What color is a human shield? Crayola needs to invent a new hue weaker than lemonade and paler than jaundice: Traitor Yellow.
Showing the cowardice of their deluded convictions, dozens of Americans, Brits, Canadians and Australians who went to Iraq to protect Saddam Hussein's regime with their unshaven, Eddie Bauer-clothed bodies are now fleeing.
When Iraqi Republican Guards tried to move their pampered Western pawns in front of nuclear plants and electricity stations in preparation for impending war, the human shields buckled. Daniel Pepper, a 22-year-old Pennsylvania student, told the London Sunday Telegraph that he was appalled when Saddam's soldiers dispatched him to a yucky oil refinery.
It was "sinister," Pepper sniveled, to expect him to "sleep 50 yards from stacks billowing with black smoke." Sinister? Before he and his abettors recklessly volunteered to run interference for Saddam, the miffed Mr. Pepper should have asked the Kurds about the Iraqi dictator's penchant for exposing innocent civilians to far more deadly fumes than secondhand oil refinery smoke. We need to "negotiate," young Pepper wheedled.
Oh, dear, and they were having such a blast, these human shields, what with all the free cigarettes and PlayStations that those nice Iraqi soldiers had been handing out. How could Saddam have turned so, so inconsiderate? Why couldn't he just position them somewhere less smoky and more secure -- like on top of a sofa in a Baghdad hospital lounge or behind the toy chest in a day-care playroom?
Somebody call a wahmbulance. The pathetic peace-mongers want to come "home."
That's right. Warped American human shields -- who violated our laws banning citizens from traveling to Iraq without State Department clearances -- are knocking on the door of the birthplace they have forsaken in word and deed.
One of them is Benjamin Joffe-Walt, a 23-year-old American human shield from the Philadelphia area who left Iraq after a few weeks of shield duty and returned to Canada this week, where he's a high school teacher. Joffe-Walt says his trip "was very stressful" (it was really harrowing, for example, trying to figure out what time the group of human shields should go to bed), but he'd make the manly sacrifice again. For now, Joffe-Walt wants to re-enter the U.S. to speak to students at his alma mater, Philly's Central High School, presumably to indoctrinate new recruits.
"I'll be the first human shield to re-enter the U.S.," Joffe-Walt bragged to the Philadelphia Daily News. "I don't expect to get arrested. I'm not worth the time, and it would set off a big media storm."
Bring it on.
Americans such as Benjamin Joffe-Walt and Daniel Pepper who trekked to Iraq to take orders from Saddam's sadists have betrayed their country and effectively renounced their citizenship. Their naivete is not benign. They should no longer be welcome here. And our government should say so.
American human shields who want to retain all the rights and privileges of citizenship will bleat about their free speech rights. Well, it's one thing to paint a peace sign on your soft yellow belly and prance around naked on your college campus. It is quite another to take that belly onto foreign soil to deliberately engage in hostilities against the U.S., and to knowingly sabotage our government's efforts to provide for the common defense.
I agree with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who noted in a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft this week: "It is my opinion that any American who voluntarily engages in conduct to impede a potential American military operation, and who thereby endangers the lives of our nation's men and women in uniform, is participating in a program designed to weaken the power of the United States to wage war successfully. I strongly believe efforts to impede a potential military operation against Iraq should be strongly dealt with . . . "
Saddam's American buffers have proven themselves to be as willfully treacherous as American al Qaeda enemy combatant John Walker Lindh. The only place that's fit for these stateless turncoats to call home is a detainee bunk bed at Guantanamo Bay.