Gordon Brown Sparks Anger Over Afghan Raid Authorization

September 10, 2009

UK (ChattahBox) – Prime Minister Gordon Brown is under fire for his decision to authorize a raid on Afghanistan militants who were holding New York Times journalist Stephen Farrell hostage.

Negotiators and human rights groups have said that they were within days of a peaceful negotiation, having secured the support of 300 different local leaders. They had been in talks with the militants, and believed they could have gotten Farrell and his translator, Sultan Munadi, out within a few more days.

The raid was successful in getting Farrell out, however Munadi was killed in an ensuring battle, as were at least one civilian, a woman who was in the house at the time of the raid, and a British special forces soldier. Several militants were also killed.

The move has caused outrage, with officials saying that there had been no urgent need to get them out before they would have been harmed, and that they could not have been passed over to another group for several more days, due tot he isolated nature of the area.

“It was totally heavy-handed. If they’d showed a bit of patience and respect they could have got both of them out without firing a bullet. Instead, they ended up having one of their own killed, the Afghan killed and civilians killed. There’s a lot of pissed-off people at the moment,” the Time Online quoted an anonymous Western official.

Prime Minister Brown countered, saying,“Hostage-taking is never justified, and the UK does not make substantive concessions, including paying ransoms.”

The move was likely a political one, as Brown stands to be pushed from his position as PM, with David Cameron waiting in the wings to take him place. If the choice of conducting a raid was meant as a guns-blazing hope for a win, it backfired horribly, and now several innocent people are dead.  Ironically Farrell who has dual British-Irish nationality and his Afghan colleague were snatched while they were reporting on a NATO air strike that targeted fuel tankers and killed scores of people, sparking intense anger in Afghanistan.

ChattahBox sends it’s condolences to the families of the Mr. Munadi, the soldier, and the civilian.



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