March 23, 2006

Peace Activists Freed, Righty Bloggers in a Frenzy

Peace Activists Freed, Righty Bloggers in a Frenzy

News came today that British and American troops freed three members of the Christian Peacemakers Team held hostage in Iraq for nearly four months. It seems that a detainee captured on Wednesday night provided intelligence the military used to determine the whereabouts of the hostages. No shots were fired in the operation, and no hostage-takers were found at the house in western Baghdad where the three were discovered.

Today’s events have become a huge story for bloggers on the right, who were already incensed that the captured activists opposed the war and the occupation, and had been investigating allegations of abuse against Iraqi detainees by the Iraqi government and Coalition forces at the time of their kidnapping. Now they are fuming over the fact that the CPT did not explicitly thank the military for their role in freeing the hostages, and accuse them of being ungrateful and rude. The three were not released by their captors, they write, but rescued by British and American forces.

Instead of expressing gratitude to those that thwarted their captors and released them from the bonds of the animals herding in Iraq; these christian-peace activists specifically chose not to express their gratefulness to the troops that set them free… It is pathetic that their venom takes the place of what should be adulation’s and gratitude to their rescuers…This sickening display is of the same vein as the mantra of “We support the troops, but not the war!

Publius Rendezvous, Blinded By Ungratefulness, 3/23/06

I realize that hearts and minds don’t change overnight, and it’s embarrassing to admit that your entire worldview is possibly upside down, but this is too much. It is not asking too much to expect the official press release of the Christian Peacemaker Teams to contain at least one word of thanks to the rescuers. This group has now forfeited any last remaining shred of credibility it had..This group should be ignored, shunned, and boycotted until it begins to show a speck of common human decency and a nickel’s worth of common sense.

Gina Cobb, Hostages Freed by U.S. and U.K. Troops; Their Group Fails to Thank Their Rescuers, 3/23/06

I have a feeling that the hostages, who were so critical of the U.S. and so praising of terrorists in the past, will have a different take now.

Randy Shackleford, Western Hostages Rescued by Coalition Forces, 3/23/06

Click to listen to interview with Brian Conley on hostage Tom Fox

Tom Fox, the only American amongst the four CPT hostages, was found dead two weeks ago, and his body showed signs that he may have been tortured before he was killed. On our Iraq show from that night, we featured clips of an interview with Brian “Sharpie” Conley of the blog Alive in Baghdad, who met Tom Fox in Baghdad last fall.

In describing the work that Tom and others were doing in Iraq, Brian talked about the importance of forming solidarity movements between people in the U.S. that opposed the war/occupation, and people in Iraq who were suffering from it. He also said that the lack of any effective or wide reaching solidarity movement after three years of war was a depressing reality, one that the anti-war community needed to work harder at. And, that he hoped Tom’s death would be an opportunity not for blame, but for re-examining how everyone could best learn from Tom’s example. Above, his remembrance again.

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