February 11, 2003

And Yet Another In A

And Yet Another In A Long String of Bad Ideas

Sometimes, the capacity for human stupidity can dumbfound even the most strong-minded individuals. Here's an idea: load up a bus, Partridge Family style, and drive yourself and 50 or so likeminded folks into downtown Baghdad in an effort to deter war. Sound far fetched? Sadly, it isn't.

ANKARA (Reuters) - A group of around 50 Western anti-war activists received visas on Tuesday to enter Iraq where they plan to form "human shields" in an effort to deter a possible U.S.-led attack on the Arab state.

Somebody, somewhere, is guilty of some really poor planning. You'd think that, out of 50 or so people, one of them would have the common sense to see that a "human shield" initiative consisting of 50 people probably is the deterrant equivalent of toothpicks against a jackhammer. I'm thinking the leader of this gaggle of goons is going to have some explaining to do when they're round up by Iraqi secret police and placed before Saddam's propoganda machine. Seriously, what do they expect to accomplish once they're in Baghdad? Well, let's find out.

The volunteers said at an impromptu news conference in the Turkish capital they hoped their presence and the possibility of Western casualties would encourage U.S. political leaders and military planners to re-think any plans to bomb Baghdad for its alleged development of weapons of mass destruction.

Yeah, I'm sure military planners are going to lose a lot of sleep over 50 cultists who consciously decided to place themselves in the path of a cruise missile.

"I am an American human shield on this trip to Baghdad to try and stop this war," said volunteer John Rosse. "I ask American troops headed here...not to come, they have no business being here. They do not make good ambassadors. They are here to kill, murder, devastate the civilian population of Iraq. That is not an American thing to do."

Here that, troops? Better turn around. John Rosse said so. Still, he exposes the inherent fallacy that the U.S. is out to kill Iraqi civilians, as if our troops are trained to pick off anyone wearing a turban. I have to give anti-war protesters credit, however. They're remarkably adept at boiling down complex issues to standard black and white rants. No blood for oil, as if all the concern regarding weapons of mass destruction is somehow a ruse to hide a 100 percent oil-based agenda. We haven't found any evidence, as if a lack of evidence somehow exonerates Saddam. Let inspections work, as if a decade of inspections hasn't already been tried, and failed. Saddam will use weapons of mass destruction if we attack, which is interesting considering he's not supposed to have them in the first place.

For peace activists, it's somehow okay if Saddam has WMD, so long as he doesn't use them. Under that type of reasoning, men should be able to kidnap women, so long as they don't rape them. It's not as if Saddam is going to make nice soft fluffy pillows out of chemical and biological weapons and just sit on them. He intends to use them, whether on other countries or his own people, and neither is really that acceptable in my mind. Why is that so difficult for the John Rosses of the world to understand?

The group is traveling across Turkey in a convoy, including a red double-decker bus, that is expected to cross into Syria on Wednesday before entering Iraq. The volunteers left London late last month and headed overland across Europe. On arriving in Iraq, they plan to disperse to populated areas of Baghdad and other parts of the country.

I would like to see their reaction upon arriving in Baghdad, when they see firsthand how the Iraqi people live, and the perpetual fear they live under that the eyes and ears of Saddam will catch them saying or doing something of which he doesn't approve. I wonder what they'll think when they see their first Iraqi civilian arrested and carted off to prison, and very likely death. I wonder, after seeing all this, if they'll change their minds, if they'll suddenly realize that war may be the only way these people will ever actually be able to breathe freedom. I wonder if they'll realize that their noble "human shield" crusade will in the end hinder a military process that, in its bloodthirsty quest for oil, would also have liberated an oppressed society afraid to even speak.

I wonder if they'll be able to get out of Iraq to tell others what they saw without Saddam catching up to them first.

Posted by Ryan at February 11, 2003 02:24 PM
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