Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Hypocrisy of the Christian Peacemakers Team

The Christian Peacemakers Team (CPT) is a good example of the axiom, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

For those of you not familiar with them, CPT was the group which had four "human rights workers" kidnapped in Iraq. Why were they there? According to their website:

"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."

The key thing I noticed there was no CPT presence in Iraq prior to the threat of military action by the U.S. Why weren't they there to focus "attention on the issue of detainee abuses and basic legal and human rights being denied" to the Iraqi people prior to U.S. involvement? Or was it too inconvenient (or dangerous) to try to go against Saddam's government?

Why aren't they in Cuba? Or China? Or any other country where "basic legal and human rights" are being denied?

I will give them credit for not being idiots. Nonviolent resistance in countries like China or Cuba will get you imprisoned at best, dead at worst.

There is an interesting quote from Ron Sider on the CPT website:

"Nonviolent resistance to tyrants, oppressors and brutal invaders is not for fools or cowards. It demands courage and daring of the highest order. It requires discipline, training and a willingness to face death. Are there tough, brave volunteers for that kind of costly, demanding battle?"

I'm afraid the answer to Ron's question is "no". CPT is NOT interested in "nonviolent resistance to tyrants, oppressors and brutal invaders...". They ARE interested in resistance to democratic governments which will provide them security for their activities. In other words, they are taking the easy way out and biting the hand that feeds them.

When CPT decides to listen to the words of Ron Sider and take on some of the true tyrants and oppressors of the world, I will gladly give them credit.

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