Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jill Carroll Released

This morning, while I was waking up out of my sleep, I heard on the clock radio the news report that Jill Carroll was released in Baghdad today. I jumped out of bed with a big smile on my face.

I've written about Jill a couple of times over the past couple of months (see my earlier articles here and here). In my last article, I drew an analogy with the appearance of Jill in the latest video along with some of the statements surrounding the video and the varied treatment of farm animals: a farmer may bond with his horse, but does not allow himself to develop sympathy for the other animals he plans to kill for food. Based on her appearance in that video and the statements around it, I predicted that the kidnappers did not plan on killing Carroll. I am very glad to see I was right.

I also suspect Jill might have been freed a few weeks ago if it were not for the bombing of the al-Aksari shrine and the resulting violence. The timing, and the fact that nobody seemed to be close to catching the kidnappers seems to suggest the kidnappers wanted to send a message: "we could have killed Jill Carroll, but we didn't." I also expect they knew the release would be well received on the Iraqi street, and did not want it to be overshadowed by the hubbub surrounding the shrine bombing.

I am happy for Jill and her family. I also feel very happy for my friends Baghdad Treasure and Twenty Four Steps to Liberty right now, who both worked alongside Jill and consider her a good friend.