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.
Conspiracy theories spread like a contagion through the ranks. Whenever a puncture occurred it would be blamed on the CIA. "It's sabotage," Peter Van Dyke, 36, had whispered to a bemused mechanic as he removed a thick screw from a flat tyre in a garage outside Naples.
Top CIA priority: Prevent the powerful human shield fools from reaching Baghdad where they will be able to stop the US war machine. Or it could have been British secret agents. "Bond, this will be your toughest case yet. We realize you are closing in on top Al Qaeda commanders and that you hooked up with a pretty hot babe in Karachi. But this is more important. You must stop the human shield nutcases from reaching Baghdad by any means necessary. You are even authorized to cause flat tires on double-decker busses."
Others have become aware of the sinister side of what some say they naively interpreted as a kind of extraordinary war protest. "I think the Iraqi government is potentially putting us in a dangerous position," said a young Australian who said he had decided to leave.
Would the Iraqi government do such a thing? Oh shock. Oh surprise and horror. The Iraqi government are a bunch of fluffy bunnies. Its not like they torture and kill thousands of people or attack civilians with chemical weapons. Its unlikely that this fellow has developed any greater understanding beyond his realization that the Iraqi government would love to put him where the bombs will fall.
"The aim was always a mass migration and if we had had five to ten thousand people here there would never be a war," he said. "We do not have those numbers."
There are not enough fools in the world apparently. Well, that says something positive about the human race to me.
“I’m trying to meet with [U.N. weapons inspectors] to make sure the sites we’re stationed at aren’t close to legitimate military targets,” says one Western peacenik on condition of anonymity.
A group of shields left today for the Al-Durah power plant. But I don't know if I'll be here then. It's a terrifying thought.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 March 02 10:54 AM|