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Saturday, March 01, 2003
And though I came to jeer at you
I leave now with regret
And as the gloom begins to fall
I see there is no, only all
Though you came with sword held high
You did not conquer, only die
Perhaps the emotion is regret. I was going to present this article with great glee and scorn, but after reading it through I cannot. It's just too sad. Yes, the glee and scorn's still there, but there's an emotion I can't name mixed with them. Maybe it's regret. Not for me, but for them.
They did not come to conquer, of course, but to "do good". Some of them. Maybe. Maybe some came to be seen doing good. Some of them came to give other people a poke in the eye, and they don't realize that the eyes are far beyond their reach.
Many of the Merry Prankster human shields who set out to stop the war in bright red buses have left for home now. This article is by Charlotte Edwards, a journalist who travelled with them.
Edwards says they shared one characteristic: naivete. I think stupidity must have been in good supply as well.
Not all of them are babes in the woods:
Diplomat Sue Darling was one of the liasons with the Iraqis.
Reading back over this, I see that in pulling out the juicy quotes, I've made the article seem more mocking and amusing than it really is. Go and read the whole thing, and be moved to pity, and that emotion I can't define. (Something like world-weariness and deja vu with overtones of anger.)
Ah, but enough of sober emotions! Now here's a fellow I need not waste my pity on. Ken O'Keefe, the founder of the human shields movement does not disappoint in his loopiness. He's the former Marine (has anybody checked on this?) who renounced his American citizenship and carried around a homemade "citizen of the world" passport, which got him booted from several countries. He had no problem with guarding military installations.
Even bad-ass hardcore revolutionaries need their mommies!
See also this article.