Guerrillas of the Week
Editor's Pick, February 23, 2003
George W. Bush spent the Vietnam War drinking Lone Star stateside, even allegedly going AWOL for a year from his Air National Guard post patrolling the skies of the southern U.S. for Viet Cong. His partner Dickie Cheney said he had "other priorities." Paul Wolfowitz was at Yale and Columbia. These are the warriors taking us into the breach.
So you've got to give credit, whether you agree with their politics or not, to the peaceniks who have arrived in Baghdad to put their lives on the line as "human shields" in the event of an American invasion. Considering the fact that the before-mentioned chickenhawks are promising to "shock and awe" the Iraqis with 8,000 bombs in the first 48 hours of the war, this is no hallow promise.
On Friday, GNN was forwarded an email from an American human shield who recently arrived in Baghdad. His email ended:
"Around my neck I wear a small, bright blue teddy bear on a cord. If I survive the missile attack and meet a U.S. Marine infantryman and still have my wits about me, I'll tell him to aim for the little bear. My heart is right behind it."
Scores of committed pacifists like this man are already in Baghdad, and Salon is reporting that there are possibly thousands more applying to come from across U.S. and Europe.
Are these people crazy, heroic, stupid, or some combination of all three?
On Saturday, with a little help from one our loyal guerrillas (thanks Geronimo Skull), GNN contacted another American human shield in Baghdad for an email interview. His name is Kenneth Webb, a 32 year-old musician from San Francisco.
GNN: What do your parents think about what you're doing?
Kenneth Webb: Father is deceased. Mother thinks I'm protesting in Europe and playing music. I will tell here after and she will be proud. I just didn't want her to worry herself sick as I'm an only child plus she is limited on information about the situations here which I will tell her all about when I return.
GNN: How did you get into this?
Webb: I was in a think-tank with other people in our warehouse music/art collective thinking of what we could do to stop this war and we had this idea of driving our sound system along with other sound systems from around the world between the advancing armies. A couple days later we saw the ad for Human Shield and the mass migration to Iraq on the IndyMedia site.
GNN: Do you have any experience in a combat situation?
Webb: I have been shot at before a few times but that was back when I was a kid on the mountain growing up in Virginia
GNN: How have you been received by the Iraqis?
Webb: The people are so grateful for our arrival as, regardless what the sponsored media says, they do not want war.
GNN: How have you been received by the foreign press in Baghdad?
Webb: All press has pretty much been on us from the border. We can't even eat without someone taking a picture or video. It's worth it though as long as they print the truth.
GNN: What exactly is your plan?
Webb: I plan on shielding a hospital as I have a medical background and can assist while I shield.
GNN: What is your goal?
Webb: To stop this war and get the sanctions lifted as I think it's very apparent that they have cooperated with the UN to the fullest.
GNN: Are you really willing to stay in place once the bombs start to fall? What are you going to do if U.S. forces enter the city?
Webb: I will help the wounded and stand with love and peace as they come with hate and weapons.
GNN: How do you distinguish between being a stooge for Saddam's army and saving civilian lives? In the last conflict it was reported that he forced civilians to act as shields.
Webb: Don't believe everything you hear and only half of what you see. I, as everyone else here, support the people. That's it. The question is old and has no value being has it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why we are here. It's pretty clear that the U.S. media are stooges for the Bush regime. Who's worse Saddam or Bush? That can be debated.
GNN: Who is controlling your movements? Are you totally free to set up your operation wherever you want, or are Iraqi officials deciding where you should be?
Webb: We are free to go where we will at anytime of the day and night. We aren't followed around or anything. It's really almost like being in the U.S. except I feel safer and we are treated more respectfully here.
GNN: What is the mood in your group?
Webb: We are full of life and think this is just the beginning of a movement that will change the world forever.
GNN: Are you ready to die?
Webb: Who's ever ready to die? Am I afraid of death? No, as by my actions I know that I stand on the side of righteousness and peace.
I have achieved enlightenment and my thoughts and opinions are my own. I have searched for truth and have found it, not taught.
If I die now I feel that I have lived my life to the fullest and have done the best I could do for the world and generations to come so that they might not have to deal with the things we've had to deal with and just enjoy life.
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