Wednesday, March 15, 2006

That's the Stockholm Spirit! 

Australian paper The Courier-Mail has the reaction of another recently released Gazan kidnap "victim" -- I quote the word victim on the assumption that is how the "victim" would want it -- and it should please the Stockholm Syndrome research community no end:

An Australian teacher kidnapped in Gaza believes he and his colleague were taken by accident during a kidnapping blitz by Palestinian militants who thought they were Americans.

Science and maths teacher Oles Shcharytsya, said today he believed their kidnapping was a mistake.

'Because they thought that people are Americans and they apologised, it's all right,' he said on Channel 9.
The kidnappers were only going for Americans, perfectly understandable. Just a big misunderstanding, no problems here.

It's probably insensitive of me to analyize the statement of a man who was just released from captivity. So instead I'll restrict myself to wondering why the media so loves reporting these Stockholm Statements. Mr. Shcharytsya is scarcely the first guest to be quoted fresh from his brush with militant hospitality. Danny Bermant has another example from this round of kidnappings, but the media's ability to extract absolution of armed, masked kidnappers from their victims has been demonstrated previously as well -- leading me at one point a few months ago to suggest anyone working in Palestinian controlled territories would be wise to pre-write their kidnap-release thank you speech, since the media will be ready and eager to hear it.

I guess it's natural these kidnap victims are almost required to be concilliatory to their "kidnappers," after all, they're likely to meet again. It seems that kidnapped teachers just keep going back:

Mr Taatgen [principal of Mr. Shcharytsya's school] was himself abducted from the same school, along with his Australian deputy principal Brian Ambrosio, in December last year.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: