Saturday, October 16, 2004

Are we feeling sorry yet? 

Getting readers of the leftie British "Guardian" pester American voters in the most marginal county of the most marginal state is not the only nuisance political campaign going on at the moment. Hot on the heels of the letter campaign to persuade the poor people of Clark County, Ohio, to "do it for the rest of the world" and vote for Kerry, comes this initiative to show the unsuspecting Iraqis that not all Americans are crazed warmongers who invade foreign countries and torture prisoners:
"More than 2,000 people opposing the war in Iraq, including the father of an American beheaded by terrorists, are sending Iraqis personal photos with protest messages to show 'what Americans are really like.'

"The pictures, from all around the country, are meant to be a counterpoint to the infamous images of Americans abusing Iraqi prisoners. Each photo shows at least one sign, usually handmade. Some specifically criticize U.S. actions in the war while others simply extend sympathy to Iraqi civilians.

" 'With deep shame, we apologize for the suffering our country has brought to the people of Iraq,' says a banner in a photo showing 11 people in Vancouver, Wash. Three elderly people in Minneapolis declare, 'All our children long for a new day.'

"Michael Berg, whose son Nicholas was executed last spring by an al-Qaida-affiliated group, holds a sign in his photo that says, 'I am sorry and ashamed for the tremendous loss my government has caused the Iraqi people.'

" 'I truly feel that what the United States government has done to the once-sovereign nation of Iraq is atrocious and shameful,' he said in a phone interview. Berg, whose opposition to the war predates his son's execution, will be in Washington on Wednesday when the project is formally unveiled by the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

"The peace group, which organized the project, said it wants Iraqis to know that most Americans were shocked by the photos of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqis prisoners and many regret a war being waged in their name"...

" 'We thought it would be great if we could speak as ordinary Americans to ordinary Iraqis,' said [the campaign organiser Hossein] Alizadeh. 'Since the United States went in there, the Iraqis have seen nothing but violence, so they have a very negative opinion of Americans. We hope that after they see these photographs, they will pause for a second and think, "At least we have a few friends, there are people who care about what's happening".'"
That should cheer up Saddam, who's feeling a bit down after his recent hernia operation. In case the peaceniks run out of ideas for more signs to share with the people of Iraq, here's some more ideas:
"Liberation - never again!"

"Democracy for the rich, not just for all"

"We support your sovereign right to be killed by your own government"

"Stop outsourcing! Only Iraqi torturers for Abu Ghraib"

"We're deeply sorry for bringing you the opportunity to elect your own government"

"Freedom is overrated"

"Sorry to have destroyed your thirty-year idyllic life under the world's greatest madman"

"You all look much better in mass graves, anyway"

And one especially for the Kurds: "Smile, it's only gas"
In moments like this, I always cast my mind back a few years ago, when the streets were teeming with marches for human rights in Iraq, and peace activists were busy organising vigils, sit-ins and letter-writing campaigns against Saddam's oppression.

Then I wake up.

(hat tip: Lucianne)

Update: You can see a typical photo of sign-hugging peaceniks at Powerline. Hindrocket writes: "Frankly, I find it hard to imagine how Iraqis will react to this scheme. Probably it will confirm their impression that America is a rather weird place. I do think I can predict how our troops will respond, however. I think they'll share my contempt."

I think the US troops in Iraq should start their own campaign: I can see pictures of Marines and Army personnel holding signs saying "Apologies not accepted, assholes" or "Next time you need to protect your freedom, call somebody else". Every bleeding heart who sent a pictorial apology to people of Iraq deserves to receive this sort of message back from out troops.

Update II: Tim Blair has more on the "Guardian" fiasco - the insurgency is spreading and the Brit daily is increasingly stuck in a quagmire.

Update III: Tim Blair (yes, him agian; can't seem to get rid of him) has got the whole peaceful rouges gallery of photos with his hilarious commentary. Check it out.


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