Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hopeful Gossip

Over on TAPPED, Garance Franke-Ruta has a hopeful possibility about Jill Carroll:
"The answer I got was that word on the ground in Baghdad is that Carroll, who speaks Arabic, has convinced her captors that she's one of the good guys. Certainly she's had a lot of people advocating on her behalf both publicly and behind the scenes. One of Iraq's most popular TV stations is running regular appeals calling for her release and speaking of her love of the Iraqi people. Newspapers in Baghdad and Jordan have advocated for her release, and the managing director of Al Jazeera made an on-air petition on her behalf. She has become a cause celebre in Europe; her picture was hung from the city hall in Rome, where it will remain until she is freed, and a banner reading "Free Jill Carroll" flew from the Eiffel Tower. The Americans met a significant portion of her captors' first round of demands to free Iraqi women in custody, releasing five Iraqi women on January 26, but her captors continued to hold her, for reasons that are unclear. U.S. officials, of course, deny there was any relationship between the women's release and Carroll's captors' demands, and also deny that they will release any more women. That Carroll remains alive after more than a month in custody -- and is now reportedly living with her captors' wives -- suggests that her captors are among the less violent of the local extremists, though certainly that's not the kind of assessment anyone would like to bank on."


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