FREEDOM, BUT AT WHAT PRICE?
Today there are many people rejoicing in South Korea as the Taliban has agreed to let the remaining 19 hostages go free. While that is good news for the 19 and their family and friends, the question is, at what cost does their freedom come? To obtain their release the South Korean government has agreed to the following, from the wires;
"GHAZNI, Afghanistan (AP) – Taliban militants agreed today to release 19 South Korean church volunteers held hostage for six weeks after Seoul reaffirmed a pledge to withdraw its troops by year's end and prevent Christian missionaries from working in Afghanistan."
The reality is that the Taliban has demonstrated that the taking of hostages works. To believe that this will not encourage more terror from them is to be naive, at best. The Taliban can claim victory in their being able to dictate to a country that they leave and commit to not allow any Christian missionaries in Afghanistan. Mustafa Alani, director of security and terrorism studies at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center had this to say, "The fact that the Koreans negotiated with them directly and more or less in their territory ... is in itself an achievement....they achieved a lot in terms of political credibility."
While the families celebrate and rightly so, let us not forget that two of the hostages were murdered by the Taliban. Let us also not forget that now that the South Korean government has opened the door, you can be sure that many other terror groups will go to school on this. The Taliban has shown that terror works, hostage taking is effective. They have also demonstrated that they do not care at all for their country, as the demand that Christian missionaries not be allowed back to their country is evidence of that. Christian missionaries are the ones caring for the sick and feeding the poor. Things the Taliban and their terrorist brothers could care less about. Yes 19 will go free, but at what price?
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