Captivity: 118 Days In Iraq And The Struggle For A World Without War

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Captivity: 118 Days In Iraq And The Struggle For A World Without War

by James Loney

Knopf Canada | April 24, 2012 | Trade Paperback

4 out of 5 rating. 1 Reviews
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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 432 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.79 in

Published: April 24, 2012

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307399281

ISBN - 13: 9780307399281

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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– More About This Product –

Captivity: 118 Days In Iraq And The Struggle For A World Without War

Captivity: 118 Days In Iraq And The Struggle For A World Without War

by James Loney

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 432 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.79 in

Published: April 24, 2012

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307399281

ISBN - 13: 9780307399281

Read from the Book

Did it really happen, those four months of handcuffs and chains, terror and uncertainty, excruciating boredom without end? Sometimes, when I’m not sure, I go down into my basement and open a cardboard box to reassure myself. It contains a pair of pants, a sweater, a collared shirt, two undershirts, a pair of socks, two sets of underwear, the green string I used to hold up my pants—and one handcuff. The things the RCMP took from me on the day of our rescue, while I stood shivering in an emergency room hospital gown, in a hospital located in the Green Zone, headquarters for the occupation of Iraq. They said it was for forensic evidence.   I was alarmed. Will I get them back? Even the handcuff? It was the only thing I cared about. Yes, they said. True to their promise, the box came in the mail a year later, each item meticulously folded and wrapped in brown paper. Proof that it really happened.   One hundred and eighteen days. To say “we thought it would never end” would be to dilute an understatement with a cliché. Glaciers moved faster than any single minute of any single one of those days. Each day, each minute was a lash, an open grave, a forced march, an agony and a theft for the four of us held hostage together—Tom Fox, Harmeet Singh Sooden, Norman Kember and myself—and all of our families and loved ones imprisoned with us in that four-month tomb of unknowing.   It is good to be alive. It could easily have turned ou
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From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

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.

Editorial Reviews

"This incredible story captures all the beauty and the ugliness that we humans are capable of. It is a reminder that grace is big enough to set both the oppressed and the oppressors free. It is a heart-wrenching and timely invitation to become extremists for love in a world where hatred often hijacks the headlines." —Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical and Jesus For President   "During 118 days of agonizing and terrifying Captivity , James Loney strained to see the humanity in his captors; to see himself through the other''s eyes, to see even the work of peacemaking with that radical sympathetic doubt which is the heart of peacemaking. . . . His riveting story illuminates the potential that impassioned commitment to non-violence may yet hold for human and planetary survival." —Kathy Kelly, peace activist, author and three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize   "An exquisite testimony to the human spirit and the healing that comes through forgiveness of those who have wronged us, and an uplifting reminder of the excellent work being done by the Christian Peacemaker Teams around the world. Anyone who wishes to live in a world of peace and justice should read this book to understand the central role of love and generosity in global healing." —Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of Embracing Israel/Palestine and editor of Tikkun   "[ Captivity ] is a book about freedom, the freedom of all human beings t
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