Christian peacemakers challenge Bush claim that Iraq war is being won - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
December 19, 2005

Christian peacemakers challenge Bush claim that Iraq war is being won

-19/12/05

Christian peacemakers whose colleagues were recently abducted and who have maintained a continuous presence in Iraq since before the invasion, have challenged George W Bush's claim that the war on Iraq is being won.

The claim by the US president came yesterday (Sunday) in a Presidential address.

Speaking from the Oval Office -- where he launched the war nearly three years ago -- Bush attempted to address those who are calling for a U.S. pullout.

"Defeatism may have its partisan uses, but it is not justified by the facts," the president said. "For every scene of destruction in Iraq, there are more scenes of rebuilding and hope. For every life lost, there are countless more lives reclaimed. And for every terrorist working to stop freedom in Iraq, there are many more Iraqis and Americans working to defeat them."

Looking straight into the camera and pointing, Bush declared: "Not only can we win the war in Iraq -- we are winning the war in Iraq."

Bush offered no new initiatives or programs in his 16-minute speech that the White House had billed as a major address and for which it had requested television time.

But in a statement, members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Iraq said that they were observing a very different situation to the one the President described.

The Christians say that they have seen an ongoing a loss of faith and trust in the United States government by both Iraqis and Americans, an absence of security, lack of basic services, and limited reconstruction. They also highlight the continuing bombing of civilians, kidnapping, torture and extra judicial deaths.

CPT originally documented 72 cases of abuse of detainees several months before the famous scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison emerged. The Christian Peacemakers however say that they continue to observe illegal detentions, mass arrests, house raids and theft of personal property.

This they say is contributing to growing alienation of Iraqi people and of the Muslim world.

The Christians point out that a growing number of people in the international community perceive the United States as the enemy because of its policies and actions in Iraq.

CPT suggests that the U.S. government withdraw all U.S. troops and military bases promptly, withdraw U.S. troops from urban areas immediately and provide sufficient funds to the Iraqi people to rebuild basic infrastructure.

They continue to call for an end to illegal detentions and torture in U.S. detention facilities both in Iraq and in locations outside Iraq and fair and speedy judicial process for detainees held in U.S. facilities.

The latest poll by Gallup suggested that 58% of Americans don't believe Bush has a plan for achieving 'victory' in Iraq.

[Updated full chronological list of related articles on Ekklesia as of 18 December 2005 AM: Features - Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Christian peacemakers - a lesson to the peace movement (by Mark A. LeVine); A culture of Christian citizenship (Pat Gaffney, CAFOD, Advent inc. Iraq); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox). Advent hope for Iraq, captives and Limbaugh (Sojourners magazine). What on earth are we waiting for? (Simon Barrow, Advent and Iraq). News - Christian Peacemakers say they will carry on their work 18/12/05; Lack of evidence for Iraq negotiator abduction claim 17/12/05; Fears 'unfounded' over Iraq hostage negotiator 16/12/05; Search goes on for missing Christian peace workers 16/12/05; UK envoy remains hopeful on Iraq captives 16/12/05; Muslim envoy to Iraq returns as al-Jazeera publicizes mercy pleas 14/12/05; Christian peacemakers demand entry to Guantanamo Bay 14/12/05; Canadian churches pray for missing peace activists 13/12/05; Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers; Praying for a miracle amid Iraq hostage silence 12/12/05; All faiths candlelit vigil in London for Norman Kember 12/12/05; Officials and families seek news on Iraq Christian peace workers 12/12/05; Lobbying goes on as Iraq hostage deadline passes 11/12/05; Hope continues as Iraq captive deadline looms 10/12/05; Embattled Hezbollah backs Iraq 'doves of peace' 09/12/05; UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives 09/12/05; Former Guantanamo Bay detainees call for release of Christian peacemakers 08/12/05; Jack Straw says he will talk on Iraq hostages 08/12/05; Abu Qatada pleas for Iraq captives as deadline is extended 08/12/05; Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox); Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]

Christian peacemakers challenge Bush claim that Iraq war is being won

-19/12/05

Christian peacemakers whose colleagues were recently abducted and who have maintained a continuous presence in Iraq since before the invasion, have challenged George W Bush's claim that the war on Iraq is being won.

The claim by the US president came yesterday (Sunday) in a Presidential address.

Speaking from the Oval Office -- where he launched the war nearly three years ago -- Bush attempted to address those who are calling for a U.S. pullout.

"Defeatism may have its partisan uses, but it is not justified by the facts," the president said. "For every scene of destruction in Iraq, there are more scenes of rebuilding and hope. For every life lost, there are countless more lives reclaimed. And for every terrorist working to stop freedom in Iraq, there are many more Iraqis and Americans working to defeat them."

Looking straight into the camera and pointing, Bush declared: "Not only can we win the war in Iraq -- we are winning the war in Iraq."

Bush offered no new initiatives or programs in his 16-minute speech that the White House had billed as a major address and for which it had requested television time.

But in a statement, members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Iraq said that they were observing a very different situation to the one the President described.

The Christians say that they have seen an ongoing a loss of faith and trust in the United States government by both Iraqis and Americans, an absence of security, lack of basic services, and limited reconstruction. They also highlight the continuing bombing of civilians, kidnapping, torture and extra judicial deaths.

CPT originally documented 72 cases of abuse of detainees several months before the famous scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison emerged. The Christian Peacemakers however say that they continue to observe illegal detentions, mass arrests, house raids and theft of personal property.

This they say is contributing to growing alienation of Iraqi people and of the Muslim world.

The Christians point out that a growing number of people in the international community perceive the United States as the enemy because of its policies and actions in Iraq.

CPT suggests that the U.S. government withdraw all U.S. troops and military bases promptly, withdraw U.S. troops from urban areas immediately and provide sufficient funds to the Iraqi people to rebuild basic infrastructure.

They continue to call for an end to illegal detentions and torture in U.S. detention facilities both in Iraq and in locations outside Iraq and fair and speedy judicial process for detainees held in U.S. facilities.

The latest poll by Gallup suggested that 58% of Americans don't believe Bush has a plan for achieving 'victory' in Iraq.

[Updated full chronological list of related articles on Ekklesia as of 18 December 2005 AM: Features - Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Christian peacemakers - a lesson to the peace movement (by Mark A. LeVine); A culture of Christian citizenship (Pat Gaffney, CAFOD, Advent inc. Iraq); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox). Advent hope for Iraq, captives and Limbaugh (Sojourners magazine). What on earth are we waiting for? (Simon Barrow, Advent and Iraq). News - Christian Peacemakers say they will carry on their work 18/12/05; Lack of evidence for Iraq negotiator abduction claim 17/12/05; Fears 'unfounded' over Iraq hostage negotiator 16/12/05; Search goes on for missing Christian peace workers 16/12/05; UK envoy remains hopeful on Iraq captives 16/12/05; Muslim envoy to Iraq returns as al-Jazeera publicizes mercy pleas 14/12/05; Christian peacemakers demand entry to Guantanamo Bay 14/12/05; Canadian churches pray for missing peace activists 13/12/05; Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers; Praying for a miracle amid Iraq hostage silence 12/12/05; All faiths candlelit vigil in London for Norman Kember 12/12/05; Officials and families seek news on Iraq Christian peace workers 12/12/05; Lobbying goes on as Iraq hostage deadline passes 11/12/05; Hope continues as Iraq captive deadline looms 10/12/05; Embattled Hezbollah backs Iraq 'doves of peace' 09/12/05; UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives 09/12/05; Former Guantanamo Bay detainees call for release of Christian peacemakers 08/12/05; Jack Straw says he will talk on Iraq hostages 08/12/05; Abu Qatada pleas for Iraq captives as deadline is extended 08/12/05; Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox); Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]

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