Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Italy won't bow to kidnappers' demand
But families of Iraqi hostages want to organize protests

ROME - Italy's government and opposition leaders refused on Tuesday to bow to demands by kidnappers in Iraq who have threatened to kill three hostages unless Italians protest against their country's military presence there.

But relatives of the hostages pleaded with Italians to help set the men free and participate in rallies on Wednesday and Thursday, not to denounce the government but to call for the release of the three Italian security workers.

In a tape aired by Al Arabiya television on Monday, the kidnappers issued a statement saying they would release the men only if Italians publicly denounced Italy's involvement in the U.S.-led occupation. They gave a five-day deadline.

I cannot say that I can even begin to know how it feels to have a family member in such dire circumstances. I would like to think that the anger in by breast would far outweigh the pain in my heart and I would tell the animals just what they can do with their demands. It's difficult to criticize people in this situation, but to even partially give in to their demands (which. it appears some relatives want to do) will only serve to encourage future incidents. I would hope that they will find the strength to reconsider.

I certainly applaud the Italian government's tough stand. It would appear that their are still some "coward free" zones in Europe. Bravo Italia!