It wouldn’t be surprising if those groups that lean heavily on hostage-taking to advance their cause are still celebrating the upshot of the Taliban’s kidnapping of those South Koreans in Afghanistan. The six-week ordeal yielded an ironically disastrous outcome.
Imagine, the Taliban takes 21 Christian church workers hostage, kills two of them, gets concessions to release the remaining 19 and then gets less blame than the South Korean hostages themselves. Who does their PR?
South Korean public anger against the hostages has been pointed, palpable – and understandable. The hostages – and the church that sent them – had ignored repeated warnings from the South Korean government not to go.
But they went; they were taken hostage; and their government came under heavy, worldwide pressure to do whatever it took to secure their release. It was an untenable position for a government that knew such scenarios awaited, an act of arrogance by those who ignored common-sense warnings and a strategic victory for the pragmatically barbarous Taliban.