There is a lot on the net today about getting the Pope to be a human shield. People seem to think that he should be willing to die to save whatever sites the Iraqi government, who hates and despises Christians, wants.
I don't know why he should be called on to go. Many of the human shields who went have already come home.
One Buffalo human shield went home. He says he was disillusioned. He wanted to be there to protect hospitals or schools. (which are not intentional targets anyway) Instead he and other human shields were assigned to be in water treatment plants, electrical plants, food storages, and oil refineries. This particular human shield also decided he wasn't willing to die for Iraq. So he came home.
“Consider this guy Nathan Chapman. He sold everything he owned to make the trip to Iraq, but “the delicate, 20-year-old Englishman” discovered that Saddam wouldn't let him protect purely humanitarian sites. Did these idiots not realize what was going on in Iraq before they shipped out?
Nathan is all upset that he can't go to a school or a hospital and dare his countrymen to blow him up. Saddam had – shocker – positioned him at military installations and this sort of thing. Well, hey, if you feel so strongly about this, defy Saddam and go wherever you want to save lives!” human shield
Even Mother Jones , a liberal publication, says the human shields are in trouble. There has been in-fighting, snow problems (going over the Alps), and some of the protestors insist they have to see Hussein himself. They weren't even in Iraq yet!
“And the difficulties may only grow if and when the human shield convoy reaches Iraq. The Baghdad regime had already become a source of friction within the group, with O'Keefe attracting the outrage of some activists by demanding that he intends to meet with Saddam Hussein. And, while the shields say they will not voluntarily protect military targets, one senior Iraqi official has reportedly said that the activists will be placed at “vital and strategic installations.” In Ankara, the Iraqi ambassador to Turkey, Talib Abid Salih, made a show of handing out flowers to the peace activists before issuing 65 visas for entry into Iraq. It was a made-for-TV moment which the ambassador milked as best he could. ”
I personally have never understood the concept of human shields. The US and UK, and anyone else who ends up over there, has no plans to strike hospitals or schools. If they do it will be a mistake, which a human shield certainly can't stop. Or it will be a stage. Remember the Gulf War, when Hussein added a bunch of small groups of children and hospital corps to military installations? Then when they got hit, he protested the abuse.
(Please remember that the Gulf War happened because IRAQ invaded Kuwait. We weren't going there to be mean. We were going to help our allies get their home back.)