Peace Be Upon Them
I'm not sure I agree with each and every thing they do and say, but then I don't agree with anybody 100%. But I sure do admire the Christian Peacemaker Teams. I urge you to explore their website, it gives their side of the story, their responses to the many slurs they receive, in a truly gentle, christian fashion.
Well, they may be gentle, restrained, and very careful, but I'm not as christian as they so I don't have to be. I am outraged by the crap they are taking right now. Here are a couple of examples.
Damn it, once again, the actual facts of the situation are not being presented. Here are a few:
1. When CPT went into Iraq, it was not to try and convert islamicists into christians or peaceniks. Their main reason for being there was to bear witness on American activities, not Jihadists' (they are western, not arab after all). They were essentially attempting to reduce violence and abuse by being witnesses, as they are in Gaza and the West Bank, and indeed here in Canada at Grassy Narrows. They were there to help the families of the 15,000 - 18,000 Iraqis under indefinite, warrentless detention, find out about their loved ones. It turns out that the US military, like the Shin Beit and the RCMP are just a little less willing to pull the truncheons out in front of a Christian, Western witness, and a little less willing to turn petitioners away. Howabout that.
2. Whe the CPT went into Iraq, it was with full knowledge that it would be at a high risk of being kidnapped. They left very clear instructions that if they were kidnapped, they expressly did not want to be rescued in a military/commando style operation.
3. The American CPTer that was killed was not tortured. It was a simple gunshot, and not execution style; the expectation is that there might have been a struggle, or an escape attempt, or an accident. We won't know until the report is released, if it ever is, and if you believe it.
4. After the American died, the remaining kidnappers seem to have lost their nerve; they gathered the other three in the living room of the house they were being held in, and then they all left.
5. Somehow or other the authorities found out where they were, and launched the grand heroic rescue operation. Personally, I bet you they got a phone call from one of the leaving kidnappers. I sincerely doubt that it was the result of any brilliant intelligence operation or even skillful coercive interrogation.
6. So they put together this complicated international strikeforce, when probably an office messenger and a taxi could have done the job. The team had a MI6/SAS unit (there were British hostages), a JTF2/RCMP unit (Canadian hostage, check), and a joint American unit (probably Delta)/Marines (US command, check). I checked the papers, yeah, in Canada it was all about the RCMP, in the UK it was clearly a SAS led mission, and in the States it was the US cavalry to the rescue. Everybody gets some credit I guess. (I still think they could have sent out an office boy in a taxi. Or just called the CPT folks to go pick up their guys.)
7. Some british army type has the ungentlemanly nerve to publically act the cad and complain that the rescuers never got thanked.
8. Then all the pundits jump on the wagon. A lot of this and that, but one thing in common: not only are the Peacemakers idiotic unpatriotic naive ninnies, but gosh, this whole experience should have learned them, now they should see the rightness of the occupation and the necessity for Bush's invasion and the absolute requirement for coercive interrogation and finally and most importantly, the necessity of supporting the troops. Because the troops saved you, you mewling traitors, better put away your silly pacifism now.
And then no doubt drove home in a car with a "What Would Jesus Do?" bumpersticker.
Well, like I said, considering the flack, the CPT has been astoundingly gracious.
They aren't going away either, and good for them.