Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Peaceful methods.

I’ve just heard about the execution of the 12 Nepalese hostages and I want to send my sincere condolence to their families on their terrible loss at the hands of the criminals who call themselves resistance.

On the other hand, I was following the news about kidnaping the french reporters and the demands of their kidnappers regarding Hijab ban, and frankly I was surprised at the beginning, as France was always in a way or another supporting the “Iraqi resistance” plus that reporters in general have served a good role in giving some sort of legitimacy to the so-called resistance. So why would the kidnapers do that, especially when it seems that there’s no money involved in the deal? Are they serious about their demands or are they just trying to satisfy their ill nature by killing innocents just because they are foreigners claiming they are doing this to support Islam and Muslims in France?

There’s a wide variation of organizations that adapt kidnaping foreigner in Iraq with quite a various agenda for each group and it’s not easy to tell to which group these particular kidnapers belong until the case ends with either killing the hostages or releasing them. However, and after listening to reactions inside and outside Iraq to the threat to kill the french journalists, the whole issue seems less vague and I can say I have an idea about why they are doing this and what the outcome will be.

I’ll take the ‘risk’ and say that these criminals won’t kill the reporters and they will free them, although it may take longer than 24 hours. I hope I’m right and I wish I’m not hallucinating but I have reasons for such believe.

I believe that these people are not concerned at all about the Hijab issue and that it’s not a coincidence that they carried this operation in Iraq and not anywhere else, although they are using the Hijab ban as an excuse to get some support from some Muslims that are emotional more than rational.

The other point is that France was and still friendly to most arab and Muslim government which are the usual source for financing terrorist groups in Iraq, so why being ungrateful and why piss them of? It is true that one of the objectives of terrorists in such operations is to discourage foreigners from coming to Iraq so that Iraq looks very unsafe and so that construction efforts get hindered when workers and firms refuse to come to Iraq or demand higher wages. However, reporters are not included, as they are the ones who are supposed to tell the world what a chaotic place Iraq is, and many of them are doing so with different intentions. The only exceptions is when the reporter comes from a very ‘evil’ nation such as Italy, USA, UK...etc.

It’s worth noting that most of the kidnaping are not carried out by ‘true Islamists’; meaning people similar to Bin laden, but rather fascists and ex-Baáthists with some weak Islamists who are ready to compromise unlike the very determined suicide attacks carriers and planners.

The other point that made me believe this is just a bluff is the attitude of certain organizations towards this event such as the “Association of Sunni Scholars”. These people are usually in close contact with the kidnapers (if not in alliance) and they only show efforts to release the hostages when they know it’s possible, and have tried to obtain political gains through playing this role, like what happened after the release of the Japanese hostages (which were released because most Iraqis believe that japan is a very friendly nation and they didn’t want to look bad by killing innocents). Even Al Jazerra showed their strong disapproval of such action for the 1st time when they always remained ‘neutral’ in other cases (you know, because they are just an independent source of information). They went as far as issuing an announcement that condemn the kidnaping of reporters and demanding their release!

Still why are they (the kidnapers) doing that and what will they gain by releasing them? Well, remember what Saddam did just before desert storm when he kept foreign hostages inside his palaces and wouldn’t release them until the USA would promise not to attack him? He made an exception with the Russian workers in Iraq. First he used to visit these families and show gentleness when talking to them and broadcasting it on TV and finally he released them after many demands and visits from famous characters and ex-diplomats from all over the world. This is just the same which is very stupid and sick but still it’s his and his followers’ reality.

These kidnapers don’t care about Hijab and they appreciate the french role and reporters role in general in Iraq, but they believe that such operation and after releasing the hostages would give a message to the west that, “we are peaceful people and we listen to demands made peacefully and to demonstrations even when we don’t agree with you” they are trying to encourage a forighn policy similar to that of France and certain belief among some westerns that peaceful methods work better than force with terrorists, and also saying that they wouldn’t mind what the internal policy is. This is of course different from the hardcore islamists’atittude but I believe these are not involved here, as its just not their style.

The other benefit would be what will certain organizations achieve by opposing such operations and possibly by interfering to help releasing the hostages. what Saddam failed to see and what saddamists still fail to see, is that such behavior will never impress the majority in the west and will always be rejected. That’s mainly because these terrorists do not comprehend how important the human freedom is in the west as well as to free nations and individual everywhere.

I could be wrong, and I hope I’m not, for the sake of the reporters and their families, but that’s the way I see it and the next few hours will reveal everything (probably).

-By Ali.

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