Our Kind of Hostage Problem

Sometimes a photo is just the thing to finish off a good story. From True’s 27 February 2005 issue:

We Recognized His Plastic Smile

“Our mujahideen … have managed to capture the American soldier John Adam after killing a number of his colleagues,” an Al Qaeda web site said in Arabic, claiming it had captured a soldier in Iraq. It even posted a photo of the soldier, bound and at gunpoint. But “no units have reported anyone missing,” said a Pentagon spokesman. A spokesman for Dragon Models USA has cleared up the mystery: the photo shows an action figure, “Special Ops Cody”, which the company sold in stores in Kuwait. Even the rifle shown is a toy, and included in the package. “Everything the guy is wearing is exactly what comes with our figure,” says the spokesman. (Reuters, AP) …The Pentagon spokesman said they plan to pay a ransom, “as soon as we can find a few Monopoly games.”

Pay Up Or We Kill the Infidel!

The vest, the knee pads, even the “gun” pointed at his head are all toys, and included in the package with the action figure.


How Do We Know?

Action figure in package, with accessories
Here it is, the action figure in the package, with accessories.


Setting It Up

This photo wasn’t meant to get out — it shows the “jihadists” setting up the fake photo. Terrorists, or Middle Eastern boys playing with dolls? You be the judge.

– – –

Bad link? Broken image? Other problem on this page? Use the Help button lower right, and thanks.

This page is an example of my style of “Thought-Provoking Entertainment”. This is True is an email newsletter that uses “weird news” as a vehicle to explore the human condition in an entertaining way. If that sounds good, click here to open a subscribe form.

To really support This is True, you’re invited to sign up for a subscription to the much-expanded “Premium” edition:

One Year Upgrade

(More upgrade options here.)

Q: Why would I want to pay more than the minimum rate?

A: To support the publication to help it thrive and stay online: this kind of support means less future need for price increases (and smaller increases when they do happen), which enables more people to upgrade. This option was requested by existing Premium subscribers.


2 Comments on “Our Kind of Hostage Problem

  1. Clever… Did they give an address to send the payment? Maybe it is like that Apple iphone thing with the non-working ransom address.
    Good of your military to check, and know that no one was missing. But what if someone had been missing? I wonder what would have been done then?

    Apparently, we live in an unfriendly world. Clearly, past policies have not worked. We should try do something about it. What, I do not know.

    But, when the US attacked Saddam, and conquered Iraq (a country attacked, conquered, and abandoned shortly after, by many in history…), someone said that a “hornet’s nest all over the mid-east would be stirred up”. Another spokesperson said it would take 100 years to pacify things. Makes sense. It is not grandpa you need to worry about. He will be gone in 12 years. But his son, who has a young boy, matters. And most importantly, the boy matters. Because with the boy, you may have 55 years to consider…. And the boy, will shortly have a son, too.

  2. After they “kill” their hostage, did they plan to send the remains home in a tiny coffin? What if he converts to Islam? Does he get a few veiled Barbies as wives? Just wondering….

    Excellent questions, all. -rc


Leave a Comment