Despite the hostages held in Iraq, the Japanese have proved that Iraqi terrorists are in no position to bargain for Japanese withdrawal. Good for them. It takes just one instance of weakness to show to the terrorists they are the ones with the upper-hand, and the upper-hand is precisely what the terrorists should and will not have.
Vice President Dick Cheney today thanked Japan’s prime minister for his actions. And so should all who wish to relegate the demands of terrorists as meaningless.
“We have consulted closely with the prime minister and his government to make certain we do everything we can to be of assistance,” he said.
But the Iraqi insurgents hoped that they could barter the release of the Japanese hostages in exchange for a withdrawal of Japanese troops from Iraq. And even though the deadline came and went, there’s no new news out of Iraq aside from seven Chinese hostages released today.
While we’ll just have to wait and see how this one plays itself out, standing up to the terrorists and not succumbing to their demands ensures that the terrorists will not be emboldened–under the guise of success–to take their cause further.
After all, if hostages can be taken with no expectation of barter, the taking of hostages quickly proves futile. And, indeed, the futile actions of terrorists are much easier to deal with.
Update: They’ve been freed.