Thursday, November 02, 2006

Left Behind

Someone needs to find this guy:
The U.S. military on Thursday identified the American soldier captured in Baghdad as Spc. Ahmed K. Altaie... Altaie, a 41-year-old Iraqi-American translator, was handcuffed and taken away by gunmen, according to a relative.
Andrew Sullivan is right about this, and he deserves credit for pounding on it:

The U.S. military does not have a tradition of abandoning its own soldiers to foreign militias, or of taking orders from foreign governments. No commander-in-chief who actually walks the walk, rather than swaggering the swagger, would acquiesce to such a thing...

And where, by the way, is McCain on this? Silent on Cheney's "no-brainer" on waterboarding. Silent recently on Iraq. But vocal - oh, how vocal - on Kerry. It tells you something about what has happened to him. And to America.

Most of the news reports describe this event as a kidnapping:

New York Times: Mr. Maliki had been under pressure from his Shiite backers to push the Americans to lift an eight-day-old cordon around Sadr City, where American authorities believe the kidnapped American soldier is being held.

Washington Post: A senior U.S. military spokesman said Thursday that an Iraqi American soldier kidnapped in Baghdad 10 days ago is believed to be alive and in the hands of his original captors.

CNN: Asked if the U.S. military was in contact with the kidnappers, directly or indirectly, Caldwell said, "There is ongoing dialogue that is being done at different levels at this time, but it would be inappropriate for me to state with whom or at what level."
Is this the correct terminology? Dictionary.com says:
to steal, carry off, or abduct by force or fraud, esp. for use as a hostage or to extract ransom.
Have there been any ransom demands? If not, isn't it more accurate to say he was captured? Kidnapping connotes an illegal act, whereas capturing soldiers is part of the objective in a war. Which was this?

By the way, did Israel ever recover those two soldiers whose kidnapping/capture precipitated the shootout with Hezbollah this summer?

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