Philippine Fallout

Militants take Egyptian diplomat hostage: Captors holding 7 other hostages seek money, prisoner release

Militants from the previously-unknown group Lion of God Brigades took an Egyptian diplomat hostage in response to offers from Egypt to help Iraq with security.

First of all, please note that the Egyptian offer probably doesn’t involve sending heathen Westerners to holy Arab lands, which is what all the outrage on the “Arab street” is supposedly about. Not only would Egyptian troops not desecrate holy cities and the like in the way that American troops do, but Egypt doesn’t even want to send troops or military forces at all.

It’s not the mere presense of infidels, my friends. It’s resistance to the end of the Middle Ages.

Also noted is the bizarre case of the seven hostages held by the Black Banners:

But other militants, who call themselves the Black Banners, are making new demands for the hostages they are holding: three Indians, three Kenyans and an Egyptian.

A masked member stood in front of the hostages and read a statement demanding the truck drivers’ employer, the Kuwait and Gulf Transportation Company (KGL), pay the families of those killed in clashes with U.S. forces in Fallujah, and that all Iraqi prisoners held in American prisons be released within 48 hours.

The hostage-takers originally demanded the men’s employers or native countries pull their personnel from Iraq or one hostage would be beheaded every 72 hours beginning Saturday.

Copycatting the militants that hit the jackpot by kidnapping a Filipino truck driver, these confused guys are struggling to save face at this point.

Egypt, Kenya, and India have a total of ZERO troops in Iraq.

Just to be safe, however,

In response to the kidnapping, the government of Kenya asked its citizens to leave Iraq, a government spokesman said.

Next time, Kenya, submit a request in writing to all terrorist groups everywhere before allowing any of your citizens beyond your borders.

Also noted in this catch-all article:

Maverick Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr led prayers at the Kufa mosque south of Baghdad for the first time in two months, The Associated Press reported. Al-Sadr criticized insurgents who have beheaded at least three foreigners since April, according to the AP.

“We condemn what some people are doing regarding the beheading of prisoners, and it is illegal according to Islamic law,” al-Sadr said, according to the AP. “Anybody doing this is a criminal, and we will punish him according to Islamic law.”

Darth Sadr seems to have realized that the way to power is through political channels, which is fair enough. The article notes

Al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army and U.S. troops battled for weeks, but fighting died down in June in the flash point towns of Najaf and Kufa.

As far as I can tell, it was the Mehdi Army itself that did the majority of the “dying down”. Remember how it was Tet all over again? Oh, well. Maybe next time.

The jury is still out, of course, deliberating the wisdom of (shall we say) less intense strategies regarding Darth Sadr and Fallujah. We haven’t had our last bit of major trouble from al Sadr, and the activity in and around Fallujah hasn’t died down all that much. We’ll see.