A Japanese “adventure traveller” is the latest hostage threatened with beheading in Iraq, according to this story:
Japan scrambled Wednesday to win the release a 24-year-old Japanese man taken hostage by Islamic militants in Iraq, dispatching high-level diplomats to the Middle East and launching an appeal for his freedom on Arabic television.
A man identified as Shosei Koda, an adventure traveler from the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, was shown pleading for his life in a video released to a militant Islamic Web site Tuesday and broadcast on national TV early Wednesday in Japan. Under a sign bearing the name of the radical Muslim group led by Jordanian Abu Musab Zarqawi, the hooded kidnappers threatened to behead Koda if Japan did not withdraw its 550 non-combat troops from Iraq within 48 hours. That demand was immediately rejected by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
Unfortunately, it’s more of the same. Although this fellow’s impending beheading is barbaric and deplorable, I’d hate to think that foreign policy of any sovereign nation is beholden to the fate of people who foolishly put themselves in harm’s way for fun. I sympathize more with workers who put themselves in danger for money.
I’m saddened, too, with anyone who thinks that the foreign policy of a nation should change to spare the life of a single person. This thinking begets more kidnappings and more beheadings, but it elevates those who think it above those rabble in touch with reality; that is, those who recognize that uncivilized human nature is a dirty, base, and ultimately despicable thing in many, if not most, cases.
(Link seen on Outside the Beltway.)