Friday, 3 August 2007

Afghan love versus Anguish of the South Koreans

I have been reading articles on the papers lately regarding the South Koreans who were held hostage by the Taleban in Afghanistan since 19 July.

The party of 23 South Koreans was a Christian missionary group travelling in Afghanistan to carry out aid work. Since being captured, 2 of them were killed, including a Pastor, whose body was found to be "bullet riddled".

The US television released on TV last week, an "interview" with one of the hostages, former nurse, Yim Hyun Joo, 32. She pleaded for help saying that, "We are in a very difficult time. Please help us…….Really, we beg you".

The one article that almost brought me down to tears was how Ms Yim’s brother recounted that she insisted on joining the medical aid group to travel to Afghanistan 3 years ago, despite her parents’ objections. She gave her entire savings of almost S$50,000 to her parents before she left for Afghan, as if she had expected that there could be no return. Her brother said, "I hope the Taleban understand that the volunteers truly love Afghanistan". Gosh, I can really cry at this….Imagine being hurt by what you love most, it is like your favourite child stabbed you in your heart!

The objective of the kidnap was to hold the Koreans as hostages in order for the Taleban to negotiate the release of 23 Taleban prisoners. The Taleban have threatened to kill the hostages if their demand is not acceded. Right now, the South Korean leaders are appealing to the US to step in to help. "We ask the US to make a one-time humanitarian action. It would not be a violation of political principles." Hmm… a "one-time humanitarian action"; how many "one-time" can the world tolerate?

You might think that I must have a heart made of stone to say this, but I think it is the harsh truth that none of us are willing to face. We all know that we should not condone terrorism and by agreeing to release the Taleban prisoners, it is like telling the world that violence and threats are the solutions to issues. Therefore, as most would agree, releasing the prisoners would naturally be a wrong thing to do. Yet, none of us dare say the reverse, that sacrificing the Korean hostages to preserve righteous is correct. But tben again, we are hoping that someone else will say it, someone else will become the scapegoat whom we can all blame for being unsympathetic. For some strange reason, we are all looking to the US for giving the answer of "no".

The world is really a messy place. Everyday, crazy things are happening. At times like this, I can't help but feel confused and helpless. There is nothing more that I can do than merely to pretend to be indifferent to all the madness. Day after day, time after time, maybe one day my heart will eventually stop feeling the pain.

No comments: