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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
New Bigley video: Your reaction
Kenneth Bigley
Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, has confirmed the government will not negotiate with terrorists following the release of a new video showing the British hostage Kenneth Bigley.

But Tony Blair said the government would respond immediately to any contact from the kidnappers holding Mr Bigley in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the Al-Jazeera television channel has broadcast footage of what it says is a militant group claiming to have seized 10 new hostages in Iraq.

What is your reaction to the latest video? Should Tony Blair talk to the hostage-takers? Should videos like this be shown or do they give publicity to kidnappers? How should foreign governments respond to kidnappers?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

We must have a free press if we are going to win the war on terrorism .
Angelica Adams, Cambridge, Ma. USA
Videos should be shown to the world of the hostages that are taken so that the world can see for themselves the horror of innocent people caught up in a war zone. Hostages have been taken for centuries with demands for ransom long before there were videos. We must have a free press if we are going to win the war on terrorism .
Angelica Adams, Cambridge, Ma. USA

Videos should not be shown, they just act as advertising for the hostage takers. No negotiation should be entered into, if payment or agreement is entered into it will just encourage more incidents.
Lois Boyd, Linlithgow, West Lothian

My heart goes out to Ken Bigley for every day, hour, minute, second he is suffering. I just pray that the hostage-takers are treating him with respect (as far as possible). These videos MUST be shown. It is the only way to provoke debate that is essential to maintain any democracy. I understand Mr Blair's dilemma, but can't get past the feeling that there has to be something that can be done to save this poor soul.
Anon, Swindon, UK

Terrorists are just bullies. The only way to beat them is to show they can't get to you. Give them an inch and they'll make it a mile. Bigley's going to say what ever he's told to keep himself alive - wouldn't you if it was your life!
Owen, Aberdeen, Scotland

Having spent five months in Iraq, two of them in Baghdad. Whilst I understand the dilemma of Ken Bigley, I stayed a few houses away from him. They, Ken and his American associates, chose not to have total security as we did, and ignored advice. I think that the company they worked for should be held accountable. It was totally irresponsible of them not insisting that they have proper personnel protection, as we did. I hope Ken is released soon and we can all celebrate. I think it is totally wrong to blame Tony Blair. Ken, as I did, went to Iraq for the money and knew the risks of being there. I came home, as the money didn't compensate for my family and our western freedom values.
George Ollerenshaw, Former project Engineer in Iraq, Redcar, Cleveland

These are terrible people who cannot and should not be bargained with
BC, UK
It is obvious that what is happening here is an attempt to discredit Blair and the British Government. I don't believe for one minute that those are really Ken Bigley's words. I do know that if I was taken hostage and given the chance to air my opinion on video; I wouldn't waist my time begging Blair for my life, I would be telling my loved ones how much I love them. The showing of the video is just playing into the hands of the terrorists so they are already getting what they want. This is a terrible situation, there is no doubt about that, but these are terrible people who cannot and should not be bargained with.
BC, UK

It is interesting to note that when a hostage is killed its evil but when innocent children are killed by the coalition its only regrettable.
Thomas Naftali, Melbourne Australia

All non-military personnel taking assignments in Iraq should be implanted with GPS tracking devices. These devices need to have a pressure sensitive "panic mode" that would activate a signal similar to an EPIRB on marine vessels. Hopefully, this would make potential hostages less attractive if the terrorists knew there was a strong likelihood of their being brought to justice.
Joe, Delaware Valley, USA

It is disgraceful that Tony Blair is made a fuss off having to go into hospital on Friday
Rosemarie Lucas, Latteragh, Ireland
It is disgraceful that Tony Blair is made a fuss off having to go into hospital on Friday (where he was cared for from all sides) while Ken Bigley is still sitting behind a cage pleading for his life. I think Tony Blair should be made to take his place by the British people. How about a demonstration in all the cities to this effect? I am certain the demands of the kidnappers would be met immediately.
Rosemarie Lucas, Latteragh, Ireland

Poor Bigley he will get no sympathy from Blair or Bush though many crocodile tears will flow when the cameras are rolling. The war must go on, the killing non-stop and the greatest technological marvels in the world are being used to subdue the people who simply will not obey their new American lords. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Weep it and weep for the century and a half that has gone by since its publication and yet nothing has changed.
Roger Lafontaine, Ottawa, Canada

While I feel dreadfully sorry for Ken Bigley and his family, after watching the latest video of him chained up, kept in a small cage, dressed in a orange boiler suit. It occurred to me that his situation is very similar to those being kept in Guantanamo bay. Blair condemns the treatment of Ken Bigley but never speaks out about the treatment of the men locked up illegally by his buddy Bush. Double standards me thinks.
Nick White, Barley, Herts

I can not understand what is the purpose of our presence in this war- especially now that I will be there soon
Andrzej, Poland
I really do not understand anything in this world. As a Polish warrant officer I can not understand what is the purpose of our presence in this war- especially now that I will be there soon.
Andrzej, Poland

I pray for your safe return to your loved ones Mr Bigley. Is there some irony here that he is wearing an orange boiler suit and kept in a cage. Lets not also forget that there are others going through a similar plight.
Max Ahmed, Birmingham

Ken Bigley went of his own free-will but isn't that the whole purpose of reconstruction - to encourage non military personnel to help in the reconstruction of Iraq. US/UK's lack of credibility will not help convert Iraqi's to democracy. Bush/Blair are too quick to condemn ''acts of terror'' but forget that Shock and Awe was a bigger and more lethal terror attack on Iraqi and their sovereignty. I find it laughable when Blair says he will not negotiate with terrorists. Until we get out of Iraq, Iraqis and there Allies (call them what we like) will continue to use all means necessary including kidnapping. How many Westerners were 'kidnapped' prior to the invasion? talk/negotiate except
Tunde Olatunji, Leigh-on-sea, UK

We should not forget that the great majority of foreign hostages went to Iraq of their own free choice
Rob Lovett, Swindon
We should not forget that the great majority of foreign hostages (if not all) went to Iraq of their own free choice and in many cases went because of the financial rewards. They must have weighed the risks against the rewards. This does not mean I am indifferent or unsympathetic to their plight, but I just don't think that the British, American (or any other government with citizens in Iraq) should be expected to give in to the kidnappers demands (and yes, I know I would probably be of a different opinion if I or someone close to me was in Ken Bigley's position)
Rob Lovett, Swindon

I believe, that the media should keep reporting on the hostage issue
Joe Mundt, Warrensburg, MO, USA
I believe, that the media should keep reporting on the hostage issue. I also believe that no one should be left in the dark about what is going on in the world.
Joe Mundt, Warrensburg, MO, USA

It is important that Western audiences see this footage. It is a reflection of the suffering that Iraqis have felt under Saddam, and now under the Coalition. This war has only replaced an anti-American oppressor with a pro-American oppressor. And, like so many other pro-American regimes in the region, they will be protected by the US from international law. I feel that the West is using the word "Democracy" as shamefully as terrorists use the word "Islam".
Ibrahim, London, England, UK

In this time of anguish and pain in which Mr Bigley's family is anxiously waiting for any news from Iraq, we cannot but hope and pray for the release of Mr Bigley and all innocent hostages in Iraq. This is not who we are and what we aim for. Lebanese people have always been victims of terror and we understand what it's like to be in such situations...
Nour, Lebanon

Through this whole thing we have heard Tony Blair and co speak about how they will not talk to terrorists. So how come they have been talking to terrorists in the form of the IRA?
Kita, Belfast, N Ireland

Although I feel sympathy for what the Bigley family is going through right now, has everyone forgotten that Ken Bigley went to Iraq of his own free will? He put himself in that vulnerable situation knowing how volatile the country was. There is absolutely NO WAY that you can negotiate with terrorists, especially this extreme group who have no regard for human life. Stand firm Mr Blair!!!!
Joan, Staines, UK

With all the technology at our disposal why can we not find this man? I feel so sorry for his family but I am pleased to see members of British Muslim community trying to help. He and his family and the plight of ordinary Iraqis are in my thoughts.
David Scott, St Helens UK

The media is the biggest weapon the terrorists have access to
Terence, London
Never thought I would say this but maybe it is time to censor the media/internet on certain images and stories. The media is the biggest weapon the terrorists have access to; I say this after watching in horror the video footage of the beheadings on the internet. The beheadings are cruelly calculated with media and technology in mind as the perfect vehicle to get their message across. Maybe it is time to ascertain the value and consequences of freedom of speech and the role the media plays?
Terence, London

Show the video. I am hoping that soon people will get the point that unless they are in the military they should have the good sense to go home. For heavens sake take the hint.
Robert Stevenson, Stafford USA

As an Iraqi, I feel disgust and shame that such atrocities are carried out in my country. Iraqis are as much victims of these crimes as the foreigners who are trying to help Iraqis in reconstruction and humanitarian work. Very little coverage given to those Iraqis kidnapped for ransom or revenge.
I put the blame completely on the US and British troops for not having a proper plan for the "morning after" the invasion, and the chaos that ensued. The borders are wide open to infiltrators, the country is awash with weapons of all types, and the streets are swarming with criminals and ex-Saddam loyalists. The focus should be on the overall picture (of mayhem and murder) rather than on one event (a kidnapping).

The apparent current policy of waiting and seeing must change. Tony Blair and George Bush and the rest of the allied countries must inject massive resources and personnel immediately to deal with this. Secure the borders, round up the criminals, curfews, road blocks and checkpoints, and properly train and equip the new Iraqi army and police force. Be seen to care about the mess they have created.
Lateef, Iraqi in Dublin

Giving into terrorist demands will simply prompt the terrorists to take further hostages. It's an unpalatable decision to make, but the government has made the right and the only choice. That doesn't make it easier for the Bigley family though. Let's just hope Kenneth is ultimately set free. In the meantime, it would be useful if members of the general public would stop playing into the terrorists' hands and start supporting the UK government in this matter.
Claire, Bristol, UK

This is a stark reminder that war is not just nice infra-red videos with hair-crosses, but it is also deaths and suffering of civilians. And since the countries that started this war do not want to see nor count Iraqi casualties, they [the Iraqis] have only one option left - the rest was told by Mr. Bigley. May he get out alive!
Mat, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The pain and horror of seeing this man in this state is excruciating
LR, Atlanta, USA
The pain and horror of seeing this man in this state is excruciating. It is clear that the kidnappers are trying to influence the political landscape in the UK to their benefit. It is unlikely that Mr. Bigley is being given free reign to speak his mind. He is wise to follow the demands of his kidnappers regarding his statements. No one could ever blame him for that, but we must support our governments in defying the kidnappers and remain resolute that they will not be allowed to hijack the political will of our people. However painful, we must stand firm and stand together.
LR, Atlanta, USA

Words cannot express how I feel about the Iraq situation right now, with innocent children being killed, as well as our troops and hostages. The country is in shambles! This is ridiculous!
SA, LV, NV USA

If he gets out, he knows God. I'm surprised he's still alive.
David, Portland, USA

Let me begin with my deepest sympathies for the Bigley family. As for the video, I must say that we cannot turn our heads at these images. It's my way of letting the terrorists know that they cannot defeat us. With every beheading and death, I realize more and more that evil has many faces, and that given the circumstances, to shut one self out of the truth is a retreat of sorts. Let your mind be free, and learn the bad with the good. I'm reminded of a quote..."the only real freedom anyone has is to figure things out for themselves."
Jim, Miami, Fla. USA

I am English living and working in US. Tony Blair cannot give in, this is war and if anyone chooses to live with the enemy they must face the consequences
Ann Bennett Zuritsky, West Palm Beach. USA

Tony Blair should talk to the hostage takers.
Allison Bastian, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.
Tony Blair should talk to the hostage takers. It is not worth losing Kenneth Bigley's life. It hasn't been worth losing any of the hostages' lives. I am so angry at my country right now that I often think of moving to Mexico. But I will instead vote to get Bush out of here.
Allison Bastian, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.

Foreigners have no place in Iraq. There is no reason for the contractors to be there at all. It blows my mind. The question we should all be asking is why they are there at all? Why are the people of Iraq not rebuilding Iraq? They are unemployed, poverty stricken and destitute. Why are they not given jobs in rebuilding their own country? The people of Iraq should be given the jobs as phone repair, sewer maintenance, road builders, etc.
Sandra, Niagara Falls, Canada

The kidnappings will continue regardless of negotiation or payments.
Rich, NY (ex UK)
The kidnappings will continue regardless of negotiation or payments. Let's not forget the reason they are doing this is to destabilise the feeble "coalition" of the US/UK and foreign business and get the "occupiers" out of Iraq. In their eyes our presence is an affront to Islam and they are prepared to kill hostages to defend it. Not saying this is right, just trying to understand a different perspective.

What is the blood money paying for anyway? Are we to believe that bin Laden isn't funding these people like he has done in Afghanistan, Sudan, Bosnia, and the wider Middle East for many years? The place seems awash with guns already. To say the kidnappers are heartless and bloodthirsty killers is taking a very blinkered view as the US/UK military has slaughtered countless thousands of ordinary Iraqis through reckless bombardment of civilian areas and careless firing. Using this overwhelming firepower in civilian areas demonstrates a clear lack of respect for the population. We are so far down this road it is difficult to see how the occupation will ever be accepted by Iraqis.
Rich, NY (ex UK)

I sit and read these comments and I agree with those that he went in knowing what the situation was in Iraq. But the terror of knowing you may die any day must be agonizing. I believe that Blair can really do nothing because the women are being held by the US. And only they can release them. But also if those women did do what we are told they did, they need to be persecuted. My heart goes out to _all_ the families who have a loved one that is a hostage. My prayers go to the Iraqi people who have to live through so much.
Angela, Vancouver, Canada

Of course, Blair can't give into the demands of kidnappers. On the other hand, Mr. Bigley wouldn't be in this situation in the first place if Blair hadn't decided to embark on a crusade to eliminate the enemies of Israel under the guise of spreading democracy.
Richard, Washington, DC, USA

In the circumstances as these, my humble opinion is that common public should keep out of Iraq.
Tufail Khan, Boston, USA
In the circumstances as these, my humble opinion is that common public should keep out of Iraq. There could be a difference of opinion on calling these people insurgents or terrorists, but let the governments deal with the situation. I know this might not be possible for certain people who "have to be" there, but then there is this risk of getting kidnapped. No one is suggesting that these kidnappings are right by any means, but people should weight their options wisely.
Tufail Khan, Boston, USA

It's so very sad, a terrible world for him and his family, and our imaginations go wild just looking at him like this. I just would love him to get home, but we can't make deals with terrorists. So very sorry, I am praying and worrying about him and his family every day.
Bernadette Manley, Massachusetts, USA

The so-called 'floods of hostage taking' is already occurring, regardless of negotiation or not. Why not open negotiations with the terrorists? Perhaps if this was done in the first place, dialogue instead of totally unjustified war, then this situation would never have arisen. What defines terrorism nowadays anyway? Is it these hostage takers, the bombers who make their presence known everyday throughout the Iraq and the world, or our Governments, who in our names, have caused terror and death to thousands of innocent people in Iraq and provided an ideal recruitment campaign to terrorism worldwide? My thoughts and wishes to Ken Bigley and his family, if only this were the end of it and not the breeding ground for more hate.
Melissa, London, (ex-pat Australian)

I believe, no matter the pain we should not give in to the terrorists.
Linda Sepulvado, USA
I believe (no matter the pain) we should not give in to the terrorists. Broadcasting them on television has only made them bolder and aggressive.
Linda Sepulvado, USA

Sorry as I am for his plight the British government should not do any deals with the kidnappers. Videos should be shown. We cannot hide from the fact the man is being used as a pawn in a macabre game by his captors. How foreign governments deal with the problem is up to them but I can see a rush of kidnappings of their nationals if they pay ransoms.
Mark, Huddersfield UK

No political party or individual politician could manage the current Iraq situation any better
Tony Swann, Newcastle, England
Tony Blair cannot do any more than he says he is doing (and probably more than he is able to divulge). I am fed up with ignorant people, including those seeking political capital, blaming the Prime Minister for the unjustified actions of extreme terrorists with whom no-one can negotiate. No political party or individual politician could manage the current Iraq situation any better.
Tony Swann, Newcastle, England

I believe Tony Blair should negotiate with the hostage takers over Kenneth Bigley. He has already made a classic mistake by sending in British troops to Iraq based on false intelligence reports. This way he can go some small way to make up for his error and help save the life of an innocent victim.
John Weightman, London

I've just come back from a tour out in Iraq with the Army. What makes me sick is the do-gooders that are apologists for these terrorists who would think nothing of killing them in cold blood. We go to do our job of protecting the normal Iraqis who just want to get on with their lives.
Witheld, Aldershot

I am really surprised by some people's comments here. Why are we not looking for the real reasons behind what's going on? Was there any beheading and hostage taking before the US-UK invasion for Iraq? I do not support the killing of any innocent people, but what would every one of you do if your country was invaded, your people were killed daily by the hundreds and nobody even bothered to count your dead innocent people? And why is it that when foreign citizens are killed in Iraq, it affects the reputation of Muslims, when the soldiers killing innocent Iraqis aren't hurting the reputation of Christianity? Why such double standards?
Redar Hawleri, Erbil (Kurdistan-Iraq)

His fate is totally in the hands of his captors at present
Paul, Wimbledon
Sickening images indeed, which have no doubt been created to shock the British public into action against the government. My only hope is that the amount of criticism the government is receiving may in fact have increased Mr Bigley's chances of survival - with every day more he is alive his chances of release increase. Sadly though his fate is totally in the hands of his captors at present, nobody else.
Paul, Wimbledon

What a nightmare for the British government and Tony Blair. There must be a complete ban on workers in Iraq, and a clear message from the government that if you ignore these warnings you are responsible for yourself. Contractors and aid workers with flimsy security are becoming a major liability to our government and easy targets for terrorist groups.
Andrew Walton, Essex

Reading all these comments, it is clear to me the nation is split down the middle. Even I have changed my mind several times on what we should do. For every day Ken Bigley is held captive, Mr Blair's popularity goes down.
Haydon, ex-pat, Neuchatel, Switzerland

Tony Blair just isn't doing enough - He emptied the maze prison of terrorists, Jack Straw shakes the hand of Mugabe. He took us into Iraq on a false statement to the Public and commons and now he must sort it out
M. Smith, Burton, England

It is the duty of Tony Blair to stand firm and not waver
Ben, Bletchley, UK
It is the duty of Tony Blair to stand firm and not waver to the sickening nature of this blackmail. It is also the duty of Ken Bigley's family to do everything within their power to secure his safe release. I believe both parties are performing their respective duties admirably. Reading the comments below people seem to think Tony Blair is doing this to be re-elected. If anything, this is harming his chances. How easy would it be for him to just pick up the phone, give in to what appear to be simple demands and have a beaming Ken Bigley saying how wonderful Tony is outside No. 10 on every news channel?
Ben, Bletchley, UK

Jack Straw says we will not negotiate with hostage takers. But apparently it is fine to laugh and joke with the likes of Gerry Adams, and perfectly acceptable to shake hands with Robert Mugabe. Straw is an utter disgrace and Mr Blair is no better. I bet if it was a relative of Straw, Blair or even Bush in that cage, Iraqi prisoners would have been released immediately.
Spencer, London UK

The plight of the Bigley family is grim and I'm sure they have everyone's deepest sympathy, but to give in to these terrorists would be a mistake. Sadly, we have to weigh up the life of the unfortunate Mr. Bigley, against the dirge of hostage-takings that would undoubtedly follow our giving in to their demands. Once we start, where would it end?
Matthew Henkes, Southampton

The decision not to negotiate with terrorists should not be changed now
Reuben Leach, Wellingborough, UK
I will be very very annoyed with the press if Tony Blair is in any way vilified if harm comes to Kenneth Bigley. The policy of our Government to not negotiate with hostages is the only way in which to beat them. If hostage takers are fully aware that a countries government will not negotiate then they are less likely to take their citizens as hostages. Tony Blair is doing the right thing but immense pressure is being put on him (unfairly) by the media and also Mr Bigley's family. The decision not to negotiate with terrorists was taken many years ago. It should not be changed now.
Reuben Leach, Wellingborough, UK

Hiding the facts is worse that the reporting the truth.
Tim Birch, Switzerland

Yes we should give the videos publicity. It is probably the only thing keeping Mr Bigley alive. Once Mr Bigley ceases to be a route to the British media and the British government then I fear the worst.
Lorraine, St Albans, UK

To equate Mr. Bigley's situation to those in Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib is morally corrupt. Western Societies don't behead people in terrorist acts. Where is the outrage against the terrorists, folks? Where is the outrage in the West and in the Arab World?
Charles, Minneapolis USA

Blair negotiates when it suits his purposes
DRL, Milton Keynes, UK
Kenneth Bigley is absolutely correct, Blair and Straw are not telling the truth. Let us debunk this lie once and for all. The government DOES negotiate when it suits the government's purpose. Admittedly it is done behind the scenes and the government usually refuses to admit it, but the government DOES negotiate. Blair was happy to negotiate with the IRA when he thought it would put him in the history books. He was happy to negotiate with Libya and Gaddaffi, when it would give the British government kudos with the US, and give apparent credence to the coalitions actions in Iraq. Blair negotiates when it suits his purposes and he should now negotiate to save this man's life. The theory that to negotiate opens the flood gates for more kidnappings is intrinsically flawed. If it was a sound theory then not negotiating would stop the kidnappings, and as we can all see that is not happening.
DRL, Milton Keynes, UK

Last week the British and Iraqi government issued statements that one of the female Iraqi prisoners was to be released. This was quickly slapped down by Bush, and now Blair appears to have "reverse geared" back to the non-negotiating table. As with the decision to send British troops into Iraq, and all other decisions regarding the running of Iraq, the orders come straight from the White House. We should be petitioning Bush to help release the hostage.
Alistair R C, London, England

The female scientists detained are suspected of being part of Saddam's bio-chemical warfare research group. Has everyone forgotten that thousands of Kurds were murdered with mustard gas? No one knows exactly what atrocities these women may have helped to commit. Unless people calling for their release to please Mr. Bigley's captors can guarantee their innocence, their demands are unreasonable. I honestly feel sorry for Mr. Bigley and his loved ones but the lives of Iraqi people who may have lost their lives due to these women's activities are not worth less than Mr. Bigley's life.
Chinedu, London, UK

Unless they make to big effort to crush the insurgency it will go on forever
Bonga, UK
The security of Iraq is the responsibility of the invading coalition. They should start by crushing the insurgent forces in Falluja. They should tell the residents to leave or face the consequences and then use maximum force to smash the insurgents. if that means B52s and cluster bombs then so be it. Unless they make to big effort to crush the insurgency it will go on forever.
Bonga, UK

If we dedicated the same amount of coverage to each of the 11,000 plus innocent Iraqi civilians murdered the illegal war as we have to this one individual hostage then perhaps we would have a better understanding of who is really behaving barbarically here. I can't see any moral difference between the terror being inflicted on Bigley and the terror inflicted on children when our cluster bombs mutilate them, except of course that Bigley chose to be in Iraq and has a chance of being freed.
Jon Sharp, Norwich

Ban all news Media on hostage crisis. Why does this Arabic TV channel Al Jazeera still continue to be allowed to broadcast these terrible scenes? Surely they have details or contacts to track these terrorists down??
Tony Evans, Staffs

No government should communicate with terrorists at any level under any circumstances. Terrorists and freedom fighters need to understand that they can kill endless numbers of us without us capitulating. The British people need a bit more Churchillian leadership in this war. We need to be prepared for generations of increasingly bitter bloodshed, and we need to stiffen ourselves to lose hundreds if not thousands of civilians, and to grin and bear it. Come on Britain, this is a war we're fighting, stiffen up!
Peter George, Edinburgh

Blair and Bush have nobody but themselves to blame for this situation
Rosemary, London
Mr Blair's remark yesterday that the hostage takers have not contacted him are extraordinary - what were the video messages from Ken Bigley meant to be, if they were not a direct message to the Prime Minister? The cage, the orange jumpsuit and the demands for the release of women prisoners are a clear reference to the abuse of prisoners, including Iraqi women and children, in Abu Ghraib prison (rather than to Guantanamo Bay, as is often stated). Blair and Bush have nobody but themselves to blame for this situation, and they would respond very differently if one of their own were held captive.
Rosemary, London

While, I'm sure, the sympathies of the nation are with his family and as tragic and harrowing as it is to witness the press coverage of Ken Bigley, the government cannot be held accountable for the current situation. Workers in Iraq surely understand the risks that they leave themselves open to and are aware of governmental policy on negotiation with terrorists. Mr. Bigley would have been executed by now had it not been for the media coverage the incident has received. These terrorists are not primarily financially motivated, they are attempting to introduce politically destabilising factors within western countries and sadly, you need look no further than the Spanish elections to see many of the public are succumbing to this form of manipulation. I have never voted Labour in my life, but the government is not to blame in this case.
Wayne Hamilton, Edinburgh, Scotland

The head of the snake to be cut, in this instance, is that of the media. The methodology of Zarqawi has been successful largely due to the unrestricted broadcasting of hostage videos, where in fact the networks act as an intermediary for voicing the terrorists demands. I am not for censorship, only "controlled" broadcasting that would enable behind-the-scene negotiations similar to what the Italians did, where I am convinced ransom was paid. This approach would allow Blair to negotiate without losing face. The present adamant stance will not bring this man home.
Nikos Trikilis, Nicosia, Cyprus

We are not allowed to show photos and videos of POWs
Cecilia, Edinburgh, Scotland
We are not allowed to show photos and videos of POWs wearing handcuffs and blindfolds for the sake of the respect of human rights. Is it really necessary to show those degrading and undignified images of one of 'our own'? Have we become so numb to the effect of the words 'torture' and 'beheadings' that we have to back up an already horrific story with those sickening images? Is it not contradictory to the Human Rights agreement to parade 'our own' the way we do? I read the transcription of his last plea for mercy on your website - try it; it is a painful realisation of a man's desperate scream for help. The images may come and go through your mind - the words will stay in your heart.
Cecilia, Edinburgh, Scotland

I think the continued exploits and pleas from the Bigley family are only playing into the terrorists' hands. Clearly they have chosen the right man to publicise their cause.
Anonymous, London

There was little media attention given to the two female Italian hostages in this country until they were freed. Was it that the Italians dealt with their capture in a more dignified way or that they just got on with the job of getting them out? I have no idea whether in their own country there was the type of media circus afforded Ken Bigley's case in this country. I think the first video had a purpose - it showed clearly that the captives wanted to declare their part in the kidnapping and should be taken as a clear indication that contact can be made. I do not believe we need to see these latest images of Mr Bigley; we need to know he is still alive and that the Government, and anyone else who can help him are working to get him home to his family. What purpose can there possibly be in splashing this humiliating image across the front page of every national paper - just get him out!
Erica, Essex, England

When you are a leader you must make difficult decisions and I am sure this is one of Blair's toughest.
Ben Doran, Belfast
I think people don't realise how much danger Blair could put other British workers in if they agreed tot terrorists demands. By allowing the terrorists to win even once means that we are forced to respond to their demands in the future. It's all good and well saying how the nation feels sorry for Ken, but at the end of the day he knew the risk of working there. Saying that Blair is trying to save his own skin is clearly foolish. If he was trying to save himself he would take the easy option and give in. Sometimes when you are a leader you must make difficult decisions and I am sure this is one of Blair's toughest.
Ben Doran, Belfast, Northern Ireland

If Mr Blair is "absolutely sickened" by the situation then why isn't he doing more to help this man??
Claire, Norfolk

Blair won't deal with terrorists because it will encourage them take more hostages. So, we don't deal with them, this poor man goes the way his two American friends did, and then the kidnappers take some more people to parade on TV. What's the point of not negotiating?
David Cope, Aberdeen, UK

Although I feel for Mr Bigley's family, I agree that the terrorists demands should not be met as it would spawn a glut of hostage taking. Although Tony Blair's stance of "we do not deal with terrorists" seems a bit strange as he has been talking to and making deals with the IRA for years.
Lee Goudie, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Why people go to work in Iraq in the first place is beyond me
Walley Turnbull, Stocksfield, England
The anguish and grief Mr Bigley and his family are going through is beyond belief and I hope he is reunited with his family soon. However why people go to work in Iraq in the first place is beyond me. I am an expat and have seen rates drop alarmingly over the past 10 years but the 'war' premium being paid in Iraq is not worth it.
Walley Turnbull, Stocksfield, England

If only all foreign workers sent to Iraq had to agree to a tracking/GPS device to be surgically implanted. It sounds science fiction, but imagine the ease with which special forces and SAS could track down and take care of the problem the best way they know how.
David, ex- pat, Australia

Tony Blair may well be sickened but spare a thought for the poor mother of Kenneth Bigley, she has been almost sickened to death and has been hospitalised twice. Is winning the third term so important to him?
Julian Hutchings, Keynsham

The government's mishandling of the Iraq situation has been an unforgivable fiasco from the start
Nigel, London, UK
It is typical of the duplicitous and hypocritical nature of this government that we are happy to shake the hands of the likes of Gadaffi and Mugabe and then sit and watch Ken Bigley plead piteously for his life. WE don't deal with terrorists? The government's mishandling of the Iraq situation has been an unforgivable fiasco from the start.
Nigel, London, UK

Who started the war in Iraq? The uncivilised terrorists or the civilised world? When you wage an illegal and immoral war on a nation, don't expect moral and legal results.
Salim, Dubai

Tony Blair should not give in to the hostage takers. I cannot understand what a 62 year old man was doing there in the first place. The only people who should be there are the military and the media.
Elizabeth Dryburgh, Glenrothes

So the Government doesn't deal with terrorists? What then was Tony saying to Gerry Adams a few days ago?
Jimmy, Aberdeen, UK

How can someone claim to do this in the name of their God, cause or people
Graham, Sunderland UK
If we do give in to the kidnappers demands then you make a target of any British person anywhere in the world for terrorists or anyone who wants ransom money. If we don't give in then Mr Bigley dies and our reputation is tarnished. How can someone claim to do this in the name of their God, cause or people.
Graham, Sunderland UK

I think the videos should indeed be shown so that citizens of the US and the UK can see the results of what our governments have done in Iraq. The reality is that there is no moral choice now because of the choice already made by Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair. And quite frankly, I think poor Mr. Bigley is right when he says that Blair cares only about his political skin like Mr. Bush. Notice that neither leader has put himself or his loved ones in harm's way while bring "freedom" and "democracy" to a war-torn and now, thanks to the Killer B's, terrorist-ravaged country.
Kathleen Dolan, Andover, Mass, USA

To all those who say that Kenneth Bigley is being treated the same as those in Guantanamo Bay - Rubbish. They are not under threat of a savage and brutal death. Sure, we cannot negotiate with terrorists. Sure he knew the risks; but how would you feel if that were you, or your son, or your father? With all the things we can do nowadays, I do not believe there is no way of rescuing Mr Bigley without the need for negotiating.
Hayley Shields, London

We should not pick and choose whose life is worth saving dependant on the situation they may be in
Charlotte, Lancashire
I think its despicable that Tony Blair refuses to help Ken Bigley - it isn't helping his election campaign. Mr. Bigley may only be 'one person' but surely we should help who we can, when we can. We should not pick and choose whose life is worth saving dependant on the situation they may be in.
Charlotte, Lancashire

I think Tony Blair is being really stubborn, it would be different if it was one of his family or someone he knew well. I think he should stop being selfish and help this poor man, the whole of Britain is feeling really sorry for him and Tony Blair won't do a thing about it. Pure ignorance.
Amber Towers, Ashington, England

As sorry as I feel for Kenneth Bigley I feel mad that all the blame is being place at the feet of Tony Blair. Kenneth Bigley knew the risks involved in working in such a volatile area and if blame should be put anywhere it should be with him and the company he was working for.
John, Essex

How could anyone carry out such cruelty to another human being in the name of God?
Dean Morgan, Watford Herts

Who says we can't negotiate with the terrorists?
Negotiate, Waterloo, Ontario
Who says we can't negotiate with the terrorists? Italian government did, and their women are now free. Doesn't it take cooperation of the entire world to send a strong message? The British government will now only show that it doesn't care about its citizens. Not that it is firm when dealing with the terrorists.
Negotiate, Waterloo, Ontario

I, like all decent citizens around the world feel greatly for the position that Mr Bigley is in, but the harsh facts of all this is simple. Governments can not and will not bow to terrorism, full stop.
Mem , Cambridge, England

We cannot give in this time or any time in the future. You cannot go to a country like Iraq without being mindful of the inherent dangers. The nature of the videos serves to demonstrate the nature of Kenneth's captors and should be shown for that reason so that we can all stand firm in the face of such horrible cruelty
Jennifer, Peterhead, Scotland

This is an assault on democracy. I do not think this should receive top coverage. Like not negotiating with terrorists, giving them media coverage, local at least, is giving-in to terrorism and an assault on democracy. To date, the tactic was most successful in the Spanish elections. Terrorist control of a democracy is not a democracy.
Adrian, London, UK

I can think of no greater catastrophe for Iraq and ourselves than letting guys like this score points
William, Brussels, Belgium
The kidnappers ideology appears to be driven by racism, extreme far-right religious-nationalists beliefs, a spectacular contempt for human life. Mr Bigley, I'm sorry, but there is no way we should meet these guys even a tenth of the way. I'm against Blair and his war, and I agree with Alex Salmond that he should be impeached for his actions, but I can think of no greater catastrophe for Iraq and ourselves than letting guys like this score points.
William, Brussels, Belgium

I feel for Mr Bigley's family, he may look like one of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, but those prisoners are not about to be beheaded in a sickening way.
John, Birmingham England

This is a straight forward case of psychological warfare being waged against the British people. There is no doubt that his captors are telling Mr. Bigley to plead to Tony Blair for his life. The only question is will the public let these monsters play them like a violin.
Marcus, Houston, USA

Pay the money, let the Iraqi women go, and get him out of there alive. Do it now!
Don Hunter, Ayr, Scotland

The nation waits for a positive outcome to this tragic story
S Dawson, London
The emotive pictures of Ken Bigley chained and caged continue to hammer home the reality of the situation in Iraq. It is amazing why ordinary Iraqis will stand for this kind of behaviour and continue to antagonise the process of peace. The nation waits for a positive outcome to this tragic story.
S Dawson, London

To S Dawson: More Iraqis have been kidnapped than foreigners so don't blame this on Iraqis. Blame it on the coalition troops who have failed to make Iraq safe and secure for Iraqis and foreigners alike, a year and a half after invading Iraq.
Zaid Al-Hindawi, Iraqi in London, UK

To Zaid Al-Hindawi: Rather than blaming the kidnappings on the coalition forces inability to make Iraq safe, perhaps Iraqis should start taking some responsibility for themselves and their country and its future, and start turning in the "foreign terrorists" being blamed for these actions. The only way this is going to be resolved is for Iraqis to start taking some responsibility for their country.
Kat Wakeman, Plymouth US

I feel very sorry for Mr Bigley but the Government can't negotiate with terrorists. Mr Bigley chose to go to Iraq, foreign workers get paid danger money and kidnap is one of the risks they take. Tony Blair is not responsible for Mr Bigley being a hostage.
David, England

People say the terrorists are clever but their cowardly actions only make right thinking people despise them all the more. Iraqi or British.
Graeme, Dundee, UK

Ken's captors are milking the publicity by taking video shots of him knowing that it will outrage the British public
Sheila, Manchester
Its interesting that the message here is that British workers are being warned not to go out to Iraq and yet Ken's captors are milking the publicity by taking video shots of him knowing that it will outrage the British public and put pressure on the PM to comply with their demands. Will other British workers now get out of Iraq, which personally I think they should if that's what the ordinary Iraqi's want? I certainly would have no wish to work out there, my life is worth more than any amount of money and Ken should not have gone out there either. It's all very sad and unnecessary and my heart goes out to the Bigley family in this disgraceful way that people are being treated by thugs in Iraq.
Sheila, Manchester

I wonder where the idea came from of dressing captives in orange, shackling them and sticking them in cages?
Sam, UK

"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is neat, simple and wrong." Blair needs to learn to adapt and pick his moments when to be "strong" and when to listen to other people. He's not learning his lesson is he?
Gavin, Cannes, France

Who is to say they are not holding a gun to his head to make him say this? The fact he is still alive must itself give him assurance that something is being done, so why would he say these things?
Paul, Wales

He is being treated exactly in the same way as the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay
Eirik, Oslo, Norway
It terribly sad and horrifying to see a man treated in this way. However, and intentionally so, he is being treated exactly in the same way as the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Imprisoned in a small cage with no idea of what the future may bring.
Eirik, Oslo, Norway

Whilst I have every sympathy with Kenneth Bigley and his family I do not see that Tony Blair or rather the British Government, speaking on behalf of the British people can give in to these mindless murderers.
John Caithness, Poole Dorset

As long as we engage in conflict, there will be casualties. There are no more 'baddies' or 'goodies'. Another war for another reason. We must accept it as we see it. It is a part of man's nature that this kind of thing occurs. It is part of man's nature by virtue of the fact that it is happening. How to stop it? Don't start it.
Baz, UK

Their aim is to discredit Tony Blair and the British system of government
John, Watford, UK

We should be careful about the reaction to the clever manipulation by these terrorists. They are skilfully using parts of the media and Mr Bigley's family to prolong his (and their) agony with the likelihood still of a sad ending - after all their aim is to discredit Tony Blair and the British system of government and Mr Bigley's release will not meet their ultimate objective.
John, Watford, UK

Kenneth Bigley is being used as a voice box for a terrorist organisation. I don't think he means what he is saying - he is literally being threatened with death if he doesn't. Seeing his predicament should only strengthen our resolve to capture these terrorists.
Alex, Nottingham, England

As always the price of one man's vision is often paid by others.
Ron Milligan, Gosport, England

The videos should be shown - they are meant to be harrowing - and they are harrowing. Everyone's heart goes out to the families. But if leaders - and the people - can remain strong in the face of such images, that will send a message to the terrorists that ultimately should make it safer for other Britons.
Jill, East Yorkshire

He must take his chances like the rest of them in this unfortunate situation
Tim Rollinson, Tonbridge, UK
Mr Bigley was in the wrong place at the wrong time just as are British Armed Forces and I guess he must take his chances like the rest of them in this unfortunate situation. Tough but it's a war "we" have chosen.
Tim Rollinson, Tonbridge, UK

The people holding this poor man cannot be described as humans. They are aliens to be abhorred. They do not stand for either Muslim or Christian society, or if, or when, they are found, should be despatched immediately by a shot to the head. They are not worthy of a space on the planet.
Kris, Canterbury, UK

It's terrible to watch but very effective at reducing government support among the people.
Pete, Manchester

It's sad to see someone caged like an animal and used as a pawn but we'll see more of it before it gets better. Far from putting me off the whole Iraq situation, such images in fact make me want to join the fight!
Marty Perott, Burlington, Ontario





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