Jun 3 2009
“The Taliban did horrible things to me, but they also respected me, they are not monsters.” –Dutch journalist Joanie de Rijke
Dutch journalist Joanie de Rijke, a sort of blonde Daniel Pearl wannabe, went to Afghanistan and sought to interview the leader of a Taliban group that had ambushed and killed ten French soldiers. Instead of giving her an interview, the leader kidnapped her, held her for six days while repeatedly raping her, then released her in exchange for $100,000 ransom. After her release, she said in media interviews that while her captors “did horrible things to me … [t]hey also respected me…. They are not monsters.”
Geert Wilders told the Dutch parliament that the story is a perfect illustration of the moral decline of our elites. They are so blinded by their own ideology that they turn a blind eye to the truth. Rape? Well, I would put this into perspective, says the leftist journalist: the Taliban are not monsters…. It is not just this raped journalist who is suffering from Stockholm syndrome, but the entire Dutch elite. The only moral reference they have is: do not irritate the Muslims–that is the one thing they will condemn. Wilders’s speech has set off outrage among … the Dutch elite. In an excellent article at The Brussels Journal, a model of what journalism ought to be, Thomas Landen provides a full account of de Rijke’s kidnapping and brings out the meaning of her behavior, which he calls, not Stockholm Syndrome, but Pre-CaptivityStockholm Syndrome:
Those who have been abducted and suffer from Stockholm syndrome usually have not placed themselves in danger willingly. They had the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The phenomenon illustrated by the case of Joanie de Rijke is that of people who for ideological reasons deny the existence of danger and subsequently put themselves in danger. Unlike ordinary Stockholm syndrome sufferers they do not begin to shown signs of loyalty to the criminal while in captivity, but have already surrendered to the criminal before their captivity, and, indeed, have ended up in captivity as a consequence of their ideological blindness. I would add this. De Rijke wanted to interview Taliban fighters who had killed ten French soldiers. So she regarded these enemies, not as enemies and murderers to be captured or killed, but as interesting subjects for a human interest story. She sought to legitimize them even before she met them.
She’s like Daniel Pearl. I’ve never seen Pearl criticized for his despicable, not to mention suicidally reckless, conduct in wanting to interview mass murdering enemies of the United States as though they were legitimate figures, and write them up in the Wall Street Journal. As Pearl himself made clear, he saw himself not as an American, but as a “journalist,” as a transnational person, occupying some neutral ground equidistant from both the United States and al Qaeda. He willingly put himself in the hands of people who he knew were enemies and murderers, and they proceeded to murder him. De Rijke got off relatively easy, perhaps because she’s a woman and not Jewish. AMNATION
Now if only an American politician had the cojones to hit the American elite where their cojones used to be.