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    Thoughts on kidnappings in Iraq and Al-Jazeera

    by Sunny on 1st December, 2005 at 12:46 am    

    I wanted to say about the recent kidnappings in Iraq which tie together a few stories in the media. As I can’t be asked with a proper article, here they are in point form.

    1) The government (FO I think) initially asked the media not to refer to the kidnapped as members of Christian Peacemaker Teams because it might make things worse. Word got out eventually anyway. The four Britons and Canadians are: Tom Fox, 54, and Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32.

    Simon Barrow has more on CPT, an organisation that not only opposed the war from the start, but has also tried to mediate in other dangerous flashpoints such as the Israel-Palestine border. But, as he says,

    The difficulty is that militants are often unable to distinguish Christians who oppose violence and injustice from those they characterise as ‘crusaders’ and ‘occupiers’.

    I view them more as glory-hunting murders so I doubt they care about the impact to their image or support for the war. I hope the four get back safely. Incidentally, the Stop The War crew have condemned the kidnappings, like it would make any difference.

    2) Al-Jazeera broadcast a video from the kidnappers, once again helpfully giving the kidnappers that oxygen of publicity and letting them parade around like sado-masochists.

    I’ve argued against Al-Jazeera being bombed by Bush, even happy to publish the memo, and they plead the same on their blog, but I am of the opinion that broadcasting these videos only makes things worse. Why can’t they exercise more restraint? Don’t expect any ‘I believe in Al-Jazeera’ badges on here.

    3) More killings of innocent Iraqis by these terrorists yesterday. Anyone still see them as ‘liberators’ for the Iraqis?

    Print this page and comments   |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Current affairs, The World

    43 Comments below   |  

    1. Jez — on 1st December, 2005 at 1:14 am  

      Did anyone see the ITV news tonight, where the security contract workers have made a trophy video -drive by shooting clip to the track of elvis. At one point a granade is thrown at the car travelling behind them.

      Security guards don’t have to obey the law and can shoot if they belive it’s a terrorist, but they filmed themselves randomly shooting at cars behind them. forcing cars to crash and killing innocent iraqi’s .

      It was a british security firm. The guards made trophy clips to be posted on the company forum to share with their colleagues.

      One wonders what else is going on . .

    2. Jez — on 1st December, 2005 at 1:29 am  

      More on that . .

      ‘Trophy’ video exposes private security contractors shooting up Iraqi drivers

      Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

      The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis.

      Aegis Defence Serviceswas recently awarded a £220 million security contract in Iraq by the United States government

      The video first appeared on the website aegisiraq.co.uk

      Most of the clips and pics have been removed, but here’s a short clip

    3. Jez — on 1st December, 2005 at 1:29 am  


    4. Sunny — on 1st December, 2005 at 1:32 am  

      Already did the trophy video story on Monday Jez.

    5. shihab — on 1st December, 2005 at 2:08 am  

      Men! We always get caught because we can’t help but keep a record of things. John Leslie had to have video evidence of his sexual escapades to wank off to his mates, bored soldiers need video evidence to show their peers their mettle, terrorists love video evidence to let others show off their martyrdom

      Look ma, no head…

    6. Jez — on 1st December, 2005 at 2:24 am  

      well it was pathetic ! and you needed to do more research, if you had , you would’ve found out a lot more :

      Aegis Defence Services, led by an individual, Lt Col Tim Spicer who has been linked to mercenary activities in Papua New Guinea and Sierra Leone. His close associate in Sandline International, Simon Mann, is currently serving a prison sentence because of his involvement in an attempted coup.

      BLOGGERHEADS has the full details !!! - including links to the clips !

      Oh and they’ve moved the messageboard from www.aegisiraq.co.uk to www.aegis-iraq.co.uk. clever

    7. Bikhair — on 1st December, 2005 at 2:53 am  

      When your supposed Jihad brings this much fitna, than its gotta be fishy. May Allah (azawajal) guide these Muslims are break thier necks.

    8. Jez — on 1st December, 2005 at 3:12 am  

      The video is also available from Tom Griffin.

      More details from crooksandliars :
      man who is seen shooting vehicles on this video in Iraq was a South African employee of Aegis Victory team named Danny Heydenreycher. He served in the British military for 6 years. After the incident the Regional Director for Victory ROC tried to fire Heydenreycher, but the team threatened to resign if he did.

      CorpWatch has a cartoon on the whole Privatization of the War on Terror.

      And of course there are moreprivate contractors :
      “[He] sighted down his AK-47 and started firing,” says Colling. “It went through the window. As far as I could see, it hit a passenger. And they didn’t even know we were there.”

      Later, the convoy came upon two teenagers by the road. One allegedly was gunned down.

      “The rear gunner in my vehicle shot him,” says Colling. “Unarmed, walking kids.”

    9. Sunny — on 1st December, 2005 at 3:19 am  

      Tim has done some very admirable digging there and gathered lots of material together.

      TBH, I did link to Postman Patel initially who linked the video and even got an email from Bareknucklepolitics with a link to the video. But I don’t see the point in checking them out. It’s bad, I know that, so what is the point? I can’t be asked in the same way with the Al-Qaeda videos either.

      I didn’t make it out to be a big thing because, comparatively, I see blowing up a bus and killing nine people as worse than making those trophy videos I guess. Although talking about the war itself is a moral maze these days.
      I’m open to convincing either way. Over to Mr Ireland.

    10. Jez — on 1st December, 2005 at 3:44 am  

      The telegraph article appeared after someone spotted the messageboard. Bloggers downloaded the clips before they were removed and itv ran it as the main story last night. Someone made a dvd copy and sent it to The Times which has an article tomorrow .

      The whole point is about raising awareness. On average 50 to 60 people a month are killed by private foreign security guards.

      Hopefully, it will generate debate about privatisation of the war on terror and the whole concept of employing private security guards, who need not obey the iraqi or British law .

    11. StrangelyPsychedelique — on 1st December, 2005 at 10:28 am  

      Terrorists love publicity!

      Osama is such a cam-whore…

    12. Steve M — on 1st December, 2005 at 10:45 am  

      Although talking about the war itself is a moral maze these days.

      Too right. So we have to judge each episode, each act on its own merits - which is exactly what you’ve done in your piece above.

    13. shihab — on 1st December, 2005 at 11:35 am  

      Osama the cam whore. Always muscling in on the tv action. He’s like the johnathan ross of the brown world. Why can’t we have more of that Bush chap on proper tv instead of just on the discovery channel etc

    14. Siddharth — on 1st December, 2005 at 1:17 pm  

      I think Pickled Politics should release a Xmas single, a cover of Edwin Starr’s classic “WAR”

      War! What is it good for
      Removing fascist dictators
      To install puppet regimes
      And more Civil War
      Say it again!

      Downloadable in MP3 only of course.

    15. Bopper — on 1st December, 2005 at 1:37 pm  

      Stolen/adapted from HP sidd? I read it on there not so long ago.

    16. Col. Mustafa — on 1st December, 2005 at 2:03 pm  

      Oh look at us weve kidnapped people again.
      See, see, really we did.
      Ill send you some camera footage just so you know for sure.

      This is what they come up with to help the cause in countries.
      Yeh lets just kidnap random people that basically dont look like us and hope America and Britain just give us thier countries in return.
      Seriously what are thier conversations like?
      How do they talk about this with a straight face on? let alone go through with it.

      Its like their living in a freaking hollywood movie or something, the dialogue is simply too crap.

      If we kidnap these Brits they will give in and leave our country, you will see.
      They don’t seem to want to leave though, i think we may need to kidnap more than 4 members of the press.
      NOOOOOO, that requires far too much work.
      ONLY 4 WILL DO.

      What if we all got together and started a construction business??
      NOOOOOOOO, that requires money.

      You have plenty of money Osama, just start one up and let anyone that wants to join; join.
      Pay them abit of money and make them sub contractors.
      Lets go around building stuff, schools, hospitals, cafes for us to sit around and enjoy the atmosphere.
      If we start it up, people might want to join in the hope of something new.

      But i want to kill Americans you silly fool, dont you understand that or something?
      They killed me and my family, but i have risen from the dead to kill ALL OF THEM.

      errrm ok….

    17. Siddharth — on 1st December, 2005 at 2:06 pm  

      Bopper: cut, pasted and edited for PP consumption.

    18. Mirax — on 1st December, 2005 at 4:18 pm  

      Iraq is indeed a moral maze and one that will not be untangled for a long time yet.
      Being neither a stopper nor a pro-war advocate, I am often bemused by the rhetoric and bullshit that flies from both camps.

      Still this statement from the christian peacemaker group on the kidnappings is a bit rich :

      We are angry because what has happened to our teammates is the result of the actions of the U.S. and U.K. governments due to the illegal attack on Iraq and the continuing occupation and oppression of its people. Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has worked for the rights of Iraqi prisoners who have been illegally detained and abused by the U.S. government.

      So the kidnappings are ultimately the fault of the US/UK ? Ok, the CPT had better not expect any help from such ’state terrorists’ in locating and releasing their colleagues. Let them use their Iraqi sources- afterall look at what they achieved for Margaret Hassan?

    19. nukh — on 1st December, 2005 at 4:27 pm  

      mirax, i will also bet you that the same org has no personell waging peace in the sudan or any other wretched place except palestine or iraq.
      anyways, the bottom line remains that the kidnapees were all adults, cognizant of the risks of their endeavor.

    20. Bikhair — on 1st December, 2005 at 4:34 pm  

      Ahhh… Where is the Arab strong man to instill law and order when you need him? Oh thats right, he was deposed. Better call Assad to quell those unruly A-rabs.

    21. Al-Hack — on 1st December, 2005 at 4:39 pm  

      mirax, i will also bet you that the same org has no personell waging peace in the sudan or any other wretched place except palestine or iraq
      Nukh - better do some research before such statements. Read Simon’s website linked.

      I expect CPT had been doing some humanitarian work in Iraq before Bush tried “shock and awe” submission tactics, which have now backfired.

    22. Uncleji is the big man — on 1st December, 2005 at 4:45 pm  

      don’t whether to laugh or cry

      Col. Mustafa = Maybe Lashing out or possible angling for a big ransom payment for that plasma screen.

      nukh = not in sudan but are in congo and columbia
      Christian Peacemaker Teams = http://www.cpt.org

    23. Mirax — on 1st December, 2005 at 5:49 pm  

      Hmmn, I do not want to unfairly focus on the CPT but their strong political stance speaks for itself . This is mission statement on Iraq:

      CPT initiated a long-term presence in Iraq in October 2002, six months before the beginning of the U.S. led invasion in March of 2003. The primary focus of the team for eighteen months following the invasion was documenting and focusing attention on the issue of detainee abuses and basic legal and human rights being denied them. Issues related to detainees remain but the current focus of the team has expanded to include efforts to end occupation and militarization of the country and to foster nonviolent and just alternatives for a free and independent Iraq.

      Not really bothered about Iraqis during the sanctions era and there to basically document western abuse. Really dispassionate and neutral about building ‘peace’ eh? No wonder they have NOT dipped their toes into the situations in say Sudan or Srilanka. Their congo mission is just a 4men exploratory one and the colombia mission has the added benefit of having a rightwing/western foe. Iraq and Isreal is where they seem to have most of their energies invested. Now, I wonder why?

    24. Col. Mustafa — on 1st December, 2005 at 7:53 pm  

      Osmammamama, was supposed to be my friend, but he fucking banged my wife behind my back.
      Fucking lanky cunt.

    25. nukh — on 1st December, 2005 at 8:03 pm  

      to all those who opposed the iraq war:
      have you guys given a minutes thought to the good that came of this war?
      least of which is the fact that a a MAJORITY of iraqis who were being ruled forcefuly, to put it mildly, for nearly three decades by a reprehensible tyrant are free now.
      and the truth remains that the insurgency is almost mostly manned by sunnis [indeginous and imports]who have lost the monopoly on power. and we all know how they used the power.
      if the opposing nations were to put their biases and hatred aside for a moment and invest in the future of iraq and the middle east, which at this juncture would entail sending more troops to quell the insurgencey…we could really have a welcome and unprecedented development in the region….a real and thriving democracy.
      and democracies rarely allow themselves to be exploited by a foreign power or invade a neighbour.
      what would be so terrible about that?

      btw, i wonder whether any org has polled the shias and kurds in iraq.
      would love to ask them, are you happy that the U.S. intervened militarily and deposed saddam?

    26. Mirax — on 1st December, 2005 at 8:16 pm  

      here it goes. Don’t know how rightwingers can talk about the “Liberation” of Eye-raq with a straight face, assuming that their brain cells are actually functioning in the first place.

      Yes there was an initial degree of support from shias and kurds for the invasion but I think that you’d find the shia position is very ambiguous now (our fat friend Shia Mullah SADR was pretty hostile with his militia, doncha think?)while the kurds seem to still be on the wagon. Forget the sunnis. yeah one-third of the population but when you want to wax lyrical about ‘freedom’ for the MAJORITY, then i guess you don’t really give a toss.

      What are the Iraqia free to do btw? Huddle in fear in their homes? Same old same huh?

      The insurgency is just the sunnis and the imports? Nothing like burying your head in the hot desert sand is there?

      Iraq is a quagmire. It will likely remain that way for some time to come.

    27. Col. Mustafa — on 1st December, 2005 at 8:20 pm  

      Are you on acid by any chance?

      “and the truth remains that the insurgency is almost mostly manned by sunnis [indeginous and imports]who have lost the monopoly on power. and we all know how they used the power.”

      So what happens when shias are in power then?
      I wonder if the story will be reversed in 10 yrs.

      Yes the shias are completely abusing thier authority on the land, there killing innocent sunnis, while the sunni resistance party bombs yet another hotel.

      “if the opposing nations were to put their biases and hatred aside for a moment and invest in the future of iraq and the middle east, which at this juncture would entail sending more troops to quell the insurgencey…we could really have a welcome and unprecedented development in the region….a real and thriving democracy.”

      LMAO…Im just gonna laugh at that one.
      Thats a classic dude, you clearly dont know how muslims think.

    28. Col. Mustafa — on 1st December, 2005 at 8:23 pm  

      “you clearly dont know how muslims think.”

      I must correct this, it should be humans, not muslims.

    29. nukh — on 1st December, 2005 at 9:11 pm  

      or maybe it was a freudian slip…colonel?
      mirax, firstly, sadr is nothig but a low level goon…jockeying for power.
      and the masses would not have been huddled in fear, had it not been for the insurgency. if the sunnis wished to expiate the sins they commited against the shias, they would urge the zarqawis and others to lay down their arms and give the coalition a chance…say a year….if things do not improve markedly…then thy could resort back to good old days.

      or for a minute, why don’t any of you guys suggest an alternate strategy…a realistic one.
      let us hypothetically reverse go back in time…to feb -03
      what do you suggest we do about saddam?

    30. nukh — on 1st December, 2005 at 9:45 pm  

      i have reproduced my query below from a different post.
      hope someone will respond.

      show me a person who supported the balkan intervention or would have supported it and if the same person opposes the iraq intervention - i will show you a hypocrite.

    31. Mirax — on 3rd December, 2005 at 9:14 am  

      alternate strategy for Iraq? Since you ask me, I will say that i’d have left Iraq alone. The same way N Korea, Iran, Syria, Rwanda, Libya, Burma, Sudan, Somalia, Srilanka, Singapore….you get the picture.. have all been left to get on with their own messes. That evangelistic/imperialistic impulse I find on both the left and right bothers me equally.

    32. blue mountain — on 3rd December, 2005 at 12:58 pm  

      There is a finer distinction between evangelistic and imperialistic impulse. At least in the case British colonialism.The Imperial British Government never sought to introduce Christianity at gunpoint in India.

      Who created the mess in Sri Lanka ? Sinhalese,Tamils and India or the US ?

      When did US invade Iran,Syria and Burma?

      Iran was a tolerant country under the Shah embracing modernity gradually. What have the Mullahs achieved since 1979 ? Why did they lay siege to the US embassy disregarding all international norms ?

      How does Singapore come into the picture ?

      Everyone is leaving Sudan alone so that the genocide of Blacks continues unabated at the hand of Arabs. Why was Sudan a sanctuary of OBL ?

      Why Christiany has become such a craze in communist China despite state control?

    33. Mirax — on 3rd December, 2005 at 1:06 pm  

      so many questions for you to ponder, blue. Have fun but not overstretch yourself now.

    34. Mirax — on 3rd December, 2005 at 1:10 pm  

      btw when I typed evangelistic, I did not mean it in the x’tian context ; I meant the impulse to save others from themselves.

    35. blue mountain — on 3rd December, 2005 at 1:19 pm  

      hehe…i thought i would get some help from you

    36. Bikhair — on 3rd December, 2005 at 10:32 pm  

      blue Mountain,

      “What have the Mullahs achieved since 1979 ?”

      Even tough I hate the Mullahs they have educated far more women than the Shah. What is a Shiite education?

    37. Bikhair — on 3rd December, 2005 at 10:36 pm  

      blue mountain,

      “Everyone is leaving Sudan alone so that the genocide of Blacks continues unabated at the hand of Arabs.”

      Is this what you reduce the conflict in the Sudan to, Arabs on blacks? If I were youI would get aquannited with race, and ethnicity in Sudan. Then I would get aquainted with history, culture, tribal culture, religion, and politics in Sudan. ITs sad that race is the only prism you seem fit to see things through.

      Please stop being a jackass, dumbass, or assass. Take your pick and have the guts to say enough is enough.

    38. Sunny — on 4th December, 2005 at 2:34 am  

      If I were youI would get aquannited with race, and ethnicity in Sudan. Then I would get aquainted with history, culture, tribal culture, religion, and politics in Sudan.

      Even though I generallt disagree with you Bikhair - I have to agree with you on this one. Typically, Blue Mountain is talking about a situation he knows little about and fitting the conflict into his own prism.

      However, that does not detract from the fact that the local Arab nations have been absolutely useless in speaking out against what is happening in Darfur and taking action. Once again it is left to the west. And then they complain when the west intervenes. Hypocrites.

    39. sonia — on 4th December, 2005 at 4:23 am  

      oh yeah there’s no reason for people to imagine the Arab nations aren’t hypocrites. hypocrites generally are found the world over.

      ( sidenote: to a certain extent obviously we are all hypocrites in as much as we’d all like to maintain our ownsafe lovely lives/skins and it usually in the current system ends up being at the expense of someone else. perhaps the well-meaning thing would be to realize that and be as honest as possible, ( the world isn’t a debating society with a nice satisfactory finale) display some reflexivity perhaps..and find some ways to chip away in whatever way we can. so nukh perhaps you’d like to put that in your pipe and smoke it..)


      the situation with these videos is so disgusting and sadistic i find it hard to elaborate - its such a perversion. i couldn’t watch 8mm without feeling sick and these are real-life versions…

    40. Bikhair — on 4th December, 2005 at 5:41 pm  


      “Even though I generallt disagree with you Bikhair - I have to agree with you on this one.”

      Just admit it Sunny, I am your knight in shining Hijab. Full hijab that is, not that crap Pakistanis wear.

    41. Rohin — on 4th December, 2005 at 5:45 pm  

      A hijab should not be shiny. That is not modest dress. Get back into the kitchen, why are you speaking with menfolk?

      (PS knights were MALE. Females of the era were a) wenches b) witches c) raped.)

    42. Mirax — on 5th December, 2005 at 3:03 am  

      Sudan. Darfur is admittedly a slightly more complex issue than Arab-on -Black violence but come on, let’s us not sweep aside the fact that perceptions of racial superiority do play a big part in what is going on there. The arab league has done worse than simply be hypocritical; it has supported the Sudanese govt strongly against repercussions due the same perception of ‘arab solidarity’. Never mind that those being killed are fellow muslims too.

      As for south Sudan, don’t tell me there wasn’t an element of racial and religious bigotry against the largely black animist and christian southerners! What were the slave raids all about?

      Some of you guys here seem unwilling to acknowledge deeply unpleasant facts about Sudan.
      But I understand that Sudan does not figure on the muslim/islamist radar. Those people are not part of the umma, eh?

    43. Sunny — on 5th December, 2005 at 3:45 am  

      I’m not denying a race element here, but from the reports I have read, it is a bit more complicated than that. The western media has largely seen it as an Arab on black attack, but many deeper accounts say there is a lot more. Though I do not deny that race and religion are playing a big part here.

      And as I said before, the stupid Arab govts have once again looked away just because its not their lot being killed.

      Sonia - agreed there is hypocrisy everywhere, but here we are talking about Sudan, where Arab hypocrisy about supposedly caring for human rights has been breathtaking.

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