After Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were released, I said of Centanni’s decision to go along with a forced conversion to Islam: “I don’t blame the guy. I’m glad he’s home with his family.” My sentiments obviously applied to Wiig as well.
One of the commenters in that thread mildly criticized me for saying something he thought was obvious.
But I knew it wasn’t obvious, because I knew that there would eventually be someone like David Warren who would come along and condemn Centanni’s and Wiig’s decision to cooperate with their captors as “cowardice.”
I share Warren’s admiration for Fabrizio Quattrocchi, the Italian who defied his Islamist captors, crying out: “This is how an Italian dies!”
But I wouldn’t presume to question someone’s character for cooperating with terrorists who have threatened their life.
And unlike Warren, I do not discount the danger they faced by arguing that, “in retrospect, their lives probably weren’t in danger.”
That’s easy for Warren to say now.
And it’s easy for Warren to be self-righteous about the actions of Centanni and Wiig — whom Warren holds in such contempt that he won’t even “stoop” to name them — from behind the safety of his computer keyboard.
(Via Xrlq, whose assessment of Warren is spot-on.)
UPDATE: Jules Crittenden has a suggestion for Warren:
Offer yourself up. Sgt. Keith Maupin has been missing for two years. Israel wants three of its soldiers back. In exchange for you, maybe Al Qaeda will tell Maupin’s parents what they did with him. Maybe Hamas and Hezbollah will produce the Israelis. Maybe not, it doesn’t matter. Because this really isn’t about any innocent’s life or death. It’s about your big chance at martyrdom. So put up, or shut up. Unless you are just another conventional coward.
Not a bad idea. Ball’s in your court, Mr. Warren.