Friday, September 08, 2006

MAJOR METZGER: WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN


There is no news on Major Metzger, and as bleak as that sounds, I find it somewhat reassuring. At least it leads me to believe she wasn't the victim of a random crime of violence and left by the roadside to be found.

With that possibility eliminated from my thinking, I did a little research on the "bride kidnapping" tradition that Kyrgyzstan is noted for. In fact, it seems to have been invented in the region. From my reading, this country is stuck in the "wild west" stages of development. A dangerous place. The practice and history of bride kidnapping is described in this article; it further outlines the evolution and methods used today:

"Today, the tradition has been corrupted. Bride kidnapping often occurs
when a man, 18 to 25 years old, either of his own decision, or acting our of
peer pressure, decides it is time to take a wife. If he has someone in mind, he
and perhaps three or four male friends get into a car, and go in search of the
girl/woman. Alcohol is often involved. If he has no one in mind, the men may set
off to find any girl/woman, searching the streets of their village or a nearby
village until they find a women they deem attractive. At this point, when they
have either found the woman in question or found any other woman, they might
pull the car up to her and ‘kidnap’ her, dragging her by force, or by tricking
her, into the vehicle."
After reading the entire article, BK seems to be a tradition within the country, between villages, and not involving someone who is foreign to the country. A lot of times both parties know each other. So, I'm ruling out BK.

What I'm not ruling out is kidnapping for ransom. This practice is rampant in Mexico, Central and South America. Someone, a tourist, is kidnapped, the abductors wait for a period of time until the families are frantic, then they place a call and offer up a price for the safe return of the loved one. Often times, most probably, local officials are involved, at least on the payoff. And, the officials play it so it appears they were responsible for solving the crime.

Our relationship with Kyrgyzstan is tenuous, at best; they know the U.S. needs them more they they need us. They are robbing us for the use of Manas Air Base, which we use to support our forces in Afghanistan. So, if one of their rogue, splinter groups decided to grab one of ours, I'm sure they wouldn't get in a twist over it.

Of course, everything I've said here is pure speculation. However, I'm doing my best to stay positive about a safe return for Major Metzger. She's a strong woman, a good officer, and I know she can handle any situation she finds herself in.

Like John at OP-FOR said, "pray, and pray hard."

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