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#301969 - Sat Mar 25 2006 07:02 PM Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or not
alison1963 Offline
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Registered: Fri Mar 24 2006
Posts: 6
Loc: Bath, Avon, UK
The hostage released this week was freed with the use of many members of the armed forces, their time, resources, planning, etc.

I'm interested in people's opinions on whether you think this is a waste of taxpayers money, when those resources are needed to badly elsewhere, or does the cause justify the expenditure?

To add my tuppence-worth, although the cause is a good one, i feel that these "do-gooders" are not, at this time, achieving much over there considering the amount of conflict and chaos, and therefore they would be better employed providing some kind of help from home.

It seems to me that kidnappings are so rife at the moment, the amount of money and resource spent on finding the hostages, planning their recovery and executing that recovery must surely outweigh the good those people may or may not have achieved during their time in Iraq.

Your thoughts?
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#301970 - Sat Mar 25 2006 07:23 PM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 12736
Loc: Western Canada
I dunno - I'm in two minds about this. In one way, yes, I agree. This is a bit like those fools who get themselves stuck on the sides of mountains, requiring enormous public expenditure to get them down. In another, though - humanitarian and altruistic behaviour is something that a society wants to encourage, right? I'd feel better about it if I knew if the 'do-gooders' were actually doing any good.
I didn't agree with the invasion of Iraq (funny, though, how nobody asked my opinion) and I think that the mess there is to a large part due to the invasion - it was no bed of roses before, but it was a stable society. If some Westerners now want to go there and try to alleviate some of the harm done, I have to applaud that.
I wonder how the freed hostages feel about this - did they expect and feel entitled to rescue, or did they feel that kidnapping was just a chance they took, and took freely and knowingly?

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#301971 - Sat Mar 25 2006 08:14 PM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
lothruin Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Wed Nov 12 2003
Posts: 2165
Loc: Nebraska USA
I'm of two minds, like Agony. The website of the Christian Peacemaker Team is certainly an interesting read. I was and am (and will be) against the war in Iraq. It seems the CPT shares my view of the war. However... well, here:

Quote:

Iraq: a Baghdad-based presence since October 2002. Team members accompanied the Iraqi people through the U.S.-led 2003 war and continue during the post-war occupation to expose abusive acts by U.S. Armed Forces and support Iraqis committed to nonviolent resistance.




This is what they say about their presence in Iraq. And this:

Quote:

Harmeet, Jim and Norman and Tom were in Iraq to learn of the struggles facing the people in that country. They went, motivated by a passion for justice and peace to live out a nonviolent alternative in a nation wracked by armed conflict. They knew that their only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their Iraqi and international co-workers. We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq. The occupation must end.




They knew that their only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their Iraqi and international co-workers, but the folks who saved them were the soldiers they stand so ready to denounce. They put their lives at risk to go to Iraq to expose US soldiers for the horrible, violent, abusive dregs of society they are, and when they were kidnapped, they expected (?) those same soldiers to rescue them, at great personal risk and no small cost to the rest of us. God seems to work in mysterious ways. *removes tongue from cheek*

With the exception of the God part (and any negative feelings towards soliders merely by virtue of their occupation), I agree with their position. I'm a pacifist to the core, and I admit it. But I feel their actions are foolish, or reckless, and I'm not 100% sure I can value their "humanitarian effort" as highly as, say, feeding and sheltering people. Eh, perhaps I'm just being witchy.

The flip side is that they are people and their lives are valuable beyond that of their goals, and I could never actually think that they should have been left in the hands of those who took them. (What I do think is that they should never have put themselves in that position to start with.) They deserved rescue because their lives have value, and if some of that has to hit me in the wallet, then I'll consider it MY humanitarian effort for the day.
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#301972 - Sat Mar 25 2006 09:37 PM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
ladymacb29 Offline
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Registered: Wed Mar 15 2000
Posts: 15678
Loc: The Delta Quadrant
I think even without the 'we have to go rescue these people', when we rescue them, we're also catching those who kidnapped these people - so we're also catching bad guys who would have kidnapped people (maybe even their own people). So I say it's a wash, you'd be spending this money anyway trying to catch these guys and by them putting themselves (themselves meaning the bad guys) on tv saying they have hostages, it's actually helping us catch more bad guys by giving us more clues/intelligence.


Edited by ladymacb29 (Sat Mar 25 2006 09:37 PM)
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#301973 - Sat Mar 25 2006 11:23 PM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
fordescort Offline
Participant

Registered: Sat Mar 25 2006
Posts: 9
Loc: Australia
I also agree with alison1963 and agony. I think thought that if everyone who thought that they were doing the "right" thing stepped back and took a broader view of things, some hostage situations would never occur. Conflicts are headline stuff some people are drawn to go in and 'help'. I sometimes wonder if the same commitment would be shown if there was little media coverage given to some events.

I guess if I was one of the people who was kidnapped, I would certainly appreciate being rescued. I often wonder if the people rescued really think of the danger that their rescuers face...

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#301974 - Sun Mar 26 2006 10:39 AM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
uiscebeatha Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Wed Mar 01 2006
Posts: 216
Loc: Antrim Belfast Ireland     
The rescue of the hostages will not have incurred inordinate expense to the taxpayer. If expenditure of public money is of such concern why not question the expense that this illegal war has heaped on taxpayers to the tune of billions of dollars? I would rather contribute to the expense of Norman Kember's and the others' rescue than a single penny of my money being used to unleash 'shock and awe', fund the imprisonment and humiliation of Iraqi civilians or the maintenance of torture facilities and human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay.


If this was a dangerous, daring and courageous act by armed services (and the lack of resistance hardly indicates that this was the case) then the US and British forces deserve praise and they most certainly need the PR.

I would not profess to be a Christian but I would be loathe to use the term 'do-gooders' (generally used in a perjorative sense. Norman Kember and people like him indicate to Iraqis and Muslim people in general that we do not necessarily bear them any ill will. They may or may not be foolhardy but at least the message they try to bring is one of tolerance and compassion.

If it's a choice between my money paying for the rescue of people bringing a message of compassion to the people of Iraq or that message from an over-inflated ego from Texas I know on which I would prefer to spend the money.

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#301975 - Fri Mar 31 2006 01:20 PM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
romeomikegolf Offline
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Registered: Wed Apr 07 2004
Posts: 4875
Loc: Rothwell Northants England UK 
This may, or may not, go down very well. But, as an ex member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces I feel very strongly about these various groups that send civilians into places that are not safe. Iraq is, and will be for some time to come, an area that is not the place for people that have not had any sort of training for where they are. A Christian group, that sends people into an almost 100% Muslim country that is going through the problems that Iraq is going through, is asking for trouble. And who is left to sort it all out? The poor bloody infantry. OK, so the SAS is not exactly the PBI, but, they still have to risk their lives to rescue people that really shouldn't be there in the first place.
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#301976 - Fri Mar 31 2006 05:23 PM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
BJStacy Offline
Participant

Registered: Thu Mar 30 2006
Posts: 13
Loc: Texas, USA
Quote:

This may, or may not, go down very well. But, as an ex member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces I feel very strongly about these various groups that send civilians into places that are not safe. Iraq is, and will be for some time to come, an area that is not the place for people that have not had any sort of training for where they are. A Christian group, that sends people into an almost 100% Muslim country that is going through the problems that Iraq is going through, is asking for trouble. And who is left to sort it all out? The poor bloody infantry. OK, so the SAS is not exactly the PBI, but, they still have to risk their lives to rescue people that really shouldn't be there in the first place.




Very well said, and very TRUE on every point!

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#301977 - Fri Mar 31 2006 06:21 PM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
Jar Offline
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Registered: Wed Apr 11 2001
Posts: 4224
Loc: Texas USA
Quote:

If it's a choice between my money paying for the rescue of people bringing a message of compassion to the people of Iraq or that message from an over-inflated ego from Texas I know on which I would prefer to spend the money.




Please, I have a question. Of whose "over-inflated ego" are you referring? Is it mine? DG Dave's? My neighbor? If you are referring to the President of the US, then say so. Please do not generalize and include me in your statement. I take objection to your statement.

One more question: Would you feel the same if your town had been attacked on 9/11? No, I do not believe the US should have gone to Iraq, but now that we are there, then we should support our troops. Otherwise we will have yet another generation of military people getting the same reception the Viet Nam vets got. Not very nice.

Sorry to get so off track. I try not to post in threads such as these. I just became quite irritated when (in my perception) someone inferred that I have an "over-inflated ego." Quite the contrary. I have waited a while to post so that I would not be really abusive .

On to the original question. No, I do not believe those people should have gone over there. Missionaries or not. It is a dangerous area. Now I am helping pay for their rescue.


Edited by Jar_ (Fri Mar 31 2006 06:32 PM)
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#301978 - Fri Mar 31 2006 07:15 PM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
picqero Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Tue Dec 28 2004
Posts: 2813
Loc: Hertfordshire<br>England UK
I find it very sad that so many people still seem to believe that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attack on New York and Washington. A CNN poll I saw only last week stated that 38% of Americans believe this to be the case!
In order to reinforce this erroneous belief, George Bush, Tony Blair and others have steadfastly included Iraq and 9/11 in the same sentence. Whatever the rights and wrongs of invading Iraq, the 9/11 atrocity was not a justification. Neither the Iraqi government, nor any Iraqi individual or organisation had any part in either the attack, nor the planning of it.

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#301979 - Sat Apr 01 2006 01:24 AM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
sue943 Offline

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Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 36534
Loc: Jersey Channel Islands        
Can I just step in and remind you that at this moment in time FunTrivia doesn't have a controversial issues forum, it was removed because of heated threads. By all means comment on current events, this is what this forum is for but please do not allow it to become heated.
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#301980 - Sat Apr 01 2006 08:13 AM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
ktstew Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Tue Jan 18 2005
Posts: 8717
Loc: Arkansas USA
May I interject something here, Jar?

I am also a Texan, and have grown used to people's misconceptions and silly comments about my home state. This is an international setting,and I realized long ago that there will be comments made from time to time by those who have limited knowledge of their subject matter. Educated, thoughtful people don't make rash generalizations about whole cultures. But for some reason, Texas seems to catch it's fair share of tiresome stereotyped comments.

I don't think the shortcomings of George Bush stem from being Texan, by the way. I think they stem from merely being George Bush.

Edited to add: It flys in the face of both faith and common sense to send missionaries or any other non -com civilian into such a situation. But it happens all the time. And now we foot the bill for it.


Edited by ktstew (Sat Apr 01 2006 08:18 AM)
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#301981 - Sat Apr 01 2006 08:37 PM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 12736
Loc: Western Canada
I have to repeat aramis' words - it is sad that so many people think that there is any relation between Iraq and September 11. There is some reason to beleive in a link between the former Taliban government in Afghanistan, and Al Quaeda. This is one of the reasons why my country is in Afghanistan, and is not in Iraq.

It's not only Americans who have this misconception. Reading any Canadian newspaper's letters coloumns this week shows the same belief is current here.

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#301982 - Sun Apr 02 2006 08:03 AM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or not
PaulDrake Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Mon Feb 27 2006
Posts: 150
Loc: South Carolina USA
Quote:

The hostage released this week was freed with the use of many members of the armed forces, their time, resources, planning, etc.

I'm interested in people's opinions on whether you think this is a waste of taxpayers money, when those resources are needed to badly elsewhere, or does the cause justify the expenditure?

To add my tuppence-worth, although the cause is a good one, i feel that these "do-gooders" are not, at this time, achieving much over there considering the amount of conflict and chaos, and therefore they would be better employed providing some kind of help from home.

It seems to me that kidnappings are so rife at the moment, the amount of money and resource spent on finding the hostages, planning their recovery and executing that recovery must surely outweigh the good those people may or may not have achieved during their time in Iraq.

Your thoughts?


My thoughts are not printable. Suffice to say I'd bet you'd be singing a different tune if it was you or a loved one being held hostage.

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#301983 - Sun Apr 02 2006 08:33 AM Re: Released hostage - waste of taxpayers money or
sue943 Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 36534
Loc: Jersey Channel Islands        
This is NOT a controversial issues forum, that one was removed by the webmaster because of unpleasantness.
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