Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,
Insomnia
insomnia

Contract killers.

The most widely covered news in Iraq today seems to be an attack on a Marine convoy in Ramadi, which was large and somewhat ineffective... if you call 14 wounded soldiers ineffective.

But the most important development was the kidnapping of seven foriegn truck drivers from India, Egypt and Kenya. The threat is that the kidnappers will behead one hostage every 72 hours unless their Kuwaiti company ends its business in Iraq, and the countries pull all their citizens out.

Which they will undoubtedly try to do. It's not their war, and they are not particularly invested in keeping the U.S. happy. This is especially the case for India, which has tried to prevent its workers from going to Iraq. They're lured there by plentiful work and decent salaries. The hard part for India will be getting its citizens to leave the country. Communications with them are sparse, and information on where Indian nationals are located in-country is incomplete. There are thousands of Indians working in Iraq, however.

My guess is that negotiations will be predicated upon the same kind of "you pull out first and we'll let the hostages go" scenario that we've seen with the hostage from the Phillipines, in which case somebody's going to have to go... either the large transportation contractor or the Indians or perhaps a combination of both. Or heads will roll.

Frankly, both accomplish the same thing, in that the ability for companies to work in Iraq is predicated upon the risk to employees and insurance rates. If risks go up, some companies will leave anyway. Unless the hostages are found and released, it's really a no-win game for the coalition, and the stakes seem to be getting higher for foriegn workers, an invaluable commodity and the closest thing to a "soft target" in Iraq.
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