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Peace in the Middle East, Bush Family-Style.

The UN Security Council vetoed the invasion of Iraq and thus the UN did not support it, yet it realized its mandate and went into Iraq anyway hoping to help restore order…

Actually, the UN already had an envoy and an HQ in Iraq which went surprisingly unscathed for more than a decade, even during Clinton’s bombing of tactical targets and aggressive UN weapons inspections. This unprecedented act of violence further underscores the Bush Administration’s total failure to understand the backscatter effects of their actions.

They are losing the political war and they are losing it FAST.


—– 20030819/ts_nm/iraq_un_death_dc UN in Mourning as Baghdad Bombing Wreaks Heavy Toll 1 hour, 11 minutes ago By Irwin Arieff

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The most devastating attack ever on a U.N. facility killed the chief U.N. envoy to Iraq ( news -web sites ) and at least 15 staff in Baghdad and stunned the global body at its headquarters on Tuesday with dazed staff roaming the corridors, some weeping.

Dazed staff wept as televisions displayed grim pictures of the devastation at the main U.N. office building in Iraq, where some 300 of their colleagues worked. Many were still trapped in the wreckage and the death toll was sure to climb, officials said.

The flags of the United Nations ( news -web sites )’ 191 member-nations, which adorn the front of the U.N. compound on Manhattan’s East Side, were lowered and the blue-and-white U.N. flag was put at half-staff to honor the dead.

U.N. officials said they believed the office of Sergio Vieira de Mello, the U.N. Special Representative for Iraq, had been the target of the suicide truck bombing.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan ( news -web sites ) called his death “a bitter blow for the United Nations and for me personally.”

“The death of any colleague is hard to bear but I could think of no one we could less spare,” Annan, who was on vacation in Helsinki, said in a statement issued in New York, as he canceled his vacation after news of the attack.

In a series of senior posts including U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and special envoy in such hot spots as Kosovo and East Timor ( news -web sites ), “he impressed everyone with his charm, his energy and his ability to get things done, not by force but by diplomacy and persuasion,” Annan said.

The debonair Vieira de Mello, a 55-year-old Brazilian ( news -web sites ), had often been mentioned as a possible future U.N. secretary-general.


“Nothing can excuse this act of unprovoked and murderous violence against men and women who went to Iraq for one purpose only: to help the Iraqi people recover their independence and sovereignty, and to rebuild their country as fast as possible, under leaders of their own choosing,” Annan said.

“All of us at the United Nations are shocked and dismayed by today’s attack, in which many of our colleagues have been injured and an unknown number have lost their lives,” he said, expressing the hope that those responsible would be swiftly identified and brought to justice.

“Most of all I hope to see Iraq restored as soon as possible to peace, security and full independence. The United Nations will make every effort to bring that about,” he said.

The 15-nation Security Council affirmed the blast would not deter the world body from its work rebuilding Iraq.

“Such terrorist incidents cannot break the will of the international community to further intensify its efforts to help the people of Iraq,” council members said in a statement read by Deputy U.N. Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad of Syria, the Security Council president for August.

Treading a diplomatic and political minefield in Iraq, Vieira de Mello had quickly won the respect of Paul Bremer, Iraq’s U.S. administrator, despite tension between Washington and the U.N. Secretariat over the war, officials said.

“The relationship has been businesslike, it has been constructive, and it has been frank,” Vieira de Mello, told reporters in Cairo last week. But he agreed he had landed in “a delicate … and even bizarre situation” in postwar Iraq.

In an address to the U.N. Security Council in July, he made what now appears a prescient remark, saying, “The United Nations presence in Iraq remains vulnerable to any who would seek to target our organization.”