IS HE TAKING A PAGE OUT OF JIMMY Carters' book?
I expected the Roh Administration to be consistently incompetent in handling the hostage crisis and so far I have not been disappointed. The latest incompetency is that the Korean government paid ransom to the wrong people:
For now, though, the chances of a breakthrough seem slim. Indeed, the negotiations seem to be marked by confusion. The senior Taliban commander tells NEWSWEEK that a newly arrived South Korean envoy, a Ghazni member of parliament and some government negotiators, may have been talking to a bogus Taliban group that was posing as the kidnappers and has demanded and received some money. There is no way to verify the claim of the commander, who has provided reliable information to NEWSWEEK in the past. But he insists that he has never asked for any money, and is only interested in an exchange of the hostages for Taliban prisoners. (HT: Nomad)
This news broke in a Newsweek interview with the Taliban. Of course the Korean government has denied this, but I see no reason why the Taliban would lie about this plus this is the incompetency I expect from the Korean government. Make sure you read the whole article because as I suspected the big white bus they were driving in on the highway with no security is what drew their attention to kidnap the missionaries.
I still cannot get over how naive and stupid these people are. They might as well have hung a banner on the side of the bus saying "Kidnap Me!"
If anyone is wondering why the Afghan government does not want to release Taliban prisoners here is your reason why:
The impasse has placed Afghan President Hamid Karzai in an almost impossible predicament. Last March, facing a similar dilemma and under heavy pressure from Italy, Karzai ordered the release of five senior Taliban officials in exchange for an Italian journalist, Daniele Mastrogiacomo, who had been abducted along with his Afghan driver and interpreter. The Taliban executed the two Afghans, and Karzai’s European and U.S. allies widely criticized his humanitarian gesture. One of the freed Taliban commanders, Mansor Dadullah, is now directing suicide bombings and other attacks against Afghan and American forces from his redoubt on the Afghan-Pakistan border.
Who knows how many people have died because of the freeing of one Italian journalist, not that Seoul cares because they just discovered the Taliban are not "conscientious Muslims" and have been attempting to shift responsibility for the whole crisis on to the US.
To further show Korean governmental incompetence the government is sending members from the national assembly to Washington to lobby President Bush who is meeting with Afghan President Karzai at Camp David the next two days, to release the Taliban prisoners. All these governmental officials are just going to make Karzai dig in his feet even more because he is not going to give in to public governmental pressure from Korea. The Korean government continues to do more harm than good for these hostages.
At least the hostages’ families are seeing through the charade being organized by the Korean government, anti-US groups, and their media allies:
The families of the Korean hostages spoke out against a movement to hold the U.S. responsible for the unresolved crisis, saying anti-American demonstrations could put the hostages’ lives at greater risk. The families turned down an offer by some anti-American organizations to stage a candlelight rally.
Lee Jeong-hoon, a representative of the families, said on Thursday, “Since an anti-American demonstration could have a negative influence on the negotiations for the release of the hostages, we have made efforts to avoid being involved in any such demonstrations.” “An anti-American movement could be what the Taliban want,” Lee said. “We rejected suggestions by some anti-American groups to hold a candlelight vigil and march to the U.S. Embassy in Korea.” (HT: OFK)
What a mess this hostage crisis is and the people of Korea have their most incompetent administration in decades to try and solve it. Just ask yourself, if you were Korean would you want President Roh trying to save you?
You can read more over at Hot Air