Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

An Iraqi man claiming to have spoken to the kidnappers says the hostages will be executed one by one from later tonight if the demands are not met.

Via The Command Post


Talk about a rock and a hard place.

If The govenrment does nothing and someone dies, most of the fingers will be pointed at the Japanese administration.

If they do nothing and the hostages are kept captive the government appears weak and impotent to protect it's citizens.

If they pull the forces out, no Japanese citizen will be safe abroad.

This whole situation sickens me. One of the messages claiming to be from the hostage tackers promises to treat the prisoners according to Islamic law.

Where in the Koran does it say that it is OK to kidnap innocent civilians to pressure others to do your will?

Where is there honor in these actions? Where is there justice under any system of judgement?

Kakyou: who the hell gives you the right to enter our Muslim countries?

Your troops have no business in Iraq following an illegal colonial adventure. The Japanese troops are merely legitimizing an unjustifiable invasion.

Although torturing those prisoners is no doubt unIslamic, I find it hard to conjure up much pity for the Japanese government. Koizumi staunchly stuck by the US's side, and now he's reaping the consequences of his butt-kissing.

Get out of our nations or you'll be kicked out!

I can't stand people who claim this is an illegal war. It's a war for humanity you idiot!!!

Saddam Hussein is a verifiable war criminal who has killed millions of people and has put countless other people in danger.

I'll be damned if I let a lunatic run loose just cos' everyone is too chicken to do anything about evil.

I heard that some commentators in Japan have gone on record being less sympathetic to the three b/c they were there against the wishes and despite warnings of the Foreign Ministry which advised them that they were going to Iraq outside the protections of the coalition forces. Is this true?


In truth I believe in what you say more than you may realize. If Iraq want to kick out foreign powers, then by all means, I think they have the right to do so.

You say that the Japanese government is legitimizing an unjustifiable invasion. Again, I am hard pressed to counter that.

That being said, what I was vilifying was not Iraqi independance, but the act taking of civilians as hostages. If you can find any evidence that these people came to Iraq on government orders, or with purpose to hurt or destabilize the people or government of Iraq, then that would be one thing. But they came, either of theire own volition, or as part of non-govenrmental relief agencies, to help people.

In truth, it is the best possibl etime to get the US out of Iraq. With a presidential election coming up, whatever happens in Iraq will catch the attention of the world. Mass demonstrations in the streets in front of foreign journalists and interviews by students, shopkeepers, and houswives pleading for freedom would sway many people away from the current US leadership.

But this cowardly act, and others like it only harden the world against the issue. Only raffirm that the US must keep forces there to "control" the dangerous terrorists.

Perhaps Iraq will become anothere Israel, with two giant egos thrashing each other with the dead bodies of civilians.

Ian, the three hostages had been interviewed and filmed (separately) at various times by journalists prior to their capture or on previous trips abroad, and that video has been played a lot on TV. You'd think that would humanize them and create support. In fact, they come off as rather flakey, aimless, reckless, and irresponsible, which I guess has muted sympathy for them.

Holy cow, you know a blog is running Movable Type when you have to wait 60 seconds for a simple comment to be submitted! Joi, Carlos Ghosn drives a Porsche, not a Nissan; just because you invested in MT doesn't mean you can't use a higher-end blog tool, given your traffic.

Sorry about the rebuild speed. I will make it faster when we upgrade to 3.0. Been lazy.

60 seconds does not seem like a long time to me, also fail to see what a porche or a nissan has got to do with it :)

"interviews by students, shopkeepers, and houswives pleading for freedom "

I don't understand - how will a US pull-out lead to freedom for students, shopkeepers, and houswives? Are you saying that they were free under Saddam? Mass graves, human shredders (would you prefer to be shredded head-first or feet-first?), rape mutilation - is that the kind of freedom you think that the people of Iraq preferred? Freedom comes from respect for individual rights, not from a few blood-thirsty religious zealots imposing their views on everyone.

And what's this about "if Iraq want(s) to kick out foreign powers"? Who exactly is Iraq - a few thugs with guns? a few thugs with guns and a religious excuse for mass slaughter? If Iraqis want the Americans to leave, all they have to do is get their act together and rebuild their country. Killing people prevents the Americans from leaving, even though we would like to.

BTW, the human shredder story is uncorroborated rumour from a single person in Northern Iraq, with no evidence found to support it. In other words, right up there with the "babies thrown out of incubators" story from Gulf War I, and the bayoneted babies of Belgium in 1914. More details in this _Spectator_ article:

I'd suggest it's better not to repeat propaganda.