If you're the Boston Globe, there's no day like 9-11 to suggest negotiating with terrorists. For that's what the Globe appears to propose in its editorial of this morning, "Toughness after Sept. 11."
The gist is that in response to 9-11, President Bush's "aggressive foreign policy" and his "version of toughness" have had "tragic and unpredictable consequences," including "tens of thousands of civilians dead" in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the trampling of civil liberties at home.
So what does the Globe propose as the alternative to toughness? The editorial approvingly notes that "Churchill sought rapprochement with the Soviet Union following Stalin's death in 1953. Reagan realized he could negotiate with the Soviet Union after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power."
Remember: this is the Globe's 9-11 anniversary editorial, explicitly addressing our response to terrorrism. The Globe concludes by warning against "shows of toughness" and calling for a "thoughtful response." In the context, it's hard to interpret its praise for Churchill and Reagan's negotiating with the Communists as other than a call for the current administration to emulate those leaders by negotiating with the enemy of the day: terrorists in general and al-Qaeda in particular.
Can the Globe possibly mean what it appears to have proposed? Should we invite OBL out of his cave and to a good hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva for some negotiations an "rapprochement"? And what do the Dem presidential aspirants think of the apparent proposal by a newpaper that will surely be endorsing whoever among them emerges as the candidate?