Gut Rumbles

November 09, 2004

it depends

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.


Well put A-Man. I agree completely that no quarter should be given to kidnappers. By offering them the choices you outlined and delivering on the promise of death if that is what they choose, then the next set of kidnappers might not have the balls to proceed. If they do, they risk the ultimate castration.

Posted by: Florida Bill on November 9, 2004 12:47 PM

Roger That! The objectives of any hostage situation should be (in priority order):

1 All terrorists dead

2. Maximum amount of of hostages rescued

3. Minimum possible casulaties to the assault force.

The ONLY reason to negotiate with hostage takers is to give your snipers and entry teams time to set up and get in position.

Posted by: Randy on November 9, 2004 03:41 PM

Absolutely. You have to go with the premise that even if you successfully breach their walls, they're going to make certain the hostages die before they do. Count them dead, and be glad if you are able to get a more positive outcome.

Israel and Holland work that way, and they have far less of this than the wimps in Europe who would try to negotiate with Satan on the edge of the abyss. Once they proved they would fire into the hostages to get the kidnappers, the kidnapping stopped.

Posted by: Mamamontezz on November 9, 2004 04:28 PM

I think it was Patton who said something like: A soldiers job is not to die for his country, but to make the other poor sumbitch die for his country. I like that philosophy much better.

Posted by: TheManFromUtopia on November 9, 2004 06:25 PM
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