A Solution?

The New York Post posted an article today about the planned prisoner swap between Jordan and ISIS of Muath al-Kaseasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, and Kenji Goto of Japan.

The article reports:

Jordanian officials said would-be bomber Sajida al-Rishawi and other Islamic State fighters would be “quickly judged and sentenced” if Muath al-Kaseasbeh is killed, the Daily Mail reported.

The deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed Thursday with no word from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, about the fates of al-Kaseasbeh or fellow hostage Kenji Goto of Japan.

“I have reliable contact in the Jordanian government who says a message has been passed to ISIS,” said Elijah Magnier, chief international correspondent for Kuwait’s Al Rai newspaper. “It warns that if they kill the pilot, they will implement the death sentences for Sajida and other ISIS prisoners as soon as possible. There are other prisoners in Jordan that ISIS would like to free.”

I have very mixed emotions about this. If Sajida is released, she will probably attempt another suicide bombing (and this time the bomb may go off). She will kill herself and also kill innocent people. You may save the lives of the two prisoners by turning her over to ISIS, but in the process you endangered other lives–probably more than two. Another part of this dilemma is the fact that the only thing ISIS seems to understand or respect is force. If taking hostages turns out to be a losing game for them, rather than something that gets their soldiers back or raises money for their organization, they might turn to something else. Depending on exactly what that something else is, it could be either a good or a bad thing.