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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 12 months ago


Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth: Christian Peacemaker Team Ingrates in Iraq

by Tony Prudori

23 Mar 06


"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is/To have a thankless child!" Shakespeare's King Lear


When I first heard about the rescue of the Christian Peacemaker Team members held hostage in Iraq, part of me was very happy knowing there are people out there who will risk their lives to help other facing a bad situation far away.


You didn't really think I'm talking about the hostages, do you?


I will give credit where credit is due, though.


These volunteers were brave enough to follow their beliefs, to put their bodies in harm's way to show they think that war and oppression can be solved by peaceful means. I doubt I'd be brave enough to go to the madhouse that is Iraq these days to sing, "Give Peace a Chance" to people recruiting and arming suicide bombers.


That said, reading the statement issued by the Christian Peacemaker Teams on the rescue left me a bit irked.


Some parts of the statement jumped out at me...


"(The hostages) went, motivated by a passion for justice and peace to live out a nonviolent alternative in a nation wracked by armed conflict. They knew that their only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their Iraqi and international co-workers."


Oh really? Was it "international co-workers" who hunted down the intelligence on where they were, then stormed into the house they were being held in?


"Today, in the face of this joyful news, our faith compels us to love our enemies even when they have committed acts which caused great hardship to our friends and sorrow to their families."


I get it - they love the guys who kidnapped them, but those who rescued them can take a hike. Very "Christian", indeed.


"We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq. The occupation must end."


I'd guess their free will and choices had something to do with their predicament. I guess the Christian Peacemaker Teams would have been overjoyed if the Coalition troops left, say, three weeks ago, before they had a chance to rescue the hostages?


"We pray that Christians throughout the world will ... call for justice and for respect for the human rights of the thousands of Iraqis who are being detained illegally by the U.S. and British forces occupying Iraq."


Some might say a prayer or two may be in order "for justice and for respect for the human rights" of hostages taken by insurgents or criminals.


Oh, wait, I forgot - these guys are the ones to be loved.


The great thing about living in a free, democratic society is that even if you complain about your government or their allies, the state generally has to help you out if you're in a jam.


In this case, the Globe & Mail says a lot of players did a lot of work to get these people out of harm's way. These are soldiers, cops and all sorts of other people in suits working in the shadows, ready, if needed, to use the sword to help those needing help.


The bad thing is that you still have to put up with the complaining. I wouldn't have it any other way, but I don't have to like it when I hear the complaining.


Since the hostages didn't have the courtesy to say any such thing, I'll say it on behalf of those who are NOT ingrates:


Thank you to all of you in ANY uniform, and even to those of you in civvies, working in the shadows, or even in the cubicles, for training hard, working hard, and making great personal sacrifices to do so. There are even times you put your life on the line to keep the rest of us, even those making foolhardy choices, safe. Please know that this effort does NOT go completely unnoticed, or unappreciated.


A sidebar, from a MILNEWS family member: now that the media has said that Canadian troops have been in Iraq, you don't think Jack Layton is going to ask to have the hostages returned because Canada isn't supposed to have troops over there? Thanks, GH, for that one!


MORE - It appears that something got through to the bosses of the Christian Peacemaker Teams, based on this addition to their original statement: "We are grateful to the soldiers who risked their lives to free Jim, Norman and Harmeet. As peacemakers who hold firm to our commitment to nonviolence, we are also deeply grateful that they fired no shots to free our colleagues. We are thankful to all the people who gave of themselves sacrificially to free Jim, Norman, Harmeet and Tom over the last four months, and those supporters who prayed and wept for our brothers in captivity, for their loved ones and for us, their co-workers." (24 Mar 06, 1530EST)

STILL MORE: Seems I'm not the only one a more than a bit pissed - no less than General Sir Michael Jackson. (24 Mar 06, 2039EST)

EVEN MORE: Well, I guess this is better than nothing from Norman Kember: " "I do not believe that a lasting peace is achieved by armed force, but I pay tribute to their courage and thank those who played a part in my rescue," Kember said in a statement he read to journalists while smiling and holding his wife's hand." (25 Mar 06)

THE LATEST: Loney refuses to wear a poppy for Remembrance Day, and Loney refuses to testify, opposes death penalty for captors. (9 Dec 06)

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