BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – Gunmen ambushed two more top diplomats from Muslim countries Tuesday in apparent kidnap bids that seemed aimed at scaring off foreign governments and isolating Iraq from the Arab world. Pakistan responded by announcing the withdrawal of its ambassador.
The attacks, targeting diplomats from Bahrain as well as Pakistan, came three days after gunmen seized Egypt’s top envoy to Iraq as he was buying a newspaper in the capital. The Egyptian envoy is still being held.
Insurgents were pursuing diplomats to sow a climate of fear and “scare the other diplomatic missions so that they won’t expand their presence in Iraq,” Iraqi government spokesman Laith Kuba told reporters.
“This is a message from the terrorists to the Arab countries not to open embassies in Iraq and to prevent security, economic and political overtures to Iraq,” said Abbas al-Bayati, a member of the parliamentary foreign relations committee.
If the terrorists are aiming to isolate Iraq from engaging in relations with other foreign countries then I think the tactics they’re using, the kidnapping and possible death of their diplomats, has the very real potential of backfiring. Killing a nation’s officials is not the best way to get that nation to embrace your cause. If anything it will make that nation an enemy of your cause and thus, by default, the friend of your opponent.
I believe this is yet another act of desperation on behalf of the terrorists. America and its allies in the Iraq operations are not yielding to the persistent attacks launched by the terrorists nor has the kidnapping of dozens of civilians of all different nationalities brought on the type of results they no doubt hoped for (outside of the ransoms paid by some countries/groups being a good way to raise funds).
So now they turn to kidnapping diplomats from middle eastern nations who would potentially be friendly toward the new Iraqi regime. They’re probalby hoping that the kidnappings will scare these other nations off and leave Iraq without any friends in the region, but I think it will have the opposite effect. I believe these kidnappings will solidify these country’s support of the new Iraqi regime lest they face the alternative to that regime: Iraq being run by a bunch of ideological zealots.
No nation likes to have a loose cannon near its borders.
Headline changed to reflect the fact that the diplomats were not kidnapped, but that only an attempt had been made.
I wrote the headline after my first read of the article but then failed to change it after a second read revealed that they hadn’t actually been kidnapped.