When the Italian government this week completed a deal in Afghanistan to obtain the release of an Italian journalist hostage, Daniele Mastrogiacomo, for five Taliban prisoners, the spokesman for Italian Prime Minister Roman Prodi was quoted as saying it was a simple issue of saving a life.
Further on, Kraft writes,
The danger of making deals with kidnappers, as the U.S, and other governments have found in the past, is that the short term goal of saving one hostage can be met, but often at the long term price of endangering other citizens when terrorists conclude that they can get away with taking more hostages in the future.
What Kraft writes, I think, should be obvious to any clear thinking person. We "make deals" with local merchants whenever we exchange items we both consider to have relatively equal value. "Making deals" with kidnappers should be an oxymoron.* Any deal the kidnapper proposes indicates that he has objectified the human soul - parsing it down to a mere commodity.
Is it really so difficult to see that the terrorists we deal with are devoid of the honor we then expect of them? Apparently not, as seen in a quote from a Reporters Without Borders representative,
"We call on the Taliban leaders ... to once and for all abandon attacks on the press and kidnappings of journalists, which are contrary to humanitarian law," the group said in a statement.
Eyes wide open - seeing nothing (and, one has to wonder, why they did not call for the Taliban to abandon attacks on innocent women and children?).
* This is not rocket science. Even a kids' program, such as the 1960s TV series Gilligan's Island covered, in comedic fashion, the futility of making deals with a kidnapper (played by Don Rickles).