Hostages. Talks. French.

You talk to hostage takers and you send the message that taking hostages is an effective way to get things going your way. Other people and groups see it and do it. The same group figures that hey - if it worked once it might work again.

1. You simply cannot negotiate under duress.
2. The person who got caught up likely shouldn't have been in the place where they were. They are dead to you. Assume that they will not survive.
3. Force can only be met with force. Or non-violence if you prefer, but that takes a lot of organization and a grass-roots thing and a certain type of opponent like the Brits in India or it simply won't do much at all.
4. You give in and negotiate and pay ransom and NOW WHAT? How will you ascertain that this won't happen again? Your now an even greater target. Your deep pockets have been found to be deep and you're willing to spend the cash to rescue your citizens.

Luckily the French seem to be holding on this one, so far. They have a history of caving. But I'm guessing the name "bin Laden" is still too much to stomach for the French public. Let's hope they find a little courage and steadfastness in between drags on those ubiquitous 'Gauloises'.


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