Don't worry, this is not another anti-war or pro-war thread. This is a serious question I have for those of us (myself included) who supported the invasion of Iraq. I guess it could go to everyone...
If you supported the war and think we should continue our "liberation" or add troops to Iraq, and someone you loved was held captured by a terrorist who threatend to torture/kill him/her if you did not protest the war, would you start a campaign to protest the war to try and when your loved one's freedom?
I can see why Italy should not negotiate with terrorists, but the families are trying to rally protest support. Now I am thinking what would I do?
 I would march to display my good will, but I would accept the governments decicions with animosity towards the terrorists (not my government).
If my loved one chose to go to war (by signing up as a soldier, or by choosing to go over there as a civilian, etc.) -- by their own CHOICE -- then I would not protest the war. Because that would be going against the wishes of my loved one, who obviously supports the war, or would not have chosen to serve there.
I honestly think (and hope) I would not. If someone kidnaps and threatens my family, the last thing I want to do is give them gain from it. I guess it's a point of morality for me not to be the agency through which they profit from harming me or the ones I love. "I could not love thee so much, loved I not honor more" or somesuch romantic drivel.
Posts: 3846 | Registered: Apr 2004
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I think the logic behind the rule that you don't cave in to the demands of terrorists is absolutely right. No matter how much it hurts, you can't give them what they demand when they make threats. All this does is show people that terrorism is an effective way of getting what you want, and so more of it will happen. And more people will go through the agony that you, as a victim, have experienced.
Posts: 1652 | Registered: Aug 2003
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quote:then I would not protest the war. Because that would be going against the wishes of my loved one, who obviously supports the war
That is a very good point FG. Do you think there is middle ground the families in Italy could choose without giving in to the terrorists but still show support to secure the loved ones? Or would you just say, "sorry, no can do?" Or would you not acknowledge the request from the terrorists?
Posts: 1034 | Registered: Mar 2004
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quote: Do you think there is middle ground the families in Italy could choose without giving in to the terrorists but still show support to secure the loved ones
Hmm.. not exactly sure what you are asking.
I would not give in to the requests of the terrorists (for reason shown in all the posts above). As a good and loyal citizen, I would trust that government officials were doing all they could to rescue my loved one (through military, CIA, FBI or whatever means). (That might also mean, though, that I would be on the phone every day personally checking up with them to see if any progress is made <grin>).
I would not want my government to "negotiate" with the terrorists, because that would support terrorism as being a viable means to an end, and give fuel to the terrorism movement.
*goes to read up on Italy situation*
Posts: 9538 | Registered: Aug 2003
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If you could find something that would placate them without doing what they asked, well, I guess...
Stalling seems to be the time-honored tradition here-- I say this based on my long experience watching movies like "John Q" and "Die Hard".
I'm sorry, Alexa, I'm not really trying to be so flip, but I can't even imagine what those people must be experiencing. There's no experience I have that can compare remotely to that trauma. While I am all for hypotheticals, it's one of those cases where it's so overwhelming that I can't help but give up on contemplating it.
Perhaps some of my own viewpoints on this comes from my own theological beliefs, and I know most of my beliefs are not shared by others on this forum, so I usually don't share them because I don't like being attacked.
Remember in the Alvin book series (I don't have the book here with me, so I'm going by memory), but the weaving. And how each person have a "thread" and eventually their thread ended and others started, but they were all an important part of the overall weaving.
That's kind of my idea of life (in a simplistic way). God knows the overall picture, the master plan. He knows where each of us fit into it, and how it will end for each of us. That doesn't take away our free will to choose -- it simply means he already knows what choice we will make because he can see it. So he adjusts the master plan to that our life is "woven in". So our deaths mean our part of the master plan is done, we have done whatever purpose we were here for, even if we don't yet understand how that fits into the master weaving.
So if my loved one died as a hostage, I would be sad. But I would also felt like that was part of their purpose in the plan.
"...you don't cave in to the demands of terrorists..."
Oh, I dunno about that. Back in the '70s, CocaCola had one its top Brazilian executives kidnapped by a somewhat prominent rebel group. They paid the $1million ransom (in American cash as demanded) and got their man back. The widely disseminated (and never denied) rumor was that CocaCola had also hired some mercenaries for $5million. What is known for sure is that a large number of bodies turned up, and the rebel group was never heard from again. CocaCola executives were never kidnapped again.
Then again, NelsonMandela and StevenBiko were called terrorists, and the AfricanNationalCongress was labeled a terrorist organization, during the Reagan years of "constructive engagement" with the apartheid government of SouthAfrica. The ANC is now the dominant political party, and NelsonMandela was SouthAfrica's first black president.
I wouldn't protest. I would be of FG's mind to bug the heck out of the appropriate agencies to get regular status reports about what was being done to get my loved one home safely. I would avoid the media.
Posts: 471 | Registered: Jul 2002
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I wouldn't protest either. Believe me, the soldiers that are over there are ready to sacrifice or they wouldn't be over there in the first place. My cousin currently serves with the 4th platoon and is stationed in Iraq. We were so worried about him, but his reply was that he was trained and ready, and that this was his job. He's an MP, and recently the convoy he was guarding almost got hit with an ied. He said they were aiming for the fuel tanker but luckily missed. I'm so very proud of him, and I know he's doing what he believes in.
Posts: 2578 | Registered: Apr 2004
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I'd like to think I wouldn't protest. I'd like to think I wouldn't, but I think, looking at how swiftly the Mama Bear in me has come out in the past when my kids were under even vaguely perceived threat, I'd probably be marching vociferously along, with great wailing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth.
Posts: 5948 | Registered: Jun 2001
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Just wanted to add that I just received an update on my cousin. They have no laundry service, mail is barely running, and it's over 100 degrees. Oh yeah, and leave has been cancelled. He was supposed to come home for awhile next month.
Not me. If I'm kidnapped when I go over there, you guys don't do anything they ask at all. You guys go ahead and hold a funeral for me, if you like.
To negotiate with people means you accept that they are reasonable people and will honor their agreements. The fact that they kidnap and murder people for fun and profit shows that isn't true. It's just like the 9/11 hijackers. The passengers didn't rise up and kill them immediately, thinking they were reasonable people. It was a mistake. Now we know better. If anyone hijacks an airplane from now on, they're going to be killed by the passengers.
Lie to the kidnappers, if you need to. Fake them off. Pretend to be caving in and then pounce and capture or kill them. Don't worry about me or the other hostages at all. I find it extremely rude of someone to kidnap me or try to extort anything by threatening to murder me, and I don't want to have anything to do with people like that, other than to bring them swiftly to justice. I don't care to bargain with them.
Posts: 2843 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!
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quote: I'd like to think I wouldn't, but I think, looking at how swiftly the Mama Bear in me has come out in the past when my kids were under even vaguely perceived threat, I'd probably be marching vociferously along, with great wailing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth
I have to agree with you. If I had the power to save a loved one by protesting, even if its protesting against something I believe in, I would do it. But I don't think that protests would stop the war or make any true difference. Now if the question included that my protest was guaranteed to stop the war, then I'm not quite so certain.
Posts: 1947 | Registered: Aug 2002
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But the problem I have with this is it is "out of principal." The Italian families are not going to change the government’s decisions; if anything, their protests will upset a lot of people and swing some people into the pro-war side. If action vs. inaction changes nothing but the principal you live by and the life of a loved one, is it worth it?
Will having or not having family protests really embolden the terrorists and change or modify their behavior? Yet at the same time, the core of me says don't give in don't budge. If it was my spouse tho, I would rather die as a person then to imagine something horrible happening to him/her.
If the power of terrorism lies in "terror," how can we nullify those terror feelings? In the show 24 boss let the terrorist go to save his wife. I think he should of (and in real life most people would of) let the operation continue and capture Saunders.
It's a little awkward for me to write about the war since it is still very real to me but I'll try.
When Paul was gone for those 11 months I wondered about things like this all the time. I couldn't help it; it was actually possible and more than a "just suppose".
When it comes to "supporting the war", that is something I would definitely do and have done. Although... hmm... I don't quite know how to explain it. As much as I hated the war and wished it would all just go away... I had to believe in it - to belive that Paul was taken away for a good reason, to believe that the hurt was for a good cause. But... at the same time... I didn't. It's complicated. In the end, I think it boils down to me not really having a position on the war itself but, rather, on the support for it. Or at the very least for our soldiers. Those men, and for nearly a year my man, were and are putting their lives at risk everyday - some of them not even for a cause they believe in but they do their duty anyway just because it is exactly that. If you don't support the war, you had sure better at least support them and their families.
This same idea applies to the question Alexa put to us. I wouldn't protest, but I'd sure as h*ll do everything else I could to get my fiance back. ...Which... honestly, isn't that much or really anything at all. War in general is like that, though - you wait, you pray, you hope, and you beg, and, mostly, you just try to survive.
All I'm going to say about those who protest is that they have absolutely no respect for the choices and dedication and sheer feats of will of our soldiers and the soldiers of other nations. These men have the greatest, most deeply running senses of honor and loyalty and just a million other traits of any group of people I have ever known. They are worthy of respect for that alone if nothing else. And because they do a job most won't or couldn't do.
...I'm sorry for rambling and coming off strongly. As I said before, it still just feels/is very real to me.