Human shield Britons quit Baghdad
March 2, 2003 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Human shield Britons quit Baghdad Yeah, I wanna be a human shield, really I do! Er, uh, Saddam, you want me to station myself at a likely target? Well, that sounds too dangerous for me. I'm heading home.
posted by Oxydude (41 comments total)
well I for one am shocked SHOCKED...
posted by techgnollogic at 7:07 PM on March 2, 2003

Eh, link's registration required and won't display unless you go back up a level and log in.
posted by SpecialK at 7:18 PM on March 2, 2003

I don't think this article has anything worth discussing. People get cold feet, big surprise.

This is just a troll. I hope Matt considers deleting it.
posted by Hildago at 7:19 PM on March 2, 2003

Better link above, if anyone cares.

I don't think it's just a troll, but I think the way it was presented initially was poor techgnollogic's comment were trollish.

I'd call it the four-letter n-word-filter, but we don't do that around here anymore.
posted by SpecialK at 7:22 PM on March 2, 2003

err ... AND techgnollogic's comment was trollish.
posted by SpecialK at 7:22 PM on March 2, 2003

I love how anything that doesn't conform to the left's current view of political affairs gets labelled a "troll" nowadays...

These "human shields" were given a choice -- pick a target, or get out. They decided to get out. That's the story. You can also catch it on the Telegraph.

Looks like marxist dialectics are alive and well at MeFi.
posted by clevershark at 7:23 PM on March 2, 2003

I'm clevershark. I didn't like this post being called a troll, so I'm going to complain about it. I make generalizations and accuse people I disagree with of being politically motivated.
posted by Hildago at 7:30 PM on March 2, 2003

ROTFLMAO! re-read yourself and enjoy the irony, Hidalgo.
posted by clevershark at 7:31 PM on March 2, 2003

An Aussie is considering leaving as well.
posted by turbodog at 7:35 PM on March 2, 2003

Nah, how about you reread the way the post was phrased by Oxydude. Then reread what I said to you. Then think about it for a second, and reconsider whether or not the post was a troll.

posted by Hildago at 7:35 PM on March 2, 2003

Okay, getting back to the original point. . .
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:36 PM on March 2, 2003

Jesus christ, guys. I mean really.


I guess I'm just kinda happy that this is considered a viable tactic vs. what are likely to be predominantly American forces. Here's hoping they don't die.
posted by kavasa at 7:36 PM on March 2, 2003

Another small chapter in the history of the decline of Europe...
posted by ParisParamus at 7:37 PM on March 2, 2003

Hildago - it's a politically-influenced description of what happened. Politically-influenced, yes. Actual... also true. We haven't come up with a way for the server to spit out entirely-neutral headlines yet, I'm pretty sure those things are written by humans with their own points of view.

Thank god we have people like you around capable of perfect objectivity! Perhaps you can take care of reporting these stories -- which have been circulating around the blog circuit for a while BTW -- and put points forward in a way that is devoid of all political import!
posted by clevershark at 7:41 PM on March 2, 2003

We're discussing this again? The Iraqi government is forcing the shields to protect targets that are different from the ones they thought would be guarding. I think they were foolish to expect Saddam not to try to make use of them this way, but what would you rather them do now? Stay and protect strategic military sites?
posted by hippugeek at 7:41 PM on March 2, 2003

What surprises me is that the "human shields" apparently went to Baghdad -- the capital of a country under Saddam Hussein's iron grip -- and honestly believed that they would be allowed to choose which targets to protect.
posted by clevershark at 7:43 PM on March 2, 2003

Interesting comments on the human shields from a Bagdad local.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:45 PM on March 2, 2003

Politically-influenced, yes. Actual... also true.

So was what I said about you. That's the point; it's not enough to be technically accurate if you're also insulting and completely partisan about it. At least, that's not what you're supposed to do on Metafilter. I fail to see what kind of productive debate could possibly come out of this post.

Anyway, this should continue in MetaTalk if it's going to continue at all.
posted by Hildago at 7:48 PM on March 2, 2003

Hi. I'm a left-leaning opponent of a U.S. invasion of Iraq, and I've thought the human shields were a suspect idea from the beginning.

p.s. there are a lot of me.
posted by mediareport at 8:17 PM on March 2, 2003


Human shields leave Iraq, afraid of becoming human shields.
posted by tomplus2 at 8:20 PM on March 2, 2003

" Headline:
Human shields leave Iraq, afraid of becoming human shields."

I could swear I read this same, precise comment on Mefi in the past.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:22 PM on March 2, 2003

posted by manero at 8:25 PM on March 2, 2003

What mediareport said. Also, thanks for posting that link, Mo Nickels.
posted by Potsy at 8:33 PM on March 2, 2003

If you stand in front of a criminal shooting at police of your own free will, you are aiding that criminal. If the criminal puts you in front of him while shooting at police, you are a hostage.

Turns out, they didn't want to be either. Pretty respectful of them to leave. Why they were there in the first place, also somewhat altruistic, if not misguided. They'd do better to sign up for the Red Cross food, water and medicine brigade that will be pouring across the border 15 minutes after the invasion starts.
posted by askheaves at 8:39 PM on March 2, 2003

Metafilter patrons speak for and against war! A calls concerned citizens hippies. B is sure all patriots are warmongers. C aludes to the inabilty of D to make logical comments. E pleads not to use FPP as a newsfilter. F complains E uses acronyms not understood by 14kers. G makes comment derailing thread. H begs everyone to return to subject. I claims to no longer post on political threads. J calls A idiot for typing "idiot." K wonders if the original post would have been better with a second link. L supplys second link. M moves to delete thread, but can't when server fails. N is sure the link is a repost, but can't find it. O complains the search function is broken. P makes pancakes. Q calls second link an obvious attempt to post neo-liberal propaganda. R wonders how anyone but Genghis Khan could call L liberal. S composes witty response, but loses it and instead comments "what J said." T writes everyone has missed the point of the original link. U are still reading this? V is found to be the owner of the second link and claims she was misunderstood in the blog W writes. X links to a spreadsheet confirming that Y is the devil and Z just types "." and wonders what happened to fun flash Friday.
posted by ?! at 9:01 PM on March 2, 2003

?!, my next batch of cookies goes to you.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:19 PM on March 2, 2003

?!, that was masterful

Metafilter: Type A to Type Z. With more "E's" than Scrabble.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:24 PM on March 2, 2003

And M stops reading Metafilter.
posted by manero at 10:37 PM on March 2, 2003

Mo Nickels - great, great link! Thanks.
posted by taz at 11:08 PM on March 2, 2003

W is ROTFLMAO at ?!

Interrobang? Won't that get you a visit from the DHC?
posted by wendell at 11:14 PM on March 2, 2003

I guess they aren't 'useful idiots' anymore, now they're just 'idiots'.

(And yes I am against war but these people were complete fools to think the Iraqi government would let them go where they choose).
posted by PenDevil at 1:13 AM on March 3, 2003

These threads don't even have a shot anymore. Pretty funny actually.
posted by Witty at 2:46 AM on March 3, 2003

These guys were specifically told that Saddam had used hostages at military targets during the first Gulf War. They said they didn't think the Iraqis would force them to certain targets. That's because they're not too bright.

Suprisingly, they are bright enough to realize that defendnig Saddam's military bases isn't the same as protesting for peace, so they're getting out while they can.
posted by tiamat at 4:11 AM on March 3, 2003

...they are bright enough to realize..

Which is also a good argument for why they should have stayed.
posted by Witty at 4:31 AM on March 3, 2003

Interesting comments on the human shields from a Bagdad local.

Does anyone know more about this fellow? People claim he is in ordinary Baghdadi but a blogger in a country that tortures people for knocking over a picture of the supreme leader? I assume this is a hoax.
posted by ednopantz at 4:51 AM on March 3, 2003

If I were the CIA or military intelligence, I would send over several dozen 'human shields' ...
posted by moonbiter at 8:26 AM on March 3, 2003

Like many others, I'm opposed to the war, but think these people are complete fools. Even if Saddam wasn't trying to use them to shield strategically important sites, what were they hoping to accomplish? They would have done more good volunteering for the Red Cross or another humanitarian aid organization.
posted by echolalia67 at 10:05 AM on March 3, 2003

So, 9 people left while over 65 have decided to take up their positions, and one of dozens (out of 65) is next to a major road and presumably a sprawling military base where presumably military targets could be hit without damaging the power facility? That doesn't sound like much of a story to me.

They would have done more good volunteering for the Red Cross or another humanitarian aid organization.

If Iraq is conquered, these people may be responsible for saving vital infrastructure sites in Iraq that will, in turn, save hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.

Assuming that the US doesn't target them anyway, that is...
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:14 AM on March 3, 2003

I'm laughing my f***ing ass off right now. I'm literally rolling on the floor laughing. I wish there were a couple of acronyms to express my degree of laughing at this news story... oh wait ROTFL LMFAO
posted by timecube at 11:14 AM on March 3, 2003

ednopantz, the skepticism about dear_raed is understandable, but after reading the site, the links in this MeFi thread and Salam's own take on the legitimacy question, I'm convinced he's for real. Decide for yourself, I guess.
posted by mediareport at 3:27 PM on March 3, 2003

I thought this was a good story. Shows you how some people want to look high and mighty but then write out checks their asses can't cash.

Funny how most attention seekers online are pretty much the same. :-P
posted by wackybrit at 12:04 PM on March 4, 2003

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