If you can remember as far back as two months ago, there was a horrible tragedy in Baghdad, as a truck bomb blew up the UN compound killing close to two dozen people (including Sergio Vieira de Mello) and wounding over 100 others, the first reaction was one of shock, and then almost immediately the blame game began:
UN and US officials traded blame over security at the UN headquarters in Iraq as the world body vowed to remain in the war-torn country in spite of a deadly truck bombing.
Tuesday’s attack on the headquarters killed the UN envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello and 23 others, shattering any pretence that normality was returning under the US-led stewardship of the country…
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan vowed that the United Nations would not be deterred from continuing its work in Iraq.
“We will go on doing whatever we can to help build a better future for the Iraqi people,” he said.
Annan also criticised the United States for failing to secure the situation in Iraq for international humanitarian workers, saying: “The occupying power is responsible for law and order and the security of the country.”
But US officials said their UN counterparts in Baghdad had not wanted the same high-profile security provided for coalition authorities.
It was tasteless, crass, and stupid, not to mention a lie, when Annan tried to blame the United States for failing to secure the UN compound. Two months later, revered and fearless leader Annan should probably change his tune:
A U.N.-appointed panel investigating the Aug. 19 terrorist attack against the U.N. compound in Bagdhad delivered a blistering indictment of the United Nations’ role in the tragedy, charging that its system for ensuring protection of the U.N. operation had fundamentally “failed in [its] mission to provide adequate security to U.N. staff in Iraq…”
The team outlined a systematic pattern of incompetence, negligence and poor judgment among senior U.N. leadership that raised questions about the organization’s fitness to protect U.N. workers in any high risk operation. And it recommended the appointment of an independent body to review the culpability of individual U.N. officials.
Not that systematic incompetence, negligence and poor judgement is anything new at the UN, but it is nice to see them recognize it internally for a change.
“The main conclusion of the panel is that the current security management system is dysfunctional,” the report stated. “It provides little guarantee of security to U.N. staff in in Iraq or other high-risk environments.”
The findings constitute the most damning internal account of a U.N. failure in the field since U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan ordered the publication of two major reviews of the U.N. and the international community’s failure to prevent mass killings in Srebrenica, Bosnia, and Rwanda. And the authors said that the United Nations would require a “radical” reform of its security procedures before it could face the growing threat, particularly in the Islamic world, where al Qaeda and other militant groups have identified the United Nations as a target in their war against the United States.
While the authors of the 40-page report do not directly criticize Annan, they presented a harsh assessment of the U.N.’s chief actions before and after Aug. 19, noting that Annan twice refused recommendations of his top political and security officers to evacuate staff in Iraq.
“The Secretary General declined to follow these recommendations, primarily to maintain a core institutional presence in the country,” the report said. “It is the opinion of all U.N. security staff interviewed by the panel that the current conditions in Iraq have far surpassed the capacity of the United Nations to provide adequate security to its staff in the country.”
I breathlessly await Annan’s apology to the deceased member’s families and to the coalition on whom he tried to blame their tragic and unfortunate deaths. As usual, I expect to be waiting a while.
I expect the following statement from Kofi: “I am sorry that the United States proved unwilling to provide sufficient security to safeguard the lives of UN workers seeking to bring peace to the war-torn, suffering land of Iraq, as this report has shown.” [Note interesting placement of clauses.]
After which, the “kumbayah-corner” will accuse Dubya of being the reason for the deaths.
Given how they’re spinning Rummy’s memo, do you really expect any different?
I wish people would quit referring to planes flying into skyscrapers and car bombs exploding outside of office buildings and nightclubs as “tragedies”. It makes it sound like these things are happening spontaneously or by human error. They’re not tragedies, they’re atrocities deliberately planned and executed.
Hey, looks like Annan wasn’t quite as foolish as one may have believed; the US never made recommendations before the bombings that he pull staff out.
No, Kimmitt. They merely recommended that the head UN guy NOT have his office in an office that was next to the street. They merely recommended additional security around the facility.
But thanx for creating new liberal memes.
Thank you for equating the idea of objective reality with “liberal memes;” you do a good job of summarizing the conservative mindset.
Ah, so that’s it. You have your opinion completely and inextricably linked with “objective reality”. I wondered how you could justify your devotion to Bush-hating.