False, it turns out, in the case of Somali pirates:
U.S. negotiators told pirates holding four American hostages off the coast of Somalia that they would not be allowed to go ashore with their captives, U.S. officials said, one of several moves that increased pressure on the pirates before the hostages were killed Tuesday.
The warning that the U.S. intended to prevent the pirates from taking the hostages onto Somali soil was communicated early in the four-day standoff as Navy ships shadowed the 58-foot yacht carrying 19 Somalis and their prisoners, the officials said.
“The thought was, if these guys succeed in getting the hostages to shore, we have almost no leverage anymore,” a U.S. Defense official said.
In a normal hostage negotiation, authorities want to 1) control the situation in order to, 2) prevent it from getting any worse. But once the pirates understood that they were not going to be allowed to go ashore with their “booty”, the hostages were worthless to them. Their humanity apparently counted for nothing.
So why not kill them, then move forward, empty your hands, surrender and await your trial?
Lessons: People everywhere are really not the same. We don’t understand these people.