Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

What We Do With Hostage Takers

Last night "Angry Obama" made an appearance and scolded Democrats who have been crying foul over his capitulation to the Republicans over the Bush tax cuts. What caught my attention was his "hostage" analogy:

I think it's tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers, unless the hostages get harmed. Then people will question that strategy. In this case the hostage was the American people, and I was not willing to see them get harmed.

There is so much being said here such as, is this his Afghanistan policy? It's a fair question. However; most importantly is that if this Democratic president had any backbone, this comment, particularly about the American people being held hostage, would have been what he would have said after vowing to not sign a single piece of legislation that allows the Bush tax cuts to be continued for the "rich".

But the problem with this analogy is that we know that hostage taking ( legally kidnapping) is a criminal act. It is an act of coercion in which one party threatens the life of the captor in order to gain something that is not rightfully theirs. I'm not saying that the Republians (and some Democrats) are acting illegally, but if that's the analogy why capitulate to those you compare to criminals?

Hostage takers use this act only when they think it has a good chance of working. The hostage taker must believe that which they hold is of enough importance to a third party that the third party will do what the hostage taker wants.

During negotiations, the hostage taker may be "convinced" to make slight concessions such as freeing a hostage or two, but they do not EVER make concessions on their primary objective.


The proper hostage taker like any skilled negotiator knows what their objectives are and what they are willing to concede on in order to obtain that objective.

In this case the hostage takers represent the financed class (some of whom are not even citizens, but who's registered entities are subject to taxation). The finance interests in the US do not care about the hostages except for how they may be used for capital. They care about their long term interests: less taxes and access to government coffers.
They will gladly allow the unemployed to receive benefits because those benefits go directly to them on the form of debt payments. Seriously, unemployment benefits go to food, rent / mortgages and other non-discretionary expenditures.

Not only did the big money people get an extension of the Bush tax cuts, they got a reduction in the estate tax as well. They reduced payroll taxes as well, meaning that a country currently "at war" will be seeing less income to pay for it. I don't suppose that the defense contractors will be reducing their prices to the government to reflect this. Back to the hostage scenario though.

Obama is correct that negotiators will do what they can to prevent hostages being harmed. Problem is that in this case the hostages are already being harmed. It's not like they are employed. It's not as if the jobs they have lost are being replaced with new ones in the same sectors and paying an equivalent or ballpark wage. No, the hostages have been held for quite some time and no one bothered to notice. Their jobs were going overseas, they were being downsized, In just my short life I have seen TV's stop being manufactured in the US. i've watched most if not all computer manufacturing go offshore. I've seen the importation of quasi-slave labor from south of the border. All of these things have had an adverse effect on those hostage Americans.

So this is not actually a case of the hostages being kept from harm. The hostages have already been beaten and the hostage takers are threatening to shoot one or two. At some point it is determined that there is no negotiating with the hostage takers and a hard entry is done. Yes there are casualties, but it is understood that since the hostage takers don't intend to let any of the hostages live, the hard entry may save some of them and at the very least serve as an example to others that contemplate such actions in the future.

This was a hostage situation that the Republicans were going to lose. It may not have been a pretty fight and it may have have required a level of showmanship reserved for WWE, but it was winnable. But of course you gotta be willing to fight and scolding your supposed biggest supporters is not fighting.

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