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Air travel, the blessing of modernity if you ask the general population who dream of exotic places to spend their holidays, tools for terror to those who take the Islamists at their word but this morning I am trying to be an optimist about air safety because I have to for the sake of my children.
Algerian forces who had ringed the Ain Amenas complex in a tense standoff had vowed not to negotiate with the kidnappers, who reportedly were seeking safe passage. Security experts said the end of the two-day standoff was in keeping with the North African country’s tough approach to terrorism.The kidnapping is one of the largest ever attempted by a militant group in North Africa.The militants phoned a Mauritanian news outlet to demand that France end its intervention in neighboring Mali to ensure the safety of the hostages in the isolated plant, located 1300 kilometres south of the capital of Algiers.Phone contacts with the militants were severed as government forces closed in, according to the Mauritanian agency, which often carries reports from al-Qaida-linked extremist groups in North Africa.
The news coming out of Algeria is still rather uncertain but what is clear is that the rescue effort has resulted in some casualties amongst those held by the Islamists as sad as that is you just can’t dwell upon that or blame those soldiers who have mounted the operation. It has been my belief ever since the exceptional rescue of hostages from Entebbe by Israeli Commandos way back in the day that the only way to realistically consider such events is to work on the basis that you consider the hostages already dead and any that you manage to save are enjoying a second life which is a bonus.
Does that sound rather heartless?
Well maybe it is but it is also realistic given how too many of those who worship Allah want to buy their place in heaven with the blood of infidels. You just can not negotiate with such people and the only thing that you can realistically do is take them out as quickly and as effectively as you can. Perfection in such operations is of course achieved when all hostages are freed but to my mind a rescue operation is still a success if only one hostage is resurrected and all of the terrorists are killed or captured. It Is still unclear as to how many of the hostages have survived but its more than one so a success in my book.
Cue a chorus of complaints that will decry the deaths of the hostages and suggest ineptitude by the Algerian rescuers rather than celebrate those who have been saved.
- Militants say 35 hostages dead in Algerian raid (miamiherald.com)
- Militants: 35 hostages die in Algerian raid (posttrib.suntimes.com)
- Islamists say scores dead in Algeria (bigpondnews.com)
- Militants say hostages die in Algerian raid (kansascity.com)
- Militants: 35 hostages dead in Algerian copter attack (cbsnews.com)
- Bloodshed at gas plant as Algerian forces attempt to liberate hostages (washingtontimes.com)
Gee another plot from the same religious brand that brought us 911, London 7/7 and the Bali bombings…
Police seized a number of items from the properties, including a USB memory stick containing violent extremist materials, computer equipment, registered firearms and fake firearms.
“The Muslim community will blame the federal police because they publicised this,” Mr Omerdic told reporters outside the Noble Park mosque.
“Maybe they find nothing, and from one stupid man, everyone will (be) poisoned. And now, especially humble women and children in schools will be pointed out.”
Asked about the items seized, he said, “Everyone has CDs, everyone has a mobile phone, recorders, everyone is using technology today.”
Mr Omerdic called on the AFP to apologise for its handling of the raids.
“The federal police, they should come out in front (of) camera … they have to say they’re sorry (for) what’s going on, (and) next time if they’re going to raid, to raid without journalists, without cameras,” he said.
“They’re going to damage the minority Muslim community.”
Don’t you just want to puke when they start running this sort of line about “fear of a backlash”? On a day when we have just heard that a mob of Islamists have just murdered the American ambassador to Libya? What about the fear and loathing felt by ordinary Australians inspired by plotters such as these?
Sigh Comrades, sigh
My friends from the left are, I am sure, very much inclined to blame the Pakistan government for the situation in northern Pakistan and that in their usual manner are inclined to suggest that there surely must be a way to negotiate a way to peace in this very distressing situation for the estimated 1.2 million people who are fleeing the fighting.
But the fighting has caused hundreds of thousands of terrified residents to flee, adding a humanitarian emergency to the nuclear-armed nation’s security, economic and political problems.
Witness accounts indicated scores of civilians have already been killed or injured in the clashes in Swat and the neighboring Buner and Lower Dir districts.
Yesterday, medics at the hospital in Swat’s main town, Mingora, were at full stretch to deal with dozens of residents caught up in the fighting.
The fighting was concentrated in Mingora, where an estimated 4000 Taliban fighters are heavily dug in. Artillery and helicopter gunships battered militant-held buildings, while the Taliban planted mines in expectation of a major ground offensive.
At military headquarters in Rawalpindi, Major General Athar Abbas said the mission was to eliminate the militants from Swat, a former tourist haven where the army assault has become a test of Pakistan’s commitment to rolling back Islamism.
The other day while I was swinging the angle grinder I was listening to Radio National and the subject of the effectiveness of cease fires and negotiated settlements came up and the commentator made the point that there is almost always a much more enduring peace if one side of the conflict has had a decisive military victory,than if a settlement is created out of a belligerent stalemate. This struck a chord with me and I tend to think that in the case of the current crisis in Pakistan that there is no alternative to going in and decisively defeating the Taliban Because there comes a point when no amount of touchy feely negotiation will achive that which all desire, a lasting peace.