Sometimes When You Win, You Really Lose

When the news that the Korean missionary hostages were released in Afghanistan, I considered it to be good news.

When I heard the conditions upon which they were released, I considered it not as good.

I don’t know if it’s too early to write about this. And of course, it’s easy for me to write this–sitting in my plush chair in an air-conditioned room, well-fed, and middle-class– but it makes me wonder if I would’ve have made the same deal with the Taliban.

Release the hostages and I’ll take all the missionaries back. Oh, and here’s a cool $20 million to make sure that happens soon. That was the basic proposition and the deal that was met.

And check out this article, “Viewing the Hostage Crisis Through Game Theory”:

Experts in game theory emphasize that the best strategy to minimize terrorist threats is to leave a deep impression on terrorist organizations, making them believe they will pay dearly for taking hostages — that our country is unyielding on hostage issues.

As a Christian, I think the best way to send the message to terrorists is to say that our faith compels us to be witnesses (in Greek: martyrs) as well, but not of violence, but of love and peace. While we have gained 19 lives back, what is at stake is the greater impact of missionaries/aid workers to the nation of Afghanistan. Should we be relieved that the Taliban have returned those hostages then?

The world would have seen the end game of terrorism played out had those innocent hostages died at their hands, but we have succumbed to their threats. We could have said to them, you may take the lives of Christian missionaries, but they were willing to support, educate, and help your people – what have you done for anyone? We are the ultimate anti-terrorists because perfect love can cast out all fear.

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