A Video still of Susanne Osthoff, her driver and the freedom fighters who kidnapped her. Picture taken from the Deutschlandfunk/Deutschlandradio (Picture: AP / ARD)
The German Auswärtiges Amt (foreign office), obviously oblivious to fashionable politically correct causes, has a long-standing warning against travelling in and to Iraq on its website. But nothing will stop a German Gutmensch, hell-bent on victimising him- (or her-) self for a wrong cause.
Merkel appeals for hostage release in IraqWell, it won't take it very far any longer.
BERLIN, Dec. 4 (Xinhuanet) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel published an appeal on Sunday for the release of a German archaeologist abducted in Iraq.
"The German government is doing everything it can to save the lives of Susanne Osthoff and her escort," Merkel wrote in the Bildam Sonntag newspaper. "We call on the perpetrators to release the hostages immediately."
The kidnappers set a deadline on Nov. 29 of three days for Germany to stop training Iraqi police officers as the condition for the hostages' release, Germany's weekly magazines Focus and Der Spiegel reported in issues to appear in market on Monday.
Other people calling for the safe return of Osthoff include European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, leaders of the German Muslim and Jewish communities, opposition party chiefs and presidents of leading charity groups.
Nadeem Elyas, who heads Germany's Central Council of Muslims, joined the appeal and even offered himself as a hostage to exchange for Osthoff.
Sister and mother of Osthoff, who was abducted in Iraq on Nov. 25, made an emotional TV plea Thursday night to the kidnappers forher release.
In a message shown on Germany's ZDF television, they reminded the captors that Osthoff is a Muslim convert with a young daughter. The tape would also be aired in Iraq by Arabic channel Al-Jazeera.
"Be merciful and gracious to my daughter and release her and her companion as soon as possible," said Ingrid Hala, Osthoff's mother.
Osthoff's sister Anja Osthoff reminded the captors that "Susanne has been a devoted Muslim for many years and she is a true and loving mother of a young daughter."
Osthoff had lived in Iraq for many years and worked also as an aid worker to the Iraqi people, reports said.
Merkel told public television on Sunday that so far Germany had no new information on Osthoff's whereabout, saying "we do not yet know where she is and have not yet received signs of life from her".
But she assured that the government was using all the channels at its disposal "to save the life of Susanne Osthoff."
According to Der Spiegel, Germany was counting on Kurdish intermediates and the Sunni leader Abd al-Muneim al-Badari to forge contact with the captors.
The abductors could come from the Arab nationalist "Ishrin" groups, the weekly cited the government crisis team, designed to handle the case, as reporting.
Osthoff, 43, is the first German kidnapped in Iraq.
Germany did not participate in the March 2003 US-led invasion on Iraq, nor has it sent any troops there. It has only helped train police officers outside Iraq.
So Nadeem Elyas, whose face is to be seen ad nauseam on German television lately, and who, as a member of the fundamentalist Muslimbruderschaft, refused in the past to speak out against stonings, has offered an exchange of himself for Osthoff (now how big is the possibility that the kidnappers will accept THAT?) and the Muslims offer an inter-religious rally for the hostage and what happens? The German media, instead of telling them to stuff it, is overflowing with pathetic gratefulness.
Of course, a Teutonic convert to Islam is worth infinitely more attention and compassion than American soldiers and hostages who have, after all, brought it all upon themselves. And indeed, the German Muslim-Markt, the darling of the polititcally correct, value-relativist faction, is suggesting that the Great Satan USA is behind it all. Muslim-Markt bemoan the lack of "independent journalists" in "this country", by which they, so I presume mean Germany. Now how funny is THAT?