There were lots of time during my childhood days when it was hard to play with or against other kids who do not know the rules of the game. How can you play a game when the players have no clue as to what the game is?
This memory popped up - weirdly enough - when I read about the kidnapping of International Committee on the Red Cross personnel just outside a jail facility they were inspecting.
This act obviously deserves condemnation. Kidnapping is never justifiable. But what makes it more ignominious is the fact that the people kidnapped were Red Cross/ICRC personnel, even using the Red Cross vehicle as a getaway car.
While Red Cross is more known in this part of the world as a recognized collector of blood (thanks to the amazing efforts of Rosa Rosal), the organization is much much more than that. It is a humanitarian entity which protects the victims of international and internal armed conflicts. The ICRC is a neutral entity which tends to the sick and wounded in war ravaged parts around the world, This means that they do not care about who the combatting states are, but they will see to it that they are on both sides of the fence, tending to those who need their help.
So of all people to kidnap, this group - whatever group it is - had to pick Red Cross personnel. If the motive behind the kidnapping is political, then the captors are ignorant buffoons. It is very basic, as insurgent group SHOULD know, that Red Cross personnel are universally recognized as specially protected persons. Which means that they should NEVER be endangered in any conflict in any part of the world. Holding ICRC personnel as leverage puts a bad light in your group. A release should be in order.
If the motive is purely for financial considerations, then may the heavens have mercy on you. Release these poor people, please; there may still be hope for your souls
Photo: Kazunori Matsuo, Flickr, Creative Commons