Good news

Good news

: Kidnapped CNN producer has been released.

: MORE GOOD NEWS: The two women from Italy, aid workers both, who were held hostage have also been released.

What’s going on? Is hostage-taking out? We can only hope so. And we can only hope that the British hostage is next. No, we can only pray that the British hostage is next.

  • Hey, that’s great news. Over lunch I caught some CNN. If they had said “Palestinian President Arafat” one more time I might have had to shoot myself or, as Douglas Adams and Elvis might suggest, my TV. Hello, his term expired years ago and he justs keep putting off new elections. In real countries – which I honestly want Gaza and West Bank to be – they call that dictatorship.

  • Franky

    I always thought that the CNN producer would be freed and while I did believe the initial reports of the deaths of the two Italians it seemed such a stupid move, and counterproductive for these groups (killing men is one thing, but killing young women is a totally different thing – however that old mentality might be out of the window given the horrors of Beslan. I would caution that Chechens have been known to be some of the brutal people around, their own brutality nicely matched by a rampaging Russian army – i remember seeing videos years ago of Chechen training videos where they executed live Russian captives, demonstrating the correct way to slit someone’s throat from behind). Kidnapping will not stop because it can seriously hamstring those contractors working in Iraq, keeping them from travelling outside of ever-diminishing circles (can someone please, please tel Mark Steyn this).
    When has anyone ever abandoned something cheap and effective?

  • Glad as I am they let loose a few… remember that they asked for the CNN Israeli-ARAB journalist by name…
    Remember Eason Jordan admitted CNN slanted the news for the Palestinians favorite dictator Saddam all because they feared for their journalists safety…
    Access over truth? Over accountability?
    So perhaps this was a ‘message delivered?’
    Perhaps collusion?

  • I would like to know what deals were made for these hostages release. Was money paid? Where promises made for favorable coverage in the future? Since none of the hostages, CNN or any government is talking is it fair to assume the worst? Are there other plausible alternatives?
    Also what are the ethical issues for CNN not reporting on the negoiations that got their man releases? I don’t see why they can’t talk about this or did I just miss it?

  • Kat

    CNN can’t just sign a big cheque and give it to Hamas–but if it’s a ransom, then it’s legal to support terrorists.

  • I would like to think that they are responding to the fact that hostage-taking hasn’t worked except in a few cases. If nations stand firm, the terrorists have no leverage. I think for months they were benefitting from the withdrawal of Spain and the Phillipines, and it took this many further incidents where nations did NOT withdraw, for them to start to think that it wasn’t going to work anymore and they might as well release the hostages.

  • realist

    A senior Italian politician says he believes that a ransom of $1m or more was paid for the release of two female Italian aid workers kidnapped in Iraq.
    Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has said no money was paid.
    But Gustavo Selva, head of the Italian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said the denial was purely “official”.
    The BBC’s Guto Harri in Rome says Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has fuelled the rumours by talking of “a difficult choice which had to be made”.
    “The young women’s life was the most important thing,” Mr Selva, a member of the Northern League, one of the parties in Italy’s governing coalition, told French RTL radio.

  • Sam Boogliodemus

    No. Ransom is apparently in.

  • Chas

    While the Italians haven’t explictly confirmed ranson was paid, from comments made it’s pretty clear there was a payment. Since that’s incentive for more kidnappings, the initial reaction of “hostages freed = good news” is questionable. To pay or not to pay is a question on which reasonable people could disagree. The only real solution is to use enough force to put these people out of business. That’s in part a military problem, but also a political problem: do we have the will? Time will tell, a critical date being Nov 2. Those who care, and face the facts, cannot be neutral, or “above partisanship.”

  • Karl

    Moreover, one should consider whether the release of a number of hostages in the same time frame is part of a strategy to divide the coalition, in the manner of the Madrid bombing. Cut deals with the Italians, etc. to raise the heat on Tony Blair.

  • Judi

    I would still like to hear more discussion about hostage taking being in or out.
    Consensus – hostage – taking = bad.
    What is it that makes it bad? Profitable? Attention grabbing?
    How is it that the US government guarantees to the families of those poor contractors their salaries which, by the way, far exceed the salaries and decedent’s benefits of the military people killed?