Waite attacks 'stupid' Bush policies

FORMER hostage Terry Waite believes new terrorists are being born through the Iraq war.Speaking to The Evening Star on the 12th anniversary of his liberation, Suffolk resident Mr Waite hit out at the "totally stupid" policies pursued by George W Bush.

FORMER hostage Terry Waite believes new terrorists are being born through the Iraq war.

Speaking to The Evening Star on the 12th anniversary of his liberation, Suffolk resident Mr Waite hit out at the "totally stupid" policies pursued by George W Bush.

And he said the American president should have rethought his planned visit to Britain this week.

Mr Waite said: "His policies are mistaken. I can understand Tony Blair wanting to maintain the Anglo-American relationship, but I think some statements that have come from America have been totally ridiculous.


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"As far as his visit is concerned, if he had any sense he might well have called it off.

"But it could be a good thing for him to see not everyone in Britain supports what is going on in Iraq."

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Mr Waite was trying to negotiate the release of hostages in the Middle East in 1987 when he was taken captive himself.

He was held hostage for nearly five years – the first four of them in solitary confinement with virtually no contact with the outside world.

But, remarkably, he had no idea the anniversary of his release was approaching.

And it is this amazing attitude to an ordeal which would crush many that he takes into everyday life.

He said: "My life has changed in a very positive way. Before captivity I had always been salaried.

"When I came out of captivity I thought I would enjoy my life and do what I wanted to do.

"It gave me a new perspective on life. I enjoy it more.

"But it's not an easy thing which I went through and I wouldn't want to live through it again."

Mr Waite now jets all over the world from his home at Hartest near Bury St Edmunds.

He spends half the year lecturing and writing and the other working on the charities he supports.

Among the organisations he works with are a British homeless charity, a group that supports families living with HIV in South Africa, and a charity that works with people traumatised by war in the Middle East and Kosovo.

He admits the current international situation leaves him feeling very "pessimistic and depressed."

Mr Waite believes American foreign policy and the worsening security situation in Israel are creating more opportunity for future terrorism instead of tackling the root causes which generate it.

But he still maintains a healthy optimism in his own life and an outlook which perhaps can only come from one who was denied his freedom for so long.

He said: "It's the simple things that are free that give the most pleasure.

"People should live each day for the moment and live it fully. That's something captivity taught me.

"Suffering needn't destroy – I am always optimistic that out of suffering can come creativity."

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