On Negotiating With The Enemy

It is easy for someone whose family has not been impacted by acts of terrorists to urge a hard line on their demands for ransom. No one can feel the pain, fear, and torture currently being felt by members the James Foley family. No one can ask them to set aside those feelings. Of course, there is always a “but” or “however” to this tale of horror. Michael Foley expressed the family desire for negotiating with terrorism. He insists “there’s more that could have been done directly on James’ behalf. I really hope that in some ways Jim’s death pushes us to take another look at our approach, our policy to terrorist and hostage negotiations and rethink them.”

President Obama sent a Special Force group into Syria in order to free the hostages. That meant the lives of several young Americans were placed at risk. There was always the possibility Special Force members could be killed in the act of saving others. Yes, some urge paying ransoms. The basic problem with paying ransoms to terrorists is there will always be another and another ransom to pay. Naturally, those who believe in paying off terrorists are ready to pose: “suppose it was your son or daughter who was kidnapped?” My feelings would be similar to those of the Foley family. But, hopefully, I would also hope that others should not give up their lives in order to save the life of my son or daughter.

Ransom demands by terrorists is NEVER a once in a lifetime demand!