September 26, 2003


UN scales down presence to bare minimum (Mark Turner and Kim Ghattas, September 25 2003, Financial Times)

The UN on Thursday said it was scaling down its presence in Iraq to a bare minimum, as news of the death of Akila al-Hashemi, a member of Iraq's Governing Council, reinforced fears the security situation there was becoming untenable.

In the wake of two direct attacks on its headquarters in Baghdad, the UN officially announced a "temporary redeployment" of its international staff.

Only 42 were left on Thursday in the capital, and 44 in the north, and those numbers could "be expected to shrink over the next few days", the UN said. The final number could be as low as 20, subject to further review.

But the UN, keen not to send a political message of defeat...

Which proves the truth of that old axiom: you can't make chicken salad out of the United Nations.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 26, 2003 9:26 AM

So will the Democratic field of 10 now urge that the US military protect the UN so that it may function in Iraq? Talk about reliable friends and neighbors.

Where is Jesse Helms when you need him (to say just what needs to be said)?

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 26, 2003 11:39 AM

Would a car bomb get them to leave Manhattan?

Posted by: at September 26, 2003 1:18 PM

Here is a grand opportunity for the Administration to drive home the gulf between the dream and the reality when talking about the UN. The idea that you quit peacekeeping and nation-building in tormented countries because you might get hurt reveals the impotence and fecklessness of that august body. Oh sure, the UN would never betray the Shiites and Kurds!! The point should be driven home pointedly, loudly and repeatedly all through the West. Surely even the gooiest progessive UN fan would squirm.

But, will it?

Posted by: Peter B at September 26, 2003 1:31 PM