Tags: Exclusive Interviews | ISIS/Islamic State | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism | bill richardson | negotiate | terrorists

Bill Richardson: Negotiate With Terrorists When Necessary

By    |   Monday, 02 Feb 2015 05:20 PM

The U.S. should decide on a "case-by-case basis" whether to negotiate with terrorists who hold hostages, says Bill Richardson, a former governor of New Mexico and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

"You almost have to.... The taking of hostages has now become a political weapon, especially now with the beheading of hostages," Richardson, a Democrat, said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"ISIS is a horrendous group, but at the same time, every country needs to look at their national interest."

The dilemma facing Jordan is a case in point, Richardson said, reffering to the Islamic State's capture of a Jordanian pilot attacking ISIS targets in northeastern Syria.

"In the case of Jordan, you got this Jordanian pilot who's a national hero, who the Jordanian people want back — and so the king of Jordan is in a very difficult position," Richardson said.

"He's a member of the U.S.-led coalition that does airstrikes on ISIS, but his people are against the king and against Jordan being in the coalition.

"The answer is case-by-case. Yes, I believe prisoner swaps make sense sometimes.... If I'm the king of Jordan, I probably would do this swap, but this is an ally, he's a member of the coalition.

"The good news for the king is he's very well regarded in the Middle East. The Hashemite kingdom is supposed to be related to the Prophet Muhammad. With these ISIS savages, you don't know if that's going to make a difference."

Richardson said he favored last year's trade of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban terrorists being held prisoner in Guantanamo Bay.

"That swap was merited with Sgt. Bergdahl. You never leave an American military person, officer, fighter behind. That is fundamental to me," he said.

"I don't think you should pay ransom. If you pay ransom — the U.S. wisely doesn't do it — it would be a free-for-all with Americans."

Richardson said he agrees with President Barack Obama that the U.S. shouldn't overinflate the importance of terrorists.

"I do agree. What the president is saying is that you shouldn't hype these people. Yes, they are terrorists, they are a threat to the United States and even to the mainland, but at the same time, you can't give them the importance that they are craving," Richardson said.

"These beheadings, for instance, they're to recruit and to terrorize.... This is why this is not just a U.S. issue," he said.

The international community … should adopt common policies to deal with these hostages and terrorists."

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The U.S. should decide on a "case-by-case basis" whether to negotiate with terrorists who hold hostages, says Bill Richardson, a former governor of New Mexico and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
bill richardson, negotiate, terrorists, isis, hostages
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2015-20-02
Monday, 02 Feb 2015 05:20 PM
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