Wood: Rescue shows policy working
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(CNN) -- The Australian hostage held captive for nearly seven weeks in Iraq before being freed last week has said his rescue by Iraqi troops is a sign that U.S. and Australian policies are working.
"I actually believe that I am proof positive that the current policy of training the Iraqi army -- of recruiting, training and buddying them worked -- because it was the Iraqis that got me out," Douglas Wood told reporters in Melbourne after returning to Australia Monday morning.
The 64-year-old engineer also apologized to U.S. President George W. Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard for statements he made at gunpoint in a DVD his captors released to the news media.
On the DVD, Wood pleaded for Australian, U.S. and British troops to withdraw from Iraq.
The Australian government refused the kidnappers' demands that its 1,400 troops be withdrawn and pay a reported Aust. $25 million ($19 million U.S.) ransom.
Wood was kidnapped April 30 and released June 15, when Iraqi forces supported by coalition forces stumbled across him during an unrelated raid in the Al Adel neighborhood of Baghdad.
"Perhaps I'm proof positive that the current policies of the American and Australian governments is the right one," he said.
Flanked by his brothers and his wife Yvonne, an American, the engineer described his 47 days in captivity as "like a nightmare."
But he said he might return to Iraq to explore business opportunities.
"Yes, I'm considering it," he said. But, he added, if he were to return, "I'd change some behaviors." He did not elaborate.
Wood said his captors had told him his family had turned against him, but said he was never persuaded.
"I love my family and I knew that they'd be doing as much as they could to get me out anyway," he said.
Asked what he thinks of his captors, Wood needed little time to reflect.
"Arseholes," he shot back.
Wood said he did not know who the men were who kidnapped him.
"I didn't know whether it was al Qaeda or who it was," he said. "I didn't know ... obviously, my head is intact, so it wasn't al Qaeda."
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