. . . Tuesday July 20, 2004

When Blackmail Works

As promised, Angelo dela Cruz was freed by Iraqi militants following the Philippine government’s decision to bow to the demands of the hostage takers and pull their troops out of Iraq.

And surprise, surprise. The release of the hostage was followed by a threat to Japan to withdraw their troops. Cracks in the mini-coalition are one thing. A total acquiescence to demands of terrorists is another. Among other things, this unsettling twist marks the dramatic extent to which the U.S. has lost sway with our allies.

And the message from the Philippines to the terrorists couldn’t be more clear: Terrorism works.

The ramifications of this turn of events may take a long time to undo.

Concentration is important!