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.