Brit, American, & Canadian Hostages Worked for anti-war Christian Peace Organization

norman_kember_hostage_iraq.jpgUPDATE: Jawa Report Exclusive--names of hostages released. Names, images, and video of the hostages here.


The Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) organization has confirmed to The Jawa Report in an e-mail that Norman Kember, an unidentified Canadian, and two unidentified Americans were abducted from that group's Iraq peace delegation.

The Christian pacifist organization declined to name the three other hostages at this time.

In a seperate statement released today by the organization, the CPT said:

CPT has been present in Iraq since October, 2002. The Team's work has focused on documenting and focusing public attention on detainee abuses and connecting citizens of Iraq to local and international human rights organizations. Iraqi friends and human rights workers have welcomed the Team as a non-violent, independent presence and asked that the Team tell the stories of Iraqis.

In a "Statement of Conviction," the long-term Team members stated that they "are aware of the many risks both Iraqis and internationals currently face," and affirmed that the risks did not outweigh their purpose in remaining. They express the hope that "in loving both friends and enemies and by intervening non-violently to aid those who are systematically oppressed, we can contribute in some small way to transforming this volatile situation."

CPT does not advocate the use of violent force to save our lives should we be kidnapped, held hostage, or caught in the middle of a conflict situation.

So, the CPT would stand on principle and allow their representatives in Iraq to die rather than risk the lives of the terrorists that took them in a rescue operation? A perverse sense of Christian morality in my book.

Advice to CPT from a long-time hostage activist: trying to convince the hostage takers that you are on their side may work, depending on what type of group abducted your representatives. Arab nationalist, non-Salaafist jihadis, and Shia jihad groups may be convinced using this method but only if a simultaneous public campaign from clerics is undertaken. To do this you must release the names of the other victims.

Of course, if this was simply a criminal act then the above should be undertaken in addition to ransom negotiations. Many criminals who engage in hostage taking of Westerners do so with the justification (backed by certain Islamic traditions) that the ransoming of infidels is permitted. Shame from influential clerics can go along way in convincing criminals to release hostages.

However, if it was Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq, Ansar al-Sunna, or any related Salaafist jihad organization then this will have no effect. The only hope would be a rescue. Fortunately if the hostages are located a rescue will be attempted, even over the objections of CPT.

UPDATE: Via Captain Ed, we learn that Norman Kember was a family friend of blogger Hammerswing. As mentioned in our earlier post, we join Hammerswing with our prayers for Kember, even if we think he was a misguided idealist.

Posted by: Rusty at 09:04 AM

Comments

1 It's very easy to say you are against a "violent" rescue, when you're writing it in a press release, or after the fact, or simply when you're not the one being held.

As wrote if these are insurgents or Iraqi criminal elements you may have a chance to negotiate, if this is the terrorists a rescue is the only chance they have.

If previous hostage statements of torture are anyting to go by they'll probably be thankful a QRF put two in the heart, and one in the head of Team Jihad.



Posted by: dave at November 29, 2005 09:29 AM

2 Didn't Augustine say that it wasn't right to use violence to defend yourself but that it was o.k. to use violence to defend others? Hence, wouldn't it be o.k. for the U.S. military to kill a terrorist in defense of the hostages?

Posted by: Rusty at November 29, 2005 09:54 AM

3 Why should we waste the effort on these dhimmis? If they're going to take sides with the enemy, let them sleep in the bed they made for themselves.

Posted by: Improbulus Maximus at November 29, 2005 10:04 AM

4 Kinda harsh IM. The guy may be a misguided idiot, but so are millions of victims of aggression in the world. He is the VICTIM here. Our prayers should be with him.

Posted by: Rusty at November 29, 2005 10:12 AM

5 Like John Wayne said: Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid. If someone puts themselves in harm's way without cause, and without regard for the hardship it would cause for others, i.e. their families and those who would have to come rescue them, then I have no sympathy, especially that they actively propagandize against the very soldiers who will have to go rescue them, risking their lives for these idiots.
He and the other morons are either willing dhimmis trying to help the enemy by staging their kidnapping, or they're simply too stupid to be trusted with their own welfare; either way, they should be left with the kidnappers. People have to learn that actions have consequences.

Posted by: Improbulus Maximus at November 29, 2005 12:06 PM

6 I know Norman Kember, I attend his church. He is one of the most intelligent men I know, but also one of the most passionate. I think it was foolish for him to go to Iraq, but to suggest Norman did it without a sense of the risks is rediculous. As for taking sides with the enemy, I take this comment very personally. Why would a PACIFIST support one killer over another, it makes no sense. Let's not forget, it was military action in Iraq that made Norman go, and military action that made the place so much more unstable. And please stop fleshing out the character of a man you know nothing about.

Posted by: A friend of Norman's at November 29, 2005 12:42 PM

7 IMP:
I don't normally disagree with you, much but:
If someone puts themselves in harm's way without cause, and without regard for the hardship it would cause for others, i.e. their families and those who would have to come rescue them

The left would argue that applies to people working in the warzone, like Roy Hallum, or Black Water operators that I talked about the other day, unfortunately motives are interchangable from each side of the coin.

Friend of Norman:
Let's not forget, it was military action in Iraq that made Norman go, and military action that made the place so much more unstable.

Ah yes, I remember the Iraqi children flying kites, and the outdoor coffee shops!
Oh, and something to do with torturing nationals with Sulphuric acid, and people being hung on meathooks, but my goodness though the kites! and coffee!

I think you've mistook Iraq for a romance novel, Iraq was kept stable by Saddam Hussein killing whole families, and his usage of the secret police to spy and kill any suspected dissidents.



Posted by: dave at November 29, 2005 01:33 PM

8 Dave, the key words were "without cause". He put himself in harm's way for no good reason. He had no mission to help the victims of the war, he wasn't trying to deliver food or blankets, he was just there to protest, and in my opinion, he isn't worth the effort to rescue, because the sum total of his actions result in nothing more than a propaganda victory for the terrorists, and does nothing to make the situation better.

Posted by: Improbulus Maximus at November 29, 2005 02:07 PM

9 I don't know Norm personally, but I do know many CPT'ers. My understanding of the Iraq mission is that part of what they were doing was cataloging the tortures, secret murders, and other abuses that went on in Iraq - first under Hussein and then under the Coalition - what George Bush refers to as "collateral damage". They also assist in aiding Iraqi families find their loved ones that the coalition troops "disappear", which could be anybody suspectd of nationalism or simply of having a little money they want to confiscate. I realize there are some people who would refer to this mission as "no good cause", but to those of us who oppose robbery, torture, and murder, it is worthwhile. Very worthwhile. The CPT'ers were reporting on the abuses at Abu Graib long before the infamous photos were released internationally. They also say those abuses haven't stopped.

As to the helpful remarks about Augustine, Anabaptist theologies reject Augustine, pleading the New Testament as their only creed.

Posted by: Jenny at November 29, 2005 04:09 PM

10 So Jenny, you're saying that they actively aid the enemy? Because that's what it sounds like they're doing, and knowing the nature of the typical bedwetting pacificist, I wouldn't doubt it.

Posted by: Improbulus Maximus at November 29, 2005 05:26 PM

11 Jenny:
After reading your comments it's pretty easy to see how gullible people could be suggested to go to Iraq, to preach "peace" and catalog "atrocities".

Let's dissect:
cataloging the tortures, secret murders, and other abuses that went on in Iraq - first under Hussein and then under the Coalition - what George Bush refers to as "collateral damage".

Can you show an example of willful targetting of civilians? Wars always have civilian casualties. All the JDAM's and the laser guided missiles we have cannot avoid it, but it sure beats the "blanket" bombings of WWII, and Vietnam era though right? The fact the United States and most of the coalition have built weapons to minimize civilian deaths is evidently lost on you, I'm sure you prefer the enemies weapons, indiscriminate and murderous.


They also assist in aiding Iraqi families find their loved ones that the coalition troops "disappear", which could be anybody suspectd of nationalism or simply of having a little money they want to confiscate.

Robbery eh? did you base that on the documentary you watched entitled "Three Kings" ?

but to those of us who oppose robbery, torture, and murder, it is worthwhile.
You know if this was a democrat site, and people said they believed in the war, they'd ask why if you believed in it so much, why are you not there?
Do you not oppose this "robbery", "torture" and "murder"
fortunately you're not, so I'll take it at face value and ask
What does making yourself a target, and endangering the lives of coalition forces, and Iraqi nationals accomplish?
If the U.S Special forces found your "friends" tomorrow, and wished to rescue them, you wouldn't want them rescued if it meant killing those whom wished them harm?

That to me is unbelievable, although it is very easy to be cavalier with your comrades lives, when your neck is not on the block, so to speak.







Posted by: dave at November 29, 2005 06:44 PM

12 Reporting on the abuses at Abu G before the pix came out?

Oh, like the U.S. military then, who were already prosecuting the criminals who engaged in the practices photographed long before the bed-wetters in the press got their hands on the photos.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at November 29, 2005 06:45 PM

13 I wonder what these so called anti-war activists were doing to help the enemy when they were taken hostage?
What were they doing in Iraq? Helping our troops???????????
Sometimes when you make your own bed you have to lay on it.

Posted by: greyrooster at November 29, 2005 06:50 PM

14 Norman Kember is anti-war. He opposes violence. Put your flag-waving, bomb-dropping, bush-voting redneck handbags away, and appreciate that as these people oppose violence, they will invariably oppose the notion of someone pointing a gun at their heads. THEY DO NOT SIDE WITH ANY HOSTAGE-TAKER, BECAUSE HOSTAGE TAKERS ARE VIOLENT. Unlike president Bush, they do not patronise Iraqi innocents, they go and talk to them, and discuss what they are concerned about. If anyone's actually interested in what Kember REALLY stands for, listen to his interview on the Premier Christian Radio website. As for "bed-wetters" - grow up.

Posted by: Angered at November 29, 2005 08:49 PM

15 lol, anyone else see the irony of someone using the nickname 'angered' talking about pacifism.

Good luck on the oppose the notion of someone pointing a gun at their heads.
With the people that's holding them, they will inevitably need it. Either way, United States citizens will have their ass on the line to rescue them, even if they "appose" that too.



Posted by: dave at November 29, 2005 10:10 PM

16 Angered,

He is a fool, nonetheless. As for his sincerity, I never had a doubt. But they will negociate with a tyrant ad infinium while the people are being murdered, gassed, mutilated, raped, tortured, and humiliated.

In other words, they are totally ineffectual. They accomphish nothing but put others at risk, for what? They would better spend their time praying. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. This is where they could be effective, but alas, this is just my belief.

Posted by: jesusland joe at November 29, 2005 10:15 PM

17 Hey angered, fuck you. Anyone who tries to prevent the killing of murdering scum is giving aid and comfort to said scum. How many innocent men, women, children, and soldiers must die before you morons get it? The only way to confront evil is with force, but you're too stupid to understand that. I hope you realize that given the side you've chosen, you'll be killed with your terrorist friends when the time comes.

Posted by: Improbulus Maximus at November 29, 2005 11:33 PM

18 "Anyone who tries to prevent the killing of murdering scum is giving aid and comfort to said scum. How many innocent men, women, children, and soldiers must die before you morons get it? The only way to confront evil is with force, but you're too stupid to understand that."

Be careful, Improbulus. That entire argument is so easily reversed if you choose to classify the US military as "murdering scum" which, I assure you, the Iraqi insurgents do. How many innocent men, women, children, and soldiers must die before YOU get it? That's the trouble with "us vs. them" dichotomies and debates about good and evil. You inherently place yourself on the "good" side. Well, guess what - Al Qaeda thinks of themselves as the good guys, too. If the only way to confront "evil" is with force, then we're all doomed because every last one of us somehow ends up being somebody else's evil. You might as well launch the nukes now and put this world out of its misery. Oh, and by the way, make sure you point one at you and yours because my gerbil thinks you're evil.

Norman and his group present an alternate solution. One where we don't all die. Sadly, it took a threat to his life for you to read this. I'm not sure what it will take to make you understand.

Posted by: Rob at November 30, 2005 08:08 PM

19 What if...the whereabouts of the Canadian hostages was flagged to their captors, along with the lie that they're "spies?" Why? To convince any remaining objective (ie. non-embedded)"witnesses" to leave Iraq & dissuade any future such folk from even thinking of going there. Remember that once the Italian government succeeded in negotiating the release of reporter, Giuliana Sgrena, she narrowly missed death in a hail of bullets - from BEHIND - as her car neared the airport. Clearly, powerful forces oppose a free press and objective witnesses to their deeds.
IF this is so, look for very public and nasty executions when the (intentionally) impossible demands are not met by Dec.8th.

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