CPT Activist Killed in Iraq

Fox tried to mend country ripped apart by horrific violence

The body of American activist Tom Fox was found in Baghdad last week. The 54-year-old Quaker was a father of two who worked as a grocer in Clearbrook, Va. For the past two years, he worked with Christian Peacemakers Team in Iraq and was one of four activists who were kidnapped last November. The whereabouts of his colleagues, Canadians Harmeet Sooden and Jim Loney and Briton Norman Kember, are still unknown. Since the kidnapping over three months ago, the men's captors have repeatedly called for the release of all prisoners in U.S. and Iraqi detention centers and have threatened to kill these men if their demands are not met. The White House has been quiet on the issue, though a spokesman for the State Department released a statement calling for the "unconditional release of all other hostages." It has been reported that 430 foreigners have been kidnapped in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion, 45 of whom are currently missing. It is unknown exactly how many Iraqis are abducted, but reports range from 10 to 30 people a day.

Up until the day before his abduction, Tom Fox kept a blog called Waiting in the Light. The following is from a post in which Fox responds to a day in May 2005 that saw 31 people dead, 42 injured, and 17 abducted in Baghdad: "Imagine if these events took place in one day in Washington, D.C. or London, England. A state of emergency would be declared (Baghdad has been under a state of emergency for almost six months) and martial law would be imposed. Many civilians would probably stay home and some might leave the area. There would be nothing else on the media except coverage of the bloodshed. Life as normal would cease, as the populace would look to their government for leadership in bringing the chaos under control. The populace would demand that this complete breakdown of the social fabric be mended immediately. But eventually the populace would look for answers. Why did these horrible events transpire? What led up to this total meltdown of civil society? Who created this nightmare situation?"

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond

    Suspect Allegedly Runs Over Austin Cop With Car

    Officer recognized suspect from previous scuffle

    Still Seeking No-Kill Solutions

    San Francisco consultant offers advice on reducing animal shelter euthanasias

    Study Finds Pesticides Tainting U.S. Water Supply

    Industry argues chemicals at safe drinking levels, activists worry about impact on wildlife
  • Bolsheviks in Our Classrooms!

    Two activist UT professors branded 'dangerous' in Horowitz book

    Austin's New Karl Rove

    Former council member doesn't care for SOS's charter amendments, and they don't like him, either

    Weed Watch

    UT students pass initiative calling for equalization of penalties associated with pot and alcohol use, plus other weed news

    Public Benefit Problems

    Health and Human Services Commission pilot program for testing new system of enrolling Texans in public benefit programs reveals problems, concerns

    News Flash

    Here's some surprising news: Nineteen Texans have landed on Forbes magazine's 2006 list of the world's richest people, and the majority of them are big contributors to Republican candidates and officeholders

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Iraq
The Next Chapter
The Next Chapter
Three Austin-based national-security experts offer their views on how America can rebuild its reputation in Iraq and beyond

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 19, 2008

Letters @ 3AM
Letters @ 3AM
Baghdad Alamo

Michael Ventura, Feb. 2, 2007

More by Diana Welch
The Real Cost of a Lap Dance?
The Real Cost of a Lap Dance?
Lawsuit cites violation of wage laws at strip clubs

Oct. 29, 2010

Mistrial, Retrial for McKay
Mistrial, Retrial for McKay
Jurors drop bomb on prosecutors' case against man accused of bomb-making

Feb. 6, 2009


Tom Fox, Christian Peacemakers Team, Iraq, Harmeet Sooden, Jim Loney, Norman Kember

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle