The Plot Sickens

The Christian Peacemaker Teams organization to which the 4 hostages belong just recently suspended their Adopt-a-Detainee program.

You read that right. Adopt-a-Detainee:

After a year and a half of coordinated advocacy for Iraqis detained by U.S. and other occupying forces, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is ending its Adopt-a-Detainee Letter-Writing Campaign. CPT's Iraq project will, however, continue to monitor the situation of Iraqis captured by the Multinational Force in Iraq (MNF) and by the new Iraqi Forces.

The Adopt-a-Detainee Letter-Writing Campaign, beginning in March 2004, matched individual detainees with congregations, mosques, synagogues, and peace groups in North America and around the world. These groups wrote letters to U.S., Iraqi and other relevant officials on the detainees' behalf. The campaign grew out of CPT's investigation of and reporting on abuses within the U.S.-run detention system in Iraq during the fall of 2003. The Adopt-a-Detainee Letter-Writing Campaign included a total of twenty-seven detainees, nine of whom U.S. officials released during the campaign, ten of whom were still detained at last word, and seven of whom U.S. officials never confirmed as detained (i.e., the "disappeared.")

They're still running the Campaign For Secure Dwellings though:

Since 1995 the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron has provided a violence-reduction presence with street patrols, responding when we hear word of trouble, and staying with people in tense times and places. The team also supports Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers in their work. It is clear to us that there can be no security for Israelis or Palestinians as long as the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip continues.

Hm, guess no one bothered to tell them about the Gaza withdrawal earlier this year.

I still hope the hostages are released unharmed.

Posted by: Vinnie at 05:54 PM


1 I was deeply saddened to hear that more hostages were taken. These men were good Christian men trying to help promote peace in Iraq. I will pray for their safe release and for their families. There is such devastation to the families , I know this horror... I pray for them , I wish I could help in some way.

Posted by: Susan Hallums at November 29, 2005 06:17 PM

2 Wonder if they can start a adopt-a-hostage campaign now?

Posted by: MathewK at November 29, 2005 06:23 PM

3 Susan,
Good to see you are still around. I agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly. Although I believe these hostages were misguided, they are VICTIMS nonetheless.

Posted by: Rusty at November 29, 2005 06:36 PM

4 How bout Adopt-a-terrorist. They have feelings too.

Posted by: Jesusland Carlos at November 29, 2005 06:45 PM

5 Susan, you've helped more than enough. You've set an example which the families of these poor people may emulate.

No family should have to suffer as yours did, or as their's are.

Posted by: Vinnie at November 29, 2005 07:00 PM

6 Peacemakers and humanitarians, like CPT of which I am a part, are not the ones who tolerate and support dictators. We confront them directly, as we did in going to Iraq while Saddam was still in power. I've also done the same in Bosnia.

For those who deride and belittle people actively working for peace, even at the cost of their liberty, fortune, and lives and only ask, "what have you done?"


Charlie Jackson

Posted by: Charlie Jackson at November 29, 2005 07:46 PM

7 For those who deride and belittle people actively working for peace, even at the cost of their liberty, fortune, and lives and only ask, "what have you done?"

For my part, I personally have done a lot less damage in this world doing "nothing" than you have done "actively working for peace". In other words, I'm useless, but you're worse than useless. That's why we think you people are such dangerous morons (mostly dangerous to yourself as it turns out). Please, stop doing us anymore favors.

Posted by: Jesusland Carlos at November 29, 2005 08:38 PM

8 No, Carlos, they are also dangerous to our military, because the military will be out there risking their lives trying to find these fools. Worse than useless does not describe the harm these people are doing.

Posted by: jesusland joe at November 29, 2005 08:43 PM

9 I may not agree completely with CPT and their theology about peace, I find it hard to believe that some here are deriding them for what they are doing in Iraq. CPT was the first group to denounce the U.S. military's human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib, before the Western media acknowledged it. Their efforts may seem small and useless...but what is the "damage" that they have done?

I know that the U.S. military may have to endager themselves to look for these four hostages, but CPT has specifically stated that they DO NOT want the military to intervene to save if the military tries, the effort won't be wanted. They are not there to hurt or endanger our troops, they are not there to do damage, they are there to try to provide us back home with the truth and hold both sides - both the dictators and terrorists and the Coalition Forces - accountable. It may be a hopeless cause, but I can't see how it can be called "damaging."

Posted by: Brian Tyler at November 29, 2005 09:14 PM

10 >>>"CPT was the first group to denounce the U.S. military's human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib, before the Western media acknowledged it."

umm, no. The U.S. military itself was the first to denounce human rights abuses at Abu Graib by some of its members, and was actively investigating and prosecuting them long before ANY civilians got wind of it, including your CPT. The only thing you people did was incite hatred against our country by making hay of it, as well as give aid and comfort to our enemies. You are dangerous and irresponsible people. You a little better than children in grown up bodies.

I sincerely hope our military doesn't lift a finger to rescue these moonbats considering their help is neither wanted nor appreciated. This is a bed the moonbats have made, if they want to sleep in it, LET THEM.

Posted by: Jesusland Carlos at November 29, 2005 09:55 PM

11 Because Brian, if the military did nothing to find these people, then the liberals here in the US would be condemning Bush and the military for doing nothing. Surely you are sophisticated enough to see that. The military may not want to look for these guys, but they will be forced to, and therein lies the danger.

Posted by: jesusland joe at November 29, 2005 10:01 PM

12 Agreed, CPT provides an invaluable service at great personal risk to themselves. Charlie, our hearts go out to all of you who know the hostages and who are no doubt dealing with a lot of conflicted emotions in this understandable difficult time.

To those being so critical in these threads, please treat the hostages with the same level of respect CPT members have been known to treat individual soldiers and combatants. If you're going to criticize, criticize the organization but respect the human beings who, like all of us, are simply doing what they believe to be right.

Posted by: Rob at November 29, 2005 10:02 PM

13 Uh, Charlie, who brought peace to Bosnia, CPT or the United States military? And I'm not belittling or deriding you, just pointing our that your organization is not effective, whereas the US military is. You might show them more love than you have in the past, including your behavior toward our soldiers in Iraq.

Posted by: jesusland joe at November 29, 2005 10:52 PM

14 I'll bet a damn dollar this is a scam to get ransom money, and there probably are no kidnappers at all.

Posted by: Improbulus Maximus at November 29, 2005 11:19 PM

15 Uh, Joe -- I'd like to point out that the IFOR military operations in Bosnia consisted of upwards of 50,000 personnel. CPT was able to deploy what: 5?

Had IFOR only been able to deploy 5 people, would they have contributed more or less than CPT to the peace and stability of Bosnia?

Had CPT been able to deploy 50,000 staff to the region, would they have had a greater or lesser effect than IFOR?

Aside from pure personnel counts, what if the two organizations also had comparable financial resources and training periods at their disposal?

It's obviously impossible to say one way or another, but I just wanted to point out how ludicrous you're being with your comparison. I'll tell you what - we've tried the military solution and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. How about we allocate the resources to CPT for a conflict or two and see how they do? Once that's out of the way, we can start comparing apples to apples. ;o)

Don't forget: non-violent movements forced the British out of India, the Soviets out of Poland & the Ukraine, the Syrians out of Lebanon, and also managed to introduce the notion of civil liberties to the grand old US of A. While they may not provide a solution to every problem (Hitler being a classic case study that ties pacifists in knots), the tactical and strategic value of non-violent movements should not to be underestimated.

Posted by: Rob at November 30, 2005 12:00 AM

16 I know that the U.S. military may have to endager themselves to look for these four hostages, but CPT has specifically stated that they DO NOT want the military to intervene to save if the military tries, the effort won't be wanted.

I think we both know, the United States will send in Soldiers even if it's not wanted, it's a non-issue. Therefore they have put both Soldiers, Iraqi citizens and themselves in harms way.

Hooray for Peace!

If your organization pays a ransom, it should be likewise be held accountable, as that money is used to fund insurgency/terrorism against U.S Soldiers and Iraqi citizens.

Posted by: dave at November 30, 2005 12:04 AM

17 Rob, how could you compare what a group like CPT would need in "resources"? Other than food and water. Oh, and pamphlets. And allow me to ask this: If 50K CPT members were deployed against a ruthless enemy, how many would end up dead as opposed to 50K well armed and trained troops? Better yet, how many others would die if they obliged and took the "peaceful, non-violent" stance CPT advocates? And what would be the final outcome? Would the members of the dictatorship suddenly decide to succumb to such horrific pressure?

I think you know the answer to these questions without hypotheticals.

Posted by: Oyster at November 30, 2005 08:29 AM

18 As an ex-Christian and somewhat of a scholar on religion, I would like to point out that one of the core tenets of original Christianity was martyrdom, an example set by Jesus himself, and many Christians willingly walked into the coliseum in Rome knowing that they would be killed and eaten by the lions. Personally, I feel this type of behavior is evidence of a mental disorder, because it goes against millions of years of ingrained survival instinct, but hey, to each his own, right? So to my mind, if these people want to walk into a modern day lion's den and offer themselves up as sacrifice, i.e. to be violently murdered in the name of peace, (kinda like having sex for the sake of chastity), I say let them go for it, because the more people like this remove themselves from the gene pool, the better off society will be, because they're sick in the head, and if they want to die, let them, and don't risk the lives of sane people for their sake.

Posted by: Improbulus Maximus at November 30, 2005 10:29 AM

19 "I think you know the answer to these questions without hypotheticals."

Oyster - I'm of the opinion that there are times when violence has worked (World War 2, for instance) and there are times when non-violent resistance has worked (India, Poland, Ukraine, Lebanon, and others, as I mentioned in my post). Hypotheticals have nothing to do with it.

There are many types of conflicts (ranging from schoolyard bullying and trade union disputes to gang wars to world wars to wars of philosophy or religion or oil). There are also many viable and long-proven approaches to conflict resolution, ranging from non-violent resistance, mediation, and peaceful diplomacy to walking up to someone and putting a cap in their ass.

To assume that overwhelming violence is the only solution to a given problem, this one included, is like building a house with a sledgehammer as your only tool. In ignoring the possibility that CPT might have something to offer, you're ignoring the lessons of history and limiting your options before you even enter the conflict zone. Why do you think the British military had fewer troubles in Iraq than the Americans - it's because they brought a broader spectrum of skills to the table and trained their troops to do more than simply pull the trigger. There are conflict situations, and I believe Iraq to be one of them, where overwhelming force is neither a viable nor an effective solution to the problem at hand.

Posted by: Rob at November 30, 2005 01:50 PM

20 The only thing the CPT has to offer is encouragement to our enemies. I hope the rest of the idiots get kidnapped too.

Posted by: Improbulus Maximus at November 30, 2005 01:57 PM

21 I am a first time reader and poster to this weblog... and I cannot help but react to the elementary and rudimentary nature of the previous posts. I don't think that American society will get anywhere by arguing about the rights and wrongs of war or pacifism because it will always be a divisive point of difference between people. What I think is most important for us to do is to put faces and names on tragedies such as this to combat the dehumanization of people all over the globe that occurs everyday.

Can we not agree to recognize CPTers, Iraqis, and soldiers as human lives alike, no matter what they have or haven't been doing? As a pacifist I could say the exact same things about American soldiers and the US Army as others have said here about pacifists and CPTers. As a pacifist I do not believe in war theology and therefore see the US Military and soldiers as detrimental to peace in Iraq and even to global politics, but would I ever criticize a soldier for the sacrifice he or she makes by enlisting in the army (that is for volunteering to fight just as CPTers volunteer to work for peace)? Of course not.

It is completely unecessary to belittle and dehumanize the work of our fellow human beings and fellow Americans who also happen to work for CPT. Calling them names and talking about "you people" is not a mature or practial way to discuss this issue which goes far beyond peace/war theology, but deals with the loss or salvation of human lives whether they be soldiers, CPTers, or Iraqis.

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Posted by: boris at June 30, 2006 01:41 AM

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