November 09, 2004
Sam, over at the Briar Patch, has an interesting post about hostage-taking. I agree with his central point, although he is a little more John Wayne and less "nuanced" than I would be if I were in charge of a hostage situation.
I'm about to say something cruel and heartless here, and I'll probably offend a few people, but I didn't come to believe what I believe without thinking about it for a long time. Sometimes reality is harsh.
When faced with a hostage situation, we should proceed to end it with the assumption that all the hostages will die. We should act with force and ferocity, untempered by any fear of collateral damage, and we should behave that way EVERY SINGLE TIME. To act otherwise is to encourage more hostage-takers.
If we can get the kidnappers and save the hostages, that's just great, and we should try that tactic, but we NEVER should give the kidnappers what they want, or even let them THINK that they have a chance for what they want. The only negotiation is "Do you want to surrender, or die?" And if they choose door #2, give it to 'em.
Sam asks, "As a civilian, would you sacrifice your life for your country?"
That depends. I'm not much into that "sacrificing my life" mindset. I would much prefer to kill a terrorist for Jesusland and keep my own Cracker ass alive than to die for my country. But if I were in a hostage situation, I would chalk it up to a bad hand from the Deck of Life and expect the good guys to do what they needed to do to end this crap. If I died in the ensuing conflict, well... shit happens. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I was swallowed up by events larger than I am.
And I would feel the same way if my son or daughter were one of the hostages.
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