A group linked to al-qa'ida in Iraq is claiming to have captured two US soldiers south of Baghdad. The missing soldiers are identified as 'Private Thomas Lowell Tucker, 25, from Madras, Oregon and Private Kristian Menchaca, 23, from Houston, Texas'.
I hope that these two will be rescued quickly and unharmed.
However, Andrew Sullivan (who has become increasingly strident, at long last, on this matter in recent weeks) has linked to another blogger (The Rude Pundit) to echo his very pertinent question:
Two Captured American Soldiers and the Implied "What If":
What will our government do? What could it do? Could it condemn the actions as not abiding by the Geneva Conventions? Could it call the actions "torture"? Could it demand accountability? Could it demand that the soldiers be treated as POWs? Could it simply say, "Well, we don't do that shit ... anymore"?
Indeed. The short-sighted and counter-productive policies of this US administration in how it treats foreign prisoners may be coming home to roost. I take absolutely no pleasure from writing this. It is deeply sad - and frightening.
UPDATE: (Tuesday 20JUN06 17.18 BST) BBC News24 are just headlining that the bodies of the two captured US soldiers have been found. An arabic website is claiming that the killings were carried out, personally, by the man described as the new al-qa'ida leader in Iraq, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir.