HOPE AND PRAYER….I haven’t known what to write about the abduction of reporter Jill Carroll in Iraq two weeks ago, and I still don’t. But I want to send our thoughts and prayers to her family, particularly her mother ? and my high school English teacher ? Mary Beth Carroll, who appeared on CNN this morning to appeal for Jill’s release.

No aspect of war is pretty, but hostage-taking involves a special horror in that the family often has the opportunity to know their loved one is alive, they have the illusion that there is something they can do to secure a good outcome, and yet it really is impossible to predict or influence the actions of the hostage takers. We can only wish the Carrolls strength and peace at this very difficult time.

Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan is a Chicago-based journalist who has written about religion, politics, and culture as a senior editor for Time, National Journal, and Yahoo. She was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 2004 to 2006.