This is Not a Movie, Hostages and Saving Lives

This headline – US Navy misses chance to rescue American captain held hostage by pirates – is a little deceptive since the USS Bainbridge was not close enough to intervene other then possibily blowing up the small boat on which Captain Richard Phillips is being help captive. Assuming that the obviuously courageous Captain values his own life, he no doubt would like to be rescued, but not killed during the rescue attempt, Hostage dies as rescuers attempt to free family from pirates

A young French yachtsman was shot dead yesterday when French commandos stormed his vessel off Somalia, releasing his wife and three-year-old son and another couple who had been held captive by Somali pirates.

President Sarkozy offered condolences as the violent death of Florent Lemaçon, 28, a computer programmer from Brittany, stirred emotion in France: the family’s travels had been followed by many in the country on their internet blog.

Mr Sarkozy ordered the assault, the seventh in a year by French forces against Somali pirates, a week after the Tanit, the Lemaçon’s elderly 36ft (11m) craft, was seized about 400 miles off the Somali coast.

The 101st Fighting Keyboarders, famous for their bravery from Mom’s Basement Headquarters during the six years of the Iraq occupation, suddenly think the French are heroes. A conservative blooger called The Jawa Report pretty much sums up most of the Right’s reaction, Shame: Even the French Show More Balls than Obama

Too bad the one hostage was killed. But there are always risks to these things. Sometimes taking a risk is better than being a Dhimmi to these pirates. Never thought I’d see the day when the French had more intestinal fortitude that our president.

Yep, yawn, a husband and father killed, oh well, sh*t happens. The French get a hostage killed, now they’re right-wing heroes. President Obama has not, he’s shameful. Life is not an action adventure movie. The director doesn’t yell cut and Mr. Lemaçon jumps up, wipes off the red corn syrup and goes home .The THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF NEGOTIATION ASSOCIATIONS (NCNA)

The NCNA is comprised of the designated representatives of the regional negotiation associations, crisis negotiation conference groups, and law enforcement/correctional crisis negotiation organizations operating throughout the United States, as identified by the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit.

Guiding Principles The Goal of the Negotiation Process is to save lives and to resolve crisis incidents while attempting to avoid unnecessary risk to officers, citizens, victims, and subjects. The application of Crisis Negotiation skills has consistently proven to be law enforcement’s most risk effective method to achieve the desired outcomes.

Resolution Determination
The method by which any crisis situation is resolved is ultimately determined by the subject’s behavior. However, standards of acceptability require that law enforcement agencies undertake all reasonable efforts to obtain a nonviolent resolution. Negotiation defusing skills represent law enforcement’s most successful tool (83% resolved without injury: Hostage Barricade Database System (HOBAS June 2001)

To step back for a moment, the situation with Lemacon and his family may have reached a point, that appeared to those French authorities on the scene that perhaps the death of the entire family was immient and made the best call they could under difficult circumstances. One thing the French or American naval authorities should  not do is pander to the fetid heroic fantasies of conservative bloggers, but be guided by their training. There is no threat so urgent as to endanger hostage lives to supposedly teach the hijackers a lesson. Let’s not forget that the same Righties that want so urgently to make punishing thepirates a priority over saving lives are the one’s that thought Iraq would be a cakewalk and we’d be doing the Iraqis a favor. Here we are six years later wih two hundred thousand to a million Iraqis dead and over two million turned into refugees. It is inevitable there will be various crisises during the Obama administration and every time the Right will use it as an opportunity to paint Obama as weak because it didn’t declare all out war or start launching the nukes.

“And I just don’t think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security.” President Gerald Ford(R)

Ford possessed at least a modicum of the statesmanship that used to inform the Republican party.

As noted in the article these hijackings at sea have been going on for at least a year. Ahoy, Obama! They’s Pirates Aplenty in These Waters

More than two years ago, following a massive and dramatically destabilizing military incursion into Somalia by neighboring Ethiopia, Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, the chairman of the Africa subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declared that, “The U.S. must play more of a leadership role, instead of relying on the piecemeal diplomacy that has failed us in the past. The key challenge now is to transition Somalia from a failed state to a peaceful, stable country. We must help establish a credible government that can work to eliminate the conditions that have long made Somalia a haven for terrorists and a source of instability in a critical region.”

“As part of a real strategy for Somalia and the Horn of Africa, we should dispatch a presidential envoy to the region and work aggressively to help stabilize and rebuild that country…” Feingold continued. “Without aggressive U.S. engagement and international determination, Somalia will remain what it has been –- a haven for terrorists, a source of instability throughout the region, and a threat to our national security.”

Somalia has been unstable for quite some time. That instability has yet to be addressed. Short term we need the best possible resolution for the hostages, but long term we and the world need to get at the root of the problem.

Foreign Policy Blog wants to call these pirates “maritime terrorists”. No real objection, but the Right has worn away at the impact of designating people terrorists. They’ve called everyone to the left of Mussolini a terrorist.

The Right’s Commentray Magazine is still clinging to the Obama bowed meme.Flotsam and Jetsam
Jennifer Rubin – 04.11.2009 – 8:23 AM

He is not only the chief of government, he’s our head of state — the equal of any monarch. The White House says Obama didn’t bow, that he ‘grasped (Abdullah’s) hand with two hands and he’s taller than King Abdullah.’ Sorry, but a videotape on YouTube doesn’t quite back that up. Obama clearly bends his body toward the Arabian monarch…

It is as though the entire Right has turned into M’s Manners. All bending at the waist toward another person will be considered a bow. Henceforth we will be a nation of Stiff Backs, the bow police are ever vigilant.

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