One Reporter = Five Taleban Leaders.
Posted by Exile on March 20, 2007
I could hardly be more disgusted.
The irresponsible activities of a reporter have led to the freeing of Taleban leaders in Afghanistan. The reporter, an Italian idiot called Daniele Mastrogiacomo, was abducted as he tried to interview senior Taleban officials in Helmand province in Afghanistan. Why would he wish to do that? Who is interested in what these terrorist animals have to say? And can’t Al-jazeera, the Taleban mouthpiece, report that well enough for all of us? What was this fool trying to achieve? All he has done, is make himself the instrument of release for five known terrorist leaders. How many of our troops had to risk their lives to put these five away? He should have been left to face the consequences of his own foolhardy actions. The BBC reported it like this:
The Afghan government has said it met some of the demands the Taleban made in exchange for the release of an Italian journalist they abducted two weeks ago.
A spokesman did not specify what the demands were, but a senior Taleban commander said several leaders had been freed from government custody.
In fact he said five have been released.
If I was the commander of ISAF, or anywhere near the top of the NATO command in Afghanistan, I would be ordering my troops to disengage from the field and start packing their gear. Obviously the Afghan government is not really interested in defeating the enemy within, so what’s the point of us being there? How can they let the life of one unthinking reporter undo the good work that hundreds of men have done? Is he alone worth more than those mens lives?
Not in my book.
He didn’t have to be there. His presence there was neither important nor mandatory. He would not have achieved anything except private reward and personal fame.
Well, he’s famous now, but for all the wrong reasons. And at the cost of his Afghan driver’s life. He was beheaded by the Taleban.
The BBC continues:
Journalists have also denounced the deal, saying the precedent it sets is likely to make their work much more dangerous. An Afghan translator also kidnapped with Mr Mastrogiacomo, Ajmal Naqshbandi, is still being held. The three men were seized two weeks ago in Helmand.
If the journalists really are worried about their safety, they wouldn’t go into Helmand province. I truly don’t care a hoot for them. Everybody knows it is a dangerous place and only a fool would go there unarmed and unescorted. If they go there hell bent on interviewing the nice Taleban folks, and expect to be treated differently than any other westerner in the area, then they should be alone in respect of the consequences of their actions. A press card is not a free pass to irresponsibility. It should be made clear to them: Go there at your own risk. Better still, don’t go there.
A spokesman for President Hamid Karzai said the government had taken an “exceptional measure”, which it would not repeat, to free the journalist. Mohammad Karim Rahimi said the Talebans demands were met because of his governments friendship with Italy. Or, to put it another (less diplomatic) way, the Italian government successfully pressured the Afghan government to give in.
Needless to say, the exchange prompted accusations from opposition parties in Italy that Rome had given in to terrorists. “Italy is in Afghanistan … to help with the country’s reconstruction, achieving that also by combating terrorism,” Senator Alfredo Mantovano was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency. “Now it turns out that terrorists are released in exchange for the release of an Italian. There are no known precedents for that in Italian missions abroad.”
There are now.