Daniele Mastrogiacomo on the phone, happy to be alive.
From the New York Times
ROME, March 21 —An Italian journalist who was held hostage for 15 days by the Taliban in lawless southern Afghanistan was ransomed for five Taliban prisoners, the Italian government and Afghan officials confirmed Wednesday.For more click here
They kidnap 3 of NATO's; Italy negotiates 5 we captured; in return we receive two alive and news of the decapitation execution of the third man, the driver, whose body was discarded in a river.
The American Command in Afghanistan, under orders from the Whitehouse did not interfere in the trade.
The Italians who made the deal, through members of the Afghan Government, did so for domestic political reasons - most importantly the Italians electorates unwillingness to send Italian soldiers to fight and die in America's 'Global War on Terror'.
So basically, what happened was:
- They initiated the conversation by kidnapping 3
- NATO countries answer by negotiating for captured Taliban
- The trade is 5 Taliban for 2 live 1 dead, no corpse
(Update: The interpreter was killed as well, from Peace Journalism)
1. They initiated the conversation by kidnapping 3
2. NATO countries answer by negotiating for captured Taliban
3. The trade is 5 Taliban for 1 live 2 dead, no corpses
The way some media are reporting it(CBC Radio News), we got 1 back, the Reporter, for 5 Taliban! According to wide spread reports, the fate of the interpreter is unknown.
He is probably in hiding or relocating with relatives.
NATO member countries are running in different directions In Country for reasons that relate back to domestic politics. Most are involved in tight political coalitions and Deployment Rules have become political bargaining chips. For example: (my highlight)
From St. Petersburg Times
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear that her country would not permanently expand its force, though she said German forces could be deployed in the south in an emergency.
Here on The Continent(sorry Europe), in Canada, we have a clear view of the thing - because Canadian troops have no such political restrictions placed on them. Canada is in full combat mode, ever increasingly interfaced with American forces. Late last year we expanded our capability with tanks, or as there known as in Iraq and increasingly in Afghanistan, shrapnel.
And soon the Taliban spring offensive begins.
The complexities of this occupation are about to get much more interesting.