I can’t concentrate today and I certainly don’t feel funny. All I keep thinking about is the hostage, Ken Bigley being held in Iraq. It’s less than a week since he was snatched with his two American colleagues. Now Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong are both dead, beheaded by these bastards, their long last minutes captured on video.
And now this 62 year old man is left alone, pleading to Tony Blair as the “only person now on God’s earth who can help me”. Meanwhile the US, British and Iraqi Governments stumble around in chaos, issuing conflicting statements and adding unimaginable stress to his family.
The Jihad murderers are demanding the release of all female prisoners held in US custody. Yesterday, an Iraqi judge ordered the conditional release of Rihab Taba, but the US Government denied that she would be released and it took until yesterday evening for a joint statement from the US and the Iraqi prime minister to confirm this.
Keith’s brother Paul Bigley said that yesterday there had been “a shadow of light in a big, long, dark, damp, filthy, cold tunnel. Now this has been sabotaged.”
I wish I knew what to do. It sounds selfish to even say that, but I want an outlet. I want to be able to talk to people about this – not rationally, but with the same overpowering emotion that I feel. Where was the outrage here when the two Americans were killed — the disgust not only at Jihad but at how little the US Government appeared to respond to the crisis, regardless of what may have happened behind the scenes. At least the British media is keeping up the pressure.
I understand all the logical arguments, that we can’t negotiate with terrorists, that any negotiations would likely increase hostage-takings. But I don’t care right now, because this man still sits there blindfolded, in an orange boiler suit, knowing that his two friends have been killed in the most filthy, brutal, disgusting way imaginable. And his family sits and prays, watching the desperate video plea by their husband, father, son, brother and soon to be grandfather.
Ken Bigley isn’t even anyone special. He’s an engineer coming to the end of his career. He chose to stay in Baghdad to keep his commitment to the Iraqi’s he was helping. He had plans to retire in a few weeks. I hope he still does.
I torture myself by trying to imagine how his family must feel or how he must be feeling. I know I shouldn’t. My therapist told me that if a man falls into a deep hole then a sympathiser would feel sorry and jump in the hole to comfort him. But an empathiser would feel sorry and then get help. If there’s a God, I hope he can do both for Ken Bigley.
Maybe at some point our two countries, the UK and the US will finally understand how our actions in the Middle East are seen and felt by the Arab world. But it will just be too little, too late.