Worrisome in its own way
Negotiations for release of American GI interpreter are underway, according to the AP. The U.S. military said there is "an ongoing dialogue" to win the release of a kidnapped American soldier, and said the captive is an Iraqi-American who married an Iraqi woman early last year. Here are further details from the article:
At the Pentagon, a senior defense official said that since he left the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad without permission, the soldier would technically have been considered AWOL at the time of any abduction. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.
The woman who claimed to al-Taayie's mother-in-law, Latifah Isfieh Nasser, said last week that the soldier's in-laws put up a futile struggle to stop the abduction by men believed to be Mahdi Army militia fighters. Relatives said al-Taayie's kidnappers later used his cell phone to contact them.
A number of points from previous coverage immediately become clear with these new revalations. Why the Madhi Army was suspected. Why there is an Iraqi dimension to this whole problem. Not that the man isn't a US citizen, but his Iraqi ethnicity may also mean that certain other avenues, let's call them traditional dispute resolution mechanisms, may also be available to win his release. Still it sets a worrisome precedent because negotiations are always first cousins to ransoms.