What he has done is say it's okay to pay money to ransom you if you are an American kidnapped in the third world.
so why is this bad?
FilAm Fernandez at Belmont Club elaborates.
In a sense Barack Obama’s policy change isn’t offering to get the kidnapped parties off the hook from the terrorists or criminal gangs so much as offering to get the government off their backs. ”I can’t help you but at least I’m not going to make it worse”. Gee, thanks.
There is one other thing worth considering in the economics of ransom. The risk to the kidnappers. The difference between the kidnapping of Europeans in the Sipadan dive resort in 2000 and the Dos Palmas kidnapping of Tim and Graciela Burnham wasn’t the rescue operation. There wasn’t much success at that. The difference was in the “subsequent events”. Nearly everyone involved in the Burnham kidnapping either died or faced a long stretch.
so what has changed?
Mindanao went wild after the 2000 Sipadan kidnapping as the Abu Sayyaf used the millions they got from the Europeans to buy weapons. They kidnapped lots and lots of people in the aftermath. Arguably the Europeans had no choice, as they have no assets worth the name in the region. In the case of the Burnhams the effect was far different. Sure kidnappers got paid. But the only place most of them got to spend the money was in hell.
so we are all Europeans with targets on our backs now.