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James Loney, Peace Activists, Dupes

Rescued peace activist welcomed by Saddam Hussein as useful propaganda tool

By Judi McLeod
Monday, March 27, 2006

James Loney, one of three peace activists rescued as a hostage in Iraq last week, was part of a human shield for peace activist corps. once "welcomed by Saddam Hussein as a useful propaganda tool."

The kidnap and four-month captivity of the hostages is either a textbook case of The Stockholm Syndrome or the anti-US propaganda exercise of all time. The three Christian peace activists rescued by U.S. and British forces in Iraq last week said they were well treated by their captors. Although they didn't get as much food as they wanted, they were always fed. They were not always bound during their four months of captivity and were allowed to exercise regularly, a spokeswoman for their group said Friday.

That's the official post-rescue take of former Canadian hostages Harmeet Singh Sooden, 33 and James Loney, 41.

Well treated?

Their American colleague, Tom Fox, 54, was found earlier this month, shot and dumped in western Baghdad.

Although their handlers call them "Christian Peacemakers", the former hostages are savvy activists.

Christian Peacemaker Teams volunteers have been in Iraq since October 2002. Their mission? To "investigate allegations of Iraqi detainees being held without cause by U.S. and Iraqi forces".

The group says its teams promote "peaceful solutions in conflict zones". Its peaceful solutions did nothing to save the life of the late Tom Fox.

Describing the CPT on one of its media releases one month after the activists were taken hostage, the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network made it clear that their peacemakers were among the "first to expose the American torture of Iraqi prisoners".

"In fact, the group does not spread the gospel, and its mission is political. It's there to press the U.S. to get out.

"It also opposed the 1991 Persian Gulf war, the invasion of Afghanistan and the West's intervention to stop ethnic cleansing in Bosnia."

Canadian hostage, James Loney, a Toronto resident, was on his third trip to Iraq, as a self-professed "human shield", having made his first trip at the end of 2002.

"According to a friend he had felt a call from God to act as a human shield for peace. (Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network, Dec. 5, 2005). "He made his first trip at the end of 2002, when he led a team prepared to act as human shields. They were welcomed by Saddam Hussein as a useful propaganda tool, but they never did carry out their mission. Instead, their vehicle rolled over in a freak road accident that killed one elderly Canadian. A Peacemakers spokesman knows who (sic) to blame. `The tires were faulty. They were made in the U.S.,' he told me. 'So was the car'."

"Although the hostages said they were aware of the risks they would be taking in Iraq, they thought their anti-American politics would act as an insurance policy."

Is it any wonder that in a statement obtained by the National Post, Iraq's embassy to Canada called the Christian Peacemaker Teams "phony pacifists" and "dupes"?

"The Christian Peacemaker Teams practices the kind of politics that automatically nominate them as dupes for jihadism and fascism," the embassy's statement said.

Meanwhile, it must be one of life's little ironies that the former hostages were rescued after a two-day operation in the Abu Ghraib suburb west of Baghdad, the site of the notorious prison. And the irony of all ironies that they were rescued by the very forces they were in Iraq fomenting against.

Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: judi@canadafreepress.com


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