August 31, 2004

THE BELMONT CLUB has harsh commentary on France’s response to the hostage-taking, which appears to consist of wandering around the Middle East looking for someone to surrender to:

This suggests that the French diplomats are attempting to link the release of the French hostages to changes in the method and manner in which the Iraqi elections will be held. The mere fact that France is negotiating implictly means there will be a quid for the quo. After all, in 2003, European hostages held by Al Qaeda affiliate Algerian Islamic militant Group for Preaching and Combat were released in exchange for $6M dollars, according to Deutsche Welle. There were even demands from German politicians to force the ex-hostages to reimburse the state for the payout. . . .

Paying tribute is all part of the nuanced foreign policy of former great states. But whether the French ante up with secret political concessions or payouts, the result will be the same. More Americans and Iraqis will die as the price of French appeasement. Yet the French will not escape the carnivorous attentions of the terrorists in the end. Promises by blackguards are made to be broken.

Indeed. They’d be better off taking Iyad Allawi’s advice.