Thursday, March 23, 2006

Kidnapped CPT Members Freed by Those They Loathe

The three remaining CPT hostages to be held in Iraq were freed today in a military operation by US and Iraqi forces in Baghdad. The fourth member, Tom Fox, was tortured and his body dumped in the city earlier this month.

From Fox News:

Gen. Lynch said the raid was "intelligence led," explaining that planning for the operation began when two men who were captured Wednesday night provided information on the location of the hostages.

"It was eight hours since we received the intelligence to the time we carried out the operation," Gen. Lynch said, adding that no shots were fired and no Coalition casualties occurred. The hostages were found bound and together he said.
In a statement from the CPT website:
Harmeet, Jim and Norman and Tom were in Iraq to learn of the struggles facing the people in that country. They 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. 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.

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. In the spirit of the prophetic nonviolence that motivated Jim, Norman, Harmeet and Tom to go to Iraq, we refuse to yield to a spirit of vengeance. We give thanks for the compassionate God who granted our friends courage and who sustained their spirits over the past months. We pray for strength and courage for ourselves so that, together, we can continue the nonviolent struggle for justice and peace.

Throughout these difficult months, we have been heartened by messages of concern for our four colleagues from all over the world. We have been especially moved by the gracious outpouring of support from Muslim brothers and sisters in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. That support continues to come to us day after day. We pray that Christians throughout the world will, in the same spirit, 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.

During these past months, we have tasted of the pain that has been the daily bread of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Why have our loved ones been taken? Where are they being held? Under what conditions? How are they? Will they be released? When?

With Tom’s death, we felt the grief of losing a beloved friend. Today, we rejoice in the release of our friends Harmeet, Jim and Norman. We continue to pray for a swift and joyful homecoming for the many Iraqis and internationals who long to be reunited with their families. We renew our commitment to work for an end to the war and the occupation of Iraq as a way to continue the witness of Tom Fox. We trust in God’s compassionate love to show us the way.
These people are pathetic. The fact is that they recognize no good in the United States. If today Saddam was still in charge of Iraq and using his power to kill on average 80,000 people a year, and imprisoning, exiling, torturing and maiming thousands more, I believe that the CPT would not be happy about it. However, as bad as these conditions would be, CPT would prefer the 80,000 deaths a year forever, rather than have the US do something about it.

I'm afraid though that this entire ordeal is just giving the CPT an illgotten layer of empathy for and brotherhood with the detainees. With new found indignation they can now also claim to be part of a group that has suffered by the "occupation." They truly understand.

I'm not buying it. Stupidity and lying by the CPT might very well result in some obscure form of manufactured victimhood. However, their wisdom and credibility remain hauntingly absent.

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