Bomb Throwing Pacifist

If you took that happy, smiling guy from the box of Quaker Oats, handed him a bottle of gin and a rifle, and pissed him off to a point where he decided he wasn't going to take it anymore, you'd get a little something like this.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

In Memoriam

As many of you following the news over the last 24 hours have heard, the U.S. and British military were able to rescue three of the Christian Peacemakers Team members being held in captivity by the Swords of Righteousness Brigade in Iraq. Those of you who know me personally will also remember that the fourth hostage, Tom Fox, was a member of my Quaker monthly meeting at Langley Hills in Virginia. While I never knew him personally nor met him, his kidnapping was felt by us all and served to remind us of how costly and violent this war has been for all people. As such, while we rejoice in the wonderful news of the liberation of Singh, Norman, and Jim, the news is tempered by the knowledge that our good friend Tom Fox was not able to be with them.

There are no doubt those on the right side of the blogosphere and political spectrum who will rejoice and point to the liberation of the CPTers as proof of American success in Iraq, proof of the weakness of the insurgency, and proof that the United States and it's allies must "stay the course," no matter how many lives are lost, shattered, or disrupted in the proces. To them, I think the best answer is perhaps that from the CPT itself, which can be found here. It reads in part,

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. However, we are confident that his spirit is very much present in each reunion.

Harmeet, Jim and Norman and Tom were in Iraq to learn of the struggles facing the people in that country. They went, motivated by a passion for justice and peace to live out a nonviolent alternative in a nation wracked by armed conflict. They knew that their only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their Iraqi and international co-workers. 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. The occupation must end.

Farewell Tom. By standing by the side of the Iraqi people during this bitter, cruel and unjust war with the full knowledge of the risks you ran and consequences you faced, you are a testament to pacifists, Quakers, and indeed, Christians worldwide.

"And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
~Micah 4:3
Marc with a C, 4:06 PM


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