3 Christian activists rescued in Iraq

Posted by: ST on March 23, 2006 at 9:53 am

Three Christian activists were rescued today thanks to join efforts on the part of US and British troops:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — U.S. and British troops Thursday freed three Christian peace activists in rural Iraq without firing a shot, ending a four-month hostage drama in which an American among the group was shot to death and dumped on a Baghdad street.

Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the U.S. military spokesman, said the hostages were being held by a “kidnapping cell,” and the operation to free the captives was based on information from a man captured by U.S. forces only three hours earlier.

No kidnappers were present when the troops broke into a house in western Baghdad. The captives’ hands were tied, Lynch said.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry said the captives were rescued northwest of Baghdad between the towns of Mishahda, 20 miles away from Baghdad, and the western suburb of Abu Ghraib, 12 miles away.

British officials in Baghdad said those freed were Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, and Briton Norman Kember, 74. The men – members of the Chicago-based Christian Peacemaker Teams – were kidnapped Nov. 26 along with their American colleague, Tom Fox.

The body of Fox, 54, of Clear Brook, Va., was found earlier this month.

“We remember with tears Tom Fox,” group co-director Doug Pritchard said. “We had longed for the day when all four men would be released together. Our gladness today is bittersweet by the fact that Tom is not alive to join his colleagues in the celebration.”

[…]

The Christian Peacemaker Teams said the activists went to Iraq “motivated by a passion for justice and peace.” Group volunteers have been in Iraq since October 2002, investigating allegations of abuse against Iraqi detainees by coalition forces. Its teams promote peaceful solutions in conflict zones.

“They knew that their only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their Iraqi and international co-workers,” Pritchard said.

He also called for coalition forces to leave the country.

“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,” Pritchard said.

There’s more than just a little irony in the fact that it was the “illegal occupiers” that this group opposes being there who rescued them.

Michelle Malkin notes in a link roundup how unthankful “Christian Peacemaker Teams” has been towards their rescuers. :(

As a Christian, it shames me to see fellow Christians who seem ungrateful towards the brave and courageous members of our military who rescued them. The spokespeople for this group could have at least put something on their website. Sheesh.

Here’s a way to thank the troops, even though others who should know better chose not to.

Others commenting on this story: Stop The ACLU, Church and State, Soldiers’ Angels Germany

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  • 34 Responses to “3 Christian activists rescued in Iraq”

    Comments

    1. Jim M says:

      Give’em back to the terrorists!
      :-w

    2. I posted on this on my site. You dont know if they were thanked. Soldier wouldnt read the web post so no mention was made on it. Dont you think the troops were thanks when the rescue happened? Don’t be so cynical as Malkin.

    3. Jim M says:

      Hey LC Michelle Malkin isn’t the only one that is writing about these ungrateful idiots here’s a link it’s all over the news.
      :d

    4. Tyrmadris says:

      Oh, I’m fairly certain they were thanked personally, as in the time shortly after rescue and possibly upon touching down on the tarmac at wherever they consider ‘home’ to be.

      However, whether that fact will be recognized by the Media at large, or whether they will have true thanks enough to turn their previous message around, that remains to be seen. Judging by the organizations for whom the captives were members of and juding by the current majority of media outlets, however, saying it seems ‘unlikely’ is a serious understatement. I’d love to be pleasantly surprised, but you won’t catch me holding my breath on this one.

      Either way, it doesn’t matter. The troops involved should get our thanks and appreciation for their efforts and the risks that they took. Whether or not those who directly benefitted from it will do so is less important than making sure we ourselves never forget and never cease to be thankful… even if that means taking up the slack of the more noticeable beneficiares.

    5. andrew says:

      “There’s more than just a little irony in the fact that it was the “illegal occupiers” that this group opposes being there who rescued them.”

      They’re religious activists. Irony is not their strong suit.

    6. Jim M says:

      Andrew it has nothing to do with being religious activists it’s about the idiots going there being non Muslim (When they cut the throats of Christians) trying to show their opposition to the War (Peaceniks). They wanted to show their solidarity with the insurgents (Terrorists) and they were kidnapped and one the American was killed and the others held captive. Then the same people (American and British troops) that they hate saves their worthless asses and they nor their group can bring themselves to say “Thanks”. Then in the groups news release they made it sound like the insurgents release them they have showed their true colors they are anti-American and anti-Military. These types of people would let someone force them into slavery and not lift a finger to save themselves another words peace at any price!
      **==

    7. Karl says:

      The idea that the organization would refrain from any thanks in their press release, mis-catagorize the rescue as a release and then condemn the forces that performed the rescue is just proof of their disconnect from reality.

    8. Severian says:

      Give’em back to the terrorists then. They obviously have chosen who they prefer and like.

    9. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      As a Christian, it shames me to see fellow Christians who seem ungrateful towards the brave and courageous members of our military who rescued them.

      Actually, I am not surprised ST. As a former missionary, my former denomination preached a “gospel” similar to this one. It caused my wife and I to leave our missionary work.

      I have no doubt that these are some of the false prophets that Jesus warned us about. Their unabashed hatred of the weak and helpless in Iraq is the proof.

    10. Red Tory says:

      I get the distinct impression that many here would rather that the three surviving peace activists would have been executed than rescued (or released). Perhaps instead of demagoging the issue for your own self-serving reasons, before these folks have even had a chance to recover from being held hostage for four months, you should wait and allow them to actually speak for themselves. Besides, you don’t have any idea what went on to secure the release of these individuals. Apparently, according to Canadian officials there was a lot going on in secrecy behind the scenes that nobody is aware of for security reasons. The organization they represented essentially just reprinted the AP news story in their release. Are you so blinded by your raging hatred of the left that you have no sense of common decency?

    11. NC Cop says:

      Common decency??? You mean like actually publicly thanking the soldiers who rescued you from certain death?? That kind of common decency??

      What a crock!!

    12. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      Red, I don’t think you know what went on “behind the scenes”, either. We do know that coalition soldiers put their lives on the line to rescue them (or do you dispute that?).

      Beyond the group’s willingness to lie (the rescue was called a “release”), it also went out of its way to slime the coalition forces who risked death to save three of its members. Forget what may (or may not) have gone on “behind the scenes”: This group’s actions have been absolutely vile – before, during, and after the kidnapping.

      Just who is really blinded by hate here?

    13. Red Tory says:

      We do know that coalition soldiers put their lives on the line to rescue them (or do you dispute that?).

      There were no kidnappers/terrorists there when the hostages were “rescued” so, yeah, I guess I do kind of dispute that. And no, I don’t know what went on behind the scenes other than there were a lot of hints dropped today that negotiations had been ongoing. So you connect the dots. Even better, how about waiting for the FACTS to emerge. Now there’s a concept!

      Maybe that survey was correct. Good grief, you people ARE whiney.

    14. Red, with all due respect, get off your high horse, pal. It’s called a “visceral reaction” – something I know for a fact you’re not immune from having yourself.

      There are a lot of reasons for the reactions that are explained both in my post and at MM’s, for starters. People are human, afterall, and when they see our troops putting it on the line to rescue the Christian activists, and then the Christian group they are part of issues a statement initially calling them “illegal occupiers”, I think the reaction is perfectly understandable. You yourself have had visceral reactions about things related to the Iraq war, haven’t you, stuff you’ve probably regretted saying later?

    15. NC Cop says:

      LOL!!!! It just gets better and better, huh, Red?? There were no bad guys there so the troops didn’t risk their lives? With every word liberals and the left utter they further establish themselves as being completely out of touch with reality. Absolutely amazing…..

    16. Jim M says:

      I guess Red thinks that the Insurgents/Terrorists/Kidnappers were going to hang around when they saw coalition forces moving in on them so they could be captured or killed. I do believe that the terrorists are a little smarter than some liberals.
      =))

    17. andrew says:

      “Andrew it has nothing to do with being religious activists it’s about the idiots going there being non Muslim ”

      I don’t think religion and irony go well together, muslim or christian.

    18. Jim M says:

      Irony:
      1. a. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
      b. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning
      c. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect.
      2. a. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs.
      b. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity.

      I think irony goes very well with the four Christians that went to Iraq they expected to be welcome by the Terrorist with open arms by showing there solidarity with them. That was what they expected and we all now know what actually happened or occurred.
      :d

    19. Lorica says:

      I guess you would just expect better from Christians. I mean if you are going to call someone “satan”, why would you accept the help of your enemy??? I am sorry to me it makes little sense. I would just like to thank satan for saving me. It just doesn’t have a good ring to it. Our boys know they did good. We know they did good. It will all be good. The masses are watching, and they know who did the right thing. It will all be good.

      As far as the lack of captors. If 50 of your brethren had just been taken captive, as was the case at the Iraqi police station a few hours earlier, would you hang around thinking that all 50 of those guys are going to keep their mouths shut??? I wouldn’t. I would stay a safe distance off for a day or two and see if anybody shows up to free them. They didn’t move them to a new safe place, for the same reason. The captors had no idea who talked and what they said. It was only logical to haul butt outta there. – Lorica

    20. Red Tory says:

      It just gets better and better, huh, Red?? There were no bad guys there so the troops didn’t risk their lives?

      I’m just saying that it might be better to wait for the facts to emerge rather than whipping up a frenzy of outrage about the supposed “ingratitude” of these Christian peace activists and making speculations about whether it was a “rescue” or an arranged “release.”

      For the record, personally, I think their being in a war zone in the first place is the height of stupidity, but that’s beside the point.

    21. steve says:

      These guy’s were released because the Canadians agreed to put political pressure on the US and England agreed to withdraw it’s troops starting with 10% by May. bush gave them the finger, so they shot the American. That’s another innocent on bush’s head. The way out of Iraq is throught Iran, and diplomatic relations. Peace

    22. NC Cop says:

      “For the record, personally, I think their being in a war zone in the first place is the height of stupidity, but that’s beside the point.”

      I agree sir!! I guess it just really riles me when these guys went there to make sure that the “evil” Americans did not abuse the poor Iraqi people, and then these guys are kidnapped by Iraqis, one of them is shot and dumped, they are rescued by the very troops they “dislike” (Not sure if that’s the right word to use but you know what I mean) and then their group cannot even publicly acknowledge that they were rescued, not “released”.

      I do hope more details emerge, but you cannot blame people for being upset that this group is cursing the same troops that rescued their members.

    23. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      There were no kidnappers/terrorists there when the hostages were “rescued” so, yeah, I guess I do kind of dispute that.

      Bad news, Red. CPT has thanked the soldiers for rescuing their “peace” workers (well, a sort-of thank you). There goes your beautiful theory.

      Reality bites, eh Red? And whining about it won’t help, either.:((