American and U.N. investigators apparently believe that the terrorists who carried out the deadly explosion at the U.N.’s Iraq headquarters may have been aided by some of the U.N.’s own guards. It turns out that the Iraqis who were guarding the U.N.’s headquarters in the Canal Hotel were largely the same people who were originally placed there by Iraqi Intelligence for the purpose of spying on U.N. weapons inspectors. Incredibly, the U.N. appears to have thought nothing of leaving these men in place as their guards when, after the war, the hotel became the U.N.’s operational headquarters.
Suspicion that guards may have been involved is heightened by the fact that some of them have refused to cooperate in the investigation. You would think that this experience would cause the U.N. to re-evaluate its approach, wouldn’t you? Not necessarily. A U.N. official says that the organization will not increase the number of American troops guarding its headquarters:
“It’s not that we have anything against the coalition forces, but you do realize the presence of coalition forces does intimidate some of the people we need to speak to and work with. We will always remain a soft target. We are conscious of that, but that is the way we operate. We are an open organization.”
More evidence, I guess, that the U.N. is incapable of playing a serious role in an environment as dangerous as postwar Iraq.
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