Thursday, December 29, 2005


A Diplomat's Kidnapping...

Juergen Chrobog -- a German diplomat and former ambassador to the United States -- was kidnapped with his wife and three sons while traveling in Yemen. The culprits are reportedly members of Yemeni tribe who have resorted to kidnapping to pressure the main government into freeing members of their tribe jailed on criminal offenses.

Steve Clemons
sums up the case and adds a personal message.

Like Steve, I've become friends over the last few years with Amb. Chrobog's son, Karim, who is one of the hostages. We met courtesy of a transatlantic forum program organized by the
BMW Herbert Quandt Foundation. At the time, Karim was working for AOL Time Warner. Karim and I met most recently at a tenth anniversary event of the program held in Hawaii last February. As Steve mentions, Karim is now in the world of independent film production. Not surprising -- he's a smart and creative guy.

Steve is philosophical and solicitous in trying to reach out to the Yemenis who took the Chrobogs. While hopeful and prayerful for the family's safe return, I am angry. Even if these tribesmen are "friendly" and may have legitimate claims against their government, there is no excuse for taking hostages, terrifying them and inflicting untold pain on their loved ones miles away.

Enough said for now.

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