The Moderate Terrorist and Other Fairy Tales from the Party of Change

An appeal to our adversary's better nature, particularly as a venue towards forging compromise, ranks among the noblest of human endeavors. Perhaps that is what newly minted U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had in mind at a recent conference on Afghanistan, when she recommended that members of the Taliban who permanently forsake extremism be offered an "honorable form of reconciliation."

The suggestion speaks volumes of Mrs. Clinton's presumed qualifications for the role to which she was appointed by her boss and former rival, whose own meager repertoire of pertinent experience has often been dismissed as irrelevant. One thinks that Mrs. Clinton might have surmised that these entreaties only work given the prerequisite that the parties to whom such graces are extended indeed possess a better nature.

In light of the fact that Taliban mercenaries have not typically displayed an affinity for this distinctly humane attribute, Mrs. Clinton's jejune overture -- echoing an earlier one made by President Barack Obama -- is at best hopelessly naive, and at worst recklessly dangerous.

That is, more or less, how Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid put it when he got wind of Mrs. Clinton's bid; "This is a lunatic idea," he declared, in what must have been one of those precious few moments of lucidity. It was only a matter of time before any given member of the present administration would so upset the delicate balance of the universe that I would actually find myself concurring with a delegate from a terrorist organization.

But perhaps Mrs. Clinton was hoping she could spur that dispossessed, silent majority of Taliban "moderates" into secretly breaking ranks with, and usurping their more extremist peers, who always seem to get the lion's share of the media's attention. But again, this rather auspicious "insurgency" would only materialize provided this presumed cadre of repentant jihadists actually exists, other than as the whimsical reveries in the prodigious imaginations of starry-eyed liberals.

Would that those with a terrorist bent were sincerely committed to engaging in dialogue and fair negotiations. But if that were the case, I believe our ancestors would have been the proud witnesses of the end to the seemingly perennial Jewish - Arab hostilities in the Middle East; the fact that this epic conflict remains as fierce and bloody as ever is an indicting testimony to the futility of Mrs. Clinton's seemingly ingenuous aspirations. 

Besides, no self-respecting terrorist would ever dare call himself a moderate. Such a demotion would only signal a betrayal of the very essence of the vocation, which requires its followers to seize upon their convictions with a fanatic's zeal. In fact, one should generally be suspicious of any member of Al Qaida, Talibanor any other terrorist organization which claims to uphold moderation as a virtue. Given their propensity for ultra-extreme measures -- not discounting human sacrifice -- when called upon to render proof of their loyalty, it is clear that they would much rather be eulogized as the proud, visionary agents of hubris.

Additionally, the culture of terrorism is one that is steeped in the ethos of vengeance. Taliban chieftains are notorious for taking organized crime styled measures as retribution on those who abandon their assigned posts, and are consequently labeled as traitors.  Hence the conscience stricken Jihad hireling who even entertains the idea of forsaking his native relish of mayhem is bound first to seriously weigh the dire repercussions of his choice.

I suppose someone will have to eventually break the news to Mrs. Clinton, that terrorists generally prefer their own alternative methods through which they feel they can most effectively air their grievances, and these do not entail engaging in dialogue at the table of diplomacy. And that they are not the least bit interested in reconciling with those they view as mortal enemies, i.e. us. And finally, that there is no such thing as a moderate Taliban fighter, just as there are no toddler friendly pedophiles, no steak loving vegans, no neighborly serial killers, no principled rapists, and no unicorns. But alas, what brave soul in the new administration's payroll even dare countenance what it will take for liberals to come to grips with this cold, hard reality?

In fact, trying to find a moderate Taliban leader is like trying to find an Obama supporter whose critical thinking faculties are still intact There are very few left out there (though the jury is still out on that one), and the ones which on occasion pose as such, can not boast of a significantly large enough majority to override the harebrained schemes put forth by the lunatic fringe presently in control of the reins.
An appeal to our adversary's better nature, particularly as a venue towards forging compromise, ranks among the noblest of human endeavors. Perhaps that is what newly minted U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had in mind at a recent conference on Afghanistan, when she recommended that members of the Taliban who permanently forsake extremism be offered an "honorable form of reconciliation."

The suggestion speaks volumes of Mrs. Clinton's presumed qualifications for the role to which she was appointed by her boss and former rival, whose own meager repertoire of pertinent experience has often been dismissed as irrelevant. One thinks that Mrs. Clinton might have surmised that these entreaties only work given the prerequisite that the parties to whom such graces are extended indeed possess a better nature.

In light of the fact that Taliban mercenaries have not typically displayed an affinity for this distinctly humane attribute, Mrs. Clinton's jejune overture -- echoing an earlier one made by President Barack Obama -- is at best hopelessly naive, and at worst recklessly dangerous.

That is, more or less, how Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid put it when he got wind of Mrs. Clinton's bid; "This is a lunatic idea," he declared, in what must have been one of those precious few moments of lucidity. It was only a matter of time before any given member of the present administration would so upset the delicate balance of the universe that I would actually find myself concurring with a delegate from a terrorist organization.

But perhaps Mrs. Clinton was hoping she could spur that dispossessed, silent majority of Taliban "moderates" into secretly breaking ranks with, and usurping their more extremist peers, who always seem to get the lion's share of the media's attention. But again, this rather auspicious "insurgency" would only materialize provided this presumed cadre of repentant jihadists actually exists, other than as the whimsical reveries in the prodigious imaginations of starry-eyed liberals.

Would that those with a terrorist bent were sincerely committed to engaging in dialogue and fair negotiations. But if that were the case, I believe our ancestors would have been the proud witnesses of the end to the seemingly perennial Jewish - Arab hostilities in the Middle East; the fact that this epic conflict remains as fierce and bloody as ever is an indicting testimony to the futility of Mrs. Clinton's seemingly ingenuous aspirations. 

Besides, no self-respecting terrorist would ever dare call himself a moderate. Such a demotion would only signal a betrayal of the very essence of the vocation, which requires its followers to seize upon their convictions with a fanatic's zeal. In fact, one should generally be suspicious of any member of Al Qaida, Talibanor any other terrorist organization which claims to uphold moderation as a virtue. Given their propensity for ultra-extreme measures -- not discounting human sacrifice -- when called upon to render proof of their loyalty, it is clear that they would much rather be eulogized as the proud, visionary agents of hubris.

Additionally, the culture of terrorism is one that is steeped in the ethos of vengeance. Taliban chieftains are notorious for taking organized crime styled measures as retribution on those who abandon their assigned posts, and are consequently labeled as traitors.  Hence the conscience stricken Jihad hireling who even entertains the idea of forsaking his native relish of mayhem is bound first to seriously weigh the dire repercussions of his choice.

I suppose someone will have to eventually break the news to Mrs. Clinton, that terrorists generally prefer their own alternative methods through which they feel they can most effectively air their grievances, and these do not entail engaging in dialogue at the table of diplomacy. And that they are not the least bit interested in reconciling with those they view as mortal enemies, i.e. us. And finally, that there is no such thing as a moderate Taliban fighter, just as there are no toddler friendly pedophiles, no steak loving vegans, no neighborly serial killers, no principled rapists, and no unicorns. But alas, what brave soul in the new administration's payroll even dare countenance what it will take for liberals to come to grips with this cold, hard reality?

In fact, trying to find a moderate Taliban leader is like trying to find an Obama supporter whose critical thinking faculties are still intact There are very few left out there (though the jury is still out on that one), and the ones which on occasion pose as such, can not boast of a significantly large enough majority to override the harebrained schemes put forth by the lunatic fringe presently in control of the reins.