Tuesday, November 29, 2005

An "Expensive" Peacemaker

Now personally it has always worried me that I am a ‘cheap’ peacemaker (by analogy with Bonhoeffer’s concept of ‘cheap’ grace). Being a CO in Britain, talking, writing, demonstrating about peace is in no way taking risks like young service men in Iraq. I look for excuses why I should not become involved with CPT [Christian Peacemaker Teams] or EAPPI [Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel]. Perhaps the readers will supply me with some? - Norman Kember
From Peacelinks (April/May 2005), the newsletter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Norman Kember wrote these words earlier this year. Evidently his readers failed to supply the 74-year-old Briton with good excuses, because he was abducted yesterday in Iraq, along with two Canadians and an American, who have not yet been identified.

Kember's words show that he was aware, at least intellectually, of the risks to himself. Unfortunately, Kember had no thought about increasing the risks to the "young service men in Iraq". They are the ones who will be affected directly in the case of a hostage rescue mission, and indirectly, as organizations like the one Kember represents prolong the war by tying up military resources that could be used to put the terrorist insurgency out of action that much sooner. There's also the possibility of a ransom resulting in a large infusion of cash to the terrorists. It's doubtful they'll spend the money on peaceful acquisitions.

But the real asset that people like Kember provide to the terrorists is propaganda. Christian Peacemaker Teams and other "peace" organizations have made it their business to draw dishonest comparisons between Coalition military operations and the atrocities of the Saddam Hussein regime, and are affiliated with Quaker groups that held death parties to propagandize the 2,000th American soldier death in Iraq.

These so-called "peace" groups have had the effect of prolonging and increasing the violence they claim to detest.

The Jawa Report has much more on the Kember abduction.