Missing US troops in the hands of terrorists?

I’ve been trying to keep an eye on this story since I first bacame aware of it, but the lack of much in the way of solid info makes it hard to know what to think. Now, the BREAKING NEWS headline at MSNBC.com says an Al Qaeda-linked website claims abduction of two US servicemen. [UPDATE: Story now available here.]

I think it’s pretty safe to say that these are the same two servicemen they’re talking about, whether they really have them or not. As the two went missing on Friday and haven’t been heard from since, it’s also pretty safe to say that something unusual has happened, whether the men were captured, killed, or who knows what.

I had been hoping that this would be another Barbie doll situation, but it’s not looking good. I said to a friend not too long ago that we had been fortunate in the sense that the bad guys hadn’t managed to put together a long parade of captured troops for the cameras and knives. The only missing US soldier since the destruction of Saddam Hussein’s regime has been US Army Sgt. Keith Maupin, captured in 2004 and allegedly killed. He’s still listed as MIA.

US and Iraqi troops are beating bushes and kicking doors looking for our guys. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.


  1. No doubt, MO. In the grim calculus of war however, the American effort has been nothing short of astonishing. We’ve put at least a million servicemembers downrange since the GWoT began. The fact that we have has so few killed or captured relative to the total force is extraordinary.

  2. You are very right. One thing I said in that conversation was that our record was so amazing that it couldn’t possibly be attributable just to our skill and capability. A large part of the reason had to be the sheer ineptitude of our enemies. But, as we see over and over, ‘inept’ doesn’t mean that they cannot succeed once in a while.

  3. MO, I think that sums it up nicely. That should be some sort of maxim or something. The question that concerns me is how the larger anti-military or military-ignorant population will deal with this event.

  4. This is a terrible situation, but thank God we have the Geneva Conventions(!) as well as all those human rights organizations, which are surely monitoring every breaking tidbit of this evolving story.

  5. Dusty is right. But it’s probably too much to ask that they be treated as well as the prisoners at Guantanamo, with culturally sensitive meals and all. But at least humanely.