A few weeks ago I learned that a journalist who was one of my colleagues was kidnapped, then, five days later, released unharmed with his driver in Baghdad. I was shocked, then relieved. I somehow managed to find some humor in the not-so-humorous event. Prior to his Iraq trip, my colleague, a young British reporter, had asked me if he "could use my name" as a reference should he be kidnapped. Despite the fact that I was unsure how my name - little known in Arabic press that dominated Iraq - would be of any help, I agreed.