Sunday, August 18, 2013

How the Baghdad bombing changed humanitarian affairs

This essay is part of an occasional feature on this blog that presents compelling stories from elsewhere in the world, particularly Africa, that are little reported in the American media. It's part of my campaign to get people to realize there is a lot going on in the world outside the US, IsraelStine and the Trumped Up Enemy of the Month. A list of all pieces in this series can be found found here.

Ten years ago today, a bombing obliterated United Nations headquarters in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, killing 22 aid workers and UN staff members. This piece on the BBC website highlights how this attack fundamentally changed the work of not only the UN, but also of humanitarian aid organizations around the world. A subsequent bombing of the facilities of the Red Cross, generally considered the most respected humanitarian organization in the world, also had a shattering effect. In the subsequent decade, aid workers have increasingly found themselves the target of combatants, not merely bystanders.

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