One of the points made is that governments in the past have conducted talks with terrorists whom they swore they would never speak to. He cites the IRA as one example. Well, let's look and see how that worked out- originally the IRA was supposed to disarm before talks began. They refused. Then they were supposed to disarm while talks were in progress. They refused. Then they were supposed to disarm when the talks were finished. They refused. Years passed and the political representatives of a murderous terrorist organisation were put into government; one of the demands that they had succeeded in passing was that, unlike the rest of the UK, the party with the most votes wouldn't get to make their own government; a certain number of seats were set aside for the other parties, ensuring that Sinn Fein/IRA would have a place. So for a time our Minister of Education in Northern Ireland was a "former" IRA commander- a man who had been arrested with explosives and ammunition and who had boasted of having informers murdered.
That's what happens when governments talk to terrorists. Today the IRA is still armed and the threat of a return to violence hangs over everything that happens here. If they don't get their way...
Back to Al Qaeda and the BBC- the entire blame for terrorism is placed squarely on US foreign policy in the Middle East- their support of apostate Arab governments, troops on Muslim soil and support for Israel. Taylor mentions the word jihad but he seems to believe that Bin Laden will go away if only America will do what he wants in the Middle East. And he appears to think that this is a reasonable plan in order to stop terrorism. He doesn't mention the Islamic terrorism elsewhere in the world- if the US lets Israel be destroyed will Islamists in the Far East start behaving themselves? He claims that Bin Laden doesn't want a Caliphate- which is an odd claim because Bin Laden has called for a Caliphate. His exact words were, "the pious Caliphate will start from Afghanistan."
Taylor is either completely unaware of his subject matter or is deliverately trying to deceive the audience. I wonder which it is?
FAS sums it up like this- "Al-Qa'ida's goal is to "unite all Muslims and to establish a government which follows the rule of the Caliphs." Bin Laden has stated that the only way to establish the Caliphate is by force. Al-Qa'ida's goal, therefore, is to overthrow nearly all Muslim governments, which are viewed as corrupt, to drive Western influence from those countries, and eventually to abolish state boundaries."
So what's Peter Taylor of the BBC talking about? And, even if Bin Laden has had a change of heart and no longer wants to establish a Caliphate, the war on terror isn't aimed simply at Al Qaeda and no one else- we're fighting Islamic terrorism all over the world. Does Taylor think we should sit down and negotiate with all of them? My guess is that he probably does think that's the way forward- the good little dhimmi is ready to accept his new Islamist overlords- and he wants to convince others to come along for the ride too.
It's interesting to note that the two "experts" who agree with Peter Taylor are a former Jordanian official and a Harvard academic. I think that says a lot about the show.