Friday, February 21, 2003

Salon has an article on the small group of activists from America, Great Britain, Australia, etc., who are travelling to Iraq to act as "human shields." They believe they can achieve the end of all wars by placing their precious Western bodies in the path of American bombs. ("Hey, wait George W.! I'm white!!! Not brown! You can't drop that bomb on me! What are you doing? Didn't I just say I'm white?") This is irritating to me for many reasons.

Understandably, the Iraqis seem to think it's great. They've been gracious hosts, treating the idealistic protesters to "tours of potential bombing sites where the shields might station themselves." ("Here, kid, just strap yourself right to this baby food plant. That's it. Nice and tight. Yeah, I'm right behind you...")

As Salon reports:
The most scathing critics of TJP [the human shield organizing group] and the human-shield volunteers, though, are those who spent time as involuntary human shields during the last Gulf War. "There are no words to describe how naive these people are in my eyes," says Paul Eliopoulos, an American whose hellish four months as a hostage in Iraq have left him plagued with panic attacks, nightmares and depression.

One dipshit shield, who is surely doing Mother Nature's natural selection work for her, doesn't seem to believe that Saddam is so bad as all that. She discounts stories of prisoner mutilation, rape-as-torture, etc. as Western propaganda.

Because she doesn't believe Saddam is a monster, she doesn't worry about him forcing human shields to guard sites other than the ones they choose. "I don't think the Iraqi government would use us to that degree," she says. "I think they know goodwill gestures when they see them. I don't think they're that indecent."

Not surprisingly, the idea of staking one's life on Saddam's decency baffles and exasperates the human shields of 1990.
[Eliopoulos] has little patience for the shields' altruistic bravado. "The ones who say, 'I know I may not come back,' they have no idea what that means," he says. "They don't know what it means to be hurt, they don't know it means to be next to a person with their head split open, they have no idea what it means to defecate in your pants because you have dysentery. Dying is not the worst thing that can happen to you."


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