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James Foley's Mom


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I made a comment about this awhile back, suggesting in part at least that perhaps more could/should have been done to release James Foley. It may not have been about the money, but I thought that our country could have done more. QTR posted several excellent articles that discussed why our country doesn't negotiate with terrorists.

 

I remain unconvinced of that argument. Last night there was this: Certainly worth 5 min of our time.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGjCXHFhicI

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,

the divine beauty of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that,

or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,

or drown in despair when his days darken."

 

- Robinson Jeffers

 

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What happened to Foley was horrible. However, he knew where he was and how dangerous it was there. I see no reason why American soldiers should be put at risk when Americans voluntarily go to the most dangerous places on earth for lengthy periods of time and make their activities prominent - almost flaunting themselves to be taken. Likewise, we should spend millions or tens of millions of taxpayer money to buy back these people and fund terrorism in the process? NO! Some people talk about others needing to take personal responsibility. Go the state department website before you travel and sign up for alerts. If it tells you not to be where you're thinking of going or where you are - don't be dumb.

 

So, BVB, what "more" do you think our country should have done? That's missing from your post. How much of a check were you ready to write of your own money? Were you ready to put on a uniform and try for a rescue? Or send your niece or nephew, brother or sister to do the work for you? And it should continue to be illegal to pay ransom to terrorist organizations. Because what do we say to the families of the next victims of these terrorists when they massacre in another town or city made possible by ransom money?

 

I understand the Mother is upset but she seems to completely ignore the fact her son spent years in dangerous places with people who have no respect for the lives of others.

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What happened to Foley was horrible. However, he knew where he was and how dangerous it was there. I see no reason why American soldiers should be put at risk when Americans voluntarily go to the most dangerous places on earth for lengthy periods of time and make their activities prominent - almost flaunting themselves to be taken. Likewise, we should spend millions or tens of millions of taxpayer money to buy back these people and fund terrorism in the process? NO! Some people talk about others needing to take personal responsibility. Go the state department website before you travel and sign up for alerts. If it tells you not to be where you're thinking of going or where you are - don't be dumb.

 

So, BVB, what "more" do you think our country should have done? That's missing from your post. How much of a check were you ready to write of your own money? Were you ready to put on a uniform and try for a rescue? Or send your niece or nephew, brother or sister to do the work for you? And it should continue to be illegal to pay ransom to terrorist organizations. Because what do we say to the families of the next victims of these terrorists when they massacre in another town or city made possible by ransom money?

 

I understand the Mother is upset but she seems to completely ignore the fact her son spent years in dangerous places with people who have no respect for the lives of others.

 

Well I'm certainly not going to get into a debate here, as I believe that there are compelling arguments on both sides, and much of what you say is absolutely unarguable, however, it is not my neck that is on the line here (pardon the pun). Not everything can/should be about the money. It cost 100's of millions of dollars to bomb ISIS, and no one asked me if that was OK. I would have gladly seen my tax dollars spent on his release. I think the world is far too comfortable putting a price on a human life. Airlines have done it, insurance companys do it, and governments have decided the cost of a human life to secure oil, and sending soldiers in to secure the release of Americans held abroad is done/attempted all the time, often without our knowledge.

 

Not arguing here, but is there a concrete study out there that shows unequivocally that not negotiating with terrorists actually works. The EU has been negotiating for years. Are more Europeans being captured as a result of those policies? Show me that study, let me see the numbers, and I will say that you most definitely have a point. This argument is not black and white, there are many shades of grey, but I want to see something that supports the idea that not negotiating is far and above the best way to proceed in these situations.

 

And in a sense, we do negotiate with terrorists. We just traded 5 suspected terrorists for the life of Bowe Bergdahl. Is his life more valuable than the life of James Foley? You might say yes, I say no.

 

And lastly, yes of course he put himself in harms way, but let us not forget, that it is individuals like James Foley, that go to these war zones that allow the rest of us to sit comfortably in our living rooms, and view the rest of the world, and to see the truth and horror of war.

 

It takes courage to go out there and report these wars. The reporting of what was going on in Vietnam for example, helped turn the tide of that war. Every time a soldier dies, I don't say, "Well he knew it was dangerous, what did he expect". How do you say that to a parent? There are no easy answers here, but in my view, he was doing a service to us all, and I think that we should have done more to secure his release. That's all I'm saying here.

If you listen to the video, How the US government spoke to her, treated her, threatened her, is despicable.

 

OK you got me all worked up FF, and I'm rambling, so that's it from this end. ;)

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,

the divine beauty of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that,

or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,

or drown in despair when his days darken."

 

- Robinson Jeffers

 

B e l i e v e

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Not arguing here, but is there a concrete study out there that shows unequivocally that not negotiating with terrorists actually works. The EU has been negotiating for years. Are more Europeans being captured as a result of those policies? Show me that study, let me see the numbers, and I will say that you most definitely have a point.

 

Well it's not a study. But at least there is a claim that Europeans are kidnapped more.

 

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/policy-Michael-Morell-ISIS-ransom/2014/08/25/id/590764/

 

"The U.S. policy of not paying ransom to kidnappers is longstanding, and it is sound. It would be a mistake of strategic proportions to change that policy," said former CIA deputy director Michael Morell, now a CBS News analyst. "If we were to do so, many more Americans would be kidnapped ... and we would be become an ATM for militant groups around the world."

 

He noted that Europeans are more likely than Americans to be kidnapped abroad, and that's likely because European governments will pay off ransom demands.

 

But of course he could claim anything. And I wonder if there are figures on whether captured Americans might be killed more often than Europeans because they know we don't usually pay ransom.

 

Theoretically I am not for paying ransom. I am for eradicating the scum anyway possible. Of course I have the 'luxury' of not having a relative or acquaintance captured. Unfortunately it's a blot on the United States and Europe that our partner in trade, Saudi Arabia, also uses beheadings as punishment.

 

Gman

Gman

 

In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, Beware my power, The Great Gazoo is always right!!!!

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Well it's not a study. But at least there is a claim that Europeans are kidnapped more.

 

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/policy-Michael-Morell-ISIS-ransom/2014/08/25/id/590764/

 

"The U.S. policy of not paying ransom to kidnappers is longstanding, and it is sound. It would be a mistake of strategic proportions to change that policy," said former CIA deputy director Michael Morell, now a CBS News analyst. "If we were to do so, many more Americans would be kidnapped ... and we would be become an ATM for militant groups around the world."

 

He noted that Europeans are more likely than Americans to be kidnapped abroad, and that's likely because European governments will pay off ransom demands.

 

But of course he could claim anything. And I wonder if there are figures on whether captured Americans might be killed more often than Europeans because they know we don't usually pay ransom.

Theoretically I am not for paying ransom. I am for eradicating the scum anyway possible. Of course I have the 'luxury' of not having a relative or acquaintance captured. Unfortunately it's a blot on the United States and Europe that our partner in trade, Saudi Arabia, also uses beheadings as punishment.

 

Gman

 

Thanks for the article Gman. I agree, someone can claim anything. Believe me, I fully understand the argument on the other side, but I would like to see an article that definitively list numbers. How many fewer Americans are being kidnapped specifically because of our policy of not negotiating? How many more Europeans are being kidnapped because they are more likely to pay a ransom? Prove to me it works. Show me numbers, show me anything that supports that argument. I'm more than willing to listen, and stand ready to say that I was wrong, but as I mentioned in my post also, we are hypocritical, we do negotiate with terrorists, as I also mentioned the example of Bowe Bergdahl. His life, in my view anyway, is no more valuable than Foley's. Our government has always put a price on a human life. perhaps for the sake of society at large it must be done, but it is disturbing to me.

 

And I would like to see anyone, kneeling down in the middle of the desert, with a hooded terrorist standing over them, holding a machete, about to take your head off, knowing you have minutes, days to live, and look into the camera and say, "oh please don't negotiate my release, I don't want to be responsible for funding these scum." We can say/feel many things from the comfort of our homes.

 

OK, I'll shut the fuck up now.....

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,

the divine beauty of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that,

or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,

or drown in despair when his days darken."

 

- Robinson Jeffers

 

B e l i e v e

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Our 'friends', the Saudis, behead and stone many people per year. Some, for non-violent offenses.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Saudi_Arabia

 

(Weren't them 9-11 hijackers Saudi?)

 

Aaahhh yes, but that is different. The Saudi's have oil... ;)

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,

the divine beauty of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that,

or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,

or drown in despair when his days darken."

 

- Robinson Jeffers

 

B e l i e v e

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BVB - As I recall, one of the articles I posted in the other thread you refer to states that citizens of those countries that pay ransom are kidnapped more often. I believe it was the article written by the former foreign correspondent for the Washington Post. That assertion should have been fact-checked before being published, but how rigorously I don't know. I'm also not sure how easy it would be to obtain the information necessary to do the study you suggest, but probably other journalists in the same field are in the best position to do it. I'd take their word over anyone else's.

 

As for the suffering of the relatives: at the risk of being considered cold and callous (it won't be the first time), I'd like to respectfully suggest that one's parents don't have the last word on what one does for a living or the risks one runs. If that were the case, we'd have fewer auto racers, daredevils, explorers, astronauts, escorts (a career I doubt most parents want their children to aspire to), firefighters, soldiers, pro athletes, etc. as well as war/foreign correspondents. For better or worse, they are in a business that's dangerous (or looked down upon, in the case of escorting), they know it, and they choose to engage in it anyway. (I'm not privy to the extent to which foreign correspondents are compensated for the risks they run; they may not be.)

 

It's the spouses and children of these journalists who I feel the worst for. There's an argument that those engaged in dangerous pursuits shouldn't have such hostages to fortune, but once again, who are we to dictate to other people how they live their lives? It's not as though they're the only people with this problem; it's also true of the spouses and children of political activists and the like, many of whom go on to become martyrs for their cause and all of whom on some level put the cause above their families. I recently read about a Japanese-American woman who was a civil rights activist (she cradled Malcolm X in her arms as he lay dying) whose daughter said that in her household, they lived, breathed, and ate the civil rights movement above all else. Is that fair to their families? Maybe not, but is it fair for the rest of us to use that as an argument against their activism?

 

That's independent of any stupidity the government engages in when it comes to dealing with the circumstances of a child's death, although in this case the government had to walk a tricky line. I remember how the military under G.W. Bush lied to the parents of a soldier who was a pro athlete (I don't remember his name off the top of my head) who enlisted after 9/11 and was killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire. (The lie was that he was killed by enemy fire.) That it's happened under other circumstances doesn't excuse insensitivity, but it goes a ways to demonstrating that it's more a function of wanting to look good (or being afraid to look bad) than political malice.

 

Also, why the fuss over foreign correspondents and not firefighters, for example? The argument that they put their lives on the line for the benefit of the rest of us applies to both. Is it because injury and death is an accepted part of firefighting but not of journalism? In other words, while we know that journalism can be dangerous, we believe it shouldn't be.

Nobody's free until everybody's free - Fannie Lou Hamer

 

Avatar courtesy of Chomiji; character drawn by Kazuya Minekura

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I remember how the military under G.W. Bush lied to the parents of a soldier who was a pro athlete (I don't remember his name off the top of my head) who enlisted after 9/11 and was killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire. (The lie was that he was killed by enemy fire.) That it's happened under other circumstances doesn't excuse insensitivity, but it goes a ways to demonstrating that it's more a function of wanting to look good (or being afraid to look bad) than political malice.

 

Pat Tillman- such a tragic death being from friendly fire.

 

http://www.totalprosports.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Pat-Tillman.jpg

 

Also' date=' why the fuss over foreign correspondents and not firefighters, for example? The argument that they put their lives on the line for the benefit of the rest of us applies to both. Is it because injury and death is an accepted part of firefighting but not of journalism? In other words, while we know that journalism can be dangerous, we believe it shouldn't be.[/quote']

 

I don't want to speak for BVB. Firefighters'' deaths and the like are horrible. As for journalists- it's usually sad whenever they die in the course of their work. But specifically in Foley and Sotloff's case- they weren't killed accidentally in the sound and fury of war. They were killed by evil men. I'm not much of a believer in a Higher Power- although I'll probably be praying like anything if I have the ability when my time comes ( much as there are no agnostics in foxholes). But I have to believe that if there is Something/Someone above who cares for us, that He/She/It/They cannot possibly look with favor upon these beheadings ( or much else that goes on in this world).

 

Gman

Gman

 

In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, Beware my power, The Great Gazoo is always right!!!!

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And in a sense, we do negotiate with terrorists. We just traded 5 suspected terrorists for the life of Bowe Bergdahl.

 

A prisoner exchange is not the same thing as making ransom payments to fund terrorist groups. Who knows how many more people would have died if we had paid ransom $$ in exchange for James Foley? And how many more people would have been kidnapped? We did spend a considerable amount of money and risked a number of soldiers' lives in a rescue attempt or Mr. Foley, although it was unsuccessful. The money is not what's important. What's important is to avoid funding and encouraging these thugs (and that's all they are: a crime syndicate). Although I can admire those who put their lives at risk to do the things Mr. Foley does, he knew or should have known the risk he was taking.

I'll be the first to say I wasn't happy about the prisoner exchange for that dumb-ass Bowe Berdahl, though. If he finds himself fired with a dishonorable discharge and unable to find a job, though, he will be welcome to stay at my place for free as my sex slave and house-boy, though.

http://supportbowe.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/bowe-bergdahl-summer2.jpg?w=442&h=569

 

http://media3.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_32/603061/140805-bergdahl-jms-2055_745b76dd12f9f0f3e9f07d69ef771bca.jpg

 

Another dumb-ass who could be my sex slave would be Matthew Todd Miller, who was sentenced to 6 years of hard-labor in North Korea after going there as a tourist, then tearing up his visa and demanding asylum. I don't think we should give Kim any concessions, but I would be willing to assert on my honor that if he were remanded to my custody, I would keep him under house arrest (my house, of course), and force him to obey all of my sexual whims on a daily basis.

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/140902101729-matthew-todd-miller-story-top.jpg

 

Are those green eyes I see with that rich, dark hair?

BweQZL7IIAEBjlw.jpg:large

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I will say that we disagree here. Negotiating, whether it is money or prisoner exchange is still negotiating. If your argument is that negotiating in the form of ransom is worse than a prisoner exchange, then I would argue that releasing known terrorist to go back into the field, now as martyrs and to recruit and continue their terror is no worse than paying a ransom, and ransom payments is only a small percentage of resources for them.

 

I have asked for in the past, but have yet to see a definitive study that suggests you are correct. As I have said, I am more than willing to concede my point should a study be presented that shows numbers, show me anything that concludes without a doubt that Europeans are being kidnapped at higher rates because they are more likely to pay ransom demands. I have seen countless studies where people claim many things, but to date, I haven't seen one study, that unequivocally supports the policies of the government.

 

And lastly, as I have said in the past, it is easy to sit comfortably in our homes, pointing fingers at those that put themselves in harms way. We blame the journalists, Bowe Bergdahl, accuse them of all kinds of things, label them, judge them, but in the end, we are not the ones kneeling in the desert sand, with our neck on the line, about to die at the blade of a machete.

 

Look, their are no easy answers here. I just think that this dilemma we find ourselves in, is not all black and white, and the information that the government is hand feeding us, is done so only to appease us. None of us really are privy to what is going on behind closed doors. Like the government official who told Foley's mom that raising a ransom was illegal and that if she tried, she would be prosecuted. Seriously? That's the message our government sends to a mother who is an American citizen, who has a child that is about to die.

 

That's it, I've finished my little rant, I now return you to your regularly scheduled programing.

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BweQZL7IIAEBjlw.jpg:large

 

AND YES...those are dark green eyes you see. Wasn't he the one that tore up his visa and asked for asylum in North Korea? Why in God's name would he do that? No one to keep him happy here? If only he had called me. ;)

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,

the divine beauty of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that,

or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,

or drown in despair when his days darken."

 

- Robinson Jeffers

 

B e l i e v e

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Another dumb-ass who could be my sex slave would be Matthew Todd Miller, who was sentenced to 6 years of hard-labor in North Korea after going there as a tourist, then tearing up his visa and demanding asylum. I don't think we should give Kim any concessions, but I would be willing to assert on my honor that if he were remanded to my custody, I would keep him under house arrest (my house, of course), and force him to obey all of my sexual whims on a daily basis.

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/140902101729-matthew-todd-miller-story-top.jpg

 

 

I was just wondering if we knew whether that was what he actually did, or if that was only what N Korea claimed he did. Also has anyone close to him here in the USA said why he might have done it? If he wanted to stay in N Korea, I'm surprised they haven't wanted to use him as propaganda as a posterboy for what a great place it is to live.

 

Gman

Gman

 

In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, Beware my power, The Great Gazoo is always right!!!!

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/19/turkish-hostages-of-isis-freed_n_5853488.html

 

CNN reported that the Turkish government says that a ransom was not paid, however that is being questioned. Either way, the hostages live, and that is what's important.

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,

the divine beauty of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that,

or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,

or drown in despair when his days darken."

 

- Robinson Jeffers

 

B e l i e v e

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  • 2 months later...

Just for BVB: A WashPo on the subject that's more sympathetic to his point of view, the title of which is "The problem with the U.S. policy of no ransoms? Hostage rescues are very, very difficult."

 

http://tablet.washingtonpost.com/politics/hostage-rescues-are-very-very-difficult/2014/12/05/110a805037a5e37f4cf973ae6a2c11b0_story.html?tid=kindle-app

 

Note, however, that there was an unsuccessful US attempt to rescue James Foley, among others.

 

Fair and balanced should be my motto, not Fox News'.

Nobody's free until everybody's free - Fannie Lou Hamer

 

Avatar courtesy of Chomiji; character drawn by Kazuya Minekura

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Just for BVB: A WashPo on the subject that's more sympathetic to his point of view, the title of which is "The problem with the U.S. policy of no ransoms? Hostage rescues are very, very difficult."

 

http://tablet.washingtonpost.com/politics/hostage-rescues-are-very-very-difficult/2014/12/05/110a805037a5e37f4cf973ae6a2c11b0_story.html?tid=kindle-app

 

Many thanks QTR. I saw this yesterday, but needed a quiet moment to digest the article. While it is more sympathetic to my point of view, it brings to light the enormous difficulty governments have in attempted rescues and dealing with ransom demands. By no means do I feel that I have all the answers, it is just so tragic on so many levels. Thanks for the info...have a great Sunday.

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,

the divine beauty of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that,

or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,

or drown in despair when his days darken."

 

- Robinson Jeffers

 

B e l i e v e

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  • 3 months later...

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