“Think about it for a second. What would you do if your child was kidnapped? If you were in a war-torn country where the police couldn’t help you? To many, if not most parents, the answer of course would be—anything, anything. Including paying ransom to those who were holding their child even if the kidnappers were terrorists. Over the past five years for many Iraqis, that choice has been a very grim reality.” (Dan Rather Reports on ‘The High Price of Ransom,” HDNet TV, July 1, 2008)
Last week in a meeting at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Amman, I was asked if I had seen the above program. I had not, but was later able to get a printout of the text. I have it before me as I write you. Why is it that I am not surprised to read that one in every four Iraqis seeking help from the UNHCR has had a family member kidnapped? And yet seeing this number in print creates a knot in my stomach, and a feeling of nausea. One in four, imagine. One in four.