Time Essay: Rescuing Hostages: To Deal or Not To Deal

IT has become a universal nightmare. Terrorists strike without warning. Innocent persons—a diplomat, a businessman, a planeload of tourists, a team of Olympic athletes—suddenly become hostages, pawns in a parochial struggle that may be blazing half a world away. The "nonnegotiable" demands are issued—for the release of political prisoners, for money, or for passage to another country. Lights go on in the ministries, and the agonizing begins. Is the safety of the hostages to be secured at any cost? Or must their lives be risked to discourage other terrorists and save future victims?...

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