they didn't ask for us to stop bombing them two weeks ago, because we weren't bombing them two weeks ago.
posted by Hildago at 1:29 PM on October 15, 2001


The Taliban is financed by Osama bin Laden. Any offers to negotiate with the Taliban should be construed as a ploy.
posted by Oxydude at 1:38 PM on October 15, 2001


Okay, when/if they get Bin Laden, what then?

If he's dead, do they show pictures of his corpse? If they didn't show it, how could you ever prove he is dead? And if he's obliterated by one of those bunker-buster bombs, how could one ever know? People will have a hard time buying that he's dead - someone with his own large cult of personality

If he's alive, then what? World Court? US court? Military Triubunal? Public Stoning? I think it's going to be too much of a problem for the US if he's taken alive. I foresee (all David Copperfield-like) many years of "We got him, he's dead" and "Nuh-uh, you never got him. He lives on in the hills of Afghanistan".
posted by kokogiak at 1:38 PM on October 15, 2001


ChuqD - Technically, we were given warning by numerous terrorist groups that if we didn't cease our imperialist agendas, there would be horrible retribution. We did not follow their (sometimes vague) demands because we did not believe and still do not believe we've done anything wrong. The Taleban has now been given a similar, though more specific ultimatum, and will probably ignore it because it too believes itself entirely innocent. Both sides have been presented with ways to stop each other's attacks, and both sides find them equally unnacceptable.

Each side sees itself as the victim, and though both sides are NOT equally guilty, they are equal insofar as they have both missed opportunities for peace due to an unwillingness to admit to imperfection.

(Now watch the skim-reading crowd call me an apologist)
posted by Hildago at 1:55 PM on October 15, 2001


Taleban = Al Qaida. Incinerate the whole lot.
posted by owillis at 1:59 PM on October 15, 2001


I didn't read everything you wrote, hildago, but you sound like an apologist.

:-)
posted by jpoulos at 2:22 PM on October 15, 2001


The Taliban aren't going to change their minds, capture bin Laden and hand him over if we keep bombing them. Bush has said that it could take years to find bin Laden.

So, um... what's the point of bombing Afghanistan again? Is it just for fun? Or is it, as CNN put its it, 'retaliation'? Nice.
posted by skylar at 2:26 PM on October 15, 2001


Hildago - if the Taliban were getting vague threats from the US and a dozen other nations over a number of different grievances (with no clear timetable for retribution) I'd be more inclined to agree.
posted by ChuqD at 2:26 PM on October 15, 2001


The point of bombing targets within Afghanistan (as opposed to just "bombing Afghanistan", which makes it sound like we're setting fire to the entire country) is to eliminate terrorist training camps and leaders, thereby crippling Al Queda operations. Another goal is to destroy the Taliban's defensive capability and thereby make it possible for Special Forces to enter the country and find/capture bin Laden.
posted by Dean King at 3:15 PM on October 15, 2001


These looney, scary countries (now including India, which just began a new campaign against Pakistan) are not going to veto civilization with their barbarian take on existence.

PP, on what grounds are you calling India looney and scary? Because they are defending themselves against terroristic attacks from Islamic militants in the Kashmir region? Or is this a troll post because you don't know what the fuck you're talking about?

FYI, India and Pakistan have been clashing against each other since 1947 over Kashmir, there's nothing "new" about it. Since the late 80's (after Soviet Union left Afghanistan) Pakistani supported terrorists -- yes, the same people who carried out 9/11 attacks -- have been terrorizing the people of Kashmir region.

If your reference to "veto existence with their barbarian take on existence" is referring to India N-bomb, perhaps you should realize that India is next to two mortal enemies: China and Pakistan, who often collaborate to India's detriment. I hope you are not suggesting that India should NOT have the bomb because they are barbarians, are you? Hope you are not that arrogant, or stupid, or both.
posted by Rastafari at 3:26 PM on October 15, 2001



How could the Taliban hand over Osama to a third party country, they said they don't know where he is?

posted by ArkIlloid at 3:48 PM on October 15, 2001


some here seem to know the taleban mentality very well.
i'd check the weather before sending any ground troops in. seems winter's coming.
the wholesale swallowing and regurgitation official propaganda does no favours to anyone.
'In many nations, publicly advocating Holocaust denial is literally a crime, punishable by prison time and fines.'
I suppose any amount of reality can be avoided using the simple method of denial.
posted by asok at 3:54 PM on October 15, 2001


"Pakistani supported terrorists -- yes, the same people who carried out 9/11 attacks -- have been terrorizing the people of Kashmir region. "

Pakistani supported freedom fighters are fighting a force many hundreds time greater than them, in order to gain freedom from the occupying barbarian and Asian Imperialist, India.

As I have shown, you can put a spin on any thing.

And to say that India fears Pakistan is as pathetic a statement as it is funny. Maybe China yes, but Pakistan ? come on. The Indians, already having helped annex Eastern Pakistan in 1971 are the cause of fear for Pakistan. Not the vice versa.

I guess the Indians can't help why they couldnt get into this mess. Being a frontline state today is not some thing good for Pakistan. India should thank its Gods that it doesnt border Afghanistan and is out of this horrible mess. But the Indians are leaving no stone unturned for causing troubles for General Musharraf. They dont realize that the local deamons he is trying to stop from making an inroad into his government, will eventually be India's deamons if he fails.
posted by adnanbwp at 4:15 PM on October 15, 2001


Or is this a troll post because you don't know what the fuck you're talking about?

The Golden Rule: Just because it hurts your feelings doesn't make it a troll.
posted by jpoulos at 4:16 PM on October 15, 2001


anyway, as you can see from this discusion, it's obvious that in the sticky politics of MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS, it's good to get what you can - which is why i think Bush is an ass to not accept Osama with the terms of having him brought to a third country.

Who's to say we can't be just as devious as the terrorists were 9/11 and just snatch him once he is in that country or when he stands trial?

But right now we dont have him- we dont have anything but a mess in NYC, a broken Pentagon, and letters full of Anthrax filling up our mailboxes.

It's obvious to me that Bush is destined to fail at this game of Blow Up The Guy in the Desert just like his old man did. You'd a thought they'd have learned by now.
posted by tsarfan at 4:45 PM on October 15, 2001


Pakistani supported freedom fighters are fighting a force many hundreds time greater than them, in order to gain freedom from the occupying barbarian and Asian Imperialist, India.

Spin, indeed. The only major difference being that India is, and has been since 1947, a democracy, and Pakistan is ruled by a Islamic military junta, who overthrew a democratically elected govt. Pakistan is also a theocracy -- where religion -- Islam -- is also the law of the land. No democracy there.

Asian imperialists? The people in Kashmir have the freedom to elect their representatives in local, state and federal seats, and within India's constitutional boundaries, make local laws to suit their needs, not to mention have freedom of press, and freedom to worship, or not to worship, any and all religion. So what freedom are the Pakistani "freedom fighters" trying to gain for the Kashmiries?

And to say that India fears Pakistan is as pathetic a statement as it is funny.

I didn't say India fears Pakistan, I said India is surrounded by two enemies, both of whom have n-bomb, and collaborate to India's detriment.

But the Indians are leaving no stone unturned for causing troubles for General Musharraf.

How exactly are the Indians doing that?

The Golden Rule: Just because it hurts your feelings doesn't make it a troll

My point, jpolous, was that PP had made a statement without backing it up. My feelings had nothing to do with it.
posted by Rastafari at 5:09 PM on October 15, 2001


I was refering more to the timing of the India thing than the appropriateness. It's just not the time to further fan the wacky fundamentalists in Pakistan. I can judge that without an deep understanding of Indo-Pak(?!) relations.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:01 PM on October 15, 2001


KASHMIR was and is still a beautiful place, can't say the same about the condition the People are in now. People did not seem to have a problem, until Pakistan set its eye on it.

Suddenly a few felt it could be better and made it worse for them and the others .... Now the few blame India for the mess and say it will get better when they are in power with Pakistan as their friend.

Kashmir has been knows world wide for its beauty ... However can't say much about its intellectual sense shown by the few . The few call on to the world for the Violence (they created ) and lack of proper Infrastructure, which they themselves Destroyed.
I don’t know if I can ever go to KASHMIR, NOW .
posted by xxx--xxx at 9:53 PM on October 15, 2001


Who said that? Did you guys hear something?
posted by jpoulos at 8:38 AM on October 16, 2001


Sending Osama to another non-US-aligned country for justice would be like three wolves and a sheep agreeing on what to cook for dinner...it's just not going to work. Besides, any group who condones the stoning to death of an eldery woman for showing a bit of ankle skin or the murder of a mother trying to get her son to a doctor because she wasn't being escorted by a male deserves to be human mulch, IMHO. They have hijacked Islam to justify their cruelty, and to begin any kind of negiotiations at this point would be a _symbolic_ step toward recognizing them as a legitimate government. I don't believe Bush or anyone else wants to do that. No, I think that people have to realize the best course of action is the dismantling/crushing/eradication (pick the word you like best) of the Taliban and the executions of bin Laden and his monsters. As far as Bush being a "King Maker" (I believe I am quoting correctly), he has already indicated that the U.N., and therefore many other nations, would be involved in rebuilding the country. Also, what do you think we did in Japan? What did we do in Germany? We formed a team with other countries to rebuild and restructure.
posted by jw161020 at 9:20 AM on October 18, 2001


As far as those who think we should stop bombing, and "work for peace", let me utilize a quote from Protestant minister Martin Neimoller:


"...they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."


We cannot continue to avoid this conflict with the terrorists and those who support them because it is unpleasant or offends someone's sensibilities. We've been avoiding it for quite some time, which is why most of our policies in the Mid-East are as mucked up as they are. There is no longer a way to avoid rocking the boat, and we can no longer afford to be silent. They tell us, change your policies and we'll stop; pull out your troops and we'll stop; give us a country and w'll be peaceful; stop bombing and we'll negiotiate. When I hear these things, I feel like Captain Kirk from THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY whose reply to the Klingon's quip about breathing room was "Hitler, 1938." The world yielded and backed off in the interest of peace in 1938...they didn't want to rock the boat...they negiotiated, changed their policies, moved aside...and look what happened. And yes, I think there is a strong analogy between the Taliban and the Nazi party of 1938; between the Afghan people and the Jews of the Holocaust; between Osama and Hitler. Would you have negotiated with Hitler and the Nazis?
posted by jw161020 at 9:44 AM on October 18, 2001



« Older Giuliani honored with Knighthood....  |  Bin Laden starring in his own ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments