By GotDesign
You're standing at an ATM machine located on a corner in the fringes of downtown Somewhere. Suddenly, you feel the barrel of a gun poke you in the ribs. "Give me your cash," a disturbed voice calls. You begin shaking. Your mind races. You pull the cash you've just withdrawn from your coat pocket and slowly and shakily extended it to the thief. As you hear the thief begin to turn and run, you clear your throat. "Here, have some more bullets as well." You pull out a box of 9mm ammunition and offer it up.

Italy has been the focus of a good portion of the world press due to the recent wounding of an Italian journalist and the death of an Italian intelligence agent. But this is not the truly troubling issue. In the heat of an ongoing battle with terrorist thugs, it is understandable that mistakes might be made and people innocently harmed. The true issue worthy of concern is Italy's paying of ransom to terrorists. Ransom goes way back in history. Shakespeare's Falstaff collected French nobles in battle in order to profit from ransoming them back to their country and loved ones. It was a shame, both to Falstaff and to the family of the nobles. Paying ransom encourages the taking of hostages. It also provides funding to terrorists to continue their fight.

Now, I can understand the desire to go any lengths to repatriate your fellow man. But there are certain lines that shouldn't be crossed. Terrorists are not the most trusty of people. Why should they honor an agreement on ransom? Why not take the money and run? Or take the money and hold out for more?

Terrorists should never be rewarded for their thuggery. People who enter a war zone should be responsible for themselves. They should know, especially with the history of hostage taking (and killing) exhibited in Iraq, that by visiting a volatile region they run the risk of falling victim to the forces of chaos. If Italy wants to repatriate its citizens, begin negotiations while planning a rescue mission. Distract them with talks while striking them with special operations forces. You can protect your citizenry without give aid to terrorists.

Be responsible.


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