Sunday, March 16, 2003
The thing that has always irritated me about these nitwit "human shield" volunteers scampering about Baghdad isn't their "anti-war" self-righteousness, or their unmitigated stupidity. No, what always annoyed me is their attitude of superiority, of being above the people they are "valiantly" "protecting." It's clear that they view their being "westerners" as placing them above the conflict. They are the voices of reason and sanity, in a conflict run by people inferior to them.

Some of those in Baghdad think they will make effective "human shields" because British and American forces, who have no compunction about killing "brown Arabs," will not dare to kill white Americans/Britons/Italians/Greeks/Spaniards/whoever. It's not really racism per se -- they don't really believe themselves superior to the Arabs they are "shielding" -- they are just convinced that Bush and Blair and the men and women of our armed forces are racist: indifferent to Arab life, but not Western life. With this conviction firmly in place, they think they've found a great tactical strategy to sabotage Anglo-American plans of carpet-bombing Iraqi cities.

It's all complete crap, of course. For one thing, there isn't going to be any carpet-bombing of Iraqi cities. For another, whatever targets the Anglo-American forces decide to take out, they will take out, regardless of how many of their dimwitted compatriots have made camp there. It seems tautological, but once the war starts, it will be a war, which means things get destroyed and people die. Having made their way to Iraq voluntarily, the human shields will get no quarter from the Anglo-American forces for their nationality or their whiteness. They will be treated, at best, like Iraqi noncombatants -- no better, and no worse. The best they can hope for is for U.S. and Brit forces to see them as something similar to the non-volunteer Iraqi human shields. Personally, I think that is unjust and unfair. To the Iraqis, naturally.

We see the same species of cretinus overprivilegeus in the Israeli-Arab conflict. They leave their leafy campuses and comfortable suburban bedrooms to get into the middle of a faraway conflict -- but deep down, they are still western tourists, expecting the world to work around them, to be above petty nationalist "squabbles," to use their favored word. Alternatively, they buy into one side's story wholesale (and it always seem to be the side that is the most murderously vile), but still they continue to see themselves as having special privileges because of who they are. A few months ago, as Israeli forces were besieging Arafat's compound, a few of these idiots tried to "march" on an Israeli APV, with a pro-Palestinian sign to boot. They got a warning shot, which didn't stop them, of course -- they are, after all, brave marchers. So the Israeli soldier -- in what I consider to be a great show of restraint -- shot the ground in front of them. The bullets fragmented, and a few fragments hit our intrepid marchers. And the reaction from them was just shock and outrage -- I mean, sure, they made aggressive moves against an armed combatant in a war zone -- but they were western peace protesters, dammit! -- they should be above such things! How dare some lowly Zionist even tell them where to go, much less shoot at them! They were supposed to win, to cow the mean Israeli troops into letting them into the compound -- not to get shot, like some common brown freedom fighter! And all you can do is marvel at such stupidity, and wonder how long before one of them really overplays their cards.

Well, one of them just did. An American college student tried to stop a bulldozer from knocking down a house belonging to a terrorist. (Update: Actually, the house was on the Israeli-Egyptian border, and the IDF was trying to clear the land.) She stood in front of the bulldozer, and then either lay or fell down, at which point the bulldozer drove right over her on the way to the house.

The Israelis say that her death was an accident, and I certainly believe them. Even the "peace protesters" know that the Israelis are morally superior in this regard to the Arabs -- which is why you see all these willing human shields around terrorist houses, and none making public statements by riding Israeli buses to "protect" the civilians of Haifa and Jerusalem. Israel has expressed its regret to the United States, but they haven't apologized, nor should they. This protester found out the hard way that she is immune to neither the laws of physics, nor the political situation she deliberately chose to put herself into. She dared the Israelis to kill her, and they (inadvertently) took her up on it. The Arabs can name a street after her if they want; as far as I'm concerned, good riddance, and hopefully a clear lesson to her war-tourist buddies: you're no better than those around you, and no one owes you squat. Enter a war zone, and you may get shot, or killed in some other unpleasant way. Your choice. Frankly, I think the real victim here is the bulldozer operator. He gets to have this worthless twit on his conscience, because she wanted to look cool, feel empowered, and make a statement, and because she was clumsy as well as stupid. I feel no joy at her death, but I feel no regret, either. Walk in front of a bulldozer, get squashed. Quit yer bitching, grab your Darwin prize, go to hell, and shut the fuck up.

As for my sympathies and grief, I prefer to save them for the Americans and Israelis killed by terrorists -- the same terrorists this overeducated and underclued "protester" died trying to protect.


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