Skip to comments.'HUMAN SHIELDS' GATHERING IN BAGHDAD
Posted on 02/14/2003 5:17:12 AM PST by Jimmyclyde
'HUMAN SHIELDS' GATHERING IN BAGHDAD By SAMEER N. YACOUB Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) . American and European peace activists wrapped their arms around posts on a bridge over the Tigris River on Thursday, symbolizing their intent to act as human shields in any U.S. war on Iraq.
The 14 activists, mostly from Italy, were one of the first groups here using the ``shield'' title, which suggests they might place their bodies at potential targets to deter bombing. But they acknowledged their mission was only a gesture meant to try to deter an invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.
``I have no intention of being a martyr,'' Canadian Roberta Taman said. ``I'm here because I believe that the world wants peace and that we can achieve peace.''
The campaigners, organized as the Iraq Peace Team, have been draping banners over public facilities in Baghdad this week . an electricity station, a water treatment plant and, on Thursday, the Martyrs Bridge over the Tigris. ``Bombing This Site Is A War Crime,'' the banners read.
Dozens of other ``human shields'' . Europeans and Americans . obtained visas at the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, on Tuesday and were also headed for Iraq, riding in double-decker buses.
``A country that can hardly provide water for its citizens cannot be a threat to the world,'' Ignacio Cano of Spain said.
Some of the activists charge that the Geneva Conventions governing the practices of war make it a crime to attack facilities essential to civilian life, as the U.S. military did in the 1991 Gulf War when its bombs knocked out Iraq's electricity system.
Standing on the bridge, Iraq Peace Team leader Kathy Kelly of Chicago said, ``You can imagine what this city would be like if it were cut off when some people need desperately to get to a hospital or to connect with the people on the other side.''
In New York on Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the 15 Security Council members were meeting to discuss the potential humanitarian consequences of a war in Iraq.
The U.N. refugee agency said it is concerned about possible shortages of food, drinking water, winterized shelters, sanitation, and other basic services. It says 600,000 Iraqis might flee to neighboring countries if war breaks out.
As peace groups here and around the world readied for marches and rallies Saturday in protest of U.S. war plans, the U.N. arms inspectors in Iraq quietly went about another day's business Thursday.
Among other missions, a U.N. chemical team began the neutralization of mustard gas from 10 artillery shells at the former al-Muthanna chemical weapons installation in the desert northwest of Baghdad.
The 155mm shells, whose complete neutralization is expected to take another two or three days, were the first banned weapons destroyed by the U.N. teams in the new round of inspections that began last Nov. 27. The shells were actually inventoried by previous U.N. inspectors in the 1990s, but were not destroyed before that inspections regime collapsed in 1998.
|Tue Feb 11, 5:20 PM ET|
Katherina Soederholm, front right, a Norwegian, and other members of the 'human shield' group, which includes Americans, Britons, Australians, Norwegians, Greeks, Swiss and Turks, speak to journalists in Ankara on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2003, before their departure for the Turkey-Syrian border enroute to Baghdad. Iraq granted visas to some 65 ``human shields'' traveling to the country to protest a possible U.S.-led war, a group member said Tuesday. (AP Photo)
I suspect that these folks know we are NOT going to take out the bridges. Matter of fact I would suspect we are going to try to take the bridges and oil fields first, intacted.
If anyone is going to take out the bridge, it will be Saddam to stall our progress.
... and then in the next breath, he no doubt said: "... and why isn't Bush focusing on North Korea which is the far greater threat to the world ..."
These peaceniks live in a fantasy world where putting a flower in a gun barrel is a symbolic gesture that might stop a killing, and being a human shield will stop a war. They are going to be snapped RIGHT BACK to reality when the Pershings start raining down on Iraq, and that bridge is probably going down in the first wave.
They will wet their pants and run for cover when they see that war is not an abstract, symbolic political publicity stunt but a hellhole where real people die, regardless of the "rightness" of their cause. Anyone who would martyr themselves to protect the regime in Iraq deserves to become collateral damage much more than the wise Iraqi civilians who have probably headed for the hills already.
But she's a human shield? Um, Roberta.....may I help you screw your head back on straight?
Excuse me sir, your name is Igancio and you are a human shield.
You have three brain cells and their all fighting each other.
Kindly lay across the bridge, I hear a F-15 inbound.