Skip to comments.The U.N. Gets Bombed, And The Media Suddenly See "Terrorists"
Posted on 08/25/2003 6:55:49 AM PDT by the_greatest_country_ever
The U.N. Gets Bombed, And The Media Suddenly See "Terrorists" By Lowell Phillips
A cement truck laden with explosives plows into the Baghdad headquarters of the United Nations and, presto-chango, there are "terrorists" in Iraq. That's right, not "guerrillas," not "resistance fighters," but "terrorists." And the press is appalled at their wickedness.
Suddenly journalists and pundits who could scarcely bring themselves to utter the T-word now find themselves compelled to use it. Strange how when a U.S. serviceman is killed while guarding a hospital or when Israeli women and children are obliterated on a city bus, the perpetrators are often referred to as "militants," "extremists," or simply "bombers" and "gunmen." But when U.N. officials are the victims... Pardon me. Considering who does the talking, it isn't strange at all.
According to the New York Times the attack on the U.N. was "tragic" and "especially chilling." The LA Times described it as "horrific." It was made even more so by the fact that the United Nations is "an organization whose aims in Iraq are strictly humanitarian relief and reconstruction," said the Washington Post.
And expressing sentiments mirrored by many, the New York Times urged the Bush administration to "rethink its approach to postwar Iraq" and derided them for, "Unrealistically optimistic assumptions [that] led the White House to severely underestimate troop and spending requirements and wrongly dismiss the need for more international help through the U.N."
I don't intend to be flippant here but it seems to me that the mighty United Nations is unable to provide for the safety of its own personnel. As for their mastery in nation building, the ultimate need for interventions by French, British and American troops in wars on the African Continent resulted from the inability of the U.N. to make positive or lasting progress.
In the early 1990's the United Nations sought to end 25 years of bloodshed and chaos in Cambodia. The Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) entered with 20,000 personnel and billions of dollars and stayed for years. Today Cambodia is corrupt and violent with only the façade of a democratic government. Five years after American led NATO forces intervened in the war in Kosovo and the "reconstruction" was handed over to the United Nations, it is plagued with political uncertainty and regular shortages in water, fuel and power.
The economy is not just stagnant, it's actually shrinking. Infrastructure has decayed under U.N. management and their personnel are resented for their arrogance, so much so that the Kosovar press has taken to calling them the "humanitarian mafia." At risk of sounding flippant once again, I must admit to having a brief moment with some renegade thoughts. If there is an organization on earth that did more than the U.N. to see to it that Saddam Hussein stayed in power, torturing and filling mass graves to the brim, I'm at a loss to name it.
Perhaps the truck bomber was the relative of a recent victim? As the press has told us consistently, Islamic terror organizations would never cooperate with or fight for Saddam. Moreover we were told they considered Saddam an enemy on par with the United States, because he was a secular tyrant, oppressing Muslims. If this was the case, again the U.N. would be a legitimate target because they allowed it to continue, to say nothing of the tragically farcical "oil for food program" administered by the world body, which enabled Saddam to construct lavish palaces while the Iraqi people starved. It's odd that there were no "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" rationalizations in this instance.
It would indeed be poetic justice, but the likelihood is that the U.N.'s Baghdad headquarters was targeted because it was easy to hit, a "soft-target" according to the experts. As the critics were in the grip of sorrow and outrage for the targeting of the only institution with "moral authority," they seized upon the bombing as an opportunity to condemn the administration's post-war strategy, and for the failure to protect United Nations' personnel.
There is a need for reevaluation and an evolution of tactics to counter those of the terrorists, but rather than demonstrating failure on the part of U.S. forces or their leadership, the U.N. bombing suggests that security measures are shoring up and terrorists are finding them difficult to breach head on. If there is some expectation that "additional troops" might secure every school, market and hotel in Iraq from fanatics intent on suicide, prepare to be disappointed. There aren't enough in the entire American military, and likely not enough in the world. Armchair generals should be grateful that the battle against them is raging in the center of the Islamic world, the belly of the terrorist beast, and not on U.S. soil.
The outrage expressed by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan over the failure of coalition forces to provide security was disingenuous. The fact is that the United Nations has troops ready to send on interventionist missions all over the world at the drop of a hat, but it somehow couldn't protect staffers in an office building. In truth it wouldn't provide or accept security. Pentagon officials pointed out that an offer was made to setup a secure perimeter, but it was rejected. Salim Lone, the U.N. spokesman in Baghdad, said the United Nations "did not want a large American presence outside." Annan's own spokesman, Fred Eckard, commented to reporters that they wanted to avoid the appearance of an armed camp and preferred the facility to be "more accessible to people." Indeed it was.
As for this sudden discovery by the press of terrorists in Iraqi, it is being argued that they are only there because President Bush decided to invade. At the same time it is acknowledged (unintentionally I'm sure) that they have always been there. The New York Times concluded that "chaotic postwar Iraq is becoming a magnet for terrorists." The Detroit Free Press wrote that even though Iraq is becoming a hotbed of terrorism, we cannot pullout because "we created it." And the ever-enchanting Maureen Dowd charged the Bush team with creating "the very monster that it conjured up to alarm Americans into backing a war on Iraq."
But throughout the media there is speculation that Ansar al-Islam, a terror organization allied with al Qaeda, is behind recent attacks, including those on the United Nations and the Jordanian embassy earlier this month. Ansar al-Islam's camp in northern Iraq was destroyed in the opening hours of the war and was introduced by Colin Powell in the United Nations Security Council Chamber in February as evidence that Iraq was harboring and cooperating with terrorists.
Powell discussed evidence that one of Osama bin Laden's lieutenants, Abu Massad Al-Zakawi, was operating out of Iraq, including graphics illustrating his connections to terrorist cells throughout the world. It was also widely known that Saddam Hussein supported Palestinian terror networks, the same organizations supported by Iran and Syria. Saddam's government had been smuggling oil out and weapons in across the Syrian boarder indicating an intimate relationship with a nation whose primary industry and export is terrorism. Yet all this was discarded as "thin," "trumped up," or "unconvincing" by the same media outlets that now see terrorists in Iraq.
There can be little debate that additional foot soldiers are now flocking to Saddam's former kingdom. The Financial Times recently estimated that 3000 have entered from Saudi Arabia alone. Also filing in from Syria and Iran are members of the same organizations that Saddam publicly financed, their jihad no-doubt made easier by a preexisting terrorist infrastructure.
The media's ideologically induced blindness to Saddam's terrorist activities is beginning to clear, but the apparent tunnel vision is hardly better. From the beginning it was obvious, to all who were willing to see, that liberating Iraq was inextricably tied to the war on terror. But unless the victims serve under a powder blue flag, terrorist aren't terrorists and making war on them is unjustified.
If those piloting explosive laden trucks wish to wear down the American public in a manner similar to Vietnam, all they need do is avoid the United Nations. And in no time at all the western press will magically transform them into noble "partisans" once again.
Exactly. Why no suicide bombs in Baghdad during Saddam's reign?
This writer was probably listening. No use thinking stuff up yourself if you can just tune in. Show prep. Article prep. Hell, if it weren't for Rush, Steve Malzberg wouldn't know WHAT to say or think.
And they hired locals for security. No UN troops or US troops. I mean, couldn't they have hired folks from some other country at least, like Papua New Guinea or something.
And these idiots want to run the world?