My feelings are that if an competent adult knowingly places themselves in a battle zone protesting the war and is kidnapped, then they did so knowing that was a real possibility and a consequence of the actions they undertook. Great if they can be rescued in the NORMAL course of military operations, but otherwise hope they manage to convince their captors to spare them until the end of the war. Life's tough sometimes.
"Give Peaceniks a Chance?
By Val MacQueen
Source Tech Central Station Daily
"In what must be one of the most extraordinary military rescues in history, the British SAS and the Canadian special forces recovered 74-old-British peace activist Norman Kember and his two co-hostages by warning the kidnappers that they would be coming by to effect a rescue and it would be a good idea if they weren't there. Once the "several million pound" ultra sophisticated surveillance operation was ready to activate, the SAS detained a man they were certain was one of the kidnap leaders, persuaded him to cooperate with details of where the hostages were held and ordered him to warn his cohorts to vacate the premises.
By the time the British and Canadians blew the door off the house, 118 days after the kidnapping, it was empty except for the three hostages lying on the floor, bound but unguarded. As Glasgow Sunday Herald writer Torcuil Crighton wrote, "With the names of the executed Britons Margaret Hassan and Ken Bigley haunting the Foreign Office, there was never any question of the British government not going after the gang that kidnapped the 74-year-old peace activist Kember."
Norman Kember doesn't approve of the war in Iraq.
He had made his feelings known to the government, which had inexplicably failed to heed his insights, thus leaving Kember, a retired physics professor, no choice but to go to Iraq to try to organize things himself. He and three others, including 54-year-old American Tom Fox, under the aegis of Christian Peacemaker Teams, went to Iraq with the specific aim of helping Iraqis opposed to the war to file grievance suits against the Coalition of the Willing.
On November 26 last year, they were kidnapped by the Swords of Truth Brigade, an outfit that specializes in ransom demands, and on November 30, the now traditional video footage of pleas made its traditional appearance on al-Jazeera. The choreography creaked along, with a second al-Jazeera video of threats made by the hostage-takers a few days later, followed by a video-ed plea from Kember's wife a few days after that.
Meanwhile, Kember called, in yet another video, for British troops to be pulled out of Iraq, apparently unaware that his kidnappers had little interest in the war one way or the other. They kidnap people for money. A day or two after that, Abu Qatada, a terrorist suspect -- so someone with street cred in the hood -- made a guest appearance video pleading for their release. Two days later, another terrorist suspect, British-born ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg, made his own video pleading for their lives.
Then, the deadline passed and all went quiet on the video front. Suddenly, at the end of January, production picked up again, with a video showing the four hostages alive. Two days after that, another video was released, this one showing only three of the hostages. Missing was American Tom Fox. Three days later the Americans confirmed that a body found in Iraq was that of Fox. There has been no explanation of why he was murdered
Thirteen days later, the three remaining hostages were rescued in the massive, "several million pounds" operation.
On arrival at London's Heathrow, his face churlishly free of gratitude, Kember allowed as how he was fairly pleased to be home.
The Christian Peacemaker Team put out a press release advising that the three had "been released", which was a lie, of course. Kember and his two fellow hostages had been rescued in one of the most sophisticated operations ever mounted. Besides the "several million pounds", the massive three months of meticulous and sophisticated information-gathering and planning had involved cooperation between Coalition forces, the SAS, the Joint Communications Headquarters at Cheltenham, MI5 and MI6, with both the armed forces and ordinary Iraqis taking tremendous risks.
The British press and the public were quick to pick up on, and condemn, Kember's self-righteous omission of a single word of gratitude that he was back in Britain with his head was still firmly attached to his rigid, disapproving neck, thanks to the action of British military forces. According to Oliver Poole reporting from Baghdad for Britain's The Telegraph, the three rescued hostages also refused to cooperate in their debriefing. Britain's Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Mike Jackson appeared in television studios with a face like thunder.
Although Kember was eventually persuaded to make a faintly more gracious statement, this begs the question: should someone who has demonstrated disloyalty to his own country and has deliberately placed himself in harm's way be the subject of massive public expenditure and risk of the lives of professional soldiers, and ordinary citizens on the ground, when his foolish and willful behavior leads him to be kidnapped? If the citizen shows no loyalty to his country, what does his country owe him?
Val MacQueen is a TCS contributing writer."
October 2020 September 2020 August 2020 July 2020 June 2020 May 2020 April 2020 March 2020 February 2020 January 2020 December 2019 November 2019 October 2019 September 2019 August 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 April 2019 March 2019 February 2019 January 2019 December 2018 November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 August 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 January 2013 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 March 2011 January 2011 December 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004