"The Mujahedeen are merciful and kind that’s why I’m free and alive" -- Jill Carroll
Anyone traveling to Iraq, or any war-torn nation- should not consider themselves to be “civilian”. Doing so would place their safety above the mission of the coalition, and that of American forces.
By allowing herself to become a tool of the insurgency, Jill Carroll has made Iraq a significantly more dangerous place for journalists and the US military fighting there. Her actions while in captivity provided priceless propaganda to the insurgency, reinforced the notion that journalists, especially Americans, are vulnerable and weak, and ultimately suggested that religious fascism can triumph over the west. Ms. Carroll’s captors used her love of freedom against her and the West. If Ms. Carroll truly valued her freedom, she never would have allowed them to place a burkha on her and denounce her country. It is my opinion that she died at that moment.
Regardless of the capacity, traveling to Iraq is a dangerous venture. Soldiers face fanatic insurgents intent on killing US troops and Iraqi civilians. Non-military personnel face similar circumstances, including ambushes and suicide bombers who are just as happy to kill non-combatants. The level of threat to Americans in Iraq is no secret- it is well publicized. Jill Carroll understood this. She chose to go to Iraq under these circumstances.
It must also be made clear that military personnel do not necessarily sacrifice themselves for their country. One must assume when they sign up to defend America, they do so because they would rather die than live without freedom. Although the US military is all voluntary, once the young men and women sign-on for service, they have no choice other than to serve where they are sent.
More so than US military personnel, journalists have a choice when heading to Iraq. Additionally, they enjoy certain privileges that soldiers do not, including a level of protection to the detriment of the soldiers. It is understandable that Jill Carroll realized that she could not live a happy, fulfilling life unless she went to Iraq and reported the story. She should be commended for taking the risk she did when she headed to Iraq. However, any commendation should stop there!
She should have been prepared to die for her cause. She knew that death was a reasonable risk. In order for her to set foot on the plane that ultimately took her to her destination, she had to accept the threat. No reasonable person would have done otherwise.
She was betrayed by the people she came to help. However, she should have come to terms before she arrived that the risk was worth the price. A truly moral human being would have never donned the dress of our enemy—never would have denounced her home country—never would have given in to the demands of thugs like these Islamic perverts.
If Jill Carroll had refused to beg for her life on global television, if she had refused to read the propagandist statements that emboldened militant islamists and jihadists, if she had shown true American resolve from the start, she would probably be dead. However, she went to Iraq to fulfill her destiny- to report on the very people who betrayed her trust, threatened her life and made her a weapon against her own country. Can she live a happy fulfilled life now? I doubt it. In essence, her life probably ended when the people she trusted put a sword to her neck or a gun to her head and made her their slave.
No doubt, Jill Carroll loves life. But her love of life was overshadowed by the uncertainty of death. Every human being has a right to fight for their life. Jill Carroll is no exception. But if that fight involves taking actions that will make the rest of your life unlivable, then death should be the preference. If a man was told he must rape his own child in order to live- what would the point of compliance be? Such is the position that Jill Carroll was in.
If Jill Carroll had refused to beg for her life on global television, if she had refused to read the propagandist statements that will embolden militant islamists and jihadists, if she had shown true American resolve from the start, she would probably be dead. But she would be relieved of the nightmare she most certainly is facing now.
When a free human being, an American, submits to slavery, then their true life has ended.