Thursday, January 26, 2006

Is this negotiating with terrorists?

We're wondering what the next headline is going to be after five Iraqi women prisoners were released to Sunni officials overnight?

The U.S. military released five Iraqi women detainees Thursday, a move demanded by the kidnappers of an American reporter to spare her life, but an official said the release was coincidental.

The women were freed from U.S. custody and delivered to the home of a senior Sunni Arab politician in Baghdad, where they were returned to their families, according to an Associated Press photographer at the scene. They were later driven away in taxis.

The choices? The terrorists release Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll and what transpires is essentially a negotiated prisoner exchange. Or, the terrorists make new demands of the U.S. since they are still holding Carroll as a pawn, and things have worked in their favor so far.

Or the terrorists go ahead and kill the journalist, just for the hell of it.

Whatever the result, the next time some administration official stands up and declares that "we do not negotiate with terrorists," he should be pelted with rotten fruit and booed into tears.

Not that we are unsympathetic. Jill Carroll is cute. Those home movies that are shown constantly on the news channels yank hard on the heart-strings. But she is no more and no less deserving of our compassion and desire to see her set free than the middle-aged oilfield consultant with the four-day stubble and the spare tire. But we don't negotiate with terrorists when the latter is at risk, do we?

We don't claim to be experts on this subject. Considering that the Arab cultural values are a bit different, maybe in the Middle East you do negotiate with terrorists - and then exact a terrible price upon them in the next confrontation. Maybe you don't. Whatever the rule, we should be consistent with it.


At 10:37 PM, Blogger AWG said...

I suspect Ms. Carroll was being a little TOO honest in her reporting. She wasn't an ideologue with a reporter notebook. This spooked the "spooks" (aka Al CIA-duh) and they decided to make an example of her, sending a-not-so-subtle-message to other reporters who may divert from the official propaganda.


Post a Comment

<< Home