Iraq hostages freed: CPT responds

by Richard on March 23, 2006

CPTers Released

We rejoice in the return of Harmeet Sooden. He has been willing to put his life on the line to promote justice in Iraq and Palestine as a young man newly committed to active peacemaking.

We rejoice in the return of Jim Loney. He has cared for the marginalized and oppressed since childhood, and his gentle, passionate spirit has been an inspiration to people near and far.

We rejoice in the return of Norman Kember. He is a faithful man, an elder and mentor to many in his 50 years of peacemaking, a man prepared to pay the cost.

We remember with tears Tom Fox, whose body was found in Baghdad on March 9, 2006, after three months of captivity with his fellow peacemakers. We had longed for the day when all four men would be released together. Our gladness today is made bittersweet by the fact that Tom is not alive to join in the celebration.

[tags]CPT, Iraq, hostages[/tags]

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }


Nathan 03.23.06 at 5:14 pm

They weren’t “released” — they were rescued.


dh 03.23.06 at 7:27 pm

Nathan, wow you are totally correct. They were rescued. I think people who say “they were released” shows a bias against the facts of the situation. If you get my drift.

Thanks for the correction. I totally appreciate it.


Nathan 03.23.06 at 8:30 pm

No problem, dh. I should clarify that my correction has to do with CPT’s press release, not this blog’s headline or the excerpted portion shown here.

It’s a curious “mistake,” to be sure.


Richard 03.23.06 at 9:18 pm

To be fair to CPT, their statement (and its headline) was written hard on the heels of the news that the 3 hostages were no longer captive. At that stage there was no information about *how* they had come to be free. It was only later that it emerged that a rescue had been staged. And I notice that on the CPT website the headline has indeed been altered to “CPTers freed”. The BBC made a similar amendment as the day went on.

So it wasn’t bias, dh. Merely new information.


Nathan 03.23.06 at 9:26 pm

I’ll call BS on that one, Richard. They’ve changed it to “freed safely” — with nary a mention of *how* they were “freed,” and without a single mention of the word “rescue.” And not a word of thanks to those who rescued them.

“Freed” is intentionally ambiguous — it can imply a rescue, or it can imply release. It’s pretty obvious what they’re trying to avoid saying: that American and British forces are the reason the hostages are free today. How pathetic.


dh 03.23.06 at 9:36 pm

Richard sorry for being a little harsh and thanks Richard for the additional correction and information into the headline and the presentation of ambiguos information within the headline.

Why people are so scared to say US and UK forces rescued the hostages is beyond me. I’m with Nathan on this come on folks just state the facts without any ambiguos information.


Richard 03.23.06 at 10:18 pm

I didn’t re-read the CPT statement following the change of headline, and I agree that not mentioning the rescuers seems churlish at best. My point was merely that all the news agencies were saying ‘released’ at first.


dh 03.23.06 at 10:24 pm

I’m glad you referenced the BBC. While the headlines didn’t say rescued they did mention it in the body. While I personally would have mentioned it in the headline, I won’t nitpick the end result. Maybe this points out how headline oriented we Americans are. Oh I’m just a measily American. If a headline is stated wrong we get bent out of shape even if the article is stated correctly. I appologize for letting my Americanism come out toward you as a Brit. :) ;)


Nathan 03.23.06 at 11:00 pm

Point taken, Richard. My observation was regarding the CPT statement only, not the BBC or any other news organization.


Nathan 03.23.06 at 11:16 pm

And “churlish at best,” indeed. I find it revolting. Not only did CPT fail to mention or thank the men who risked their lives to save the hostages, but they used the statement as another opportunity to declare their opposition to the troops’ mission in Iraq. However one feels about the Iraq situation — and believe you me, I have my qualms with it — this is beyond petty. It’s appallingly ungrateful behavior, in my opinion.

I wonder if the hostages screamed:

a)”OCCUPIERS! Leave us be! We don’t want your help!”, or
b) “Thank you for finding us!”

when they were rescued?


Richard 03.24.06 at 9:07 am

CPT have updated their front page now to include a statement of gratitude to those who did the rescuing. The update is timed at 9pm last night, only a few hours after it became clear that there had been a rescue operation. So maybe we were being a bit hard on them. After all, I dare say updating the website wasn’t the only thing CPT had to do yesterday!


Nathan 03.24.06 at 12:43 pm

I’m looking at the homepage and don’t see it. Could you provide a link?

Perhaps I was a bit hard on them. Perhaps they caught a little heat for the statement.


Nathan 03.24.06 at 12:43 pm

Ah, I’m blind — I see the “addenda” now.


dh 03.24.06 at 2:13 pm

Richard I acknowledge the gratitude but I’m with Nathan on this one. It seems awfully late on CPT’s part with regard to the thanks. Why did they wait when you and I knew about the rescue long before CPT put out the thanks? It seems strange to me. Maybe there was some outrage toward CPT for the lack of thanks that prompted their thankful response. It seems more than coincidence to me.


Nathan 03.24.06 at 2:27 pm

It seems to me that they changed the original statement from “released” to “freed” upon news of the rescue, thinking that would be enough. Only after they caught some heat did they post the addenda.

I just don’t buy the “we were so overjoyed and caught up in rejoicing that we forgot to say ‘thank you’” line — after all, they were thinking clearly enough to write a solid 2-3 paragraphs about the unjust occupation by those same Multinational Forces, and another 2-3 paragraphs praising themselves for loving their enemies. Most likely, the addenda appeared after the complaints came pouring in.


Richard 03.24.06 at 2:49 pm

You might be right Nathan. I prefer the more charitable perspective. That could be my bias, of course.


Nathan 03.24.06 at 3:03 pm

And you may be right, as well, Richard — and I should try being a little more charitable, perhaps.

It just struck me as odd, and I’d like to think I have no strong feelings about CPT one way or the other (as I’m pretty conflicted about Iraq, myself).

Good for them for acknowledging their rescuers, regardless.

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