What the heck is going on?I felt like this was a big enough issue to expand it to a regular post, so this post is in response to Leah's post about CPT and Jake and Ryan's comments that followed.
I'm also incredibly disturbed and uncomfortable with the events surrounding their "rescue." (release? aquisition? re-capture? resortation unto freedom?)
While I am very, very happy that they are alive (particularly Jim who was one of my CPT trainers and an amazing human being), I also find it really strange that there has been such a silence surrounding the fact that they were rescued with a military operation. I know that "no shots were fired," but it almost seems that CPT's stressing of this was to make them feel better about the the fact that our (I'm a CPTer, you know) friends and workers were rescued by the forces we condemn, in what Jake rightly points out was only a vaguely nonviolent operation in the most basic sense of the word, ie: apparently no one was hurt, and definetly not in the sense that CPT would regulary use it (nonviolence is not merely a lack of violence nor a negative inverse of violence, but a positive blah blah...), and was in fact only "nonviolent" because the army got lucky and the people holding the CPTers had left.
Now I become much more disturbed upon reading this recent addendum, as mentioned by Jake, in which it is said, "We are grateful to the soldiers who risked their lives to free Jim, Norman and Harmeet."
Who wrote this sentance? I have never in my life heard nor imagined a sentance like this coming from the mouth of a single CPTer! Just yesterday, (and the whole time CPT has existed) they said, "We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq."
It's your fault and we are against everything you are doing and our whole mission in Iraq is based upon that, but hey thanks for finding our friends.
More disturbing is, "As peacemakers who hold firm to our commitment to nonviolence, we are also deeply grateful that they fired no shots to free our colleagues." The whole phrasing of this gives the power to the army, to the empire, the very thing we are resisting! Oh you guys, we are so, so, so, thankful to your big army powers, and what would we, simple peacemakers, do with out you? It paints us exactly as Cal Thomas and the rest of the "peacemakers are naive idiots" gang want us to look. As if the Army tried not to fire any shots just for us, because they know we don't like big bad guns! It's the Army!
I am just stunned and overwhelmed that nothing is being said about this by anyone within CPT. Our email discussion list for workers, usually overflowing with all sorts of arguements and opposing views, is deathly silent. No one is saying anything. If we are ashamed that this has happened why don't we speak up about it? In the least if this is not being addressed publicly why isn't it being addressed within CPT?
This is what shocks me so much. There is absolutely no reason CPT couldn't or wouldn't come out with a statement saying that while we are overjoyed to have our friends and co-workers, back and alive, we never supported nor requested any kind of military intervention to free them, and we did not support this one. We rejoice that those holding Jim, Norman, and Harmeet, had left and were not harmed in this action. While to the world this may look to be a successful rescue operation, as Christians dedicated to a life of nonviolence, we are saddened that the military took this into their own hands. We hope that our mission and work will not be tainted by this and we will continue to work to free Iraqis from oppression.
There is no reason not to say this. I cannot undestand. CPT's members and supporters and everyone involved has no stake in anything that could possibly put them in any kind of political or whatever risk by saying this. We are peacemakers and our whole mission is almost entirely opposed to what the coalition forces are doing in Iraq and around the world. Why now do we falter? We weren't involved nor would we endorse such a "rescue mission." It's even in the Iraq teams statement on kidnapping which they formulated prior to starting thier mission in Iraq. We reject and refuse military intervention. Obviously we aren't going to send our members back. But we can rebuke the way in which it was done. I think we have to or risk legitemizing it and delegitemizing ourselves.
After all we did say that when the CPTers went to Iraq, "They knew that their only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their Iraqi and international co-workers."
oh, and apparantly now the US military.