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Top police chief: 'We must start negotiating with Al Qaeda now to stop terror'
I know Sir Winston Churchill said "Jaw-jaw is better than war war" but this would be the triumph of hope over experience. Some people still don’t get it. The comments sum it up.
One of Britain's most senior policemen says the country should talk to Al Qaeda to try and end their bloody campaign of violence.
Sir Hugh Orde, a front-runner to replace Ian Blair as the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said he could not think of a single terrorist campaign that ended without negotiation.
And after 30 years of tackling the IRA Sir Hugh, head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said he was convinced that policing - detecting plots and arresting people - was not enough alone to defeat terrorists.
His comments come the day after Al Qaeda released a shocking image of their vision of America - devastated by nuclear attack.
The terrifying computer generated picture showing the ruins of Washington DC was released on an Islamic extremists' website.
Sir Hugh admitted that negotiating with terrorists meant 'thinking the unthinkable' and said some of the biggest risks his officers took were talking to people that 'historically they would not have dreamed of talking to'.
Asked if he was saying 'we should talk to al Qaeda', Sir Hugh said: 'Well that's the logic of...I don't think that's unthinkable, the question will be one of timing.'
He added: 'If you want my professional assessment of any terrorism campaign, what fixes it is talking and engaging and judging when the conditions are right for that to take place.
'Is that a naive statement? I don't think it is ... It is the reality of what we face.
'If somebody can show me any terrorism campaign where it has been policed out, I'd be happy to read about it, because I can't think of one.'
He may be right about policing – the Nazis of WWII were not arrested by the constabulary but defeated militarily, although the police played a huge part internally dealing with spies and espionage.
The comments may disappear. This one from Adam of Harrow sums up more or less what I think.
There's been a concerted attempt to compare Al Qaeda with the IRA. The difference could not be more profound. The IRA had one simple goal: The removal of British forces from Northern Ireland and the inclusion of the six counties under the wing of the Irish Republic. Home rule for Ireland. They didn't have any desire to rule the English mainland or convert us all to Catholicism on pain of death.
Al Qaeda also has one simple goal: We all convert to Islam or we die. There's no opportunity for negotiation. Al Q want a pan-Islamic world free of democracy, socialism, capitalism and all religion except Islam.
If Sir Hugh Orde can't understand this then he is not the right man to replace Ian Blair, even if Blair was never the right man for the job in the first place.