Friday, January 20, 2006

Jill Carroll

Former Christian Science Monitor Reporter and Free Lance journalist Jill Carroll is scheduled for execution tonight by her kidnappers. Her captors released a video of her speaking, but with no sound. They demand the release of female prisoners or they will execute Ms. Carroll tonight. I have read some of Ms. Carroll's writings in the last few days. She writes compassionate articles about the struggles of the Iraqi people in the midst of the war raging around them. Articles like: Ordinary Iraqis bear brunt of warand Old brutality among new Iraqi forces. Her articles are certainly not one-sided pro-American.
While the US military has been training Iraqi police and soldiers for almost two years, critics say it has offered recruits abbreviated courses that are ill-suited for Iraq's security situation. The classes may have covered the basics, but have left many Iraqi police unprepared for the harsh conditions of their jobs.

So what is her crime? Why has she been kidnapped, tried, convicted and sentenced to death? Because she's a western female? Because she exercises free speech? Or is it just because she's an easy and convenient target? It is my sincere prayer that Ms. Carroll will be spared the fate of other journalists whose crimes have been that they were western jounalists trying to shine a light on the dark corners of oppressive regimes. She has joined an elite club that no one wants to join. Some members of this club have been spared. Most have not. Steven Vincent, author of In The Red Zone blog who wrote in The Power of Shame:

I feel a simmering anger over the pointlessness of these attacks and those aspects of Arab psychology that cling to humiliation and rely on violence to satisfy grievances. And my anger burns hotter when I read comments from the Western media ennobling these murderous "insurgents" by calling them the "Resistance" — or, more horribly, the "Revolution" — ignoring the thousands of Iraqis who risk their lives every day opposing the nihilistic bloodlust of these men.

Daniel Pearl is perhaps the most famous, as he was one of the first murdered in this battle. There are many others. Whether or not you agree with what they have to say, you have to admire the courage it takes for them to say it. They write and speak out in places it's not safe to do so. They ply their trade without the protections of the Constitution of the United States of America. I am curious about something though. Where are the crowds who gather to protest executions of murderers in the United States? Why aren't these same people out protesting and trying to stop the execution of a reporter whose only crime is being a western female speaking out for the Iraqi people? Where are you?