I apologize in advance for releasing this latest column so close after my last, however I wanted to share my thoughts on this particular subject with you whilst the situation is still at hand. I wish to discuss the abduction of 3 men in Iraq, in particular one Englishman by the name of Kenneth Bigley.
The news is currently rife with the story of Jack Hensley, Eugene Armstrong from the USA and Kenneth Bigley from Liverpool, England who were kidnapped by an Al-Qaeda splinter group a few days ago. The group is headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted man in Iraq. The group has stated that the 3 men would be released if the countries involved with the liberation of Iraq released all female prisoners.
Sadly for these 3 men it is the policy of the USA andUK not to negociate with terrorists and Jack Hensleyand Eugene Armstrong lives ended in the most horrific of circumstances, however Kenneth Bigley is still alive…. for now. Video footage has been released from the kidnappers to Arab media featuring Kenneth begging Prime Minister Tony Blair to help save his life. Kenneth’s family has also appeared on Television in the UK urging the Prime Minister to act now to save his life.
By now I’m sure we are all familiar with the circumstances surrounding this terrible situation but what I wish to discuss is should our leaders do more to save the lives of the innocent who are helping to rebuild Iraq? Or should we leave our countrymen to undertake the risks they were surely aware of before seeking their fortune in a war-torn country?
Personally as much as I feel sorry for the families of all 3 men, I feel most sorry for George W Bush and Tony Blair. Can you possibly imagination having the lives of 3 innocent men in your hands and not being able to do anything to save them? I imagine that the guilt is unbearable for either man but surely the security of the country must be put before these 3 men alone?
It is of no surprise to me that the American prisoners never appeared on TV to plea for their lives as I imagine that the US take a much harder line of approach to situation than that of the UK whom I cannot recall this happening to in recent history. In which case it would seem that the kidnappers already knew that the US would do nothing to save the lives of Jack and Eugene, and executed them purely to signal the validity of their intent to kill for their cause.
The only bargaining tool they really had the life of Kenneth Bigley. He is their only pawn and they hope that Tony Blair perhaps is more perceptible to this kind of action.
Unfortunately for the family of Kenneth Bigley I’m sure this is not the case. For all the criticisms made towards Bush & Blair I believe they are doing the right thing and should not blackmailed into Terrorist demands like this, even if it does mean the death of our own countrymen. If our nations were to give in to these bandits now, what would stop them kidnapping people everyday in order to achieve their political goals?
It is a no win situation for all concerned in my opinion, but maybe this is the biggest signal yet to the Western world to stop trying to play god to Eastern culture.
5 replies on “Enjoy The Silence 5”
I feel most sorry for the fact that you actually believe George Bush gives a shit about those three innocent lives.
some of what is contained in your post is certainly valid. however, bottom line for me is this: you state that if the US/UK were to negotiate for the release of hostages, in this case, Armstrong, Hensley and Briton, Bigley, doing so would, in essense, give terrorists the green light to kidnap innocent people every day with the intent of using such hostages as a way to get what they want….do you really believe that by NOT negotiating to spare the lives of the 2 Americans and Kenneth Bigley, the terrorists will think twice about kidnapping again? What Americans fail to understand is that these terrorists will not stop. Period. in fact, not negotiating might actually INCREASE the number of kidnappings. These men who are part of cell groups linked to Al Queda are on a mission…and will not stop. They truly do believe they are acting in the name of Allah. They take “Jihad” (Holy War) real seriously. And what is extremely important to note is this: Most Americans fear death. These people do not and will die for their cause. So anyone who thinks that by not negotiating with this group will help fight terrorism is in for a rude awakening. These people will not give up, will not go away, and will do whatever necessary to drive their point home. The beheading of Armstrong and Henly were especially barbaric and done so to engage Americans in psychological terror. I hate to think about Mr. Bigley’s death. And a last note, right now, I don’t feel this is ‘my country”. And I cannot understand how you can say that the security of our country must be put before the lives of 3 men? Do you really believe our country is secure? Our people cannot even track the number of Al Queda cell groups in the United States. That’s scary. And doesn’t make me feel as if our country is secure at all.
Opinions will no doubt be very different of this subject. I feel that yes, neogicating with these terrorists will give them the green light to go out and kidnap more innocents in Iraq and without question our leaders are doing the right thing by not doing so, however I certainly do not feel by not doing anything this will increase them, thats a very uninformed statement in my opinion, the fact of the matter is that they either will or they won’t, they will do as they please and the stance taken by Bush or Blair not to even acknowledge this event won’t make a damn bit of difference….. ‘in my opinion ‘
All points made I think are equally valid actually. Negotiating, yes, will obviously increase kidnappings. However, NOT Negotiating, (matthew I dont think you thought this one out too much) may provoke their anger, and they might decide that they just have to keep doing it until they get their way, and more and more people each time. It’s a delicate situation, and the fact is, Negotiating with them, is a surefire path to more kidnappings. Not Negotiating has more than one possible outcome. I think hoping they’ll lose heart, and not do it again, however unlikely that is, is a better route to take than an almost guaranteed increase in this sort of situation.
i guess the real question is… in a capitalist societ where the individual is considered before the masses (so we say), is it the protection of an innocent life that matters. or the pride of a leader and his country? and honestly, i cant teel, I really dont know how would be the best way to go about the situation. and i think that’s what makes it so desperate.
the fact of the matter is that leaders have the deaths of thousands of innocent lives on thier hands (esp. bush, considering the US has had a vast majority of the deaths and casualties in both iraq and afg.). a few more innocent lives, no matter how public, I am sure will worry them, but I doubt it will keep blair and bush awake at night. i mean, we as american citezens who know people just like these men arent kept awake. sure i feel bad, but i cant say I loose sleep over it. and should I?
i think if i really sat and though about it… I SHOULD loose sleep over it, because in a sense it is our society that created a man who felt the need to go to a war torn and terrorist-pron ecountry soley for personal, financial gain. should we be blamed for making him so? do we, as a american society still treasure the individual…. or have we just become another nation willing to use its people as resources for a religious, idealistic and political war?