Monday, September 27, 2004
The Lesson of Klinghoffer

With the increasing number of pleas for Kenneth Bigley's life, all sound individuals would hope that he is reunited with his family and released by the terrorists. However, treading in dangerous waters, one wonders why the only one damned is Tony Blair.

Richard Bigley has called on the Prime Minister to resign and has blamed him for the fate of his brother. Understandably, the family want everything possible to be done in order to save the life of their kin. However, this has led to a mistaken conclusion: that the fate of their brother lies in the hands of British politicians. It does not: it lies in the hands of terrorists located in Iraq, who are using their power to kill him, as a political weapon.

He reiterated his plea for the Government to send a communique to the terrorists, but accepted that it should not negotiate. He said: "I never would and never will request that you negotiate with bad people." But he added that the Government could send a fax with a comment such as "have a nice day" or "have a bad day". He concluded: "Ken will come home to us all. Ken is only a little person in this whole affair."

Given the past record of Zarqawi's group and the murders of the two American hostages captured alongside Kenneth Bigley, the above statement is insupportable. There is no evidence that communication with these murderers would facilitate the release of Kenneth Bigley. Their previous actions have shown that they are blind to the ties of family or friendship.

The 'mercy missions' may achieve the objective of obtaining Kenneth Bigley's release and let us hope that they do. However, that release by Al-Zarqawi will be sanctioned for political advantage, clothed in sanctimonious and hypocritical rhetoric. This is not the "Iraqi resistance with a human face"; it is a reminder that people like these threw a cripple off a cruise ship in order to appear merciless.

When faced with such extremism, politicians do not have the power to save even a single life. That remains the preserve of the terrorists.

(23.15, 27th September 2004)


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