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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  • fenixfacs

    From the quote above “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.”

    And then “World protests mark third anniversary of war in Iraq

    Organizers hoped for bigger turnout”

    I mean have we learned nothing!!? After all this and by all accounts the latest anti-war I raqi protests were a flop. We should be ashamed.

  • Military operation frees 2 Canadian hostages in Iraq

    Last Updated Thu, 23 Mar 2006 12:44:39 EST

    CBC News

    Two Canadian hostages held in Iraq for nearly four months were freed Thursday morning in a carefully planned British-led military operation involving Canadian, American and Iraqi forces.

    (rest of story)

    Canadian military personnel were involved in the operation, according to Pentagon sources, but it’s not clear how many took part or what their role was. There have been reports that members of Canada’s top secret commando unit, Joint Task Force 2, have been working in Iraq.

    (rest of story)

    I thought Canada was not part of the coalition of the willy-nilly. Just like European countries opposed to the war didn’t let secret CIA planes use their airports for renditioning. Why am I not surprised.

  • fenixfacs

    And I think that Robin has hit on something in this thread that we all should worry about and cudos to sidewalker for his inisght. I think that this “lurking conservatism” is a bigger problem than many progressive want to believe. Just look at the show with Philips and the links that I supplied with results of last pres election and demogrpahics. Then look at the warning from sources like MyCDD.

    I Am Very Worried About 2006

  • fenixfacs

    There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

    onservatives use the same tactics on blogs that they do in mainstream politics – attack the media and attack progressives. The right wing tends not to build independent online communities, using their existing offline communities to generate web sites that reinforce their politics and their ideology.

    The right-wing blogosphere is dead. Long live the progressive blogosphere.

  • fenixfacs

    We realy have to get our selves organized becasue it looks like the righty bloggers have won this one. They have pressured the CPT into publishing a statement with an added addenda where they have caved in and thanked the occupiers for saving them. Where will it end?

    ” We have been so overwhelmed and overjoyed to have Jim, Harmeet and Norman freed, that we have not adequately thanked the people involved with freeing them, nor remembered those still in captivity. So we offer these paragraphs as the first of several addenda:

    We are grateful to the soldiers who risked their lives to free Jim, Norman and Harmeet.”

  • Nikos

    fenixfacs: thank you. methinks you’re a Guttersnipe.

    (god bless you!)

    The ‘g.b.y.’ has to be done in small-case letters to represent the small voice of Tiny Tim Cratchet and the rest of us plebians 😉

  • fastfoodnationalist

    Perhaps this is OT but re: “No Right Wing Blogosphere?”

    How would you know? What Right-Wing Blog media do you choose to consume?

    I hardly think CPT clarifying their position is much of a marker for victory for any side seeking to shape the consensus.

    If it is a marker for victory, what is the “battlespace”?

    If the battlespace is “discourse” or culture, what is the objective sought by “Lefty Blogs” ?

    Is it simply “activism”? (As the guy from MyDD explained in a previous cast) Activism for what? Repeating what has been said since 2003, but with new photos beside the same ideas?

    Is it simply activism for activism’s sake? Will that get you to given political objectives?

    2006 will tell us much about these questions and thusly something about state of America (be it a leviathan or a pariah); our political dynamics change so rapidly that it can seem difficult to make any informative speculation re: 2008.

  • fenixfacs

    Mr Nikos, I am sort of new to this site so if I have broken some rule that makes me a Guttersnipe then please let me know how I can not be so and I will comply.

    Then, Mr fastfoodnationalist, I was simply responding the the premise of this thread as seemd to be implied by the producer Robin, when she provided the material in the lead- ins. I am also concerned by the inlfuence of the righty bloggers.

    As far as your reference to the phrase “No Right Wing Blogoshere” I am assuming that you are talking about the headlines from the link that I provided in a link to the MyDD blog above. He is the one, in the link, that is argueing that there is no more right wing blogoshere – which is what we all hope to be the case.

    And the premise of this thread seems to be that there is pressure from those righties on the CBT to make noises that they are greatful to the US occupiers of Iraq. I am simply raising the alarm to all of us concerned that the pressure seemed to be working. Of course, just because there was pressure doesn’t mean that the CBT bowed to it when they issued thier addenda, but just in case, I think that we need to not delude ourselves and be dilligent in case they, and people like them, need our support.

    And just like the statement above from Conley where he was warning us not to become complacent which it seems that we did since we failed to show up and support the anti-war movement as evidenced by the low turnout at this last weekend’s anti-war rallies.

    Let’s just all be aware of events and not get caught with our heads in the sand.

  • Robin

    Hi fenixfacs – if I’m not mistaken, “guttersnipe” is a new term coined by some of our regular contributors to connote someone who stirrs things up in the best possible way. So I think (Nikos help me out here) that he meant it as a compliment.

    I think MyDD’s notion, quoted here by fenixfacs, that there’s no right wing blogosphere is probably wishful thinking. In the research I did for this post I couldn’t find a single well-written response from a left-leaning blogger explaining why the CPT’s mission was legitimate, necessary, and not somehow undermined by their rescue. (Although there was this piece in the Sojourner that made some interesting religious arguments.)

    I think anyone on the left who’s concerned about the right owning the political discourse (especially the online political discourse) should take fenixfac’s advice to heart and start blogging. Now. Otherwise not only will there “not be any right-wing blogosphere,” there won’t be any progressive blogosphere either.

  • Nikos


    fenixfacs, have a long (LOOOOOONG!) scroll through the ‘Neo-conservatism’ thread, and you’ll understand everything.

    Welcome aboard the good ship ROS!

  • fenixfacs

    Robin and Nikos – thanks and I can also add is “blog with discipline” and for an example, look at the MyDD’s link above and note that he was a bit too optimistic and if we had followed his lead we would think that everything was ok. He is one of the leading bloggers in the left and Robin didn’t agree with his conclusion.