TCS Daily

Lead Us Not Into Temptation...

By Marni Soupcoff - January 27, 2003 12:00 AM

Reuters is reporting that a convoy of mostly Western volunteers is setting off for Iraq to act as "human shields" at various points around Baghdad. The idea is to stave off possible U.S. attacks on Iraq by having a bunch of folks getting in the way of U.S. bombs. As Ken Nichols, one of the human shield organizers put it: "The potential for white Western body parts flying around with the Iraqi ones should make them think again about this imperialist oil war."

Well, Ken, I wouldn't hold your breath. See, the thing about stopping people from dropping bombs on you is that you have to be someone for whom the people dropping the bombs actually have sympathy. So, in this case, you would have to be someone the leaders of the United States actually care about. Whiny left-wing publicity-seekers who support brutal Iraqi regimes, don't - generally speaking - qualify.

But what about the point made by Christiaan Briggs, a human shield from New Zealand who doesn't believe there is just cause for a war in Iraq? He complains, "It is just so blatantly transparent how the U.S. is trying to impose its hegemony."

Be that as it may, Christiaan, what makes you think the U.S. military brass is going to feel any compunction about bombing a long-winded lefty such as yourself? My guess is they're going to aim at people who use the word hegemony in a sentence. Or at least feel tempted.

And to be quite frank, the rest of the expected human shields aren't much more appealing. Romania is sending about a hundred die-hard communists from the Romanian Workers Party to stand in front of Iraqi targets. You know, the Romanian Workers. They're the people who took over when Nicolae Ceausescu's repressive Communist Party when it became defunct in 1995.

Is this really such a good way to prevent the U.S. from dropping bombs on Iraq? Taunting them with a bunch of bloody-handed Eastern European communists and pimply Western protestors shouting, we dare you to take us out? To me, it seems more like a temptation than a deterrent.

No, the smarter thing for these human shields to do, if they really want to prevent war in Iraq, is to find sympathetic people to put in front of the U.S. to stop the bombs. And when I say sympathetic, I mean people that matter. People Americans would actually miss if they were obliterated. Like maybe deploying the cast of Friends to Iraq. After all, they've promised us another season, and people would be really pissed if they didn't get to find out about Rachel's baby.

Or better yet, maybe the human shield people could deploy animals to Iraq to serve as human - er, as shields. Everybody loves furry, adorable, little animals. They're innocent, vulnerable, and a lot cuter than most Romanian communists. Who's going to want to bomb a cuddly Golden Retriever?

Yes, that's got to be the way to go for the peaceniks. Assemble a bunch of puppies and baby seals and stick them in the most populated spots in Iraq. Then, no one involved in the hegemonic imperialist oil war will have the heart to unleash deadly firepower upon these areas. It's bound to be more successful than the current strategy, anyway.

The only problem, of course, is that the end result would be the triumphant survival of a menacing dictator with weapons of mass destruction capable of destroying his neighbors, and threatening the world's liberal democracies. Plus, the world's most adorable creatures would be relegated to life in a desert dictatorship devoid of doggie day care. Ask any obedience specialist. That just isn't the sort of environment where puppies thrive.

So, on second thought, maybe we should just let these human shields go ahead and stand in front of the American bombs, as they are so eager to do. They're unlikely to evoke much, if any, sympathy from the American government and military (who are likely to be more concerned with trifling matters like whether or not Saddam Hussein has acquired the ability to help terrorists nuke New York City). But at least the animals of the world would be safe. And we could find out what happened to Ross and Rachel.

Marni Soupcoff is an attorney and Toronto-based journalist. She is a contributing editor at The Iconoclast and a regular columnist for American Enterprise Online.

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