Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Another Blow

. . . to the argument that "they only hate us because we're [in Iraq; support Israel; etc.]" comes in this story about peace activists who've been taken hostage by Islamists in Iraq:
The aid group Christian Peacemaker Teams has confirmed that four of its members were taken hostage Saturday.

German TV broadcast photos Tuesday showing a blindfolded German woman being led away by armed captors in Iraq. Six Iranian pilgrims, meanwhile, were abducted by gunmen north of Baghdad.

The pictures of Susanne Osthoff were taken from a video in which her captors demanded that Germany stop any dealings with Iraq's government, according to Germany's ARD television. Germany has ruled out sending troops to Iraq and opposed the U.S.-led war.


Jay D. Homnick said...

Folks of my advanced age (47) will recall that in 1987 Terry Waite went to Lebanon as the emissary of the Archbishop of Canterbury to negotiate for the release of various Western hostages held by Lebanese/Iranian terrorists.

The negotiations were brought to an abrupt end when the terrorists decided, "What the heck, might as well make this guy a hostage, too."

The leftist apologists were in force then as now. The big morning-drive host on NPR was Ruth Hirschman, who resolutely refused to accept that Waite was actually a hostage.

My friend Barry Ingber sent her a jokey telegram on May 5, 1987; it reads "Springtime in Beirut is wonderful, having the time of my life - wish you were here. Terry Waite."

Anonymous said...

Yeah sure they opposed the war, but doesn't Germany have a long history of supporting Israel and Jews in general? That's the real reason they're....oh wait a minute....

Anonymous said...

From Daniel Pipes' website:

Christian Peacemaker Teams showed its colors responding to the abductions: "We are angry because what has happened to our teammates is the result of the actions of the U.S. and U.K. government due to the illegal attack on Iraq and the continuing occupation and oppression of its people." Note the total absence of "anger" at the people who kidnapped its members.

Why did the abductors threaten their friends in this way? What is their possible logic? The statement that accompanied the video that charged the men with "working undercover as Christian peace activists" provides some clues. First, for Islamists and other Iraqis, an organization with "Christian" in the title must be missionary in purpose and presumably targeting Muslims for conversion, something they find unacceptable. Second, the notion that Westerners, and Americans especially, are really on the Islamists' side versus the U.S. government just does not register. Iraqis more readily see such people as spies than as self-loathing Americans, the latter phenomenon remaining deeply foreign to them.

Put another way, how could the "Swords of Righteousness Brigade" understand the "Christian Peacemaker Teams"? Their names alone point to a nearly unbridgeable divide.