It always surprises me a little that the media’s accepted view of Islamic terrorists is that they are nothing more than psychotic fanatics with no political objectives other than to kidnap and murder westerners just for the sake of it.
Take the case of Ken Bigley who was kidnapped along with two Americans a week ago. For seven days the media has given wall-to-wall coverage of the poor man’s plight and his family’s attempts to get the government to negotiate his release.
Of course, the government will do no such thing. That would only encourage more kidnappings — even the opposition parties agree on that. But that doesn’t stop the media trying to back Tony Blair into a corner on the issue.
But the media hasn’t asked itself the most obvious question: Why is Mr Bigley still alive? The two Americans were apparently killed within 24 hours of each other after the US intervened when the Iraqis appeared to be acceding to the kidnappers’ demands to release two female prisoners, so why not Mr Bigley?
The reason is pretty obvious. The media frenzy surrounding the story is doing more to promote the terrorist’s objectives than would his death:
One, the ‘terror’ is inflicted on the UK public for days on end; two, it makes western leaders, and Tony Blair in particular, look foolish, uncaring and impotent; and three (and most important) it demonstrates to the Iraqis that we care more about one westerner than hundreds of local people that have been kidnapped or the thousands that have been killed.
Terrorists have no objectives? Job done UK media.