Thursday, January 12, 2006


More than 400 foreigners have been kidnapped in Iraq since the occupation began in March 2003. Many more Iraqis have been kidnapped, but it is the abduction of foreigners that makes news, and makes them particular targets....

Greg Rollins’ team-mates were kidnapped [26 November 2005] in what now appears to have been the first of a new wave of kidnappings. The Christian Peacemaker Teams had stayed on despite the wave of foreigner kidnappings in 2004, which resulted in several deaths.

CPT members continue to live among Iraqi people. “Our team wants to make peace and needs to talk to the people in the street, to real Iraqi people,” Rollins told IPS. “I have spoken to people who live in the green zone before, I asked what are Iraqis like? They said, ‘We don’t know what Iraqis are like, we don’t leave the green zone’.”

There is disagreement over the impact of the kidnappings. “No one gains more than the coalition forces,” said Jawad. “Because in April 2004 there were many journalists in Fallujah, but they were afraid of the kidnappings, and in November 2004, there were no foreign journalists there, and the United States didn’t allow the Iraqi journalists to enter.” The U.S. army launched extensive operations in Fallujah both times.

“The kidnappings in Iraq have become very dangerous now, more than ever before,” an Iraqi police officer who wished to remain anonymous told IPS. “It is because no one listens to Iraqis talk about their suffering. That’s why they kidnap foreigners, because it makes people and governments all around the world listen to them.”

* From Inter Press Service News Service ("The story underneath") - Iraq: Because Kidnapping is News. By Brian Conley and Isam Rashid in Baghdad, (11 January, 2006) -

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