A rope and a prayer : a kidnapping from two sides by David Rohde

By David Rohde

The compelling and insightful account of a New York Times reporter's abduction by way of the Taliban, and his wife's fight to unfastened him.

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It is shocking to be confronted with this reality and the grim nature of our choices. We want David to return as quickly as possi­ ble. But Lee and I agree that David would never forgive himself if anyone was killed or injured during an attempt to free him by force. Still, we wonder whether our delayed response will work against us, whether this lapse in decision making will mean the difference between his returning home or not. A short time later, we hear back from the FBI. There is no rush on deciding whether to use military intervention.

Filled with a vague idea of somehow helping survi­ vors, I walked toward the towers. The story—any story—no longer mat­ tered. I simply wanted to help. As I walked, I realized I had no medical or rescue skills to offer. I felt like a vulture with a notebook. A man ap­ peared on the street covered head to toe in dust. ” Over the next two weeks, the heroism of thousands of volunteers from New York and across the country amazed me. I found Sherry and learned she was unhurt and had run into a store.

He says he controls our fate now. He hands me back my notebook and pen and orders me to start writ­ ing. American soldiers routinely disgrace Afghan women and men, he says. They force women to stand before them without their burqas, the head-to-toe veils that conservative Pashtun villagers believe protect a woman’s honor. They search homes without permission and force Af­ ghan men to lie on the ground, placing boots on their heads and push­ ing their faces into the dirt. He views the United States as a malevolent occupier.

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