Thursday, March 03, 2005
The kidnapped French journalist Florence Aubenas appeared on a video and pleaded for help. She specifically asked deputy Didier Julia to help her. Julia went on a freelance mission before to try and win the release of the 2 kidnapped French journalists and he made the French government so angry for forcing himself into this matter. After Aubenas’s plea, the French government asked Julia if he can help . The fact that Aubenas asked Julia for help raises a lot of suspicion because of the known relations that he has with the Syrian government and Iraq’s Bathist party. I am beginning to believe that Syria managed to put its hand on Aubenas (or even kidnapped her) in order to have a “card” to play with the French government.
A cornered animal will do anything in order to escape or relive the pressure on it. This is exactly the situation Syria is in now. It is increasingly under pressure from the Lebanese people and the recent spectacular marriage between Bush and Chirac. Syria has intelligence agents in Iraq who work with Iraq’s insurgents. A proof to this was Syria’s decision to hand over Saddam’s half brother after denying countless times that it does not harbour any former Iraqi leaders. By handing this man, Syria wanted to see if it can win concessions from Paris and Washington or simply to show the world that it is “good Syria” that helps Iraq.
Syria wants another card to play with France in order to gain some concessions in Lebanon and I believe this card is Florence Aubenas. Upon Syria’s order, her kidnappers might have asked her to seek Julia’s help so that this man can act as a mediator between his Syrian buddies and the French government.
Kidnapping hostages is not a new phenomena in the Middle East. During the Lebanese war, hostages from various countries were kidnapped in order to put pressure on their governments. The kidnappers often had links with rogue states such as Syria and Iran.