Monday, March 03, 2003

Human Shields Go Home

"A group of Britons who travelled to Iraq to act as 'human shields' in an attempt to avert war are heading home amid safety fears."

Can't really put it better than that. The Iraqis are getting almost as pissed off with the peaceniks as we are and have told them to get to the power plants or get out. Activists have expressed surprise at being billetted at places like oil refineries and not hospitals or orphanages, which were of course the natural and expected targets for American missiles. Tragic, because their presence in these facilities was the only thing deterring the Yanks from carrying out their well publicised civilian obliteration program. Godfrey Meynell, 68, of Derbyshire is one of those on the road home:

Mr Meynell and fellow protesters who moved into the power station in south Baghdad last weekend were dismayed to find it stood immediately next to an army base and the strategically crucial main road south to Basra.

Imagine that.

Mr Meynell is following the modern British trend of sending stupid old coots abroad to soak up the sun and get indignant. Retired bank manager Anne Gwynne of Aberystwyth has been suffering along with the Palestinians in war-torn Nablus. Now thanks to the Guardian, we can suffer too. Because Anne Gwynne is more than a mere tourist. Anne Gwynne is a Living Witness:

"I really, really understand the martyrs [suicide bombers]. I am very good friends with the family of the two who went on the mission to Tel Aviv. One saw the other explode, and then he walked away and blew himself up. They are such lovely families and very proud of their sons."

Awwwwww. Isn't that nice? Thanks to her nine weeks dodging bullets she has developed a finer appreciation of the morality of suicide bombing:

"I agree that it is a strategic mistake but I understand why they do it," she said. "Let's not blame the victims. It's clear who the real terrorists are here."

Can't get a stronger condemnation than that, can you? And I'm particularly impressed by Anne Gwynne's even-handedness and her hatred of political violence:

"I used to think it was all excuses, but they actually believe this shit. We have nothing to kill them with, just a few AK-47s."

Just a few itty-bitty automatic assault rifles, nothing to write home about. However, if you encountered someone pointing an AK-47 at you in everyday life (say if you were a bank manager and some nutter held up your branch) I'm hazarding a guess that the phrase "just an AK-47" wouldn't be the first thing on your mind.

If they had half a brain they'd be dangerous.

Video Killed The Movie Star

Ring won't win any Oscars unless the Academy feels they need a new award for best Japanese urban legend/ American gothic crossbreed but it does exactly what it says on the tin. It's got enough spooky atmospherics to keep you from thinking too hard about how silly the whole idea is, and Naomi Watts is easy on the eye too.

Funnily enough, Ring's music was composed by none other than Hans Zimmer, a founding member of Eighties one hit wonder Buggles (of "Video Killed The Radio Star" fame).

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