Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Market value of hostages up

It’s taken six months to break the taboo of discussing the matter in the European press, but the notion has finally caught on.

Michael Moore, a Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, said: “These governments have created a kidnappers’ charter. Everyone from outside Iraq working in the country becomes more vulnerable as a result.”
Le Figaro and The Times (UK) report on what emerged as an obvious embarrassment on the part of the French, German, and Italian governments: the paying of hostage ransom – even to the point where the hostages are in some cases deliberately playing into the thin political motives and gains of the hostage takers.
“In theory we stand together in not rewarding kidnappers, but in practice it seems some administrations have parted with cash and so it puts other foreign nationals at risk from gangs who are confident that some governments do pay,” one senior envoy in the Iraqi capital said.
Ray and David of David’s Medienkritik, as well as Clarsonimus, the mysterious writer behind “Observing Hermann” has been on this one for a while:
“After all, it was no coincidence that the two Leipzig-based engineers were kidnapped immediately after the German hostage Susanne Osthoff was freed in Iraq and while speculations were circulating in the media about whether or not ransom money had been paid.”

Wow, how true. There really does seem to be some kind of a connection here. I mean, in the interest of all of those tens of thousands of Germans down there in that awful hornet’s nest of Iraq we do need to maybe step back and take a moment and realize that we are only endangering them by speculating about the ransom money the German government so obviously and eagerly pays anybody willing to ask for it.
In other words, the taking of hostages that companies and governments has become all that more appealing.

The fuse is lit!

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