Monday, April 03, 2006

Jill Carroll Is Not A Sympathizer!

When Jill Carroll was released by her kidnappers, she made statements which practically praised her captors and criticized the U.S. presence in Iraq for being a catalyst for violence. I was ready, at the time, to post a conjecture that she had been brainwashed or threatened by her captors to cooperate with their cause. Unfortunately, I got too involved with another project, which can be time consuming when one is using a public computer and is limited to an hour a day of on-line access. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.
I was elated that the freelance journalist for the Christian Science Monitor was released unharmed, but I knew there had to be a catch. Her captors may have given in to pressure by the Iraqi community, but I was pretty sure that there was something more to it. Was she somehow booby-trapped? Was she turned into a propaganda weapon? Or did the Iraqi government grant certain demands or ransom to the insurgents? There were some television news analysts who had commented that Carroll’s statements and appearance--in the Islamicly correct traditional clothing--were not inconsistent with her behavior and attitude prior to her kidnapping. Others speculated that Carroll was a victim of something called the “Stockholm Syndrome,” which means that the captive grows to identify with the captors. The prolific Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey even predicted that the young woman would make a statement sympathetic to the insurgents.
However, Sunday, with Jill Carroll safely on her way home, and out of Iraq, the Christian Science Monitor reported that Carroll had indeed been threatened by her captors to cooperate, and that she did fear retribution. It was gratifying to me to learn this. I did not want to see a victim labled as a traitor, and I did not want to see the American Opposition have the ability to use her words for their own propaganda. Unfortunately, the words were already spoken, and had already been printed and televised by the Arabic media. This has been an area in which the Americans have not been entirely successful--countering the misinformation published by the terrorists and insurgents. Such information prevents many of the citizens of Iraq from realizing that we are there to help them stay free and safe. Hopefully, at least some of the media sources may have published the information released by the Christian Science Monitor, but will those whose opinions are against the American presence understand that it is not just American propaganda? This is why it is necessary that there be a credible source of news information in Iraq which presents both sides of the story.

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