Captivity: 118 Days in Iraq and the Struggle for a World Without War

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Knopf Canada, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 410 pages
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The powerful account of the remarkable peace activist kidnapped while leading a peace delegation and held for ransom by Iraqi insurgents until his paradoxical release by a crack unit of special forces commandos.

In November 2005, James Loney and three other men -- Canadian Harmeet Singh Sooden, British citizen Norman Kember and American Tom Fox -- were taken hostage at gunpoint. The men were with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), an organization that places teams trained in non-violent intervention into lethal conflict zones. The then unknown Swords of Righteousness Brigade released videos of the men, resulting in what is likely the most publicized kidnapping of the Iraq War. Tom Fox was murdered and dumped on a Baghdad street. The surviving men were held for 118 days before being rescued by Task Force Black, an elite counter-kidnap unit led by the British SAS. Captivity is the story of what Jim described upon his return to Toronto and reunion with his partner Dan Hunt as "a terrifying, profound, transformative and excruciatingly boring experience." It presents an affecting portrait of how Jim came to be a pacifist and chronicles his work in Iraq before the kidnapping. It brings the reader immediately into the terror and banality, the frictions, the moral dilemmas of their captivity, their search to find their captors' humanity, and the imperative need to conceal Jim's sexual identity. It examines the paradoxes we face when our most cherished principles are tested in extraordinary circumstances and explores the universal truths contained in every captivity experience. At its heart, the book is a hope-filled plea for peace, human solidarity and forgiveness.


From James Loney:

Why I Wrote This Book

I often wondered, during those excruciating days of handcuffs and chains, fear and boredom without end, would I ever get to tell anyone about the strange and bizarre things that happened during our captivity? Being transported in the trunk of a car. Sleeping with my left and right hands handcuffed to the person beside me. Explaining to the captors how to use "men's gel." Picking open our handcuffs after watching a Hollywood movie.

It is a paradox. I went to Iraq as a pacifi st on a mission of peace and was kidnapped, threatened with death and held hostage with three other men until we were rescued in a military operation. It is an extraordinary privilege to be able to tell the story of this paradox, to explain why I remain committed to the principles of nonviolence despite the fact a member of our group was murdered and our freedom was secured by armed force. The crucible of captivity was a kind of school in which I was able to see the innermost workings of the universe, how we are all connected, how our liberation is inextricably tied together. I want to share this story in the hope of contributing to the emergence of a world without war, the single greatest challenge of the 21st century. Everything depends on this, for without peace nothing else is possible.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
11
Section 3
30
Section 4
52
Section 5
81
Section 6
91
Section 7
96
Section 8
108
Section 25
218
Section 26
223
Section 27
228
Section 28
230
Section 29
245
Section 30
252
Section 31
264
Section 32
266

Section 9
113
Section 10
117
Section 11
131
Section 12
136
Section 13
151
Section 14
162
Section 15
171
Section 16
172
Section 17
174
Section 18
183
Section 19
184
Section 20
188
Section 21
196
Section 22
197
Section 23
208
Section 24
216
Section 33
270
Section 34
281
Section 35
284
Section 36
288
Section 37
289
Section 38
290
Section 39
294
Section 40
304
Section 41
324
Section 42
335
Section 43
371
Section 44
387
Section 45
392
Section 46
398
Section 47
406
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

James Loney is a Canadian peace activist, writer and member of Christian Peacemaker Teams. Based in Toronto, he has served on violence-reduction teams in Iraq, Palestine and First Nations communities in Canada. In November 2005, he was kidnapped along with the CPT delegation he was leading and held hostage for four months. One member of the group was murdered, an American named Tom Fox. The surviving three were released in a military operation led by British special forces.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information