al Qaeda militants siege foreign hostages and execute them
more than eighty bodies found after Algerian troops regain control of gas works, fate of two other Americans workers not known
“I think what Republicans learned here,” according to GOP consultant Matt Mackowiak, speaking from the House Republicans closed-door retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia, “Is that unless we are willing to shoot the hostage we shouldn’t take one at all.”
It is to be regretted that Mackowiak’s remarks should come on the same day that saw the violent end to a four-day hostage siege by the al Qaeda backed Algerian militants at a remote gas works in southeastern Algeria in which at least one American hostage, Frederick Buttaccio, was slain by his captors. Seemingly unaware of the events unfolding and the brutal murder of an American and other foreigners in the four-day siege his remarks are at best inappropriate.
The retreat was called ostensibly to plan strategy for the upcoming congressional budget battle on the debt-ceiling, the continuing resolution that keeps the government from default, and the federal budget. Although, and clearly much of the discussions evolved around GOP prospects in the 2014 election cycle.
However, the world’s attention was not focused on Williamsburg, but on the drama at a remote gas works in the Sahara Desert in North Africa. The Islamist militants had segregated the hostages into two groups, one largely North Africans, the other foreign workers from America, Britain, France, Norway, The Philippines, and Japan. Many of the foreign workers, according to eye witnesses, were executed brutally during the early stages of the siege. The full extent of American and other foreign causalities is still not known.
Where is the Benghazi scale moral outrage, one might ask? And, exactly towards whom would such righteous indignation be directed actually?
Benghazi was a symptom of real security concerns in the west about the countries of the Sahara, and the impact the arsenal of arms looted from Gaddafi’s army after the two year long civil war there. Those arms are now in the hands of al Qaeda.
It should be noted well that the objective of al Qaeda backed Islamic militants who took siege of the Algerian gas works was to murder Americans and other foreigners, which they did by means of summary execution.
Smoke rises over gas facility after Algerian Special forces bring hostage crisis to an end in bloody confrontation with militants