Bloomberg reports that Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams, has urged US President-elect Barack Obama to pursue talks with its enemies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East:
“I would be very surprised if there weren’t some lines of communications” already in Afghanistan, Adams said in an interview at his office in Belfast. “Leaving aside moral issues, ethical issues, look at what works. There is merit in the Irish peace process in some ways being looked at in terms of broad principles.”Adams said he has “no time” for al-Qaeda. “There are clearly people out there who are not terrorists but who know what’s happening, who have contacts, who themselves are open to being helpful to bring together a genuine process of conflict resolution,” he said.
As ever, the challenge for peace makers is the “leaving aside moral issues, ethical issues” bit.I concur with the philosophy that there’s rarely a purely military victory to any conflict, that ultimately there needs to be a sound political (and economic and social) dimension. However, when enemies aren’t willing or able to put forward such feasible programmes, i.e. ensure confidence for post-conflict stability, there seems to be little point on talking with enemies for the sake of talking peace.