Thursday, March 16, 2006

A differential treatment for Canadian hostages? Yeah right!

Its hard to question the testimony of a person that went through a personal traumatizing experience, which in this case involves a kidnapping at the hands of terrorists, without sounding like an insensitive, ideologically closed minded jerk. But heck, here goes.

According to this CBC article, Adam Budzanowski, a Canadian volunteer for JumpStart, a US-based educational charity, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza on the assumption that he was a US-citizen.

Okay, before I go on, let me inform you of some background information which I received due to my upbringing in the Middle East to the best of my knowledge. Now in the Arab World, its easy to distinguish the locals from the Westerners (most of the time). And among the westerners, you can usually also distinguish one nationality from another. Usually its through they're linguistic accent. You can distinguish the Brits from the Americans, the Italians from the Germans, the Portuguese from the Spaniards etc...

HOWEVER, there are two groups which you can barely distinguish from one another. The first is among New Zealanders and Australians. And the second, as much as the Canadian lefties hate to admit it, the Americans and the Canadians.

11 years of living in the Middle East and I haven't met a single Arabic resident who can distinguish one from the other just through appearance or accent. They usually have the same interests, the same dialogue, the same choice of leisure, etc etc...The only way which they're able to distinguish them from another, is through identification. Remember that...Paper Identification (Passports, driving license, etc...) is usually the only measure in which Middle Easterners are able to distinguish Americans from Canadians.

Now let's get back to Budzanowski,

The Toronto native said armed men burst into the JumpStart office and aimed their guns at him because they thought he was American. They didn't believe he was Canadian, even when he showed them his passport.


With a mask over his head, Budzanowski said he was taken to a building with cement floors, shoved against a wall, a door and pushed down a staircase.

"I was sure they were going to physically harm me," he said.

Budzanowski said he was moved at least four times overnight and prevented from sleeping.

But he said his captors treated him "nicely" when they realized he was Canadian.

Now what exactly does he mean by "Nicely"...and was it really because he was Canadian? We'll see.

"Later at night when they realized, they changed from extreme rough to lightly rough. Today they changed and treated me nicely," he said.

Woah!! Hold on!!! Time out!! Flag on the play! Let's go through this step by step:

Frame 1: Terrorists burst into his office, they think he's American (according to him anyway). He shows them the ONLY WAY which can prove his Canadian identity in which they can distinguish him from an American citizen...doesn't deter the kidnapping.

Frame 2: Even after showing his Canadian passport, they give him a hard time. But suddenly out of the blue...they realize he's Canadian? On what basis? Did he rant and rave about the Maple Leafs? Did he take an online citizenship test while they witnessed? What giveaway gave the terrorists the epiphany that Mr.Budzanowski was Canadian? And from there, we realize the treatment went from "extreme" to "light". But there was still a rough treatment.

Frame 3: Terrorists apparently had a change of heart about Canadians within 24 hours (again according to what I'm provided with here). And suddenly treat him "nicely". (Again why? Did he lecture them about the so-called Canadian identity of "MultiCulturism" and acceptance and Canada's "pacifist" outlook to conflict? Did they do some online research while he was held up?) And finally let him go.

Obviously there's alot of holes in the storey here, at least from the way its described. Maybe the CBC left out some details, maybe Mr.. Budzanowski is still traumatized from the whole event to give an accurate detail of his kidnapping, maybe he didn't really understand the situation , or at worst...he's not telling the real story.

My Take: Since the prison raid by the Israelis, the Palestinian Terrorists tried to do something in return, in this case kidnap a westerner. No matter what his nationality is. They take him in, but as time goes by they realize that his holding would not bring any significance to they're cause, they slowly backed off until they released him to the Palestinian authorities. Being a aid worker for a charitable organization which is there to help the people, the terrorist knew that this might turn some of the population against them and exercised a better judgment than they're Al-Zarqawi cousins a few miles away to the east. So...they let him go.

Update: didn't take long for the idiots over at the Globe and Mail to spin the shit of this storey all in the name of feel-good nationalism:

"Held hostage at gunpoint by Palestinian extremists in the Gaza Strip, Mark Budzanowski feared for his life – until his captors discovered his passport and declared 'We love Canada'"

Note: They got the name wrong, but they corrected it in the article.
What a load of crap! And people wonder why I don't subscribe to newspapers anymore.

(Promo for this article found at the Mercer report)


At Thursday, 16 March, 2006, Blogger Mark said...

I think your "take" is a good stab.

I would add that the Pal kidnappers probably got wind of the hostage taking coverage in the international news and began to realize that indeed they did have a Canadian in chains, not an American posing as a Canadian.

Just my 1.5c.

At Thursday, 16 March, 2006, Anonymous Alberta Girl said...

Thank you for your take on this issue - I didn't believe for one second that somehow our "good Canadian name" would make one iota of difference if these kidnappers were bent on killing someone for a cause. Obviously something changed for them and it wasn;t because this guy was Canadian - but it makes the lefty anti war gang feel better.

At Thursday, 16 March, 2006, Blogger Daniel Lalonde said...

The answer is obvious.

They asked every man and woman if it was spelt:



They then proceeded to nicely treat the Coloured people.

At Thursday, 16 March, 2006, Blogger Teddy said...

Did any of you listen to his interview on AIH on CBC? I did, and it sounded very compelling.

Some items that I noted:

1. He did not sound traumatized at all. Perfectly lucid and reasonable.

2. About the passport not passing muster - he was told that Canadian passports could be forged.

3. He was verified as "Canadian" when asked about some Toronto info. Apparantly one of the kidnappers had lived in To.

Y'know, I've done some travelling here and there, and the old saw about Canadians being treated better than Americans (and Americans wearing the maple leaf on their bags) happens to be true. That's my first hand experience travelling through over twenty Euro, north African, and Asian countries.

What's so wrong with that?

At Friday, 17 March, 2006, Blogger The Arabian Knight said...

"2. About the passport not passing muster - he was told that Canadian passports could be forged."

ell then he's changing stories as he goes along. He stated in black and white that they disregarded the passport.

3. So comforting to know that terrorists call Canada home.

4. I've heard others who said otherwise.

At Friday, 17 March, 2006, Anonymous Anne (happier in Ontario) said...

In the National Post this morning it is reported that Budzanowski was one of 11 kidnapped that day, including one American. All have been released unharmed.

Regarding the Mop & Pail, the same article in The Post actually mentioned their cheesy article and what was wrong with it, quite funny actually!

At Friday, 17 March, 2006, Blogger aliandra said...

The Palis once again cut their nose to spite their face. The militants also kidnapped some French people. I wonder if withdrawal of all financial aid and humanitarian workers might actually lead to some political maturity.


If Americans have to wear maple leaves, they should be spending their money in countries friendlier to them, like India or Poland. Canadians may be liked but the American dollar is liked even more.

At Friday, 17 March, 2006, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

He had a pocketful of looneys and tooneys that he used to bribe his way free.

At Thursday, 15 July, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

票貼 借貸 借錢


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