Posted by Jeff from pcp01169382pcs.roylok01.mi.comcast.net (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, September 14, 2002 at 1:18AM :
...turns out that I was entirely wrong!
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World - Reuters
British Lawmaker Wants Human Shield to Protect Iraq
Fri Sep 13, 5:39 PM ET
By Jeremy Lovell
LONDON (Reuters) - Anti-war British lawmaker George Galloway will call for international volunteers to form a human shield in Baghdad to try to thwart any attack after he flies to Iraq on Saturday. "One of the ideas will be an international peace brigade of volunteers from around the world. People who will go to Iraq and offer themselves to be witnesses to what may well be about to happen," parliamentarian George Galloway told Reuters on Friday.
He expected significant numbers of Britons to come forward.
Asked if it would in effect constitute a human shield of people trying to prevent any bombing raids, he said: "A voluntary one, yes."
He said: "There are many, many millions of British people who are determined that the Iraqi people will not be bombed in their name."
Galloway, who met President Saddam Hussein ( news - web sites) last month and has tirelessly campaigned against war with Iraq, is going to Iraq for the Baghdad peace conference -- an international group that meets every six months.
"It would normally have met in November, but it has been brought forward to Monday because of the emergency," said Galloway, a member of Prime Minister Tony Blair ( news - web sites)'s Labour Party.
He said he did not expect to meet Saddam on this trip, which lasts until Wednesday, but would be meeting Iraqi deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz who is chairing the conference.
Galloway said President Bush ( news - web sites) was intent on war and had used his speech to the United Nations ( news - web sites) in New York on Thursday as a smokescreen trying to hide his true intentions.
"It is clear that yesterday's performance in New York was simply a ruse to pretend that some sort of recourse to the U.N. and diplomacy was going to be sought," he said.
"I suspect that while war is never inevitable...it is looking increasingly more likely," Galloway added.
Bush, who has called for "regime change" in Iraq, said on Thursday U.N. arms inspectors who left in December 1998 had to be unconditionally readmitted now.
On Friday as Aziz ruled out the re-entry of the inspectors who had been seeking to dismantle Iraq's program to build weapons of mass destruction since the 1991 Gulf War ( news - web sites), Bush called for a deadline for action counted in weeks at most.
Galloway urged the U.N. Security Council to stand up to what he called the bullying tactics of the Bush administration.
"If it wants to avoid global turmoil it will stand up and insist upon taking charge of this matter itself," he said.
Galloway said he did not intend staying in Baghdad with any volunteer human peace shield. His place was in the corridors of power and on the streets of London trying to persuade Britain to back out of a coalition with the United States.
"It is the coalition of the mad dog and the Englishman. If we can stop the Englishman then we can keep the whole world out of the blinding midday sun."
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