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[casi] It took a trip to Iraq for the Western Human Shields to Finally Get It!



> The following excerpt speaks for itself:
>
> ------------------
> A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with
> Japanese
> human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of
> uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present.
> Kenneth
> Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East,
> told UPI
> the trip "had shocked me back to reality." Some of the Iraqis he
> interviewed
> on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't
> start.
> They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom
> from
> Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the
> likes
> of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons
> are
> sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such
> as
> people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they
> could
> hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head."
> -------------------
>
>
>
> http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030321-023627-5923r
>
>
> Lucky Break for Jordan
> By Arnaud de Borchgrave
> UPI Editor at Large
> From the International Desk
> Published 3/21/2003 2:46 PM
> View printer-friendly version
>
>
> AMMAN, Jordan, March 21 (UPI) -- An unintended coalition of U.S. air
> power and
> Baghdad taxi drivers kept a potential flood of Iraqi refugees away from
> the
> Jordanian border Friday. The U.N. refugee agency and the Jordanian
> government
> were expecting a quarter of million people to stream across the border.
> Jordan
> is already home for 400,000 Iraqi refugees from the first Gulf War.
>
> U.S. fighter bombers took out the only gas station between Baghdad and
> the
> border, a distance of 600 kilometers. The one-camel village of Ramadi
> was also
> the only phone booth on the desert road and a Jordanian was killed by
> the
> explosion of the gas station while making a call to his parents in Amman
> to
> let them know he was on his way home.
>
> At the same time, the few taxi drivers in Baghdad willing to run the
> risk of
> making it to the Jordanian border are charging $1,500 per passenger.
> Very few
> Iraqis can afford the fare. As a result, only some 300 TCNs (Third
> Country
> Nationals) reached the border post since the bombing started. They were
> mostly
> Sudanese and Egyptians. There were no Iraqis among them. They had to
> hump
> their luggage 1.8 miles across no-man's-land on foot to Al Karama, the
> first
> Jordanian outpost. From there, they were bused to the tent city at the
> Ruwaished refugee camp, 36 miles inside Jordan.
>
> The Sudanese and Egyptian governments agreed to pay for Jordanian
> Airlines
> charters to fly their nationals home.
>
> A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with
> Japanese
> human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of
> uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present.
> Kenneth
> Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East,
> told UPI
> the trip "had shocked me back to reality." Some of the Iraqis he
> interviewed
> on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't
> start.
> They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom
> from
> Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the
> likes
> of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons
> are
> sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such
> as
> people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they
> could
> hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head."
>
> Iran informed the UN refugee agency Friday that it now has 3,000 Iraqi
> refugees. Syria said its numbers were "insignificant." The picture could
> change for the worse as the United States steps up the bombing of
> Baghdad with
> a "shock and awe" campaign designed to stun and collapse what's left of
> the
> regime. Acute food shortages are expected before U.S. troops liberate
> Baghdad.
> U.N. officials in the Iraqi capital radioed today that some 500
> disadvantaged
> children were suffering from malnutrition and they were rounding
> whatever
> supplies they could find.
>
> Prior to the war, some 700 tanker trucks shuttled daily between both
> countries. Jordan consumes 12,000 tons of oil a day. All of it comes
> from Iraq
> at discounted prices under the U.N. oil-for-food program. Some 2,600 and
> 1,500
> Iraqi tankers have been involved in the overland oil traffic. Movement
> was
> down to 140 tankers the day before the bombing started. It stopped
> abruptly
> two days ago.
>
> Jordan had made plans for a quick switch to tankers anchored off Aqaba.
> Qatar
> had pledged to replace whatever shortfall Jordan experienced.
>
> Jordanians see a good omen in the daily arrival of almost 1,000 white
> storks.
> They alight near the Safeway on one of Amman's seven hills, a pit stop
> on
> their way from Africa to their east European breeding grounds. About
> 100,000
> storks are expected at the Safeway for the next month, numbers not seen
> in 10
> years, and a sign of ample rain and a good harvest.
>
> The official and private views of some ranking Jordanian officials
> appear to
> be diametrically opposed. Officially, they condemn the war and say they
> are "deeply troubled" about the repercussions of the war on the region,
> and
> describe the situation as "critical."
>
> Privately, and not for attribution, they say the United States is
> developing a
> new opportunity for the Middle East. Said one former prime minister, "If
> the
> U.S. can get a new Iraq to recognize Israel as a quid pro quo for a
> final
> Palestinian settlement, others will fall into place -- Syria, Saudi
> Arabia,
> and the other Gulf states. Iran would then have to pull back its
> military
> support for Hezbollah."
>
> Another prominent Jordanian voice said that while Iraq has created a
> rift
> between America and its allies, and in Europe itself, the Palestine
> question --
>  provided President Bush is serious about a settlement roadmap, without
> either
> side allowed to nickel and dime it to oblivion -- could be a reconciling
> factor. Which all sides now need." The official consensus is that the
> United
> States can win wars on its own. But it cannot win the peace. A former
> foreign
> minister said, "I can only hope that the $10 billion the U.S. now plans
> to
> provide Israel will have a geopolitical price tag."
>
>
>
> Copyright  2001-2003 United Press International
>

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