August 10, 2003


Human shield Donna Mulhearn may adopt an Iraqi baby:

The baby girl's background is unknown. Even the nuns in Mother Teresa's mission are uncertain what it is.

They think she was born without limbs somewhere in the south of Iraq, a frequent occurrence where Saddam Hussein's long-term use of chemical and biological weapons against the mainly-Shiites has left many children limbless and malformed.

Mulhearn, of course, went to Iraq to help protect the very regime that caused the infant’s deformities:

Along with 20 other human shields from various corners of the globe she was driven by conscience to try to avert what she believed was a senseless fight.

Well, “senseless” except in the sense that it stopped Saddam’s “long-term use of chemical and biological weapons”. Even when confronted with this apparent evidence of Saddam’s evil, Mulhearn still blames the US. As she wrote in her diary:

"It's frustrating that no one seems to consider the effect this war will have on children, especially the long-term emotional and psychological effects.

"The US military doesn't seem to value Iraqi lives and not least the lives of disabled Iraqi orphans. What chance do they have?”

Saddam caused the child’s disabilities, yet it’s the US -- which removed that cause -- that doesn’t care. Donna Mulhearn is remarkable. So is Bob Graham, the Sydney Sun-Herald journalist who wrote this piece, and who characterises Coalition bombing as entirely random, as likely to take out an orphanage as a military site:

The bombs and missiles did rain over Baghdad but, thankfully missed Mother Teresa's mission.

Call me crazy, Bob, but maybe that’s because the bombs and missiles weren’t aimed at Mother Teresa’s mission.

UPDATE. You’ll notice that in this piece Mulhearn is not quoted saying anything against the former Iraqi regime. Saddamite peaceniks have some form in this regard, as ex-activist Charles M. Brown writes:

I intended to use the knowledge I acquired in my academic work to aid my "real" job as an anti-sanctions activist. But I got derailed when I realized that in order to return to Iraq with the group I represented—the Chicago-based "Voices in the Wilderness"—I and other group members could not speak publicly about issues that would embarrass the Iraqi regime. These included its horrendous human rights record, its involvement with weapons of mass destruction, and the dictatorial nature of the regime. We were allowed to speak only of one thing: the deprivations suffered by ordinary Iraqis under the sanctions regime.

(Much thanks to Jim Nolan for the link.)

Posted by Tim Blair at August 10, 2003 02:13 PM

Nah, that can't be it Tim. That would mean that the Americans weren't _trying_ to kill women & little children!

Posted by: Bryce at August 10, 2003 at 03:04 PM

Oh good god, and this woman is going to adopt a child? I can't believe she could write those words in the full knowledge that if we hadn't waged war on Saddam Hussein's regime, she would never have been in the position to be able to adopt this child.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 10, 2003 at 03:04 PM

If the war ended his long-term use of chem and biol weapons, why haven't we found any? Or could it be that he stopped some time ago but we went to war anyway?

Posted by: Robert at August 10, 2003 at 03:33 PM

Oh look, Robert's going to highjack the comments into yet another fruitless "so where are the WMDs then?" argument. The ancients had a word for this sort of obsessive-compulsive thing: monomania.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 10, 2003 at 03:51 PM

Well, Robert, it's certainly possible he stopped producing CB weapons a while back but why then was he still buying the chemicals needed to make them? Why wouldn't he give the UN proof so that the UN would lift the sanctions on Iraq? My theory, based on his actions rather than limp-minded Lefty theories, is that he is a pathological murderer who enjoyed seeing his victims suffer to feed his ego.

I suppose there are other theories as to why a responsible leader would see his people suffer when the means of removing that suffering were in his hands but I just can't think of any right now.

What of the existing stocks which the UN inspectors said existed but could not find.

Why are the torture chambers, people shredders, 500,000 dead civilians (UN estimate), 1 million military deaths, the baby killing, the random arrests and killings, the mass graves, the repeated attacks on neighbouring countries, the oppression and impoverishment of an entire population and the most egregious environmental crimes outside the Soviet Union not reason enough to remove his regime. 12 years of sanctions had no impact on his grip on power - what options can you suggest? (Hint: 'more Social Workers' is not an option)

Then of course there's the plutonium centrifuge hidden amongst the Democrats at the bottom of the garden...

What is it with you tyrant lovers? Just how much blood is enough for you? Is there enough blood ever?

Posted by: Geoff at August 10, 2003 at 04:03 PM


Although Sadam agreed to destroy his chemical weapons as part of the truce that ended the first Gulf War, he never gave them any proof that they were destroyed, and for ten years disrupted efforts by the UN to determine the status of the weapons.

Where are the weapons now? That's the big question. If Sadam didn't keep any chemical weapons, why not give the UN proof that they were destroyed? The research for better chemical weapons could have continued in dual-use chemical plants, and he had developed mobile labs for the bio-weapons program, so why not prove that the stockpliles were destroyed and get the sanctions lifted?

Sadam is a homicidal sadist, but he isn't stupid, so why?

Posted by: Siergen at August 10, 2003 at 04:03 PM

The human shields. Such brave, good-hearted and well-intentioned people. So dreadfully misguided (apart from the few who wised up when they actually got to Iraq, looked around, left, and became supporters of the invasion). It's a shame in a way, but I predict that in 10 or 15 years we'll be using phrases like "Well, her boyfriend's a bit of a human shield but he's still likeable enough..."

I'd love to have seen an "Onion" headline along the lines of

"Bush, Blair Cancel Planned Bombings After Presence Of Human Shields in Iraq Confirmed:

`One Billion Gallons of Oil Not Worth Shedding A Single Drop of White Western Blood`, Says Bush"

Because that ultimately was why the HS-es failed. They swallowed the Left's line that B&B were motivated by some genocidal desire to exterminate "Ay-rabs", and that the risk of harm to blue-eyed blondes would throw a spanner in the works of their nearious ethnic-cleansing plans. Unfortunately, because they based this analysis more on reading "Socialist Worker" than on observing The Real World [TM], they guessed wrong. Because B&B's real distinction was not between white Westerners and swarthy little brown men, but between unwilling victims of Saddam and misguided but voluntary danger-seekers, they didn't deter the invasion.

Posted by: Uncle Milk at August 10, 2003 at 04:15 PM

Robert has a point. I mean without finding any of the 15,000 litres of poison gas Saddam himself claimed to possess, or the tonnes of Biological material his scientists reported to the U.N., how can we possibly be happy that we removed a murderous tyrant who ruled his country through the use of torture, mass murder and genocide?

I mean except for the children's prisons, the mass graves, the documented use of rape, torture, dismemberment, and assassination against political enemies, or the fact that he actively pursued genocidal policies against the Kurds, the Madan, the Shia, and the Assyrians - what right did we have to remove him? Oh, and did I mention that Saddam's people actually weaponized aflatoxin for use against those he was trying to destroy? That's right, he weaponized aflatoxin - it's a carcinogen folks, best known for causing liver cancer - what kind of sick bastard weaponizes a carcinogen? Unless his goal is to make sure anyone who survives the attack will suffer for generations.

Gosh Robert, I guess you're right. We should have left Saddam in power...Fucking moron. Take your pig ignorant WMD talking points and shove them right up your arse, there should be plenty of room up there since I doubt that pin-head of yours takes up much space. God save the gene pool if this one breeds.

Posted by: Modean at August 10, 2003 at 04:17 PM

Robert has a pretty good grip on himself. Look at his webspace...

Robert go back to your padded room and rant to'll be OK.

Posted by: wallace at August 10, 2003 at 04:27 PM

As someone -- ScrappleFace, I think -- concluded: potential threats of destruction of Western lives justify an invasion. Actual destruction of Arab lives does not ...

By the way, did you know it's been scientifically proven that a prior resolution authorising force, if passed by the UN Security Council, will guarantee that no bombs or bullets go astray and hit civilians? It's true. That poor kid Philip Adams likes to mention would still have his arms and legs had those champions of the progressive Left -- Chirac, Putin, and Hu -- only raised their arms at Turtle Bay in March '03. War is only hell when it's unilateral American war.

Posted by: Uncle Milk at August 10, 2003 at 04:27 PM

And Robert, don't do it again.

Posted by: ZsaZsa at August 10, 2003 at 05:07 PM

Please, people!!

Saddam obviously cared for his nation's children; who else would he have to torture otherwise? Sick, limbless victims don't put up nearly as much of a fight! Thank God Donna happened to be standing around in Iraq and was available to adopt this wayward infant and lug her back to the Great Satan.

"Along with 20 other human shields from various corners of the globe"

On the other hand, does anyone find it suprising that so many human shields don't have children to begin with>... hmm..

Posted by: MDVega at August 10, 2003 at 06:32 PM

If Saddam didn't have WMD then why didn't he co-operate with the inspectors? Why would he encourage a war that was only going to have one outcome?

Posted by: Mike Hunt at August 10, 2003 at 08:26 PM

Uncle Milk -
Both averting danger to Westerners and stopping ongoing harm to foreigners (arabs, etc) would justify an invasion from a moral perspective. However, only the former is the responsibility of a Western government - the latter is not. That doesn't mean that the government can't choose to do it, just that they don't have to.

Posted by: parallel at August 10, 2003 at 09:08 PM

She can be wrong about whatever she wants. At least she is DOING something positive.

Posted by: RonG at August 10, 2003 at 10:23 PM

That's a non sequitur, RonG. Yes, it's real nice that she is doing something positive. No, she does not therefore get a special dispensation to be wrong about whatever she wants.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 10, 2003 at 10:59 PM

What is this right-wing propaganda? Everyone knows the child deformities are caused by depleted uranium.

Posted by: Aaron at August 11, 2003 at 02:28 AM

The coalition forces just discovered as air squadron under the sand. How much sand does it take to hide chemical or biological weapons? Iraq has 500 trillion tons of sand.

Hussein spent millions to create his weapons. We know of his history of abuse to his fellow man and his own vain glory. Why would any one in their right mind think he would destroy millions of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ in WMD. Get real Left Side of America and pound some of that sand up your! Iraq will never miss it. Unless, of course, it is covering WMD!

Posted by: bill clinton at August 11, 2003 at 12:02 PM

Uh, no, Aaron... as this article in the Spectator shows, although Saddam blamed depleted uranium weapons for causing cancer/birth deformities, etcetera, they were probably caused by those biological/chemical weapons which he claimed not to have.
People like to get stuck into U.S. over the use of depleted uranium weapons, but usually can't find any hard evidence connecting these weapons and cancer/radiation sickness. But then again, who needs evidence when you're talking about the U.S., which is clearly evil and bad and nasty and everything that's wrong with the world??!?

Posted by: TimT at August 11, 2003 at 12:09 PM

Sorry, Tim, you forgot that Depleted Uranium was used in the FIRST Gulf War -- which WAS UN-authorised, almost unanimously in fact, not a unilateral solo gig. Therefore it is scientifically impossible that any weapon used in GW1 could have harmed a child or other non-combatant.

I really get nostalgic for those days of 1990-91: the dreadlocked lefties gathering in the streets with their placards to chant "Saddam Out Of Kuwait! Do What The UN Says! Blood For National Sovereignty, Not Oil -- But It's Not About Oil Because The French Agree With The Americans This Time!"

I mean, it's not like these people are some obsessively anti-American rent-a-mob or something. I'm confident they examine each situation on its individual merits.

Posted by: Uncle Milk at August 11, 2003 at 03:13 PM

Clarification. Shoulda written QW1 was "U.N.-authorised".

Posted by: Uncle Milk at August 11, 2003 at 06:36 PM

"They think she was born without limbs somewhere in the south of Iraq..."

You'd think that would be an easy thing to verify. Couldn't they just count them?

Posted by: BH at August 12, 2003 at 01:45 AM