The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, said last night that the UN will continue its work in Iraq, despite Tuesday’s devastating car-bomb attack on its headquarters in Baghdad.
The blast killed at least 18 people, including the highly respected UN special representative for Iraq, Brazilian diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello. More than 100 people were also injured in the explosion, which is believed to be the most lethal attack on a UN complex in the body’s 58-year history. The bombing follows a spate of attacks on US troops, Iraqis working with the occupation forces and the Iraqi infrastructure.
What should be obvious to all by now was eloquently spelled out by terrorism expert Jessica Stern today on the op-ed page of the New York Times. In “How America Created a Terrorist Haven,” Stern–no leftist–makes painfully clear that “America has taken a country that was not a terrorist threat and turned it into one.”
As Stern, an author and lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, explains, the US inability to get basic services functioning and a legitimate government up and running in Iraq has created a situation much more dangerous for American interests than was the case prior to Bush’s invasion. “The occupation has given disparate groups from various countries a common battlefield on which to fight a common enemy,” Stern rightly insists. “Most ominously, Al Qaeda’s influence may be growing.”
And for more on the the situation in Iraq, see The Nation‘s collection of editorials, articles, columns and web reports on Iraqi reconstruction and the postwar situation, (sometimes known as war profiteering). You should also check out both the Common Dreams news site and Tom Englehardt’s TomDispatch for regularly-updated links to good news sources on Iraq.