December 05, 2005

Concessions Merit Beheadings. When will they learn?

Oh Holy Irony! The guns are brightly gleaming. On November 29th, Al-Jazeera aired video of four peace activists, members of The Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), taken hostage in Iraq. Al-Jazeera reported that the Christian peace activists were seized by a terrorist group calling themselves the Swords of Righteousness Brigade. The hostages consist of one American, one Briton, and two Canadians. The terrorists predicated their threats to a demand calling for the release of all prisoners in U.S. and Iraqi detention centers.

The group plans to kill the Christian peace activists if their demands are not met by December 8th.

Before I go on, let me be clear: I want the hostages to survive, and I want the terrorist kidnappers executed. This is simply the latest instance in the pure nihilist hatred displayed by Islamic fundamentalist groups. Seemingly, America still has not learned from past transgressions just who the enemy is. The most recent attacks in Jordan and the kidnapping of these Christian peace activists – only the latest in Daniel Pearl-style hostage situations—further display the indiscriminate homicidal tendencies of Islamic fundamentalist groups.

While they often cower behind the anti-United States, anti-Israel defense, these actions speak to a different hatred. In the past month alone these groups have murdered Christians, Muslims, Jews, Britons, Canadians, Jordanians, Americans, Iraqis, Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, and many others. The next overly sensitive, silver spoon-fed shelter baby that whines aloud that Americans need to understand the Islamic terrorist perspective and consider these individuals’ feelings is going to witness a little terror firsthand.

The situation surrounding these Christian peace activists’ abduction is worthy of examination. The human element of the story is tragic. Nevertheless, kidnapping members in the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has an element of perverse irony.

The CPT is a favorite among terrorist sympathizers. The organization, which has a non-missionary and supposedly humanitarian objective, has been allowed to operate freely in dangerous areas throughout the region. Muslim advocacy groups realize the image problems associated with the potential deaths of these activists. The Association of Muslim Scholars has pleaded for the release of these members, remarking that the release would highlight the group’s “good efforts in helping those in need.”

Another reason that this group is viewed favorably by members of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and al-Qaeda related groups in Iraq is directly tied to one of its more recent initiatives. The Christian Peacemakers Teams had an “Adopt-a-Detainee” program which they even touted on their website.

The program was concerned with “abuses” of terrorist detainees; it was not at all concerned with our men and women on the ground on the Western side of the conflict. CPT touts this Sponsor-a-Terrorist program on its website, reporting: “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 program ran for eighteen months after which, sadly, the “Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) ended its Adopt-a-Detainee Letter-Writing Campaign.” Even though the program has ended, there is no need for terrorist sympathizers to be afraid. The “CPT’s Iraq project will… continue to monitor the situation of Iraqis captured by the Multinational Force in Iraq (MNF) and by the new Iraqi Forces.”

Well thank whatever god of your choosing for that. It is good to know that groups like the Christian Peacemakers Teams are out there looking after the welfare of the Islamic fundamentalist fighters. After all, out of all parties involved in this epic struggle, the CPT would have one believe that the enemy combatants are in need of the most help and concern.

On the CPT website they plead for the safe return of their members. But just look at the tone of their remarks to peek into the fantasy world in which these sad groups live. The CPT is “distressed that those who have taken our friends, Harmeet, Tom, Norman and Jim, could try and bargain with their lives.” This is both normal, and almost human sounding; but right after that statement, these people and reality officially divorce each other.

The CPT states that, “we want to understand why they would do such a thing.” Yes, let us empathize with the terrorists. The CPT goes on to plead with the Islamic fundamentalists trying to show the support for their cause, stating that the “CPT has consistently opposed the war and the continuing presence of multinational forces in Iraq.”

This is where the irony is in full effect. The CPT, and similar leftist sympathizers, plainly cannot understand why they are targeted as well. After all, they already have given concessions and are even working on the terrorists’ behalf. The policies of the CPT and of governments who take similar concessionary stances have once again been exposed as the malformed brainchildren of warped politics.

Posted by Benjamin Hackett at December 5, 2005 12:00 AM
Comments
Comment #98801

Ben,

“This is where the irony is in full effect. The CPT, and similar leftist sympathizers, plainly cannot understand why they are targeted as well. After all, they already have given concessions and are even working on the terrorists€™ behalf.”

Gee, let me think……

It wouldn’t be because they were Christians, would it?

Posted by: Rocky at December 4, 2005 11:21 PM
Comment #98806

So Ben,

What you are saying is that people who believe that captured terrorism suspects have the rights accorded to POWs in the Geneva Convention deserve to be captured and beheaded?

It must work so well for you to believe that the left sympathizes with the terrorists. That way, any atrocities discovered by the Red Cross or Amnesty International are bogus, because they just want the terrorists to win.

Ben, I believe Terrorists bad… America good…

A very good reason for us not to be over there.

Posted by: Loren at December 4, 2005 11:45 PM
Comment #98809

Ben,
These people were idealists. They were warned not to go outside the Green Zone without an armed escort. They went anyway, with the best of intentions, meaning to spread peace, and do good.

Terrorists nabbed them. Many groups kidnap and threaten victims in the hopes of obtaining ransom. Let’s hope that’s the case here, and that, amid the lawless chaos outside Bagdhad’s Green Zone, these kidnappers want money rather than to commit an atrocity. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Sneering at their idealism and, perhaps, their foolishness, is really really unbecoming.

You know, four non-violent, “leftist sympathizers” could do more as matyrs for the cause of peace, than 2,000 American soldiers killing 2,000 Iraqis killing 2,000 terrorists killing 2,000 Americans?

They were crazy to try, but crazy in a good way. Let’s hope they’re released.

Posted by: phx8 at December 5, 2005 12:00 AM
Comment #98814

All I have to say about this story is this: it’s not the first time a group of anti-war activists in Iraq has been “kidnapped” by a group nobody has heard of before.

Posted by: sanger at December 5, 2005 12:54 AM
Comment #98821

I am disappointed there are no flocks of pro-war supporters going into Iraq. All we get are peaceniks who go into warzones. Where are the Conservatives? You would think the multi-million dollar rewards would get them into Iraq but no!!! All the he-man macho warmongers just stay at home and post in the Red Column.

Posted by: Aldous at December 5, 2005 01:15 AM
Comment #98824

Ben,
I see the same sad irony that you do about these folks. Wether sincere, christian, political, leftist, naive or whatever, I also hope that they come out unscathed. I also hope most sincerely that no U.S. soldiers, Iraqi or other coalition forces and just plain old Iraqi folk are injured or killed as a result of a rescue attempt. I suppose that the biggest irony is just how insignificant that these other people’s lives appear to be to these pacifistic people when they go out to do their thing. I have no problem with someone risking their own life for a cause but I do have a problem with risking other people’s lives for the same cause, particularly if that said cause is non violence. I will also state that I respect one’s opinion to be pacifistic, I do not always understand it. Another irony is how these folks are so ready to rail and accuse the U.S. “in your face style”, but seldom if ever the same way with despots, murderers, armies of intolerant nations and the like. This seems better done from a distance, though again, seldom.

Posted by: scolex at December 5, 2005 01:45 AM
Comment #98825

Aldous,
I thought that all conservatives were filthy rich sharing in all of our oil money and in keeping the masses downtrodden. I would think that the liberals would be the ones out to collect rewards so that they could selflessly donate the money to help balance the budget or just simply to pay more taxes than they should.

Posted by: scolex at December 5, 2005 01:51 AM
Comment #98831

Ben,
After reading your article and the replys from the Left and Right, I must wonder why you wrote it the way that you did. Are you slamming the anti-war movement group for protecting the “Innocent of War” or are you slamming the terrorists for preying on those shepards who go forth to protect the flock? Not every person with a gun is a bad guy, even President Bush had to finally wake up to that fact.

His new word of “Resisters” should have a very familar sound considering the Democrats spoke of it last year. However, this group needs to be tracked down and taken out because they just do not understand that it is the action of their rage that is the problem not the issues. They will just have to be given time to works and its sad to say, but that must remain to the Sands of Time.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 5, 2005 02:19 AM
Comment #98854

Aldous

“I am disappointed there are no flocks of pro-war supporters going into Iraq. All we get are peaceniks who go into warzones. Where are the Conservatives?”

They are overthere. They are called the U.S. military.

Posted by: jimf at December 5, 2005 07:56 AM
Comment #98855

The irony Ben speaks of is that the CPT has been targeted for kidnapping despite their obvious stance. They have not been aggressive against the terrorists, but rather have shown compassion towards them via their programs such as the “Adopt-a-Detainee” campaign.

I’m not saying they support the terrorists—I doubt that they do. But by their actions, they seem to want to appease them as opposed to kill them. They want to understand them as opposed to get rid of them.

These actions should make them more immune to kidnap, since they are working for better conditions for detainees etc. Yet the fact that they are pacifistic in nature also makes them easy targets. Its not hard to kidnap someone unwilling or unable to fight back.

If the purpose of the terrorists is to be an insurgency, and by that fight to remove an ‘occupying’ force from their country, why then would they kidnap members of a group who are trying to help them. Again, I don’t use the word ‘help’ to suggest support for their cause—but certainly the CPT is not advocating harming the terrorists.

This is yet another example of the brand of hate—disguised in the clothes of insurgency—that the terrorists use. They kill indiscriminately in crowded marketplaces, they kill innocent Jordanian hotel guests, they kill women and children, they hide themselves among civilians knowing that civilians will die as a result, and they kill their own countrymen who simply have a different political viewpoint.

While it is of course important to understand their mindset, it is important not so that we might coddle them in any way, but rather so that we can defeat them. Their brand of cowardice does not deserve anything more.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 5, 2005 08:01 AM
Comment #98856

“This is yet another example of the brand of hate—disguised in the clothes of insurgency—which the terrorists use. They kill indiscriminately in crowded marketplaces, they kill innocent Jordanian hotel guests, they kill women and children, they hide themselves among civilians knowing that civilians will die as a result, and they kill their own countrymen who simply have a different political viewpoint.”

This is the point.
Secondary is this latest example of what concessionary methodology nets in return.

And again, I explicitly state early on that I want them released and the terrorist kidnappers killed. I will not allow people to twist that.

However, due to the nature of CPT, a commentary on the irony of the situation is perfectly appropriate.

Posted by: Benjamin Hackett at December 5, 2005 08:20 AM
Comment #98857

“It must work so well for you to believe that the left sympathizes with the terrorists.”

Loren,

That is certainly not the claim. While some members of the left seem to have tied their political fortunes to failur in Iraq, here I am just pointing out the CPT and similar groups.

Thanks for reading,

Benjamin Hackett

Posted by: Benjamin Hackett at December 5, 2005 08:23 AM
Comment #98859

Joebagodonuts,

This is yet another example of the brand of hate€”disguised in the clothes of insurgency€”that the terrorists use. They kill indiscriminately in crowded marketplaces, they kill innocent Jordanian hotel guests, they kill women and children, they hide themselves among civilians knowing that civilians will die as a result, and they kill their own countrymen who simply have a different political viewpoint.

Nothing really new here if your consider the whole humankind history. Every civilization did more or less that in the past, that’s the lame nature of human.
I’m just inclined to think that, thanks :-( to World War II, we’re (humans) more and more commited and tolerant about mass destruction acts on civilians. Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagazaki, Algeria, Vietnam, Iran, Kosovo, Rwanda, Darfour, Iraq, etc…

In Europe many think that while in World War I many europeans saws war as romantic at first, many are now terrorized by wars after surviving World War II’s hell.
Maybe it’s why we (europeans) are against rushing to war these days, why we’re called cowards or whatever, why we try everytime to avoid the last resort solution. Without much success so far I must confess.

To respond to terror, I hope there is a third solution between shooting first and being paralized.
Stoicism anyone? ;-)

While it is of course important to understand their mindset, it is important not so that we might coddle them in any way, but rather so that we can defeat them. Their brand of cowardice does not deserve anything more.

Agreed, it’s why it’s important that some of you guys stop confusing “understand” and “empathize” verbs, as many posters here seems to do everytime.
It’s not because one try to understand better how AIDS (or Ebola or Pox or whatever bio/neuro-) virus works that he will innoculate to himself anytime soon…

Your frenchly,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 5, 2005 08:33 AM
Comment #98860

Aldous,
“I am disappointed there are no flocks of pro-war supporters going into Iraq. All we get are peaceniks who go into warzones.”


That because the pro-war supporters are there represented by our military; the way it should be. And, the conservatives aren’t siding with the enemy, they’re (actually) supporting our military.

Posted by: rahdigly at December 5, 2005 08:43 AM
Comment #98862

When communists were infiltrating free societies, they had various types of people who were helpful to them without being affiliated in any particular way.

Fellow travelers were those whose goals were similar but who were not communists. Communists could cooperate with fellow travelers until the after the revolution they could be killed or sent to camps.

Useful idiots were people whose goals were not the same, but could be tricked into supporting the cause or more often would volunteer to be used out of a foolish sense of who knows what. They also would be killed or interred after their usefulness was over.

These peace groups - like the voluntary human shields during the war - are clearly useful idiots. They are manipulated by the terrorists who treat them like the dummies or props that they are. Stupidity does not carry the death penalty, so they do not deserve to die for what they have done, but their fate is a natural consequence of their mistaken world view. Like fellow travelers and useful idiots who were still around after the revolution, they will be used and discarded by their manipulators as needed.

Posted by: Jack at December 5, 2005 09:09 AM
Comment #98863

Why are there still kidnappings by terrorist groups?

For umpteen years, we have seen captives executed as their captors’ demands go unmet. Haven’t they been trained by lack of negotiations that kidnapping doesn’t work.

Of course, if they are at war and they see an opportunity, instead of kidnapping they will just outright kill the victims.

We should be open to negotiation for hostages. Non-negotiation does nothing. Security is the only way to be safe in a war zone - not trying play child psychology games with terrorists.

Posted by: Schwamp at December 5, 2005 09:10 AM
Comment #98865

rahdigly,

I am disappointed there are no flocks of pro-war supporters going into Iraq. All we get are peaceniks who go into warzones.

That because the pro-war supporters are there represented by our military;

Using proxy doesn’t make pro-war supporters actually present on the Iraq ground.

the way it should be.

The way they’re ordered, you mean. Or are you saying that *all* US soldiers are pro-war conservatives?

And, the conservatives aren€™t siding with the enemy, they€™re (actually) supporting our military.

Yeah, be a proxy for pro-war supporters, risk your life for a just divine legal moral this space intentionally left blank cause in Iraq, and in return they’ll put a yellow sticker on their cars to support you!

Aldous, you’re wrong: there’s pro-war supporters *on* the ground. Just think about these private security corpos. Halliburton is on the ground! These guys really put their mouths were the money is… wait, should be the other way, no?

Your frenchly,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 5, 2005 09:20 AM
Comment #98867

Schwamp:

And what exactly would negotiation provide, other than the precise forum the kidnappers want? It would simply validate the rationale for kidnapping.

In the old USSR, it is relevant to note that Russian airplanes were rarely skyjacked. Here is the essential reason: the USSR would not negotiate and they would hunt down the skyjackers and kill them. This was a brutal yet effective policy. The USSR would even sacrifice some of the hostages in order to get to the skyjackers.

Now, you can say this is inhumane, but it most certainly was effective. Skyjackers knew there was no “win” in the situation for them. They would NEVER get the ransom, they would NEVER get any concessions, and they would ALWAYS die or spend their lives in prison.

When you know the outcome will always end in failure, you are less likely to engage in that kind of action. That is what the USSR taught its opponents.

Terrorists have no compunction about causing other people to die. But they do care about their own lives—-you notice how the top leaders (OBL, Mullah Omar, Zarqawi) have worked to preserve their lives, while being fully willing to sacrifice the lives of others.

When dealing with such ruthless and cowardly types, we cannot display weakness in response. Neither should we display inhumanity in the form of torture, but we should show full resolve to end their ability to terrorize. If this means killing them, so be it.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 5, 2005 09:29 AM
Comment #98870
And what exactly would negotiation provide, other than the precise forum the kidnappers want? It would simply validate the rationale for kidnapping.

A forum is what they want?
Hijacking is a different story as there is no reason to Hijack other than making demands.
If you somehow succeed in training terrorists not to kidnap, they will just kill outright. Not a big difference in the result.
If you dont maintain security in a dangerous place, bad things happen.

Non negatiation is fine and popular. Wait till the stakes are really high, like in the movies or involving bioterrorism, and see how easy it is.

Posted by: Schwamp at December 5, 2005 09:48 AM
Comment #98876

Benjamin et al.

Interesting piece with which I agree and I suspectt there will be interesting “comentary” as this day develpos.

Let me tell you a story that a birdie (I am the Sicilian Eagle after all) told me:

Back during the days of the Lebanon hostage situation a 2 decades ago,when Americans were getting kidnapped left and right as an emerging “cottage industry” in that field was developing,a Russian charge d’afaires was kidnapped and held for randsom.

The next day a box was found on the front door of the home of the most prominent mullah in Beruit.

Inside the box was the drawn and quartered body of the mullah’s son.

They got the message,the hostage was released several hours later.

Apparently some of these folks want a war of annahilation,and others not.

For those who want that annihilation war,we are winning that war except none of us know about it.

As I write these words,doors are getting kicked in and people are getting blown away by our CIA and special operators and we never know that it happened.

They do.Believe me.

If the insurgents are getting their ranks replinished,believe me, these new “replacement killers” are not nearly the equal of those they are replacing

Most of these new jihadists are raw recruits and not battle-hardened veterans of Afganistan or her trainingg camps.

Kinda like a jihadist Hilter Youth thing now I suspect.

I mean,there are more killers in the pipeline,but those high-octane killers are getting replaced by the cheap stuff.

Most of that initial group of killers are now dead,captured od hiding in a cave or hut somewhere.

The advantage is cleary the CIA’s and military now .

Most,if not all our people (on the ground agents,special operators,and many divisions) have had two if not three tours of duty are are way past where they were when the war began.

Funny but that concept is never pointed out here.

Finally,the all volunteer force is a resounding success despite what critics say.

The all volunteer force ,in my opinion,is the biggest reason that Kennedy and Kerry and Dean haven’t turned this into the next Vietnam despite their best efforts.

Back then,segments of the military,that is a sub-set of draftees unhappy about being drafter and against the war in the first place, ultimately became a cancer to the esptit de corps necessary in fighting a foreign war.

While there were many many many brave there,unfortunalely there were also cancers that had a profound affect.

We should really now be attacking politicialy Kerry,Dean , Kennedy,Pellosi et al by using the above anology against their comments.

This emerging change will ultimately bounce the presidnt back too

Posted by: sicilianeagle at December 5, 2005 10:03 AM
Comment #98877

Eagle

I understand it wasn’t the whole body, just the testicles.

Posted by: Jack at December 5, 2005 10:09 AM
Comment #98878

joebagodonuts,

Terrorists have no compunction about causing other people to die. But they do care about their own lives

Huh?
Suicide bombers care about their own lives???
You should be kidding.

you notice how the top leaders (OBL, Mullah Omar, Zarqawi) have worked to preserve their lives, while being fully willing to sacrifice the lives of others.

Like all top leaders in war time. Tell me what’s the difference there between White House leaders and Al-Quaida ones on this issue?

Since when only terrorists leaders are the only one fully willing to sacrifice the lives of others? Doesn’t Bush had and will continue to sacrifice the lives of others americans to “stay the course” in Iraq?
And since when “Top Gun” Bush exposed himself on the battlefield???

Every hierachical command structure protect their leaders the best they could during conflict. Whatever sides.

When dealing with such ruthless and cowardly types, we cannot display weakness in response. Neither should we display inhumanity in the form of torture, but we should show full resolve to end their ability to terrorize. If this means killing them, so be it.

Then could you tell us please why Bush shift-focused to Iraq where Al-Quaida presence didn’t exists that much at time from searching and catching (and eventually killing) OBL and Mullah Omar, the two most prominant figure of world’s islamic terrorism leaders?

Your frenchly,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 5, 2005 10:10 AM
Comment #98882

Jack,

Eagle

I understand it wasn€™t the whole body, just the testicles.

How one could recognized someone from testicles?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 5, 2005 10:17 AM
Comment #98887

There are pro-war people on the ground. I have friends who have been there since the beginning assisting the transitional government and the new government. These people just aren’t running to every TV camera.

Posted by: Norberto at December 5, 2005 10:30 AM
Comment #98892

When in doubt, the right always seems to turn to urban legend rather than reality.
No one is recognizable by just the testicles. No one hunted down the hijackers.
Are you saying the PLO stopped hijackings because the Mossad hunted down that guy in Norway?
Are you saying the Chechneyans didn’t really kill all those school kids (just MSM reporting the bad stuff) and that’s it’s because the rebels were too afraid of retribution to be terrorists?

Sorry Eagle, jack, et.al., your premises and examples are all just nitrous oxide for the desperate.

Posted by: Dave at December 5, 2005 10:54 AM
Comment #98893

Philippe:

You answered your own question. You noticed that I spoke of the leaders of the terrorists caring about their lives, as opposed to the suicide bombers. Once you noticed that, you should have simply edited your comments.

There is, of course, great difference between someone like OBL and Bush. Whereas Bush, and any American president, says that sometimes dying for your country is necessary, he does not proclaim it to be the goal. Many of the Islamic terrorists claim that by becoming martyrs, they receive rewards in heaven (72 virgins etc). The goal is to die in martyrdom. THAT is what makes the difference.

We can and have discussed the rationales for going into Iraq. I don’t intend to do so again for the umpteenth time. My comments stand on their own—that we never fail to “show full resolve to end their ability to terrorize. If this means killing them, so be it.”

While we may not have killed OBL, we certainly have curtailed his abilities to terrorize. Of course, terrorism still survives, as it always will, but his ability to move freely and to communicate freely has been reduced. And the effort to continue this reduction has not waned.

I would hope that you are not among the crowd that treats victory only as an absolute. If the only means to victory is the 100% absence of terrorist activity, then there can not be victory.
There are those that will point to the next attack as sign of defeat, but again that is simply a wrong way of thinking.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 5, 2005 10:59 AM
Comment #98894

Benjammin,

So because these 4 people rushed trustingly outside the green zone to spread their values and morals to the Iraq people, they deserve to be kidnapped? You see it as ironic.

If you look at our second reason for invading Iraq after the WMD’s intell mess, it was too spread freedom. Why is that any different than what CPT did? We went in all half baked figuring that the Iraq’s would love what we are selling and, I believe hearing something about flowers. For a while the results where ok but the long we stayed the more we wore out our welcome.

As an atheist I don’t see a big difference of the message that Christans (or an religion for that matter, minus Radical Islam) spread as very different from that the US Goverenment is now trying to convey. Both are BIG ideas, both are doing what they think is right, and both think their idioligy will benefit Iraq. The only real difference is CPT’s reason was its primary one, and not the one it had to spin to.

So Yes, I ultimately think it was a poor choice on the part of the members of CPT. Outside the green zone anything can happen. But I think they knew the risks they would be taking when they made their decision. I hope for their safe return.

Perhaps they just followed the adminstration’s play book to closley.

Posted by: Jeff Gannon at December 5, 2005 11:00 AM
Comment #98895

Loren wrote:

“Ben, I believe Terrorists bad€ America good€”

“A very good reason for us not to be over there.”

So, if Basque separatist terrorists don’t want US travelers to bring tourism dollars into Spain, all they have to do is kill a few thousand of us here in order to get us to stop being “over there.”

And if Peruvian Shining Path terrorists don’t want American businesses doing business with Peruvian businesses, they should then just kill a few thousand Americans here on our soil, and we’ll stop being “over there” as well.

Then, I guess sooner or later, Palestinian terrorists will figure out that the best way to defeat the Israelis is to kill a few thousand Americans in any given American city, and we will stop supporting Israel.

Well Loren…we can change our motto from “Land of the free, home of the brave” to “Pavlov’s Nation.”

Posted by: Luis Gonzalez at December 5, 2005 11:01 AM
Comment #98899

SE,

You were directly insulted in Benjamin’s post, but seem to have missed it completely:

The next overly sensitive, silver spoon-fed shelter baby that whines aloud that Americans need to understand the Islamic terrorist perspective and consider these individuals€™ feelings is going to witness a little terror firsthand.

Haven’t you been preaching for months that we need to understand fundamental Islam better in order to defeat the terrorists?

Posted by: Burt at December 5, 2005 11:17 AM
Comment #98903

Paul

Maybe they sent a note followed by the guy in question walking in a different way and speaking in a higher pitch. I don’t know. Maybe it is an urban legend, but it is true that during the Cold War the Soviets had less trouble than we had with these sort of things. Perhaps a better explanation would be lack of a free press and courts and a closed society.

The worked with all protests and publicity stunts. Greenpeace never really went after the Soviets despite their horrible eco-record. I don’t think it was because greenpeace was more pink than green. I think is was because they knew it would do no good.

Posted by: Jack at December 5, 2005 11:35 AM
Comment #98911

Hi Benjamin,

“This is yet another example of the brand of hate€”disguised in the clothes of insurgency€”which the terrorists use.”

How do you feel about those in the Iraqi government who are engaging in terrorism (Death squads and whatnot)?

Should our solidiers be fighting and dying to support the terrorists in the Iraqi government?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 5, 2005 12:10 PM
Comment #98930

Frenchly,

You’re throwing around a word like “proxy” as if you know that every conservative and/or liberal for that matter is acting for the troops. I (personally) volunteered and enlisted in the military, in the 90’s, and I believe that Saddam should have been taking out in 1991, 1998 and 2003. You don’t address that issue. The Dems had just as much info and intel on Saddam in 1998 & 1999 and were ranting and raving, trying to make themselves look like war hawks.

The anti-war “hostages” now have to face the music. They want to defend the terrorists and when the terrorist do what they do (and been doing for decades), their activist group blames the US & UK for it. Nice. That’s about right; let’s blame the US for the terrorists’ horrendous acts.

That just goes to show that some people haven’t waken up yet from 9/11; they’re living in a pre-9/11 world and that’s too bad. They’ll see. They’ll learn.

Posted by: rahdigly at December 5, 2005 01:08 PM
Comment #98933

I find it sad that the country’s become so polarized that when a tragedy like this happens we get “I don’t want to see them die BUT these lefties…” Seriously the amount of time we spend demonizing each other is just sad.

Posted by: chantico at December 5, 2005 01:31 PM
Comment #98934

On the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, I will still my tongue and maintain a respectful silenc. I will do this in rememberence of things I never experienced myself. I will do this out of respect for those who sacrificed for an ideal. They fought and died, offering their lives as a gift to those who came after them. I have always found this to be an awkward silence, but i will respect it.

On the tenth minute of the tenth hour, on the tenth day of the tenth month, I will scream. I will do this because I can no longer sit idly by in a world of injustice. When an injury occurs in th ebody and the body does not respond with visceral messages of pain, the disease is called leprosy. Toes are slowly worn off because the person’s gait does not adjust to compensate for injury; hands are burned because the arm does not reflexively recoil from that which is too hot to touch. Our society is leprous.

I recognize that I will probably be screaming alone. Most likely I’ll be sitting in the middle of a street, and I will have caused a disruption. I will explain why I scream to those who ask. But i hope that I will not scream alone.

I scream because I can no longer sit in silence when I see those i love being hurt. I scream as a first step. I scream as a moment of protest against those who consider war a tool for promoting peace. I scream at the society in which i live, where consumption is considered a substitute for a meaningful, relevant life. I scream because I hurt for those being harmed. I scream for those without a voice or who are no longer listened to.

And what if I hear another scream alongside mine? It will tell me that I am not alone. It will remind me that in essence we are all the same, that we all suffer, and it will direct me to find out how I can ease that person’s pain. Once the minute has passed, I will go back to my regular routine, but hopefully I will be changed, even if in an infinitesimally small way, for the better. Because I will have taken the first step, I will have performed an action in the direction of change. The first step is usually the hardest.

I can’t tell you how much I respect those individuals captured in the name of peace. They are doing more than anyone of us in the sense that they placed themselves in a situation where real change could be accomplished, they martyred themselves for peace, and they have won my love. I scream for them.

Peace by way of peace.

Posted by: tree hugger at December 5, 2005 01:33 PM
Comment #98936

Benjamin,
I’m *still* waiting for you to retract your lie about John Kerry.

Posted by: ElliottBay at December 5, 2005 01:38 PM
Comment #98943

Hi rahdigly,

“They want to defend the terrorists”

You’re the one who wants to support the terrorists. You advocate supporting the terrorists in the Iraqi government.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 5, 2005 01:49 PM
Comment #98947

Dude, you’re still on that terrorist gov’t angle?! Where are you when it comes to Iran, Syria, North Korea? Those regimes have terrorists (and sponsor it) in gov’t, I don’t ever (EVER) here you talk about those regimes. And why?!!

Why do you bother with all the negative stuff when it comes to the US? Our troops have come too far and for too long now to give up or to have someone denigrate their job b/c there’s a few terrorists in the Iraqi gov’t. SO What!!!! We won’t let them become a terrorist state; like they were with Saddam. And that’s a fact, so get over it. You bother everyone with the terrorists in gov’t angle and all that does is put impugn our troops’ mission.

Rahdigly 3 liberals 0

Posted by: rahdigly at December 5, 2005 02:01 PM
Comment #98949

The 9/11 suicide hijackers — all arabs — attacked the US instead of brazil or japan because the US government has been neck-deep in the politics of the arab world for a generation, whereas the brazilian and japanese governments haven’t. There is a connection between washingtons’ mideast policies— its support for oppressive arab regimes, its military interventions in the region, and its uncritical backing for Israeli government policies— and the fact that americans have become the preferred targets for Islamist terrorist attacks.

Indeed, there were no Islamist terrorist attacks in other non-Muslum nations (except for Israel) until after the invasion of Iraq in March, 2003. And the attacks since then have been aimed at the citizens of countries that were complicit in that invasion: Londoners, not Parisians; Spaniards, not Germans; Australians holidaying in Bali, not Chinese holidaying in Malaysia.

There you have it: two full paragraphs of obscenity. Prim Minister Tony Blair himself says so. He informed us that any attempt to link the terrorist attacks in London to his decision to follow the Bush administration in invading Iraq was “an obscenity”.

Thats nonsense. All the comments in the first two paragraphs of this commentary are about the cause and effect. You may agree or disagree with the analysis, but the discussions of cause and effect are still permissible and even necessary. So how does Blair — and President George W. Bush in Washington, and Prime Minister John Howard in Canberra— get away with forbidding us to talk about what is causing all this?

The key technique is to claim THAT ANY ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN WHY THESE ATTACKS ARE HAPPENING IS ALSO AN ATTEMPT TO CONDONE AND JUSTIFY THEM.

Blair gave a virtuoso demonstration of the technique in a July press conference.

What he said was, “It is time we stopped saying: ‘Okay, we abhor [al Qaeda’s] methods but we kind of see something in their ideas or they have a sliver of an excuse or a justification for it.’ They have no justification for it. Neither do they have any justification for killing people in Israel. Lets just get that out of the way as well. There is no justification for suicide bombing in Palestine, in Iraq, in London, in Egypt, in Turkey, anywhere.”

Nobody had actually said suicide bombings are justified. What they are saying, in increasing numbers, is that actions have consequenses, and that the reason a few young British Muslims became suicide bombers in 2005, whereas none at all became suicide bombers in 2000, is precisely the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

As the US Central Intelligence Agency pointed out recently, the invasion of Iraq has turned the country into a breeding ground for a new generation of Arab jihadis in the Middle East.

What it failed to add was that it has also spread the virus of Islamist terrorism into Muslim communities in Western countries that previously contained only a few fanatics. Until Iraq, none of them contained people so filled with rage and so convinced that they were involved in a holy war that they were willing to blow themselves and dozens of strangers up.

The problem is that the invasion of Iraq made it look (too those already susceptible to such extreme arguements) as if the Islamist extremists, who had barely any credibility outside the Arab world even ten years ago, were right. If there were no terrorists in Iraq, why did Western countries invade it? Because there is a Judeo-Christian conspiracy to destroy Islam, stupid. If there is another terrorist attack in the US, it is likely to come from within the resident Muslim community, as it has in Britain.

Most American Muslims, like most British Muslims, are appalled by the radical doctines that are sweeping some of their young men and women away. But it is self-serving nonsense on their part of the governments of these countries to PRETEND THAT THIS IS JUST SOME INEXPLICABLE OUTBURST OF VIOLENCE BY WEIRD MUSLIM PEOPLE.

THE LAWS OF CAUSE AND EFFECT STILL RULE.

Posted by: tree hugger at December 5, 2005 02:02 PM
Comment #98951

I’m disgusted by this diatribe. Let’s review some realities shall we?

1. The Constituion is the supreme law of OUR land, but it also mandates that a duely signed and ratified treaty binds as supreme law where foreign action is concerned.

2. Our membership in the UN is by the UN Charter which we both signed and ratified after WWII.

3. UN resolution 1441 REAQUIRED that we return to the UN and get UN approval and help BEFORE taking any military action in IRAQ.

4. We did NOT do that. This administration cited the urgent need to go in because of the “Clear and Present Danger of WMD’s.”

5. The president has the power to act in response to a “clear and Present Danger.” This provision was used to justify police actions in Korea and Viet-Nam. However, that danger MUST actually BE Clear and Present…NOT FABRICATED.

We went to war with Taliban controlled Afghanistan because they were hiding Bin Laden who was behind the 9/11 attacks. After 9/11, we had an IMMENSE amount of moral authority and support in the world!!! There was no question of world support then. That came later. Many who had been involved in human rights monitoring had been aware for a long time about the egregious way the Taliban treated people, especially women. There was a great cry of ‘HOORAH’ from vast segments of the political left when the Taliban finally were removed from power.

However, let’s not lose track of truth. Osama called for Sadam’s death at one point because Sadam’s was a secularist regime and Osama wants a great pan-islamist rule over all islamic countries.

We attacked Iraq because they supposedly had WMD’s. We were upset about Sadam’s treatment of his own people and his use of gas in the Iran Iraq war and against the Kurds in the north of his own country, but we went to war over CLEAR and PRESENT DANGER to US in the form of WMD’s!!!
…WMD’s that the administration now concedes were not there. This administration, now after the loss of life and immense spending now admits it’s inteligence “may” have been faulty.

So the mission changed. Now we are to be the bringers of Democracy. Except the example we are displaying is the abuse without due process of the detainees. Detainees which we call ‘Detainees’ because we don’t have enough to charge them with anything specific. Many were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We KNOW that now because of the dribs and drabs of court martial proceedings just beginning to see the light of day with regard to wrongful deaths, wrongful arrests and torture which our own are carrying out because they have been instilled with hatered of the enemy and that’s about it. No guidence or supervision of any quality as to how to handle these detainees…and who would expect it?, after all, these are troops NOT police officers in an American city.

But the end result is that we have gone to war for our safety, which was LESS at threat in Iraq than we were led to believe. We went in in violation of UN resolution 1441 which MANDATED tha we NOT go in without the UN. By going in anyway, we LOST the moral authority we once had. We are seen by EUrope, Asia, Africa, South America…by the rest of the world as an expanding empire manipultaing facts and perverting justice in order to help itself to world resources. It no longer matters how much or how little of this is true. We are blowing it in the eyes of the world because we no longer care about doing things right by the law of our own country or by international law.

Perhaps the peace activist have a clearer idea of the REAL enemies to democracy than you do. If we FAIL to show an EXAMPLE of democracy and how it should work, then all is lost and the age of democracy will be near an end. Here come the SECOND dark ages.

Anybody with Kids understands how impossible it is be effective by saying: “do as I say, NOT as I do.”

The world will never believe in our leadership unless they see that we believe in ourselves and the value we claim to be guided by.

It’s time to do things RIGHT for a change.

RGF

Posted by: RGF at December 5, 2005 02:05 PM
Comment #98956

Hi rahdigly,

“Dude, you€™re still on that terrorist gov€™t angle?!”

It’s a fact rahdigly. Our troops are fighting and dying to support terrorists.

You advocate supporting terrorists rahdigly.

“Where are you when it comes to Iran, Syria, North Korea?”

They were all far more of a threat to us than Saddam was and I’ve said so many times.

“Why do you bother with all the negative stuff when it comes to the US?”

Why can’t you handle the truth?

“We won€™t let them become a terrorist state”

What are we doing to stop the terrorists who are in the Iraqi government rahdigly? Instead of saying that you’re winning all the time why not actually try and make a case?

“all that does is put impugn our troops€™ mission.”

I don’t think that our troops should be figting and dying to support terrorists. You think they should be fighting and dying to support terrorists.

I think asking our troops to support terrorists is a horrible thing to do to our troops. You think it’s a good idea to have our troops supporting terrorists.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 5, 2005 02:24 PM
Comment #98961

rahdigly,

when it comes to Iran, Syria, North Korea? Those regimes have terrorists (and sponsor it) in gov€™t
North Korea sponsors terrorist organizations? Which ones? Got any proof?

When it comes to silly, fallacious statements, the score is

Rahdigly 3 liberals 0

Posted by: ElliottBay at December 5, 2005 02:32 PM
Comment #98962

Hi Rahdigly,

“there€™s a few terrorists in the Iraqi gov€™t. SO What!!!!”

Our troops are fighting and dying to support terrorists. There doesn’t seem to be any plan on how to handle the extensive terrrorists connections that the Iraqi government has.

You obviously think terrorists aren’t bad.

I think it’s disgraceful that our troops are dying to support terrorists but you say “so what”.

You don’t seem to think much of our troops.

Are there many on the right who agree with you about supporting terrorists being a good idea?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 5, 2005 02:40 PM
Comment #98972

Joebaodonuts &Phillipe

I stand by the drawn and quartering story ,and it wasn’t Mosssad,it was Russian intelligence,and it had only to do with the Russians.

Burt
No,I think he was slamming the liberal boot lickers.My view is that we have to understand them for a very different reason…to defeat them militarily,not place them

Elliot Bay
Am curious.Is it possible to lie about Kerry?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at December 5, 2005 03:02 PM
Comment #98979

Louis,
Posted this in the middle column, but you might find it applies to the points you’re making:

Allawi is a candidate backed by the US, but he’s no walk in the park, and I think we’d better better off steering clear. The amount of money that disappeared through graft & corruption while he was in office have been jaw dropping. He’s a secular Shia, but his power base is the Mukhabarat- Saddam’s Sunni secret police & intelligence services. He’s corrupt, he’s a thug by instinct, and just because he offers to be our Man in Bagdhad doesn’t mean jack. When will the Bush administration ever learn to steer clear of guys like this?

It’s an almost impossible situation. There’s been no chance for grass roots, populist leadership to grow in Iraq, not enough to grow & run for national office. Instead, we have the exiles running, most of them with close ties to Iran, or revolutionary, anti-US fire in their eyes, like the zealotry exhibited by al-Sadr.
The situation with the Kurds is stable.

Joe,
This is kind of horrible, but from a terrorist’s point of view, any civilian from the opposing culture is fair game. They are all enemies, especially civilians that peacefully infiltrate the local population, and put the enemy in a good light with the locals- peace advocates, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross- to the terrorists, these are ultimately far more formidable enemies than soldiers.

Posted by: phx8 at December 5, 2005 03:11 PM
Comment #98981

“Elliot Bay
Am curious.Is it possible to lie about Kerry?”

Obviously not. A republican could say that John Kerry was a three legged female alien from the planet Qixnar bent on destroying the world through peace. Onlyl to have a different republican correct him that Kerry is a FREEDOM HATING three legged femaile alien from the planet Qixnar.

Posted by: chantico at December 5, 2005 03:13 PM
Comment #98984

My comment: “Where are you when it comes to Iran, Syria, North Korea?”

your reply: “They were all far more of a threat to us than Saddam was and I€™ve said so many times.”

Then, why don’t I hear you say anything about them?! You comments are impugning our troops’ mission (one in which liberals don’t support, and yet support the troops— yeah right!) this late in the game. If they do have terrorists dominating their gov’t then we will take the proper action when necessary. Until then, we’re about to witness the third election in a year from the Iraqi people and this one is with their newly elected constitution. This is a big thing that liberals want to forget or overlook.

By the way, here’s what your dear Iran is doing:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1132475683499&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Don’t remember you “reminding” us about this terrorist haven. Hmmm!

My arguements are not “fallacious”, all you have to do is challenge me on it and I’ll give you the facts. However, you keep giving me a bunch of ridiculous replies; that’s if you even answer my questions directly, most of the time you guys dodge the questions. So, as I’ve said before:

Rahdigly 3 liberals 0

Posted by: rahdigly at December 5, 2005 03:23 PM
Comment #98986

Hi phx8,

The American Military used to refer to Allawi as “Saddam lite”.

It looks like the best Iraqi government we could possibly hope for is going to be really bad……full of terrorists and thugs.

Al Sadr is a force to be reckoned with in the Iraqi government now. The three Shiite parties are terrorist parties…..the major players are terrorists or at least members of terrorist parties.

If the media wasn’t so pro-war in their reporting this sort of thing would be obvious to all.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 5, 2005 03:25 PM
Comment #98988

Phx8:

That is terrible, and that’s why terrorists are called terrorists. Their agenda is terror, regardless of the costs. They care little if children die, other than that children dying is a poor public relations tactic. The deaths are unimportant—the PR angle is of utmost importance.

A significant problem is when we equate what soldiers are doing with what terrorists are doing. And many people are doing that. We see the gnashing of teeth over the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and some of the treatment was terrible and deserved punishment. But we see little gnashing of teeth over the kidnapping of innocent peace activists. These are good people who are trying to help others, sometimes in the name of God, sometimes in the name of humanity for their fellow man.

Such acts should be decried, not excused. Nor should we allow mealymouthed statements like “Well, the terrorists are bad because they kidnapped or killed someone, but the US really started it”. The sentence should end at the comma!

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 5, 2005 03:27 PM
Comment #98992

Hi Rahdigly,

“and yet support the troops€” yeah right!)”

You think that the troops should be supporting terrorists. You’re asking our troops to do horrible things that nobody should ask them to do.

You’re asking our troops to support truly evil people. What you expect of our troops is truly despicable.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 5, 2005 03:28 PM
Comment #98993

Rahdigly,
You make my point beautifully. I was against Bush’s war against Iraq for the very reason that the reasons that Bush and Co. touted so much during the pre-invasion noise all pointed to Iran or North Korea first not Iraq. For me I was against the war because were ignoring the big fish. So yay, there’s elections in Iraq, meanwhile in that article so willingly supplied by you Iran’s months away from a bomb.

You oversimplify things to think that people that are against the war are all “durn liburals”. But hey, if it works for you. Oh and by the way, I can put numbers after my name too. It’s neat-o!

Chantico 3 Pi 3.14159265 Feet in a mile 5280

Posted by: chantico at December 5, 2005 03:32 PM
Comment #98994

elliot bay
I am glad you corrected yourself about Kerry before posting as I was going to correct you myself.

Kerry is,in fact, a freedom -hating alien from another planet.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at December 5, 2005 03:34 PM
Comment #98998

Ok Louis,

I will acknowledge this.

At first I had no idea what you were talking about, and then I read the piece again.

Some of the pieces I post here I write for TheTartan.org (My Collegiate Newspaper), and that was one of them. The editor of my section, the forum section, changed my sentence from:

1) The attacks brought forth by terrorists, those later described by liberal golden child John Kerry as “nuisances,” briefly silenced the drumbeat of negativity.
to
2) These terrorist attacks, later described by liberal golden child John Kerry as “nuisances,” briefly silenced the drumbeat of negativity.

And that’s how it was printed as well. I pasted it from the website to here and so I missed the error. I have already received an apology and more carefully scrutinize the pieces.

You are right, that statement is incorrect. Also, it is not how I originally intended it be read.

So I do apologize for the editing error, which in the end, is still subject to my accountability as these are/were my words.

I was intent on not replying you, as I had no idea what you were talking about until I reread it myself and realized the error.

Now, instead of posting these rhetorical slams you use constantly, if you are ready to debate, please do.

Let’s focus on the aim of this piece, to shed light on the absurdity of empathizing with terrorists.

- Hackett

Posted by: Benjamin Hackett at December 5, 2005 03:42 PM
Comment #99000

Sorry Louis, I meant Eliott.

Posted by: Benjamin Hackett at December 5, 2005 03:44 PM
Comment #99002

Chantico,
“You make my point beautifully. I was against Bush€™s war against Iraq for the very reason that the reasons that Bush and Co. touted so much during the pre-invasion noise all pointed to Iran or North Korea first not Iraq. For me I was against the war because were ignoring the big fish. So yay, there€™s elections in Iraq, meanwhile in that article so willingly supplied by you Iran€™s months away from a bomb.

You oversimplify things to think that people that are against the war are all €œdurn liburals€. But hey, if it works for you.”

Were you against Clinton bombing Saddam in 1998? I wasn’t. The dems were making the same case against Saddam that Bush and Co. were making. They also recited it (again)in 2002, along with Bush and Co. Saddam had to be removed in a post 9/11 world, sorry some out there can’t get over that.


I don’t think everyone against the war is a “liberal”, I think that b/c we already won the war, we need to be able to “establish the peace”; which means allowing their gov’t to form, build up there troops so we can turn the country over to them.

As far as the numbers thing is concerned, you can do it, it’s just not original. I did it to record the three individuals that tried to boycott me and then continue to (still) talk to me after the fact. They are the ones that dodge questions and waste people’s time with their rants and can’t own up to the fact that someone else has a different point of view than theirs; no matter how different those views are.

Posted by: rahdigly at December 5, 2005 03:56 PM
Comment #99004

Let’s not make the mistake of mistaking air strikes with an all out invasion tying up our forces on end. I supported Clinton doing strategic strikes and would’ve done so if Bush undertook them. However, there’s a big difference between a strike and an invasion and subsequent occupation.

Saying that I must support the Iraq war because I supported airstrikes is like saying, “You like steak so you have to quit your job and be a cattle rancher.”

Posted by: chantico at December 5, 2005 04:01 PM
Comment #99029

Hi Rahdigly,

“build up there troops so we can turn the country over to them.”

The Iraqi security forces are riddled with terrorists. Aside from saying “we won” what do you propose to do about the terrorists on our payroll?

“As far as the numbers thing is concerned”

If I’m wrong about something will you have the courtesy to tell me what I’m wrong about?

You have a tendency to declare victory without any basis for doing so. If you’ve beat me at something perhaps you’ll tell me what it is.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 5, 2005 05:09 PM
Comment #99032

I looked at the work of this organization, and the other “churches” they say support them and I realized this is another group of radical people from the way out left, they don;t believe in our country or our efforts in anything we do. I can’t believe these folks say they are there to promote peace, the only problem they are dealing with radicals thet hate peace, they can only survive in turmoil when they are terrorizing everyday lives of true peaceful people. What are they doing there anyway? It appears they are there looking to further propagate the ANTI-AMERICAN propaganda and pure hate for our country. This is a case where Freedom of Speech rights count on the people speaking to be intelligent, and these folks just don’t get the reality of life in a post 911 world!.

Posted by: Dominic at December 5, 2005 05:22 PM
Comment #99036

“Pro War Media”, thanks for the laugh Louis.

Posted by: Jay at December 5, 2005 05:27 PM
Comment #99042

Hi Jay,

The media has a pro-war bias. If they didn’t there would be headlines indicating that the Prime Minister of Iraq is belongs to an anti-American terrorist group.


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 5, 2005 05:54 PM
Comment #99045

Let’s start with a shocking development:

Muslims in cages are more concerned for the safety of their Christian friends than their own safety.

I will come back to that. Now let’s consider your words:

The CPT is a favorite among terrorist sympathizers. The organization, which has a non-missionary and supposedly humanitarian objective, has been allowed to operate freely in dangerous areas throughout the region. Muslim advocacy groups realize the image problems associated with the potential deaths of these activists. The Association of Muslim Scholars has pleaded for the release of these members, remarking that the release would highlight the group€™s €œgood efforts in helping those in need.€

I am not a terrorist sympathizer and have spoken out for many years against the zealots on all sides who betray the legitimate aspirations of the people they claim to represent.

But I am not in Iraq so I think it bet to consider Tom Fox’s words on this very matter. The topic is something he clearly gave a lot thought to before going to Iraq. Tom Fox speaks well enough for himself, he does not need me to speak for him. Therefore, I will quote from his initial entry on his blog Waiting In The Light,dated October, 2004

When I allow myself to become angry I disconnect from God and connect with the evil force that empowers fighting. When I allow myself to become fearful I disconnect from God and connect with the evil force that encourages flight. I take Gandhi and Jesus at their word—if I am not one with God then I am one with Satan. I don€™t think Gandhi would use that word but Jesus certainly did, on numerous occasions.

If I am not to fight or flee in the face of armed aggression, be it the overt aggression of the army or the subversive aggression of the terrorist, then what am I to do? €œStand firm against evil€ (Matthew 5:39) seems to be the guidance of Jesus and Gandhi in order to stay connected with God. But here in Iraq I struggle with that second form of aggression. I have visual references and written models of CPTers standing firm against the overt aggression of an army, be it regular or paramilitary. But how do you stand firm against a car—bomber or a kidnapper? Clearly the soldier being disconnected from God needs to have me fight. Just as clearly the terrorist being disconnected from God needs to have me flee. Both are willing to kill me using different means to achieve the same end. That end being to increase the parasitic power of Satan within God€™s good creation.

It seems easier somehow to confront anger within my heart than it is to confront fear. But if Jesus and Gandhi are right then I am not to give in to either. I am to stand firm against the kidnapper as I am to stand firm against the soldier. Does that mean I walk into a raging battle to confront the soldiers? Does that mean I walk the streets of Baghdad with a sign saying €œAmerican for the Taking€? No to both counts. But if Jesus and Gandhi are right, then I am asked to risk my life and if I lose it to be as forgiving as they were when murdered by the forces of Satan. I struggle to stand firm but I€™m willing to keep working at it.

As for the Muslim “advocacy groups” you deride. Let’s take a look at that as well. I am certain that groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al Aqsa Martyrs (all of whom have called for the release of the hostages) have a political agenda. I am certain they would take advantage of these hostages as quickly as they take advantage of their own people. Like you, I do not place a tremendous amount of freight in what these groups say.

However, I do place a tremendous amount of freight in the words of ordinary people. People who have chosen to stand with Tom Fox and Harmeet Sooden because they routinely stood between Palestinian children and Israeli guns.

For several days now there have been demonstrations across the West Bank, in Hebron, Ramallah, and Tawani. Ordinary people whose lives were touched by these men.

The stories are not just running on Al Jazeera, they are also being broadcast on ABC, CBC, BBC, and covered in Ha’aretz, the Guardian, other publications. Of all the demonstrations and high profile leaders calling for their release, I am touched most deeply by one coming from Canada.

Muslim detainees in Canada have issued an appeal for the release of their friend Jim Loney, one of the CPT hostages.

These are Muslims who claim they are wrongly imprisoned. Muslims who would reasonably be expected to harbor feelings of anger or bitterness. Yet they are pleading for the safety of Christian hostages because they know Jim Loney is a decent man.

James Loney of the Christian Peacemaker Teams is one of thousands of people who have been fighting to right this wrong. He is a person who has organized and motivated people to participate in this struggle for what is right. We have recently seen a photo of him in the newspaper and it has saddened our hearts to learn that he is being held captive in Iraq.

This is the same James Loney who has travelled to Iraq on more than one occasion to help the people of Iraq. This is the same James Loney who has reached out to the families of the Abu Ghraib prisoners. This is the James Loney who was against the U.S. invasion and is against the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

It pains our heart to know that a person of this calibre is being held captive. We care about his freedom more than we do our own.

What does it tell you that Muslims in cages are more concerned for the safety of their Christian friends than their own safety?

The people you spit on, the people you paint with a broad brush, the people you condemn without even knowing…. that is the tragedy in what you write. These enemy images do not help us reach out to create enduring bridges. They isolate us and alienate us and ultimately damage us. The real sadness is the worst damage is always self-inflicted.

That is why you need to understand something. We belong to the camp of peace. We believe in peace. Those who live in darkness, who are the enemies of life, must understand that it is because of our faith and religion and the teachings of our one God, this is where we stand. This is our camp. May God bless you with the realization that you must join it. We pray that He will, but we are not ashamed, nor are we afraid, nor are we anything but determined to fulfill the legacy we inherited from who came before us and to leave a legacy worthy of those who will come after we are gone.

Posted by: 8ackground N015e at December 5, 2005 06:05 PM
Comment #99046

rahdigly,

You€™re throwing around a word like €œproxy€ as if you know that every conservative and/or liberal for that matter is acting for the troops.

You said “That because the pro-war supporters are there represented by our military”.
Represented. I’m not the one here saying US military represents the pro-war supporters in Iraq. Sounds to me you think they’re your proxies. But maybe I miss something…

I (personally) volunteered and enlisted in the military, in the 90€™s, and I believe that Saddam should have been taking out in 1991, 1998 and 2003. You don€™t address that issue.

In 1991 I was in draft. France moved to professional army only in late 90’s. IIRC, France also committed the third largest army during Gulf War. I didn’t volunteered for Iraq first war though because I think the professional soldiers were far more trained to succeed there. French generals though the same it seems.

Anyway, pardon me but *I* didn’t addressed what issue? I assume here you’re talking about the Saddam one? If yes, please let me say that *we* didn’t address it. Yes, “we”. As in UN Security Council members. Until march 2003, US, UK, France all agreed to work Iraq issue thru UN process.

So, please, be my guess and join me in the “take responsabilities” for the missing occasion to removed Saddam during the late decade.

Your frenchly,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 5, 2005 06:05 PM
Comment #99062

Benjamin,

Apparently you can’t be bothered to do your own research, eh? Then how do you expect to graduate? If you had done any research, you would have discovered that Senator Kerry never - ever - described any terrorist attacks as nuisances. Your half-hearted attempt at an excuse - as opposed to an apology - is a cop out. Your statement cannot possibly be the result of an “editing error”. What Kerry REALLY said was that we as a country need to reduce the threat of terrorism to the point

where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance
As you can plainly see, Kerry did not say that the 9-11 attacks, or ANY terrorist attacks, were a nuisance or anything remotely similar to it. What you said about Senator Kerry was a lie, and I’m still waiting for you to retract that lie, Benjamin.

rahdigly,

all you have to do is challenge me on it and I’ll give you the facts
Fine. I challenge you to present the facts to back up your statement that North Korea sponsors terrorist organizations.
The Dems had just as much info and intel on Saddam in 1998 & 1999 and were ranting and raving, trying to make themselves look like war hawks.
And what Clinton did was to launch a cruise missle attack that destroyed Saddam’s WMD capabilities. Without a single American loss of life.
impugning our troops’ mission (one in which liberals don’t support, and yet support the troops— yeah right!)
As I’ve told you before, even the Republicans recognize that a person can support the troops without supporting the president:
“You can support the troops but not the president.” —Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)
Do think Tom DeLay is wrong?

Posted by: ElliottBay at December 5, 2005 07:08 PM
Comment #99066

Rah & Elliott,
Since April 2003, according to the State Department:

“North Korea is not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts since 1987. It has sold weapons to several terrorist groups, however, even as it reiterated its opposition to all forms of international terrorism. Pyongyang also has provided safehaven to several Japanese Red Army members who participated in the hijacking of a Japanese Airlines flight to North Korea in 1970.

Pyongyang continued to sell ballistic missile technology to countries designated by the United States as state sponsors of terrorism, including Syria and Libya.”

Posted by: phx8 at December 5, 2005 07:28 PM
Comment #99141

There are reports out tonight that there has been contact with the kidnappers.

All please pray for peaceful resolution to this and for peace in Iraq.

Posted by: D. Allen at December 5, 2005 10:57 PM
Comment #99225

joebagodonuts,

You answered your own question. You noticed that I spoke of the leaders of the terrorists caring about their lives, as opposed to the suicide bombers. Once you noticed that, you should have simply edited your comments.

Why? AFAIK, people fear the suicide bombers more than they fear their leaders. For a good reason. Saying terrorists, the one committing terrorists acts, most often suicidal, care about their lives because their top leaders do is flawed logic to me. Terrorist’s suicide bombers don’t care about their lives, they cares about following a fanatical & fundamentalist hard line blindly. You may even say that in fact they care about their after-life *only*.

There is, of course, great difference between someone like OBL and Bush. Whereas Bush, and any American president, says that sometimes dying for your country is necessary, he does not proclaim it to be the goal. Many of the Islamic terrorists claim that by becoming martyrs, they receive rewards in heaven (72 virgins etc). The goal is to die in martyrdom. THAT is what makes the difference.

Sure. But still both of them are not putting their *own* live to risk, right? On this specific issue, there’s not difference, both of them, both leaders, care about their own lives. And they both are ready to risk the lives of others. The fact that one leader think dying for his country/cause is necessary while the other think it’s the goal - martyrdom - doesn’t change the fact that both of them:
- do care about their own lives
- don’t put themselves at risk
- push others to risk their own lives for their cause.

I’m not saying there is zero difference between Bush and OBL, obviously. Please.
I’m saying that, as most leaders at war, they’re both asking others to be ready to die for their cause while they *resist* to put their own life in the balance.
Can we agree on this point or not?

Their causes’s justification and means are very different though, but that’s not the issue I was replying to.

While we may not have killed OBL, we certainly have curtailed his abilities to terrorize. Of course, terrorism still survives, as it always will, but his ability to move freely and to communicate freely has been reduced. And the effort to continue this reduction has not waned.

But when this reduction will be enough?
Zero terrorism is utopian, as you agree. So, how you define the moment when one could ends the War On Terror?
When people will stop fearing about, well, everything?
Or when politics will stop using fear for political profit?

I would hope that you are not among the crowd that treats victory only as an absolute.

Quite the reverse: I consider each war the absolute failure of humans. Whatever ends it, it’s always a victory over his darkest behavior.

There are those that will point to the next attack as sign of defeat, but again that is simply a wrong way of thinking.

That’s why “War On Terror” make not much sense than “War On Drugs”. Everybody knows that drugs will still exists in the future. I think it’s more efficient to fight against why consumers needs drugs than killing producers.
In case of Terror, I think it’s more efficient to fight why people are fearing (fighting fear source) than just trying to kill every people than could terrorize you. Now or in the future.
Obviously, in both case we must try to reduce as much as possible the presently known producers/terrorists.

Because we all know that any day another terrorist will successfully kill people somewhere in an attempt to terrorize you and me. Like everyday another dealer will try to sale coke (or whatever) in the streets.

The question is: next time, will we buy it?

Your frenchly,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 6, 2005 05:00 AM
Comment #99247

Frenchly,
“In 1991 I was in draft. France moved to professional army only in late 90€™s. IIRC, France also committed the third largest army during Gulf War. I didn’t volunteered for Iraq first war though because I think the professional soldiers were far more trained to succeed there. French generals though the same it seems.

Anyway, pardon me but *I* didn€™t addressed what issue? I assume here you€™re talking about the Saddam one? If yes, please let me say that *we* didn€™t address it. Yes, “we”. As in UN Security Council members. Until march 2003, US, UK, France all agreed to work Iraq issue thru UN process.”

One issue you overlooked was the fact that I volunteered and you responded with you were drafted; two different things. I’m not saying one is better than the other; however, when you volunteer you shut up the critics that say “why don’t you join if you believe in this war”. With being drafted, you have a greater chance of people that don’t believe in the mission that were taken against their will. That’s one of the reasons why the US doesn’t have a draft anymore.


The issue I was referring to is Iraq before 2003. You had said you didn’t agree with going into Iraq in 2003, well a good number of Democrats (and Republicans) believed that in 1998 and 1999. And, anyone that says that the bombing was different than an invasion is way, way off. Clinton couldn’t go to war (boots on the ground) with anyone; he’s a draft dodger that was true to form when it came to fighting wars (as a civilian and as President).

Yet, Clinton bombed a “Sovereign” nation! Isn’t that illegal?! Turns out Saddam didn’t have weapons, right?!! And, don’t anybody dare try to say that he destroyed them in the bombings; all Clinton accomplished in Iraq was a fireworks show that resulted in killing a few camels in the desert.

The Democrats believed in removing Saddam; the Republicans believed in removing Saddam; and that’s that. The French did as well; however, they were so corrupt with Saddam by taking his bribes, the french said “we don’t care if he has WMDS, we’re not signing the resolution to remove him”. Well, well, well. We found out why with the oil contracts that were guaranteed to the French, as long as they don’t remove Saddam. Also, with the oil for food scandal. The french were knee deep in this corruption with Saddam. And, btw, how’s the French gov’t handling the “Infitada” with the muslim youth? How many cars a night a being burned (still)?

Posted by: rahdigly at December 6, 2005 08:08 AM
Comment #99266

rahdigly,

One issue you overlooked was the fact that I volunteered and you responded with you were drafted; two different things.

Agreed. I was drafted, that’s the fact. I didn’t plan to volunteered for the reason I tried to explain: even if I agreed the first Iraq War - under UN mandate, as a first strong international demonstration of multilateral forces, something I’m fully behind - I though that the professionnal french soldiers were far more skilled than I could ever been in such a short time (my draft started january 1991). If Gulf War will have late more than a few weeks, that would have been another story. Maybe.

I€™m not saying one is better than the other; however, when you volunteer you shut up the critics that say €œwhy don€™t you join if you believe in this war€.

Sure. But believing in a war is not the same than supporting troops. Not believing in a war is not the same as not supporting troops.
It’s not because one think their mission is wrong that he’ll spit on soldiers back from battlefield.
It’s not because one think the mission is, pardon my french, shitty that he won’t do what’s possible to help soldiers get out of it.

Supporting or not the mission is political, sometime it’s even ideological.
Supporting your fellow soldiers is socialogical. It’s empathy for their situation, for their duty for example.

Ooops, I use the word “social”, damned.

The issue I was referring to is Iraq before 2003. You had said you didn€™t agree with going into Iraq in 2003, well a good number of Democrats (and Republicans) believed that in 1998 and 1999. And, anyone that says that the bombing was different than an invasion is way, way off.

I disagree here. It make a very big difference worldwide when invasion occured. For start, their low-tech ennemies knows where they could fight them back. Second, the invaded country is no more sovereign on *any* issue, domestic included.

Invasions make big difference. Look at short history: we didn’t rush to war with Iraq against Iran. But we did when Iraq invaded Kuwait.
UK also wasn’t slow to react after Argentina invaded the Falklands islands in 1982.

Clinton bombed a €œSovereign€ nation! Isn€™t that illegal?! Turns out Saddam didn€™t have weapons, right?!! And, don€™t anybody dare try to say that he destroyed them in the bombings; all Clinton accomplished in Iraq was a fireworks show that resulted in killing a few camels in the desert.

And some innocents too, most probably.
Still, it was not considered as illegal worldwide as 2003’ Iraq War is today.
What is that? Could it be 180 degrees turn to unilateralism?

The Democrats believed in removing Saddam; the Republicans believed in removing Saddam; and that€™s that. The French did as well; however, they were so corrupt with Saddam by taking his bribes, the french said €œwe don€™t care if he has WMDS, we€™re not signing the resolution to remove him€.

Such resolution to remove him never saw the light. One was drafted by US & UK in later february 2003 but was never presented to UNSC members. Maybe because US & UK felt that it’ll be rejected and not only by french but by a majority of members (otherwise I’m sure such occasion to make french a worldwide shame would had not missed by the White House while french bashing was everywhere on american medias).

The one that exists, 1441, said that Iraq should show that all WMDs were destroyed and should allow and help UN inspectors to check it.
Guess what? UN inspectors missions were NEVER terminated because US invaded Iraq before. However, the WMDs checking process was indeed done by US forces and found… none.

Oh, BTW, show me one french official saying “we don’t if he (Saddam) has WMDs”. Please.

We found out why with the oil contracts that were guaranteed to the French, as long as they don€™t remove Saddam. Also, with the oil for food scandal. The french were knee deep in this corruption with Saddam.

These accusations are still to be tried in tribunal, right? And some americans, russians, british etc businessmen are suspected of the same, not only some french. Anyway, I, me, never was corrupted by Saddam but I still stand to my position against this war that I consider illegal. Corruption is not always the reason behind a french position.
I’m happy that Saddam is no more a threat to his people but that’s the sole positive result of this war so far. The western countries values and moral ground is damaged worldwide, and it’s worrying me far more…

And, btw, how€™s the French gov€™t handling the €œInfitada€ with the muslim youth?

Huh? Which intifada? The Fox News’s one?
Dunno. There is nothing in France that can be called an intifada. What’s even funnier about this so-called muslims french youth that was reported since in media is that half of them weren’t muslims and unknown of police records. Our own rethorical pyromaniac Sarkozy is still in denial about these stats and continue to call them scums.

How many cars a night a being burned (still)?

None. Zero. Last was burnt around november 10. 2 weeks after first ones. But, how is this related to Iraq War?

- Your frenchly,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 6, 2005 10:25 AM
Comment #99275

Rahdigly,
You said that you will present facts when challenged. Fine. I’m challenging you to present facts to back up this.

the french said €œwe don€™t care if he has WMDS, we€™re not signing the resolution to remove him€.
Show us the source for the quote. Or did you just make it up?

And I’m still waiting for you to present the facts to back up your claim that

when it comes to Iran, Syria, North Korea? Those regimes have terrorists (and sponsor it) in gov€™t
Please show us the evidence that North Korea has terrorists in their government and sponsors terrorist organizations. According to Merriam-Webster, “sponsor” means
a person or an organization that pays for or plans and carries out a project or activity
So you need to present factual evidence that North Korea has terrorists in its government and that its government has payed for or planned and carried out terrorist activities.

You said you’d present facts when asked for them, and I’m asking for them.

Posted by: ElliottBay at December 6, 2005 11:07 AM