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jackiesdaisy1935
04-09-2003, 11:26 AM
I'm sure someone will tell me if this is true or false, but I thought it was very interesting and it was posted on my community concerning Iraq by one of the members.


I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam
By Daniel Pepper
(Filed: 23/03/2003)=20


I wanted to join the human shields in Baghdad because it was direct action
which had a chance of bringing the anti-war movement to the forefront of
world attention. It was inspiring: the human shield volunteers were making
a sacrifice for their political views - much more of a personal investment
than going to a demonstration in Washington or London. It was simple - you
get on the bus and you represent yourself.

So that is exactly what I did on the morning of Saturday, January 25. I am
a 23-year-old Jewish-American photographer living in Islington, north
London. I had travelled in the Middle East before: as a student, I went to
the Palestinian West Bank during the intifada. I also went to Afghanistan
as a photographer for Newsweek.

The human shields appealed to my anti-war stance, but by the time I had
left Baghdad five weeks later my views had changed drastically. I wouldn't
say that I was exactly pro-war - no, I am ambivalent - but I have a strong
desire to see Saddam removed.

We on the bus felt that we were sympathetic to the views of the Iraqi
civilians, even though we didn't actually know any. The group was less
interested in standing up for their rights than protesting against the US
and UK governments.

I was shocked when I first met a pro-war Iraqi in Baghdad - a taxi driver
taking me back to my hotel late at night. I explained that I was American
and said, as we shields always did, "Bush bad, war bad, Iraq good". He
looked at me with an expression of incredulity.

As he realised I was serious, he slowed down and started to speak in broken
English about the evils of Saddam's regime. Until then I had only heard the
President spoken of with respect, but now this guy was telling me how all
of Iraq's oil money went into Saddam's pocket and that if you opposed him
politically he would kill your whole family.

It scared the hell out of me. First I was thinking that maybe it was the
secret police trying to trick me but later I got the impression that he
wanted me to help him escape. I felt so bad. I told him: "Listen, I am just
a schmuck from the United States, I am not with the UN, I'm not with the
CIA - I just can't help you."

Of course I had read reports that Iraqis hated Saddam Hussein, but this was
the real thing. Someone had explained it to me face to face. I told a few
journalists who I knew. They said that this sort of thing often happened -
spontaneous, emotional, and secretive outbursts imploring visitors to free
them from Saddam's tyrannical Iraq.

I became increasingly concerned about the way the Iraqi regime was
restricting the movement of the shields, so a few days later I left Baghdad
for Jordan by taxi with five others. Once over the border we felt
comfortable enough to ask our driver what he felt about the regime and the
threat of an aerial bombardment.

"Don't you listen to Powell on Voice of America radio?" he said. "Of course
the Americans don't want to bomb civilians. They want to bomb government
and Saddam's palaces. We want America to bomb Saddam."

We just sat, listening, our mouths open wide. Jake, one of the others, just
kept saying, "Oh my God" as the driver described the horrors of the regime.
Jake was so shocked at how naive he had been. We all were. It hadn't
occurred to anyone that the Iraqis might actually be pro-war.

The driver's most emphatic statement was: "All Iraqi people want this war."
He seemed convinced that civilian casualties would be small; he had such
enormous faith in the American war machine to follow through on its
promises. Certainly more faith than any of us had.

Perhaps the most crushing thing we learned was that most ordinary Iraqis
thought Saddam Hussein had paid us to come to protest in Iraq. Although we
explained that this was categorically not the case, I don't think he
believed us. Later he asked me: "Really, how much did Saddam pay you to
come?"=20

It hit me on visceral and emotional levels: this was a real portrayal of
Iraq life. After the first conversation, I completely rethought my view of
the Iraqi situation. My understanding changed on intellectual, emotional,
psychological levels. I remembered the experience of seeing Saddam's
egomaniacal portraits everywhere for the past two weeks and tried to place
myself in the shoes of someone who had been subjected to seeing them every
day for the last 20 or so years.

Last Thursday night I went to photograph the anti-war rally in Parliament
Square. Thousands of people were shouting "No war" but without thinking
about the implications for Iraqis. Some of them were drinking, dancing to
Samba music and sparring with the police. It was as if the protesters were
talking about a different country where the ruling government is perfectly
acceptable. It really upset me.

Anyone with half a brain must see that Saddam has to be taken out. It is
extraordinarily ironic that the anti-war protesters are marching to defend
a government which stops its people exercising that freedom.

Jackie, Perry and Miss Daisy

tatsxxx11
04-09-2003, 11:31 AM
All of the networks reported this morning that while "human shields" were blocking the soliders entering Baghdad, celebrating Iraqi's held up a make shift sign proclaiming, "Human Shields, Go Home!"

Logan
04-09-2003, 11:39 AM
I don't know the answer to your question, Jackie, but based on the reaction in Baghdad this morning, I would suspect that it could be true, even if the story is false...........they seemed sincerely happy to see our troops in Baghdad. I have cried quite a few tears this morning, as I know you and others have.

Logan :)

RICHARD
04-09-2003, 12:13 PM
TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!


is it thursday yet??? :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

jackiesdaisy1935
04-09-2003, 12:25 PM
Your almost there Richard, do you think you can hang on one more day? LOL
Jackie, Perry and Miss Daisy

RICHARD
04-09-2003, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by jackiesdaisy1935
Your almost there Richard, do you think you can hang on one more day? LOL
Jackie, Perry and Miss Daisy



i have almost bit through my tongue......

catland
04-09-2003, 12:46 PM
Hang in there Richard -

as to this thread - I don't know if it is true or not, but it sounds very believable, including the gullibility of the "human shields" (ok, this is going to get me into trouble). Unlike them, I've believed all along that Saddam was EVIL, EVIL, EVIL. Human history has way too many examples of people just like him for me to think that oh, maybe its a cultural difference, or oh, maybe we just don't understand him, or, oh maybe he has issues.

If this story is true, then I'm glad that this person lived to tell their tale.

momoffuzzyfaces
04-09-2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by tatsxxx11
All of the networks reported this morning that while "human shields" were blocking the soliders entering Baghdad, celebrating Iraqi's held up a make shift sign proclaiming, "Human Shields, Go Home!" I saw that too, Sandra. Of course I was watching FOX who I've been told is not reliable. Ok, Ok, I'll be good. I wish the "Human Shields" would be given a personal tour of the torture chambers that I've seen on the news. Let them see what they are trying to keep in power. Can you imagine how it will be to finally have a say in your life? Some of the people have never been able to have a thought without Saddam approving of it first. I think it will be amazing to them. I know it would be for me.

tatsxxx11
04-09-2003, 02:46 PM
Quite true, it seems. The exerpt you printed was taken from an article published in the U.K. Daily Telegraph. And apparently, Mr. Pepper was not the only "shield" who had a change of heart.

Murray Soupcoff is the author of 'Canada 1984' and a former radio and television producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He also was Executive Editor of We Compute Magazine for many years, and is now the Managing Editor of the popular conservative Web site, The Iconoclast. He references Mr. Pepper's story in this article, about 2/3 down the page. Read the story
here (http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article2245.html)

Logan
04-09-2003, 02:56 PM
This quote says it all to me:

"How dare I claim to speak for those for whom I had never asked what they wanted!"

RICHARD
04-09-2003, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by Logan
This quote says it all to me:

"How dare I claim to speak for those for whom I had never asked what they wanted!"

that really isn't nice to point out someone's mistakes!!!!;)

Logan
04-09-2003, 03:47 PM
I'm glad you winked, Richard!!! :D

RICHARD
04-09-2003, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by Logan
I'm glad you winked, Richard!!! :D

why wouldn't i????????:D



true or false.....


iraqi people were seen on the street kissing the US flag....


you know, that makes up for all the flags i saw being burnt on the streets of my country..........
strange-american citizens burned it and iraqi citizens treasure it.....next thing you know cats and dogs will live in peace....




(p.s. UK, we did not forget about you!!!! good show and THANKS again)

momoffuzzyfaces
04-09-2003, 04:56 PM
GASP!!!
This has truely been a remarkable day! The Iraqi people are getting their first taste of freedom plus RICHARD AGREED WITH ANN and WINKED AT LOGAN!!! WOW!:D

Logan
04-09-2003, 05:02 PM
Hehehe!!! It is remarkable, isn't it, Connie???

iceyshiver21
04-09-2003, 05:03 PM
I watch on the news, they all looks SOOO HAPPY!! Im glad that they finelly get to breath their first free breaths.


Who bittersweet humor is that I see?? RICHARD!!!

RICHARD
04-09-2003, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by momoffuzzyfaces
GASP!!!
This has truely been a remarkable day! The Iraqi people are getting their first taste of freedom plus RICHARD AGREED WITH ANN and WINKED AT LOGAN!!! WOW!:D



i have my moments:eek:


lol


just don't expect too much more......

it's been a great day and i think that we all look at this as
the end and the beginning......

how can you not be nice??????????

tomorrow's a different story

;)

gini
04-09-2003, 05:05 PM
What a difference a day makes!!:D :D

jackiesdaisy1935
04-09-2003, 05:19 PM
Gini, your so right, but look out for Richard tomorrow I think his batteries are recharged!:D

Jackie, Perry and Miss Daisy

RICHARD
04-09-2003, 05:45 PM
Originally posted by jackiesdaisy1935
Gini, your so right, but look out for Richard tomorrow I think his batteries are recharged!:D

Jackie, Perry and Miss Daisy



why, i even had a winkie for.......


naw, get that idea out of your head, richard...........



rotflmao..........


ice,
thank you.....

i hope you see alot of days like these in your future.
getting there is the hard part, but there is nothing like the
journey's end..

:D :D :D

RICHARD
04-09-2003, 06:33 PM
if, in the arab world, it is an insult to show the bottom
of your shoe to someone ---was my mom insulting me when
whe smacked me (deservedly so) with her shoe????

which leads me to my next thought....


how much time do we take looking for saddam or does
'time wound all heels?'

but then again,

all of the 'warmongers' were laughed at and ridiculed.....
i wonder how the WP's feel now that the shoe is on the other foot.

of course i wouldn't want to walk a mile in their shoes....

but i think that even the WP's know, if the shoe fits.....

Ann
04-10-2003, 05:55 AM
It seems a lot of you think the human shields went to Iraq to protect Saddam and his regime, but I think that's wrong. From what I have read and heard, they went there hoping the USA wouldn't dare to start the war with innocent people from other countries there. But then most of the human shields either left after realizing a thing or two like Mr. Pepper, or when Bush declared them enemies and said the military would not go out of their way to spare them.

Karen
04-10-2003, 08:38 AM
Originally posted by Ann
It seems a lot of you think the human shields went to Iraq to protect Saddam and his regime,

I don't think that's true, I think we all know they were going to try to prtect Iraqi people, and to try to prevent civilians from being harmed.

mugsy
04-10-2003, 11:04 AM
I think that some of the protesters are protesting what they have no clue about. Obviously not all!

I think the human shields were/are a little misguided.

joycenalex
04-10-2003, 11:06 AM
.....next thing you know cats and dogs will live in peace....
as i type this my kitten is washing my goldens' ear. dogs and cats do live in peace.:), at least here, usually

RICHARD
04-10-2003, 12:27 PM
Originally posted by joycenalex
.....next thing you know cats and dogs will live in peace....
as i type this my kitten is washing my goldens' ear. dogs and cats do live in peace.:), at least here, usually


what's going on over there???? :) :) :)