I met one of the latest Iraq hostages, Tom Fox, on a plane flight from Dulles to O'Hare on about January 20, 2005. He was very reserved. It was very unlike me, but I initiated a conversation with him because he was looking at a publication that had pictures of Iraq. He had a buzz cut and a bearing that was slightly military. So, I asked him if he had been to Iraq. He said "yes" and he said he had recently been there with a Christian organization doing charitable work.
We talked for a long time. He told me that he had been a professional musician. He had only recently begun working for the charity. He said his children probably thought he was nuts for doing the work that he was doing. He knew it was dangerous. We talked about Margaret Hassan and he explained that most of the kidnappings were about money and that the vast majority of those kidnapped were Iraqis. He was guarded about his political views (perhaps because he was against the American intervention and he could sense that I supported it). He was not preachy. He appeared somewhat pessimistic about how things were going in Iraq - but, I could also sense that he thought we might succeed. He had that assured calm that comes only from deep religious faith or from contentment with a life well-lived, or both.
I pray for Tom Fox's safe return and for his family. However, having met him I think there are very few who could face his predicament better than he could.
Update: The more I read about Tom Fox's "charity", CPT, the less sympathetic I am about his plight. The organization appears to have gone to Iraq only to criticize U.S. actions. One of their goals was to push for the release of any prisoners in U.S. custody. Ironically (or coincidentally?) their kidnappers are threatening to behead them if all of the prisoners held by the U.S. and Iraq are not released. That will not happen. Accordingly, it may turn out that Tom Fox is beheaded by people who share his goals. Such a result would be yet another example of the remarkable naiveté of the Left regarding the nature of our enemies. They will slaughter any infidel that they can get their hands on, even the useful idiots of the Left. Unfortunately, the Left will learn nothing just as they learned nothing from Margaret Hassan's death.
If he and the other members are released unharmed, I will have to believe that some ransom was paid or that this was all a stunt designed to garner attention for CPT and their perverted motives.