US special forces in Afghanistan mounted an attempt to rescue Linda Norgrove after the British government in the persons of Foreign Secretary Hague and Prime Minister Cameron refused to back an offer by local Afghan elders to negotiate her release, after the same elders last week negotiated the release of the three Afghans who were taken prisoner along with Linda.
She was killed in the course of the assault as were all of the Afghan fighters. There were no US casualties.
The local Afghan police chief who had backed the offer of the Afghans to seek to negotiate her release was furious over the assault and complained that he had not been privy to it.
The message that has been delivered from the British government to UK troops and aid workers in Afghanistan is crystal clear.
It is make sure that you do not fall into the hands of the Taleban, because the British government will not lift a finger to negotiate a release to save your lives.
On this basis, all UK aid workers should be withdrawn from Afghanistan at once, since the British government, which supported them being sent to Afghanistan, is not prepared to stand by them, and negotiate with the Taleban to save their lives.
The nonsense about not negotiating with terrorists just does not hold, since there is a war going on in Afghanistan.
The hypocrisy of this position is exposed by the fact that we know that Afghan government representatives, US officials and British officials and soldiers are already negotiating with the Taleban, to seek to end the war and to get them to join an Afghan government.
The prime minister said of the assault: ‘Decisions on operations to free hostages are always difficult, but where a British life is in such danger, and where we and our allies can act, I believe it is right to try.’
Once again she was not a hostage she was a prisoner taken by the Taleban during a war, and was entitled to the protection of the British government and to expect that it would negotiate to free her.
The failed assault, which involved British officials in an advisory role, was authorised by Foreign Secretary William Hague, with Cameron kept informed.
Cameron added: ‘I pay tribute to the courage and skill of all those involved in this effort, and join the foreign secretary in condemning hostage taking.’
Foreign Secretary Hague said: ‘Responsibility for this tragic outcome rests squarely with the hostage takers.
‘From the moment they took her, her life was under grave threat. Given who held her, and the danger she was in, we judged that Linda’s best chance lay in attempting to rescue her.’
Once again: she was not taken hostage, she was taken prisoner by Taleban fighters who were adherents of the Taleban government of Afghanistan which was overthrown by a US-UK invasion in 2001.
The responsibility for the tragic outcome rests with the British government, which was not prepared to negotiate her release.
The arrogant British ruling class, which has spent £1.2 trillion in rescuing the bankers and their bankrupt system, is practically alone in its refusal to take any action to negotiate the release of their citizens either in Iraq, which the US-UK invaded in 2003, or Afghanistan.
The tragedy of Linda Norgrove’s death should remind all UK operatives and soldiers in Afghanistan how little worth the UK government places on their lives.
The UK trade unions must intervene to tell the government that since it is not prepared to negotiate to defend the lives of all UK citizens in Afghanistan, UK troops and aid workers must be withdrawn from there at once.