Stop the presses! One of the just-released French hostages held in Iraq says that his captors weren't really insurgents or nationalists at all, but (gasp) jihadists! I know this will come as a shock to many of you, so sit down and read on. From the BBC, with thanks to Susan:
One of two French journalists released from captivity in Iraq has said his captors were driven more by Islamic holy war than Iraqi nationalism.... The men's captors said Mr Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot were freed because of France's anti-war stance.
Mr Malbrunot told French television: "One of the lessons we drew from our captivity was that we were immersed in Planet Bin Ladin, especially when we were in a cell of the Islamic Army in the north.
"We were very aware of the fact that it wasn't the Iraqi agenda that motivated our kidnappers, but the internationalist jihadist agenda. I think this is the real challenge for the next 10 years, the clash of cultures that these people are advocating, are seeking."...
Mr Malbrunot warned other journalists working or thinking of working in Iraq to take care.
"Our kidnappers told us: Don't come back to Iraq, this is a land of war and we do not need you here. We want to settle our scores with the Americans.
"I would say you must be very, very careful because that country is crawling with armed men who are on the lookout for Westerners."...
French officials have denied that a ransom was paid and many in France are expected to take the view that the men's release vindicates the country's opposition to the war in Iraq.
In other words, they are expected to argue that dhimmitude pays.