I won't comment on The Spectator article at the centre of the uproar as I haven't read it. But what I did find very amusing was the reader comments at the bottom of the BBC News Story on the subject.... Howard Slams MP's Bigley Article (BBC News OnLine; Friday 15th October 2004),
I must admit that a large portion of the public (or atleast the ones that get 'reported' in the press...) have seemed to over react about Ken Bigley (the British hostage recently killed in Iraq). Yes, it is a shame that he was killed. It's a shame that any hostage, or Iraqi civilian, or Coalition Soldier or Iraqi 'Freedom Fighter' is killed in this current conflict (the only people I have no sympathy for are the foriegn nationals that have gone to Iraq to inflame the tensions between the Iraqi's and Coalition Forces). But anyone going to Iraq knows the risks. They know there is a chance that they will either be killed in the general disturbances/unrest or possibly be taken hostage. They'll certainly be aware that 'they are a target'. I do have a lot of sympathy for the aid workers who have been killed or taken hostage. They are in Iraq out of a sense, a desire, to help makes things better for the people of Iraq. I have a lot less sympathy for 'contract workers' who have gone to Iraq because it pays very well. They are there because of financial greed. Ken Bigley was in Iraq to make a last quick buck before he retired. Now there is nothing wrong with this and is certainly shouldn't result in him being kidnapped and killed but to mourn him as a saint is stupid.
Soldiers are sent there because of their duty. They do not choose to.
Aid Workers go there to help make things better out of their kindness and desire to help humanity.
Contract workers go there because it pays well.