Posted by Curt on 15 April, 2006 at 6:44 pm. 2 comments already!


I sat here reading this ex-hostage’s account of his ordeal and at the end I thought, what in the world happened to this guy to make him this effed up?? Was he abused?? Too much weed maybe?? Dropped on his head as a baby?

Our tomb was a 10-ft.-by-10-ft. room. How I came to hate every single detail of it: the paint-peeling walls; the dim light filtered through stained bedsheet “curtains”; the pebble-speckle pattern of the floor tiles; the never-ending hours and days of sitting, sleeping, three-times-a-day eating, handcuffed and chained except when let free to go to the bathroom.

We were sealed into this tomb on Nov. 26, 2005. It happened in a finger-snap, just as we were leaving the headquarters of the Muslim Scholars Association, where we had been meeting with their human rights officer. A white, economy-size car pulled in front of us and forced us to stop. Four men with guns stormed our van with military precision.

[…]On March 23, at about 7:30 in the morning, our tombstone was rolled way: not by angels garbed in heavenly robes, but by a unit of British Special Forces in full battle gear. There were the sounds of boots on concrete, the door being smashed open, gunfire, voices in English shouting, “Get down! Stay away from the door!” Then a roomful of commotion, soldiers telling us “You’re free, it’s okay, it’s over.” And hands, shaking with excitement, cutting us free with a bolt-cutter.

They led us past the smashed-glass threshold of our tomb and out. Out into blue! Beautiful all sky blue! Fresh flowing air and a palm tree and good morning sunlight! They led us through a smiling gauntlet of soldiers and, with a big step up and a big hatch down, we were entombed again.

This tomb was a bland desert-camouflage colour. It was squat, constructed of impregnable steel, moved on a rolling tread of metal plates. The passenger section was dark and cramped and crammed with carefully tooled metal shapes (each with an exact purpose) and little signs that told you things like what to do in the event of a rollover. A young soldier named Rob kept watch through a tiny slit of super-thick plate glass. Through it, you could see a small, distorted rectangle of the world outside.

The armoured personnel carrier in motion was excruciatingly loud. The roar and staccato-grind of it pounded in my bones. It brought us to a helicopter armed with a fixed, heavy-calibre machine gun, and the helicopter brought us to the Green Zone ? the sprawling, blast-wall lock-down that houses the offices of the fledgling Iraqi government and the occupying forces of Britain and the United States.

Yes, we went from one tomb to another.

Ok then.? The “tomb” where he was kept against his will by those threatening to behead him is the same as the room where he was placed once freed by British forces.

What the hell?

Sometimes people don’t even deserve saving.? I know that’s harsh and I only?mean it in a figurative sense.? But you see my point.? The only reason he was taken hostage was because he went to this country of his own free will to help those the coalition “terrorizes”.? Once captured he is unsure how to feel about his saviors.

I am learning many things from my captivity, and have a universe of things to be grateful for. Among them is a new and deep appreciation for the women and men who wear the uniform of military service. I likely would not be writing this today if it were not for them. Thus, I am confronted with a great paradox. I, the Christian pacifist peacemaker, am alive, am free because of the very institutions I believe are contrary to Christian teaching.

I’ll say it again, what the hell?

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