Well, our great neighbor to the north has done it yet again. The land that gave us both great comedy, in Mike Myers, and bad acting, in William Shatner, has blessed us with a bit of both in the comedic idiocy of the group Voices in the Wilderness. This is an anti-war activist group that sponsors people to go to Iraq and serve as human shields for Saddam Hussein in an effort to deter war. They recently sent Irene Vandas and Jennifer Ziemann of Vancouver, British Columbia to join two other Canadians already in Iraq and expect to swell their numbers to 30 or 40.
Now, I’m not sure what to make of this. First, I will grant that they are brave — quite dumb, but brave. Second, I’m not sure where they plan to be put. As evidenced by the Gulf War, Hussein has shown no qualms in stashing his own people in anything remotely looking like a military target. In any case, I look at this and can only think of an apt insight given by George Orwell in the 1940s.
Speaking of the pacifists in Britain during WWII he said, “Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help out that of the other.” If I refused to work in an armaments factory in Britain during WWII, I would be denying Britain needed goods and thus would be helping the Nazis. Regardless of my personal view of the Nazis, my actions would be helping them.
Voices in the Wilderness is a clear example of Orwellian logic being fulfilled. By serving in Iraq and preventing military targets from being hit, they are effectively hurting the forces of the U.N. and U.S. if war were to break out. It doesn’t matter what their personal view of Hussein is — they are helping him. They are similar to what Vladimir Ilyich Lenin called his Western liberal supporters — they are Hussein’s useful idiots.
Most of the peace activists I’ve seen decry Hussein as an evil man, but that doesn’t matter if they help him. One group plans to stage sit-ins and the like in most of America’s major cities in order to disrupt the country’s workings if war comes. I don’t really care what these groups say they are for and against — they are showing where they stand through their actions.
Perhaps I’d have a bit more sympathy for any of these groups if it wasn’t always our — meaning the U.S., Israel, and the West — fault. When Hussein invaded Kuwait, I didn’t see any group of “true believers” racing off to be human shields there. All I saw were people decrying the U.S. with various “No Blood for Oil” signs. It’s funny, considering all the wars we’ve supposedly fought for oil you’d think we’d have a lot more than we do.
When Scuds were raining over Tel Aviv I didn’t see any marches on Washington. When Afghanistan was crushed under the boot of the first Soviet aggression and then the Taliban, the peaceniks were seemingly unaware of that country’s existence. However, they suddenly located it to decry our actions there when we went in to liberate the country. State-sponsored thugs in Africa mutilate innocent men, women and children, but not a peep from any of these organizations.
It’s not oppression that motivates these groups — it’s simply a hatred of the U.S. I doubt Hussein cares much about what they feel either — he’ll gladly use this new batch of useful idiots and be thankful they feel so brave.