I finally decided to register, after reading this board for months. In terms of my interests and what I might bring to the table, I have been following the lacrosse case closely mostly through supportive blogs, such as this one, for some time now and I agree with most of the views expressed here. However, given that we are at the tail end of the lacrosse case it is a little too late for me to get into that topic. Instead, I decided to restrict my posts to off topic subjects that might be of some interest. My own views on some of the issues I intend to bring up will probably be obvious in my posts. However, my intention is not to argue one way or another on any specific issue. My intention is to flag a few topics, or ask a few questions, and simply leave it at that. You may think of these topics as “food for thought.”
Board moderators, thank you for allowing me to register and post here.
Lastly, I am a member of the Duke community and I care deeply about what happens in that community.
Discussion topic number 1:
During the 9/11 attacks, if instead of 3,000 US citizens 40,000 had been killed by terrorists and somehow the terrorists had also managed to take some hostages, and immediately after the event, Osama Bin Laden who is the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks asked to meet with the US officials to negotiate a cease fire and the release of the hostages taken, what would be the most appropriate response by the US government?
Welcome on board. Your hypothetical question is too easy to answer. Is there something deeper in it that I fail to see?
My answer is that a government should never negotiate with a terrorist group, and/or hostage taker, under any circumstance. This is a proven strategy and the only one to follow.
When a government comes under a terrorist attack or a hostage situation, it should fight back as hard as it can to protect its citizens perhaps employing military, financial and other means and tools. What it should NOT do is to negotiate with terrorists or reward them by giving into their demands. Doing so can only lead to more terrorism and more hostage taking. In my mind, this is a clear cut case.