Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The beheading of a South Korean hostage by an al-Qaida cell in Iraq yesterday, horrid as it is, was virtually predestined, no matter what efforts might have been made to save him. This show of barbarism wasn't really intended to obtain the concessions the terrorists demanded - Seoul's immediate pullout of its 670 troops in Iraq and the cancellation of its imminent deployment of 3,000 more. There wasn't enough time to fulfill the hostage-takers' demands, even if there had been a willingness to do so. Rather, this grisly spectacle was meant to stir protests in South Korea and elsewhere against participation in Iraq's reconstruction and scare away foreign workers.

But at least in South Korea, it didn't work. President Roh Moo-hyun, after a meeting with his National Security Council, decided that Seoul would not negotiate with terrorists over hostages and would keep to its plan to deploy troops to Iraq, making South Korea's military contingent the third largest after the United States and Britain...

A capitulation now would only ensure more kidnappings, more death threats and even more, equally untenable, demands later. It would send al-Qaida and its followers the message that democracies can be bent to their will. That's just the message Spain sent after the lethal train bombings in Madrid: The outcome of a close national election days after the attack turned on Spain's confrontation with terror, encouraging the notion that threats to a nation's security pay dividends.

That is the most masochistic signal a democracy can send. We can only hope al-Qaida's inhuman acts eventually generate enough revulsion to backfire against it.

By the way...I wonder how it feels to be Spain, now held up worldwide as The Great Capitulators, those who can be told what to do by the thugs.

I'm pretty certain that act of cowardice will be written into the history books.


David said...

Seems the Afghans have an answer to the latest terror trend ... beheading ... While I'm not condoning this - it will be interesting to see if an eye for an eye (or head for a head) is an effective deterrent.

From the Washington Post

Afghans Behead 4 Taliban

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, June 22 (Reuters) — Afghan soldiers have beheaded four Taliban fighters in retaliation for the Taliban's beheading of an Afghan soldier and an Afghan interpreter for American-led forces, a government commander said Tuesday.

The soldier and the interpreter were beheaded after becoming separated from a patrol of Afghan and American-led foreign troops in the Arghandab district of the southern province of Zabul on Monday night, Namatullah Tokhi, commander of the government's 27th Division in the province, said in an interview.

He said government troops later captured and killed four Taliban guerrillas in the same way.

"They cut off their heads with a knife," he said of the Taliban action, "so when our forces arrested four Taliban, we cut off their heads too."

Zabul and adjoining southern provinces have been the battleground for deadly clashes between Taliban guerrillas and American-led and government forces since the Taliban were overthrown in late 2001.

Taliban fighters have beheaded government soldiers in the past, but this is the first publicly disclosed time that government forces have retaliated in the same manner, an escalation of a conflict that has claimed hundreds.

The Taliban and their Islamic militant allies, including Al Qaeda, have declared a holy war against American-led forces and consider foreign and local aid workers legitimate targets as well as foreign and government soldiers and officials.

The guerrillas have vowed to disrupt elections planned for September.

In late May, soldiers from the 20,000-member American-led force in Afghanistan began a sweeping campaign against the militants in southern provinces, including Zabul, to improve conditions for the elections.

Anonymous said...

Yep.. can't wait for the ROK Marines to drop in for a little payback.