I haven’t written on British hostage Ken Bigley so far, mostly because the relentless media attention is so out of proportion to the story.

Tony Blair has handled the situation correctly so far: in a place like Beslan, where hundreds of lives are at stake, the decision on whether it’s morally right to make concessions to terrorists to save lives is a difficult and horrible one. In this case, it’s an extremely easy and horrible one. The only question is whether the media’s daft sentimentalism will encourage Mr Blair to give in to the terrorists, which would be wrong but populist. Fortunately, it appears not.

One thought, though. Why does the possible death of a man who went to Iraq to acquire an enormous pile of cash get so much more attention than the deaths of journalists, aid workers or soldiers? Dying for one’s beliefs or one’s country seems a rather more praiseworthy thing to do than dying for one’s wallet.

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2 thoughts on “Hostagery

  1. While the chap murdered in a supermarket by Al Qaeda recently in Saudi is largely forgotten.

    The hostage takers are cynically extracting the maximum they can from Bigley, before they kill him (if he is not dead already). They are no doubt well aware of the problems this is causing Blair.

  2. Eric, it goes a bit beyond that, too. The fact that they’re beheading hostages sends a message. The foreigners murdered in Saudi Arabia, you’re right, no one seems to give a damn in the media. But they lack the drama of a person about to be beheaded, pleading for his life on tv. The jihadis know exactly what they’re doing.

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