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Monday, February 24, 2003

Where Stupidity Is a Good Career Move

The Sydney Morning Herald's Paul McGeough has an article titled "Aussies line up with the other coalition of the willing". McGeough can't be entirely gone in stupidity: this is not a very sympathetic article. Some choice quotes:

More than 60 arrived last week, on a couple of red double-decker buses from London and looking as though they had left Carnaby Street in about 1965.


But Gordon Sloan, a Sydney architect who quit his job to come, was more circumspect: "We have set up a committee to check out the sites - how many of us might be able to stay at them and how close they are to military targets... He laughed off a warning by the US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, that Saddam faced war crime charges for using human shields - even volunteers...the 30-year-old Sloan...complained: "The power trips and ego plays were a pain and too many people had an eye on their political futures and how good their CV would look."

They must all be hoping for jobs at Target.

Being much calmer about all around him was Neville Watson, a 73-year-old Uniting Church minister from the Perth suburb of Wembley Downs... He explained why he was here: "I'm not critical of people who are willing to put their life on the line, but our aim is to be alongside the Iraqi people and we are a distinctly different group to the human shields...Pressed to explain his motivation further, he pulled from his shirt pocket a school essay written by his 10-year-old grand-daughter from which he read: "He will stay in Baghdad to comfort the Iraqi people while America bombs them. You might think he is a nut, but I'm proud of him. Poor grandma will have to live by herself for six weeks and maybe forever."... "There is nothing heroic about it," he concluded.

You got that right, bub.

As mentioned in the article, a lot of people are uncomfortable with the term "human shields", because that phrase was used to describe involuntary human shields in the last war. I still think they're human shields (inasmuch as they're human, and they're shielding something), but my main question is just how damn dumb do you have to be to volunteer for such duty knowing that this same government took people captive for this purpose just twelve years ago?

I'd love to see their faces when they are charged with war crimes when this is all over. Not treason---because most of them already don't care---but war crimes, for attempting to transfer their status as protected persons to legitimate military targets.

War crimes?? You can't charge us with war crimes! We're the Good People! We're in favor of fluffy bunnies, sunshine, and ice cream for all!

Won't happen, of course.