Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Christian Peacemaker Teams

January 1, 2006

Hostage Abductions - Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq

Dear Friend,

There are various possibilities which might have a bearing on the Christian Peacemaker Team's continued disappearance. The eerie news silence since the original demands, and initial extension by two days, of those abducted on November 26, 2005 - The Friend, Tom Fox and three or possibly four others in the Christian Peacemaker Team, in Iraq (a Canadian negotiator for the original four CPT members was also reported to have been abducted) - is certainly chilling for us all.

I asked a Quaker relative of mine who was a news reporter in the Middle East, and who traded places with Terry Anderson a few months before Terry was abducted (and held for over 7 years), what were his thoughts about who could have abducted Tom Fox. He wrote as follows, including abductions as simply one mode of 'attacking' Americans, even though the hostages were of multi-national citizenship:

Three main groups of late have targeted foreigners in Iraq.
--Sunnite Iraqis do this, trying to create embarrassing havoc for the U.S.-led coalition. Their ultimate goal is to fracture and chase out the coalition headline by headline.
--The second group consists of Islamists from Arab and other nations moving into Iraq to fuel a guerrilla insurgency against the foreign invaders. This group wants to take on the United States forces directly, with suicide, car and roadside bombs, mindful that in Vietnam, Somalia, Lebanon and Iraq in '93, Washington eventually grew weary and cut and ran.
--The third group is made up of plain old criminals who kidnap for money. These are from no particular religious group.
Shiites at this juncture in Iraq would not be doing much kidnapping of foreigners, especially not Americans. They are going to finally dominate there, and they do not want to risk losing the chance to govern.
If you know people being held, do not work through official US government channels. It won't work. Work through religious groups.

There was speculation in the news by the outside-the-U.S. press immediately upon the abductions, that the U.S. govt or military might have something to do with the abductions, since the CPT which Tom Fox was part of, was documenting human rights violations on Iraqis, allegedly perpetrated by all, including by US troops on Iraqi civilians, immediately before the national elections..

The Shiites abducted Terry Anderson, and of course kidnapped the American hostages in Iran for most of 1979.

What is obvious here is that Iraq, like much of the Middle East is a complicated mess, now and we assuredly pray together for the hostages and their families and f/Friends.

In Friendship,

One can find the most current news stories about Tom Fox and those abducted, under Christian Peacemaker Teams - period ended 12/31/2005


Post a Comment

<< Home