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« War without profit | Main | Sandy Berger smuggled out secret notes in his socks? »

July 20, 2004



I could be wrong but didn't I see a report that the Philippines actually paid a multi-million dollar ransome for the man? If true, that is much worse than surrendering. They would be giving the terrorists support to commit more terrorism.


Kidnapping is the most preventable crime. It requires only that all good people refuse to pay or submit for the sake of all those future kidnap victims. It represents the most direct confrontation between Reason and Emotion that I know of. It is rare in places where the police are good enough to catch most of the perpetrators, and common elsewhere. Extortion is the same thing. We are relatively free of both in this country because we refused to pay up. We fought back.

Leaders cannot afford to base national policy on capitulation. They need to pursue kidnappers and extortionists relentlessly. Starve them of money rather than feeding them.

Kidnapping today is worst in Latin America where the local leaders are probably in collusion. For this reason we also need to end the drug war. The money does more damage than the drugs could ever do. We cannot win this War on Drugs head on, so we need to redefine it.

The same caveats apply to the War on Terrorism. We have to be very careful how we approach it. We are never going to eliminate the religious engine that makes it run, but we may be able to redirect it. Encourage people of good will and separate the rest from their resources.

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