The newspapers reported yesterday that a Canadian tourist has been kidnapped by the Taliban. The Taliban in the Bahamas, you might ask? Or perhaps in Cuba? No….the Taliban in Afghanistan. Afghanistan? A Canadian tourist in Afghanistan? I can just imagine the conversation with his beloved prior to departure: “Honey, I’m going on vacation…to Afghanistan…I hear the weather is great there in the Winter, and the waters are fine”. The Taliban have accused him of being a spy. The nerve of those people!

We routinely hear strange stories of people who get kidnapped or killed, not as extreme examples of bad luck (like your high-end Mexican hotel blowing up because of a gas leak), but from a near psychotic belief in some type of invulnerability. A Canadian/Iranian photojournalist gets arrested, tortured, and killed for photographing a military installation in her homeland. Her son is suing the Iranian government for “justice”. Justice? It’s fu*^ing Iran! What part of totalitarian, theocratic whack jobs don’t you get? American bible missionary sailors get kidnapped and murdered by Somali pirates. A group of American youths arrested and held captive while “innocently” hiking the border between A’Stan and Iran and, oops, crossing over into Iran.

There is always public outrage at these events; the portrayal of innocents caught up in unforeseeable circumstances. No one seems to ask: “What the f*^k were you thinking? It’s one thing when soldiers, journalists, police officers, race car drivers, and stunt people get injured or killed. Bad enough. But they knew the risks, took appropriate precautions and got unlucky. They were professionals. But when amateurs put themselves in harm’s way….on purpose…we may well have sympathy and compassion….but outrage? Surely, one can hardly blame the nutbars who kidnap and kill them for thinking they’re spies.

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