The widow's mite
All the remaining members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams held hostage in Iraq were rescued by multinational forces. In a statement describing their release the organization said:
Our hearts are filled with joy today as we heard that Harmeet Singh Sooden, Jim Loney and Norman Kember have been freed safely in Baghdad. ... 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. [emphasis mine]
According to the BBC the three were rescued by
acting on information provided by a detainee, the US military says ... the crucial bit of intelligence that enabled the rescue came only after two men were captured by US forces on Wednesday night. One of the suspects had the information which led officials to the Baghdad house where the hostages were four months into their ordeal. ...
Hostage James Loney reportedly confirmed that one person had led the forces to where they were held. In a telephone conversation with a friend, Mr Loney is said to have described the kidnappers as a criminal gang. Gen Lynch described the men thought to be responsible as "a kidnapping cell that has been robust over the last several months in conducting these kind of kidnappings." [emphasis mine]
We judge figures by their actions under stress; note their choices; form some estimate of their capacity for truth; their ability to recognize quality even in their enemies. In the statement following their release Christian Peacemaker Teams have shown their quality by completely airbrushing out of the account of their rescue the fact it was performed by multinational forces. In terms of truthfulness, the statement of the CPT is in a class with that of Maurice Thorez, head of the French Communist Party, who described the Liberation of Paris without once naming LeClerc, Patton, Eisenhower or even de Gaulle.
Paris is free. The people of Paris have chased out the Germans. The people of Paris have put a term to the activities of the traitors. Paris, ardent and tremulous rose up against the occupiers at the call of the Conseil National de la Résistance and the Comité Parisien de la Libération. Paris has liberated Paris. ...
The Allied armies are striking redoubled blows against the enemy. While the battle of France is unfurling with growing success, the Red Army, joined in battle with the main forces of the German army, pursues its victorious offensive. It is smashing the furious and desperate counter-attacks of the Germans. It is destroying as many as 300 tanks in one day. And it irresistibly advances. Twice the day before yesterday, and three times yesterday, the cannons rang out in Moscow to salute the great victories carried off by the Red Army against the Germans and their Romanian satellites.
No mention of 2nd French Armored or the Third Army but the victories of the Red Army against Romania figure prominently. Yet Thorez was arguably more truthful an historian than the Christian Peacemaker Teams who do not mention their rescuers at all.
Now I can see that the Christian Peacemaker Teams were right to admire such as those who even one of their own described as criminal gangs. For I would much rather throw in with ruffians who still had a perverse sense of criminal honor and were willing to come to the aid of their fellows than entrust myself to people paralyzed with their own sense of sanctity, full of their own sense of righteousness. They have forbidden any attempts to visit retribution and justice upon their captors. And if they know anything more about this criminal gang they are unlikely to share it with the Coalition. The Washington Post reported shortly after CPT hostage Tom Fox was killed:
Members of the Langley Hill Friends Meeting, a peace group in northern Virginia to which Fox belonged, read a statement he co-wrote in October 2004 in which he shunned violence, even to rescue him should he ever be kidnapped. Members of the Langley Hill Friends Meeting, a peace group in northern Virginia to which Fox belonged, read a statement he co-wrote in October 2004 in which he shunned violence, even to rescue him should he ever be kidnapped. "We reject violence to punish anyone who harms us," said Doug Smith, quoting Fox, in a statement read to reporters at the group's headquarters in McLean, Virginia.
If I have it aright, the CPT would not on principle -- if the word can be perverted thus -- have placed a call, if they could, to save Tom Fox as he was being tortured to death because it might bring Multinational Forces rushing to violent rescue, an act they would have no part of. Yet they saw no contradiction in precipitating this absurd situation by their intentional presence in Iraq and by trailing their coat in the most dangerous neighborhoods; nor did they think it ethically consistent to refrain from telling the Press of the kidnapping though they must have known efforts to rescue them would be made, despite their well-publicized refusals. There is nothing more suspicious than false modesty performed conspicuously upon a stage.
As for myself, the Christian Peacemaker Teams remind me of nothing so much as Fred Phelps. I think that if ever there were an instance of latter-day blasphemy it must be in the CPT's hideous claim that their "only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their Iraqi and international co-workers". Nothing seems further than the truth. They've endangered themselves, the lives of innocent Iraqis and those who hazarded themselves to find and rescue them for the sake of their own self-righteous theater. Vanity, not love is their watchword. Fortune and men's eyes and not God is who they worship.