First up today is a short article on the media blitz that is Natalee Holloway:
In the United States alone, more than a million people are reported missing each year. The majority of these cases involve minors. The majority of those cases are runaways, but there are also significant numbers of abductions at the hands of both relatives and strangers. This brings us to the case of Reyna Gabriella Alvarado-Carerra.Seriously, three friggin' fighter jets are necessary to find this girl? I mean, if I went missing, I would expect a search team, but I sure as hell wouldn't be hoping for F-16s. What is this, Iron Eagle?
Have you ever heard of her?
I certainly hadn't until I started doing research for this story. Reyna is a 13 year-old Hispanic girl who is believed to have been abducted by a stranger in Norcross, Georgia. She was abducted just a few weeks before Holloway. A Google search on her name yields a grand total of 6 results.
The same search for "Natalee Holloway" turns up 276,000 results.
But Natalee doesn't just get more Google search results. She's getting airtime, baby. As I mentioned in the intro, American news outlets are awash with a veritable cornucopia of Natalee fever. She also gets assistance from the Dutch Marines and special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who apparently already have enough resources at work battling mundane things like terrorism.
Here's the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, and the reason I am writing this treatise: CNN is now reporting that Holland is sending three F-16 warplanes to assist in the search for Natalee. I was given pause by thinking about the sheer cost of this endeavor. My brother-in-law is a recruiter for the Air National Guard, and I have a rough idea of how much money it costs to even get one of those things off of the ground. How much do you suppose is being spent to equip these planes with the special search equipment and then actually get them to Aruba?