Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Canadian, American and British Peacemakers to be Killed Together

Fears are mounting over this. People I've talked to say they'd rather get a phone call that their loved one is dead, rather than a phone call that their loved one is going to die in a matter of time.

Terrorism is the poor man's military. Terrorists are like bear-baiters. Terrorists are not corporate machine-gun men, but rather, the desperate margins of a world gone mad. Unfortunately, terrorist's actions, like that of a military when it cannot be logically controlled (which is often), lash out indiscriminantly. It does so because the only thing it knows is how to evoke suffering. It does so to demonstrate its power, but the result is that it alienates its enemies more, and so it elongates the strife.

Now terrorists have kidnapped our friends from the Christian Peacemakers Team, labelled them "spies" and they are threatening to kill them on December 8, 2005. These individuals include two Canadians: Jim Loney of Toronto and Harmeet Singh Sooden, formerly a McGill student in Montreal, currently studying in New Zealand. The other two are Norman Kemper of the United Kingdom, and Tom Fox of the U.S.A. The mission of the team was to document human rights violations of occupying forces in Iraq, which meant working with Iraqi prisoners and their families, not to act as spies. They went to reduce violence, but now they are the victims of it.

Since the war on Iraq started, we three allies -Canada, America, and the UK have been more divided over foreign policy than ever. If there can be any union between us, perhaps this is it: our mutual vulnerability and complicity in war. Canada opposed the war in Iraq, but all this amounts to is that our Canadian soldiers commit murder and violence under American brigades. This is no time for nationalism. This is the time for like-minded individuals.

I recieved a statement from Jack Suderman, the General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, which shares CPT's values of non-violent intervention. He has forwarded the following statement from Christian Peacemakers Team:

"We are distressed that those who have taken our friends, Harmeet, Tom, Norman and Jim, could try and bargain with their lives and we want to understand why they would do such a thing. The taking of lives in any circumstance is against everything we stand for. Please, whoever is holding them, release them all unharmed. Their families are very worried about them and we want their safe return home. We fear that whoever is holding them has made a mistake. These four men are peacemakers, not spies. CPT has consistently opposed the war and the continuing presence of multinational forces in Iraq."

As you may gather, I've never been a supporter of the war in Iraq. It is a war, and as such, I abhor it. I especially abhor it and the excuses for it because it is an illegal war. American and British aggression in Iraq is responsible for the reaction. No one can say that it is neither propagated nor initiated by either side, but somehow in the air, because all sides that seek battle, are actively engaged. Therefore, I empathize with the millions of Americans and Brits who agree that their leaders have made an imbecilic mistake, but I hold everyone supporting or fighting this "war on terrorism" at fault. I'm sorry if this includes your son or your daughter or neighbor or friend who is a soldier serving your country for what he or she thinks is right. I abhor their actions. If you'd like to believe that the war is just as much my fault for standing on the sidelines, well I invite you to join me. Perhaps if we manage to recruit more of us, the war will end itself.

If you are religious, you are invited to set aside a time on Wednesday December 7, 2005 to say the following prayer. If you are not Christian, simply use your name for "Lord". If you are not religious, it is enough for you simply support our cause in spirit:

Our Lord, Saviour and prince of Peace,

Who desires that all peoples experience justice, reconciliation and peace,

We confess that our country and our country's leaders have not done as much as we might have to avert the suffering of the people in Iraq.



We pray for Harmeet, James, Norman and Tom,

That you will sustain them and give them courage as they have placed their faith in you;

That they may bear witness to Christ's example of love for the enemy;

That in your mercy they may be delivered to freely serve your Kingdom.



We pray for their captors that they will see the futility of violence.



We pray for the families and loved ones of the captives

That you will comfort them with your presence.



We pray for all Iraqis who are being held captive,

That they may also be united with their loved ones.



Amen

5 Comments:

Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Yes. This war is indeed erroding the spirt of us all, not to mention the loss of innocent lives.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Queen of Ass said...

That was absolutely beautiful.

I'm not sure how I feel about Iraq, but I was glad we attacked after 9/11. I lost friends then, so I was affected personally by it.

However, this doesn't seem about the original action anymore, and honestly I haven't kept up enough to know all the "reasoning" behind it all.

I hope those men make it home safely.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

BASTARDS!
they're going to kill them....it's inevitable.
and i'm saddened by this.
my mean streak wants evil to come upon them....like Jason mentioned to me about RENDERING...where they pump them with drugs, and take them to hidden prisons..that's what they deserve.
yes...that is.

12:00 PM  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

barbarafromcalifornia -You have a pretty mind. They are innocent, but they are not naive. Their parents warned them that going to Iraq wasn't child's play, but it is important for them to do this work. In a way, they are working for the same result as their captors, only they are doing it without the threat of violence: let Iraqis administer their own justice in Iraq.

queen of ass -I think what happened in 911 was horrible, but to take it as a declaration of war or as an "attack on freedom" is boneheaded. When you consider the hundreds of people the coalition forces have put in prisons to rot in Iraq, you wonder what freedom represents to America anyway. Plus, the US and the UK have taken their sweet-ass time. This was apparently a war that would last "weeks not months". Bush will always conflate his arguments to make the war effort appear more appealing, even though he has no time plan or clear agenda for it. I think there comes a time when you throw in the towel. I hope that these men make it home safely too, but that depends on whether Iraqi prisoners are released.

Mitzee -I identify with your sentiments, but to wish more imprisonment on people within their own country is pretty much the root of the problem. It's not like they're attacking the West, but the other way around. The one good thing is that the captors are treating them well for the time being. Murderers with manners? The Canadians even appeared on camera without handcuffs.

I guess the moral of this story is that if you kick a dog over and over, don't be surprised if it bites back at anyone who's close enough for it to reach.

There have been anti-war Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders who have pleaded for their safe release, and there are even so-called militant groups like Hezbollah and Hamas who support their release, which shows that no matter what religion or political group you are a part of, you still have a heart and can still resent seeing people suffer. However, the Swords of Righteousness Brigade wants its conditions met. Those conditions call for the US and the UK to leave Iraq.

Do you think there would be more or less violence over time if coalition forces listened? After all, what would you categorize the bulk of their work there now as? How many soccer fields, playgrounds, schools, trains, swimming pools, mosques, churches or temples have you seen that have been rebuilt as a result of the goodness of the war machine? Sure, occupying forces toppled a "regime" but they didn't stop Iraq from having one. There are so many lessons to be learned the hard way.

2:49 PM  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:14 PM  

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