U.S. role in hostage crisisOver two weeks have passed since a group of Koreans was taken hostage in Afghanistan and the national voice is getting louder in Korea that it’s time for the United States to step up to do its part.
This is because there is a growing understanding that the United States actually holds the key to deciding whether to accept the Taliban’s demand for a prisoner-for-hostage swap.
Some view this as a difficult and complex problem because the Americans refuse to negotiate with terrorist groups. This demonstrates the U.S. perspective on the war against terrorism well.
They believe that once they start giving in to terrorists’ demands, the vicious cycle of terrorism will never end.
It’s a persuasive idea. However, it is also a dilemma for the U.S. government to ignore the pitiful situation that one of its strongest allies is in.
There is not much we can do about what the U.S. government believes are its principles. But because the situation has grown so urgent, we are asking for a more active decision.
Two people have already been sacrificed, and it is very difficult to predict the fate of the remaining 21. There should be a way to come up with a plan that maintains principles, but also saves the Koreans who are in a helpless and desperate situation.
Song Min-soon, the South Korean Foreign Minister, and John Negroponte, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, agreed to resolve the issue by mobilizing all means possible during their meeting in Manila.
State Department Spokesman Tom Casey also said a day before yesterday that although it’s a difficult situation, it must resolved in the best way possible.
This is good news.
We hope that there will be more good news coming from the upcoming summit meeting between the U.S. and the Afghan governments this weekend.
Although Afghanistan is under the influence of the U.S., the country is still a sovereign state. The reality is that the U.S. cannot control everything in its own way.
Emphasizing the role of the U.S. too much and therefore blaming all decisions that the Afghan government makes on the U.S. is not right.
The core of this crisis is that terrorists have abducted civilians. We should be able to distinguish the difference between whether the U.S. has a duty to listen to our appeals, and whether it has a responsibility to act on them.