Human Shields - it ain't all play!

Discussion in 'Politics' started by hapaboy, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. BAGHDAD — Squabbling peace activists were recovering from a chaotic overland journey yesterday after limping into Iraq aboard two London buses, a day late for Saturday's worldwide series of anti-war demonstrations.
    Three double-deckers, all crammed with "human shields," had set out from London on Jan. 25 to reach Baghdad in time for the day of global protests. But only two of them, with 65 activists, made it to the Iraqi capital late on Saturday.
    The third bus was abandoned in Italy after breaking down. Everyone crammed aboard the others, one of which had to be dug out of snow drifts near Istanbul. Several activists dropped out on the way.
    The rest endured bitterly cold weather, illness, poor living conditions and a great deal of bickering. When they arrived at Iraq's border with Syria on Friday, Iraqi officials held them overnight, which made them miss Saturday's peace demonstration in Baghdad.
    "There were lots of group squabbles," said Benjamin Joffe-Walt, 23, an American paramedic. "Very few people knew each other. I did not know any of them, and it was difficult to organize it. There were lots of different ideas on when to go to bed, how long to spend on the bus."
    The activists, ages from 20 to 68, slept in cheap hotels, youth hostels, tents or on the buses.
    Ken O'Keefe, their informal leader and a former American Marine, burned his U.S. passport and designed himself new travel documents proclaiming him a "Citizen of the World." As a result, he was detained in three countries.
    Mr. O'Keefe has yet to arrive in Baghdad, and Mr. Joffe-Walt last heard of him in Syria.

    A blond Norwegian activist created a sensation in Turkey and her picture appeared on the front pages of several tabloids. A typical headline read: "Who would bomb this angel?" Mr. Joffe-Walt said: "It was not exactly the kind of coverage we were hoping for."
    Peter Vandyke, a self-styled "reiki master and spiritual healer" from Portsmouth, England, drove a London taxi with the convoy. He described the journey as "horrific" and said: "A lot of people are really sick. They have been sleeping on the buses in subzero temperatures."
    Mr. Vandyke, 38, served in the Royal Navy for eight years and believes there is no terrorist threat to Britain. Prime Minister Tony Blair was "deliberately terrorizing his own people," he said.
    Among the British contingent are a married couple, Helen and Kevin Williams, 34-year-old vegans from Newport, south Wales who kept strictly to their diet throughout the bus journey. "It was very important to us," said Mrs. Williams, who wore a T-shirt reading, "Animal Killers, close them down."
    Mr. Vandyke said the group would camp inside hospitals, schools, power stations and other buildings "needed for basic human living."
    He said he hoped their presence would shield the buildings from harm if war broke out.
    Saddam Hussein's regime, which normally admits Westerners with great reluctance and treats them with deep suspicion, has granted the human shields three-month visas and given them freedom to go where they wish.
  2. opm8


    It's staggering how clueless these people are. Einstein was dead on about human stupidity being infinite.

  3. Ah, the intrepid spirit of the Human Shields....

    Human shield Britons quit Baghdad
    By Charlotte Edwardes in Baghdad
    (Filed: 02/03/2003)

    Almost all of the first British "human shields" to go to Iraq were on their way home last night after deciding that their much-heralded task was now too dangerous.

    Two red double-decker buses, which symbolised the hopes of anti-war activists when they arrived to a fanfare of publicity a fortnight ago, slipped quietly out of Baghdad on the long journey back to Britain.

    Nine of the original 11 activists decided to pull out after being given an ultimatum by Iraqi officials to station themselves at targets likely to be bombed in a war or leave the country. Among those departing last night was 68-year-old Godfrey Meynell, a former High Sheriff of Derbyshire, who admitted that he was leaving out of "cold fear". He had been summoned, along with 200 other shields from all over the world, to a meeting at a Baghdad hotel yesterday morning.

    Abdul Hashimi, the head of the Friendship, Peace and Solidarity organisation that is hosting the protesters, told the shields to choose between nine so-called "strategic sites" by today or quit the country.

    The Iraqi warning follows frustration among Saddam Hussein's officials that only about 65 of the shields had so far agreed to take up positions at the oil refineries, power plants and water-purification sites selected by their hosts.

    It heightened fears among some peace activists that they could be stationed at non-civilian sites. Mr Meynell and fellow protesters who moved into the power station in south Baghdad last weekend were dismayed to find it stood immediately next to an army base and the strategically crucial main road south to Basra. Iraqi officials said there was little point in guarding what they considered to be low-risk targets.
  4. March 04, 2003
    The Theme Song For The Human Shields: I couldn't resist taking one more cheap shot at the human shields. So without further adieu, but with many thanks to whoever wrote "Brave Sir Robin" from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", here's the new theme song for war tourists, "The Brave Human Shields."

    On the way into Iraq...

    The bravely bold human shields rode forth from Britain.
    They were not afraid to die, o the brave human shields.
    They were not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways,
    the brave, brave, brave, brave human shields.

    There were not in the least bit scared to be blown to hell,
    Or to have their eyes blasted out and their elbows broken,
    To have their kneecaps split and their bodies burned away,
    And their limbs all hacked and mangled, the brave human shields...

    Their heads smashed in and their hearts torn out,
    And their livers exploded and their bowels unplugged,
    And their nostrils obliterated and their bottoms burnt off...

    On the way out of Iraq...

    The brave human shields ran away
    Bravely, ran away... away...
    When danger reared its ugly head,
    They bravely turned tail and fled.

    Yes, bravely the human shields turned about
    And gallantly they chickened out.
    Bravely taking to their feet,
    They beat a very brave retreat...
    Bravest of the brave, the human shields.

    Thanks to Little Tiny Lies for the inspiration.

    John Hawkins
  5. These nitwits deserve to be human shields....

    Human Shield Buses Stuck in Beirut, Seek Fare Home
    Wed Mar 5,11:43 AM ET - Reuters

    BEIRUT (Reuters) - Two red double decker buses and a white London taxi that ferried anti-war activists to Baghdad to serve as "human shields" are stranded in Beirut with their owner short of the $5,500 it costs to ship them home.

    The buses and taxi, dusty after a six-week overland journey that began at London's Tower Bridge, were plastered with signs saying "No to a war on Iraq (news - web sites)" and "No to war, Yes to peace."

    "The buses have to be shipped back. It's just not practical to drive them...I am not even really sure how much money I've got, but I'm sure it's not enough," said owner Joe Letts, adding that he would fly to London on Thursday to try to raise cash.

    "I thought I would let people know it's a problem," he added, sitting in a makeshift kitchen on his bus in central Beirut.

    Letts said he left London with 45 human shields of 10-12 nationalities, and picked up a dozen or so more in Turkey before arriving in Baghdad, where he spent a week sleeping in a power station hoping to prevent a possible U.S.-led attack.

    "We were taken to see some of the installations that the Iraqis thought were suitable for protection," he said, adding that he had feared a bombing campaign could start at any time.

    "We painted a huge sign on the roof saying human shields, so when any planes bombed the target, they'd see they were killing us -- Englishmen and Finns and Turks."

    Some 50 other Swedish anti-war human shield activists who had traveled to Iraq began to leave on Monday, saying they had wanted to protect hospitals and schools but had been forced out to refineries, power plants and water works.

    Letts said about 200 human shields, including many who traveled on his bus, remained in Baghdad when he left. But he said that although he stayed on as a shield for a week, he had no intention of staying in Baghdad for the duration of a war.

    "I own these buses and they are my livelihood and my family's livelihood. And all along I was there really to take the people down and then come back," he said.

    When he left London, he thought he had enough money to pay to ship the buses home, but ended up spending his personal finances to help pay for the trip.

    "I had promised my wife I would get the buses home," he said. "If I don't get them home, we're absolutely stuck."
  6. >>"I had promised my wife I would get the buses home," he said. "If I don't get them home, we're absolutely stuck."<<

    Holy Jesus, my heart bleeds for the idit.


    "We have a bad impression of the human shields. Some of them are crazy," said an Iraqi Foreign Ministry official, who requested anonymity.

    At least for some of them, the trip was a wake-up call:

    A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip "had shocked me back to reality." Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head."
  8. Msfe, where are you ? You are slacking off.

    I would have you expected to at least confirm that the young American pastor was a plant by the CIA.

  9. roe


    I like that "a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East"-thingy: thank the lord for such upright young men who struggle for better of the human race.

    Where, pray, exactly is that "Assyrian Church of the East" active? In the famous bible belt? Or, hold your breath, among the asylum seekers in Woomera?

    Please elaborate if you can find him.
    #10     Mar 22, 2003