August 23, 2003


Latest on the apparent inside job at Baghdad’s UN headquarters:

US investigators are interrogating two Iraqi guards they believe might have helped carry out the attack.

A senior US official said all security guards at the compound were agents of the Iraqi secret services. They had regularly reported on UN activities to the secret services before the war, and the UN continued to employ the guards after the war.

When investigators began questioning the guards, two of them claimed they were entitled to "diplomatic immunity" and refused to co-operate. The two were not entitled to immunity, the official said.

A UN official is telling much the same story:

Iraqi security guards at the UN's Baghdad headquarters aided the plotters of the suicide truck bombing which killed at least 23 people, a UN official said today.

"They clearly had support from Iraqi security guards inside who gave intelligence to the planners of the attack," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"It was a well-prepared attack. The target was Sergio Vieira de Mello, that much is clear," he said, referring to the top UN envoy in Iraq killed in Tuesday's bombing.

The attack was made easier by the UN itself:

After a bombing at the Jordanian Embassy last week, senior American officials warned that other soft targets might be next. But the United Nations deliberately avoided sealing itself off because it feared that such barriers would send the wrong message to Iraqis seeking help.

Clever. Whoever caused the blast, it wasn’t terrorism, according to the Sydney Morning Herald’s Paul McGeough. It was “resistance”:

It suits the White House to brand what is happening in Iraq as terrorism. It sits neatly with the now-discredited case that it used to justify war against Iraq.

The Herald is one of only a few news organisations to have interviewed members of the resistance. They made no pretence about the thousands of foreigners, all of them Arab, who have joined the fight. But they denied any active participation by al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Islam or Saddam Hussein.

They’re just happy little resistance fighters. Resisting peace. McGeough sounds almost admiring:

For all that, Washington still tries to include the attacks into its case against Saddam. In the face of recent evidence of a centrally controlled and nationalist-driven resistance, it continues to blame Baathist diehards and al-Qaeda and its associates. But it ignores the breadth and depth of this resistance at its peril.

Osama bin Laden's agents might well be in Iraq, but the range of the attacks is no different to those perpetrated over the years by nationalist resistance movements in the West Bank and Northern Ireland and, more recently, by Chechen rebels.

Posted by Tim Blair at August 23, 2003 04:47 PM

How can it be nationalist-driven resistance involving thousand of foreigners?

Posted by: Andjam at August 23, 2003 at 05:11 PM

It's Arab Nationalism, and the foreigners are Arabs. QED. They can switch the srgument from Arab nationalism to Iraqi nationalism and back again as convenient, and the custard heads will eat it up.

When was the last time the IRA blew up a high-ranked UN official? He has a better comparison with Palestinians. These are the same scum that blow up Israeli children.

Perhaps the two "diplomatic immunity" fellows should be invited to spend a few weeks at sunny, fun-filled Guantanamo Bay.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at August 23, 2003 at 06:26 PM

Oh my gosh, there are "thousands of foreigners" in Iraq.

Presumably that includes the 135,000 underpaid, sleepless, unfed Americans. You know, the ones who can't even read the street signs, and whose leaders now inhabit the palaces built by Saddam from money stolen from the Iraqi's.

Anyway, why are you lot complaining? The Smirking Chimp said "bring em on", and you all cheered along like happy Hitler youth.

Now they're bringing em on.

Quit moaning.

Posted by: Analogue Voter at August 23, 2003 at 07:17 PM

Hey Anaload Voter,

No US forces were killed in the UN bomb attack. Go kiss the mummified testicles of Vladimir Ilich Lenin and sell your lame shit somewhere else.

Posted by: BigScaryBrain at August 23, 2003 at 07:50 PM

"and whose leaders now inhabit the palaces built by Saddam from money stolen from the Iraqi's."

I didn't know the White House had moved to the middle east!

Would A.V. care to tell us how many military Tac HQ's are run from the palaces?

Posted by: wilbur at August 23, 2003 at 07:55 PM

I don't see why we can't ignore the width of the resistance as well as its breadth and depth.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at August 23, 2003 at 08:18 PM

Wilbur -

Paul Bremer is based at the Jamhyuery Palace, former HQ of the Republican Guard.

General John Abizaid, head of US Central Command, seems to have his pick of the rest.

And as the British flee their embassy it looks like they'll be heading for the palaces too.

You know, the ones built with money stolen from the Iraqi's.

And I hear the prisons built (and emptied prior to the blitzkrieg/invasion) by Saddam Hussein are at full occupancy too. Mostly with people - including children - who haven't actually been charged.

Just like the good old days, eh?

Posted by: Analogue Voter at August 23, 2003 at 08:59 PM

Analogue Voter

"And I hear the prisons built (and emptied prior to the blitzkrieg/invasion) by Saddam Hussein are at full occupancy too. Mostly with people - including children - who haven't actually been charged."

Care to tell us wwhere you saw that

Posted by: Dude at August 23, 2003 at 09:18 PM

Dude -

You could try -

The Times


The Guardian

Posted by: Analogue Voter at August 23, 2003 at 09:58 PM

Those whacky yanks eh? they just cant win.

If there's mayhem on the streets ,the US has no control of the situation, we demand law and order.This = US to blame

Oops, by cracking down on theft and violence there are 'kids' in jail.

Those US oppressors! When can I protest?

Posted by: Nic (RWDB) at August 24, 2003 at 12:30 AM

And remember, nationalism is bad, except for Third World nationalism which is clean and pure and whose violence is always righteous in killing evil First Worlders.

Posted by: Flynn at August 24, 2003 at 02:53 AM

Now if I were left-wing I'd be hesitant about mentioning
the "Hitler Youth" or in fact bringing up the nazis at

Seems to me it positively invites one's opponents to
remind people of what happened.

One could for instance mention Hitler's political
background (he'd been a fanatical Social Democrat)
or his close colleagues (many had been marxists). Or
one could focus on the nazi issues as layed out in
their party platform (hint: looks similar to the german
Social Democratic Party platform).

Or one could wonder just how many National Socialist
voters in 1933 were former Social Democrats.

Or one could look at where the nazis were strong, that
is where a good part of their powerbase was, before they
gained office (hint: the german universities).

Or one could look at their political speeches before
they took over (hint: it will remind some of the
anti-globalization movement or perhaps the Green party).

I'll finish with what may seem a non-sequitor: Karl
Marx, or more specifically an essay he published titled
"On the Jewish Question." If you have the patience to
read through you'll find that in it he starts off by
criticizing a contemporay who argues that Jews need to
give up Judaism in order to free themselves. Marx ridicules
this idea and asserts that if jews gave up Judaism they'd
end up even more jewish than when they started, ie. more
greedy and more capitalistic. Marx ends his essay by
asserting several times in different words that as long
as there is a single jew alive anywhere in the world
the rest of mankind is enslaved.

Posted by: Mark Amerman at August 24, 2003 at 05:15 AM

Folks -- keep in mind ol' Anal Voter's M.O. is a knee-jerk screech about whatever the U.S. does, no matter what it is, as long as a Republican administration is in office. He'd be cheering the exact same actions if the Democrats were in power.

The whole schtick is hardly worthy of a considered response.

Posted by: Harry at August 24, 2003 at 05:36 AM

The grand harmonic re-convergence of infernal dreams of fascists & communists—nationalist socialists & internationalist socialists—continues apace.

Posted by: ForNow at August 24, 2003 at 02:51 PM

That’s it. Communists are internazis.

Posted by: ForNow at August 24, 2003 at 02:53 PM

"the prisons built (and emptied prior to the blitzkrieg/invasion) by Saddam Hussein"..

Oh, yeah. Sure thing, Anal Voter. Compared to the evil Yanks, Uncle Saddam is a real humanitarian. Too bad some of the people he released were genuine criminals who went right back to victimising their fellow Iraqis. Then the Yanks look bad again, because they have to catch them all over again. And how exactly does one go about having trials in a country whose legal institutions are still being built. Whose laws are those people to be tried by? Saddam's? Sharia?

Posted by: Catbert at August 24, 2003 at 03:16 PM

Hey ANAL VOYEUR.. For a namby pamy homo-lifestyle lovin democracy destroyin leftie, you sure seem to spend a lot of time hanging out with us dumb redneck racist nazis ...what's the go? Thinking of batting for the other side?? Have feelings you cant deny?? coming out isnt so bad.. you've done it before right?

Posted by: roscoe.p.coltrane at August 24, 2003 at 06:28 PM

And let's not forget, Mark: both Goebbels and Mussolini were former communists.

Posted by: John Nowak at August 24, 2003 at 08:23 PM

And about that "money Saddam stole from the Iraq's (sic)" -- that wouldn't be the Oil for Food program money that was being closely monitored by the UN and put in French banks, would it anal hog voter? Or would it only include the money that was being monitored by the UN and kept in French banks that was supposed to be going for medicine and hospitals, which, after the liberation occurred appeared to have vanished? Exactly where was Saddam stealing this money from? And why should you care, since it evidently didn't bother you BEFORE the US invaded?

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at August 25, 2003 at 06:19 AM

Yo, Paul McGeough -

Blowing up oil pipelines, shooting at anyone and everyone, bombing U.N. embassies, terrorising whole towns and cities, looting, and generally trying to prevent the establishment of any kind of civil society is "terrorism" in my book, not "organised resistance."

Posted by: TimT at August 25, 2003 at 04:51 PM