Eff's Rambles (Archive)

9/29/2004

A Cruel Question

The plight of the British hostage in Iraq has made me wonder about the responsibility a man has to his nation. It is taken by many as a given that giving into the demands of hostage takers inspires more hostage taking; gives it legitimacy as a tactic. But it is also said that hostage taking has succeeded. Though, there usually seems to be a difference in the matter of scale. And some claims of steadfastness in not negotiating might be disingenuous. Buying time is a major part of it. But, considering all this from the standpoint of the interest of a nation, what, then, should be the behavior of hostages? Human nature is understandable, but I cannot but wonder, as empathic as I wish to be, if people in such situations should not resign themselves, or show less, though understandable, deperation. I know that comes off as cruel, but I am thinking of the pain the loved ones of hostages are feeling; thinking that if hostages are strong perhaps their family and friends can find comfort. I aslo feel for the governments burdened with this terrible problem. However, I am sure many experts will say to never surrender, which is right, I suppose.

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