Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Team leaves for Iraq in hunt for hostages: "The Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, insisted last night: 'Make no mistake of it, we are not going to negotiate with terrorists, but if Australians are taken hostage we will try to get them released.... Asked whether the logistics team was a special forces contingent or a negotiating team, Mr Downer would not confirm its exact nature. "This is a team of people whose job is to provide logistical assistance in the event we have to try to release Australians." Earlier, the Federal Police commissioner, Mick Keelty, said: "We've got experts on hostage negotiation and counter-terrorism ready to deploy should the Government require it.""

Both Government and Opposition are currently impaling themselves on the contradictions, illogic and nonsensicality of their 'tough guy' postures on terrorism. Someone needs to just come out and say it: of course you negotiate with terrorists, that's about the first thing you do (even before you have confirmed the hostage taking has actually taken place!), and you use a professional team of negotiators to do it.

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