I haven’t been covering the story of kidnapped Filipino civilian Angelo dela Cruz heavily, but the more I see of it the more I’m just revolted by it. I understand the desire on the part of the Philippine government and people to have their countryman freed, but negotiating with terrorist in the media is unseemly in addition to being a very bad precedent.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Frantically trying to obtain the release of a captive Filipino truck driver with the clock ticking down, the Philippines said Tuesday it would withdraw its tiny peacekeeping force from Iraq as soon as it can.
However, the statement, which followed all-night Cabinet consultations, was unclear as to whether Manila was advancing the pullout as demanded by the Iraqi militant kidnappers, or was sticking by its commitment to bring its 51-strong force home on Aug. 20 as planned.
The confusion may have been deliberate as President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo seeks to maintain her staunch support of the U.S.-led war on terrorism while avoiding a possible domestic backlash if Angelo dela Cruz, a 46-year-old father of eight, is beheaded.
“The Philippine government, consistent with its commitment, will withdraw its Philippine humanitarian contingent forces in Iraq as soon as preparations for their return to the Philippines are completed,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said in a statement to a Filipino reporter in Baghdad.I wish them all success in getting dela Cruz freed, but once the started down the path of caving in to the terrorists demands, they’re really left with no choice but to capitulate fully. Bullshitting around with Clintonesque word games shows all the moral backbone of, well, Bill Clinton.
I get the feeling this is going to blow up in their faces…
Update: Much more on this topic from Michele Malkin.