Iraqi and American forces spotted a form huddled beneath a blanket when they raided a home in a dangerous Sunni neighborhood Wednesday. The residents insisted it was their ailing father – but the unfazed troops knew they’d found their man: Australian hostage Douglas Wood.
But there’s a special aspect to this rescue:
In a statement read by Warner, Wood, a longtime resident of Alamo, Calif., said: “I’m extremely happy and relieved to be free again and deeply grateful to all those who worked to bring about my release … It is a sign for the future of Iraq that Iraqi soldiers played a role in my release.”
Iraqis are now hearing that their own troops rescued this man and can claim a victory over the thugs who are attacking civilians in their efforts to keep the country from stabilizing.
The only ways out of the Iraq mess are:
- At least double the American forces in Iraq, to increase security and allow the country to persue a path of stabilization. This won’t happen because it means the Bush administration has to admit a mistake as well as impose a draft, which will be politically unpopular.
- Bring in the UN and let them solve it. This won’t happen because it means the Bush administration has to admit a mistake, and go against the John Birch Society’s anti-UN campaign.
- Iraqis take over security functions, enabling the US to leave.
The third is why today’s rescue is such good news. The Iraqis are getting the credit and the thanks, and Iraqis need to hear this. Maybe it will give them some hope and inspiration. There is no other realistic solution that I can see.