August 11, 2003


The Washington Post is reporting that at least one of the American "Human Shields" that went to Iraq before the war is being fined by the government. Faith Fippinger faces $10,000 in fines or 12 years in jail for violating the U.S. sanctions that prohibited American citizens from engaging in "virtually all direct or indirect commercial, financial or trade transactions with Iraq."

A little googling of "Faith Fippinger" sheds more light on who she is and why she did what she did. In my opinion, Faith is a grandmother-like figure who considers all war to be wrong, regardless of circumstances. She headed to Iraq with the idea of being a human shield (protecting oil refineries from bombs), but ended up helping the Iraqis by volunteering in a hospital.

Although I don't know enough to make a firm decision on her fine, I would guess that it is fair decision. Even though she did not directly interfere with the U.S. military (and thus avoided a treason charge), she did knowingly violate the sanctions. She must be accountable for her actions and should pay the fine. That being said, I do acknowledge the benefit she may have added to the Iraqi civilians through her work in the hospital and hope that, now that the military action is complete, more U.S. citizens volunteer in similar ways. [14:17]  [ ]