Thursday, April 10, 2003

Marines meet Wankers

BuzzMachine links to a great story in the San Francisco Chronicle that deserves a lot of attention.

The story details Marines entry into the city of Baghdad. From the fierce fighting in the outskirts to the shocking ease with which they entered the center of the city. One part that was striking was the fact that the Press corps requested protection from the Marines.
Then the press corps showed up. They'd lost their escorts and minders earlier in the day, and they felt at risk from looters, robbers and Fedayeen.

When McCoy saw them, he asked permission from senior officers to proceed to the Palestine Hotel and Sheraton area, where the Marines would set up a defense for the press corps and for local hospitals. Permission granted.

That led to what turned into the triumphant march to Firdos Square, and the toppling of the Hussein statue, a picture the Marines knew would be an instant symbol seen around the world.

For all the complaints of the Press who were killed when the Hotel Palestine was under fire it is telling that they "felt at risk" from the Fedayeen. Of course the first thing they did was go to the Marines for protection.

Now comes the most suprising part of this story. "Human Shields" were there in central Baghdad and had the temerity to tapproach the Marines.
There was a lot of smiling and laughing. One Iraqi slapped high-fives at passing Marines and Western reporters.

Some American and European "human shields" were there, antiwar activists who had come to Baghdad and placed themselves in front of power plants and other potential targets. They chastised the Marines for attacking Iraq and promoting war.

That angered some of the soldiers. "I didn't bury two of my fellow Marines just so someone like that could call us murderers," said one, angry and teary, referring to an Iraqi artillery attack that killed two of his colleagues on Monday. "They died for this country."

These "Human Shields" clearly did not get the memo that they were 'opposing the war while supporting the troops'. It takes a special kind of evil person to 'chastise' and make a Marine 'teary'. Keep in mind that these 'useful idiots' were in the midst of Iraqis who were celebrating their new freedom.

Iraqis came up with the perfect response to the "Human Shields"
Meanwhile, two Iraqis held up a sheet bearing the message: "Go home Human Shields, you U.S. Wankers."
While I appreciate the sentiment - I hope that they don't come back here. Perhaps France will take them in.

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Update - I found two more articles that have a bit more detail about the Marines interaction with the "Human Shields"
From the Times Online
“YANKEE bastard,” yelled the young British peacenik at the first American tank to roll up to the Palestine Hotel. “Go home.”
She picked a man who had waited for 576 days to give his answer. Marine First Lieutenant Tim McLaughlin leant from the turret of his Abrams tank — nickamed “Satan’s Right Hand” — and screamed back: “I was at the Pentagon September 11. My co-workers died. I don’t give a f***.”
From the Independant
When one of the few remaining "human shields" in Baghdad, Uzma Bashir, from Rickmansworth, baited the troops with shouts of "Yankee murderers", Cpl Ibrahim Rahim exploded: "I scooped up the brains of two young marines ... They died fighting to liberate Iraq. And you stand here insulting them with this shit." He added: "I am a Muslim ... and I know this region. That woman is seriously abusing her right of speech."
Nice to know that for once somebody yelled back at a peacenick - I almost rather that they had acted a bit more proactively to shut them up.

I am still amazed at the actions of the "Human Shields" these are clearly people who just don't get it.

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