Another aid worker in Iraq held hostage (abducted last Tues). This one has been playing out in mainstream news outlets for a few days now, although bloggers don't seem to have picked it up. Perhaps there is growing hesitation among bloggers to give "air" to stories like this. When it becomes apparent bloggers do have some impact on mainstream events, however minor, it makes publishing something that might affect another's life an uncomfortable thought.
As "unconfirmed" reports from Margaret Hassan's husband put it;
... an Arabic satellite news channel quote her husband as saying the British government and the prime minister should not comment on her case because he feels that could damage the effort to secure her freedom.
Do bloggers want to become part of a larger machine, merely reflecting events and following the mainstream queue. Do bloggers want to become leafleteers? Standing on the local blog corner, handing out the latest pamphlets, the latest "tips"? This blogger does not but nor does this blogger enjoy watching people (notably aid workers who have spoken out against UN sanctions, war and the subsequent US occupation of Iraq) disappear in mysterious circumstances.
British journalist Robert Fisk got to know Hassan after his newspaper, The Independent, raised about $250,000 to provide medicine for Iraqis six years ago. Hassan "did an extraordinary job" distributing the drugs, he said in an interview on Irish television. "She managed to browbeat the authorities, the UN and the Americans, to get these medicines into Iraq. ... She is an extraordinarily energetic woman."
Fisk said Hassan speaks fluent Arabic with an Iraqi accent. "She was very careful not to involve herself in any political discussion," although she "was very much against the UN sanctions," he said.
Paul Wood, BBC, notes
there is no insignia or banner on the video. In an unprecedented move, there is no identification of the group in the video.
"She is a very fine lady, she is a very dignified lady and she has helped Iraq a lot and it is a very shameful thing that this happens in Iraq."
And yet Allawi is not willing to make deals for Mrs Hassan's freedom, while an 18 year old Iraqi teenager is.
I am so not into heads rolling, I don't care whose head or by whose hand.
Update; Falluja insurgents say they are not holding Hassan and condemn her kidnapping.
Update update; Self defeating commenters who proclaim "no negotiation" is possible deserve to go and bury their heads back in the sand. You think bloggers blog because they hold self-defeatist views like that? You think Martin Luther King and Ghandi told themselves no negotiation is possible? You think Bill Gates sweet talks multi billion dollar contracts after telling himself negotiation is not possible? Get real.