Anorak News | Hearts And Minds

Hearts And Minds

by | 24th, September 2004

‘WHEN we first learned that the sadistic Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was demanding the release of all female Iraqi prisoners in return for hostages, we suspected there were hundreds if not thousands of them behind bars.

The face of evil

It transpires there are only two. And with nicknames like ‘Mrs Anthrax’ and ‘Dr Germ’ they don’t fit the image of humble women suffering abuse behind the prison gates.

Around the same time as Ken Bigley was being ordered to say how Iraqis were “asking for their wives and the mothers of their children”, the Independent reports that other fanatics were busy decapitating two female Italian aid workers.

The Ansar al-Zawahri group claims to have killed Simona Torretta and Simona Pari “without mercy”.

Such brutality should be roundly condemned. And it is. But there seems to be a tendency for fence sitting in some sections of the press.

While doing deals with people capable of such barbarity is out of the question, the Guardian still devotes most of its front page to the heart-wrenching appeals from Ken Bigley’s family.

“Would you please help my son?” asks Lil Bigley, Ken’s 86-year-old mum. “Please show mercy for Ken and send him home to me alive.”

Though her address was directed to the callous terrorists who profess a love of death, the choice of words is surely set to strike a chord with that family man Tony Blair.

As the Times writes: “If you were trying to devise a personal plea guaranteed to press Tony Blair’s guilt button it would included the words ‘God’, ‘wife’, ‘family’ , ‘children’ and ‘compassion’. Yesterday, Ken’s video message had them all.

The sentimentality is turned up a notch by the Telegraph’s front-page news that after making her appeal, Lil was taken to hospital.

And now here’s Sombat Bigley, Ken’s Thai-born wife, heard by the Independent telling her husband’s captors how much she loves her man.

“As a loving wife, I beg you once more for mercy,” says she.

Once more the words strike to Tony Blair’s heart, using the very vocabulary the terrorists allowed their captor to engage in when they filmed him begging for his life.

This is a battle no longer being waged in Iraq but one fought across the international press.

A news blackout would deprive the terrorists of the oxygen of publicity. But that’s impossible – this being a story the British papers are so very keen to tell…’

Posted: 24th, September 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink