August in Iraq: The bombing of the 'humanitarians'

By Frederick Peterson
Monday, September 8, 2003

The war story of the month had to be the horrific bombing of the United Nations mission in Iraq. The lesson of that story has yet to be learned by those who most need the instruction.

Hours after Slaughter of the Innocents, that cold blooded murder of scores of unarmed aid workers and the wounding of a hundred more, a visibly stunned UN spokesman in Baghdad gave this sincerely bewildered effusion:

"We didn't expect to have to worry so much We are humanitarians."

How unwitting; how painfully helpless; how quintessentially perfect a revelation of the deep moral illness manifest in the present day United Nations.

No more than this need be said to distillate the right heartedness and wrong-headedness of United Nations behaviour vis--vis the War of the Civilized World on Terror.

What better example does one need? How distant from reality is this disembodied 'humanitarianism' of the invertebrate heart, this humanitarianism whose only muscle is the heart and not in the shoulder or in the strength of arms?

How costly is that fatal conceit, that deliciously self-gratifying separation from the real world, that antiseptic distance from the reality of real blood and mortal risk to real world peace?

How disturbing when Narcissus's water-glass is broken by the rude splash of blood; how unnerving when the carefully cultivated UN cocoon of caring is penetrated by the malevolent wasp?

Indeed, good faith 'the humanitarians' of the United Nations can well afford their moral posture, so long as there are brave meat eaters on their border to protect their wide-eyed good deed-doing.

(Unfortunately, not all 'humanitarians' are of good faith. Some former allies are most cynical, calculating, and exploitive. How does one say this in French ...)

What was demonstrated in Baghdad was not the failure of security but the lack of it.

This is a real world. Iraq is not Kansas, Dorothy.

It is an old, proud country too long oppressed. It is an historic battleground for resources, it is a battleground for hearts and minds and bodies; it is also, most importantly, an internecine battleground and crucible for the soul and definition of Islam.

The implications for the world can hardly be greater. Lose Iraq and we will lose generations of peace and countless lives in the Middle East and in the heart of the effete 'Humanitarian World' as well. WMD notwithstanding. It is a war which had to be fought and has to be won. Period.

Iraq may not be ground zero in the nexus of evil and religious terror in this sad world, but it is very close. To pretend after mere days of combat and a brilliantly successful, dramatically unexpected victory by the Coalition of the Willing, to pretend suddenly all would be light and flowers in the Fertile Crescent is quite patently absurd. Yet it is in some interests to pretend so. All casualties together to date are far less than some predicted would occur in one day of the war not six months ago.

These same failed seers now 'see' a protracted guerrilla war, a 'quagmire', an imminent American defeat. It is a tired tune, but does not lack of re-telling. For some, the sub-textual giddiness at the prospect of 'another Vietnam' is ill concealed. It is as wrong an estimate now, both in strategy and tactics, as it was in the first Gulf War, as it was in Afghanistan, and as it was in recent Iraq under its vile and volatile torturer, Saddam Hussein.

It is high time we recognized the moral essence and vital nature of this struggle. How more crystalline an episode do we need than the butchering of 'humanitarian non-combatants' under the Blue and White UN flag? These morally righteous and delusorily confident humanitarians who refused the protection offered by strong arms and offered their bare hearts to terrorists. American protection was rejected. The remote location was selected precisely because it was apart from the Americans. In rejecting armed protection, the United Nations continued its own stumbling blindness, policy failure and morale decrepitude.

Yet the United Nations and much of the news coverage, even of this fiendish mass murder of a relief mission is deafened by the blast, and remains blinded to the nature and essence of the Enemy.

Terrorism is at war to the death with Civilization. Western Civilization; Eastern Civilization; Modern Civilization. It is at war with every recognizable religious concept.

Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, all religion. NO religion sanctions murder of innocent life. NO religion sanctions the murder of those who succor the needy and the innocent. NO religion or philosophy or 'civilized' people sanctions the murder of humanitarian non-combatants.

Yet instead of focusing on the horror and unspeakable atrocity of this Crime against Humanity, instead of finally awakening to the evil nature and the fraud of Radical Islam, instead of stealing the muscle of the heart with the muscle of arms, the United Nations yet again hesitates.

The UN bombing paints vividly, in its own innocent blood, a portrait of its own moral flabbiness. If there is to be a death knell to the Idea the United Nations purports to represent; if that moral Idea of civilized nations acting in concert for civilization is replaced by a mere humanitarian 'feelings', let the blast in Baghdad be its final echo. There can be no louder nor clearer wake-up call to action. Yet, even now, decisive action seems far outside the capacity of this United Nations. America and its Alliance of the Willing bravely confront evil, while the UN has not the moral clarity to even speak of it. Perhaps there comes a point when innocent humanitarianism, separated too widely from reality, becomes morally culpable for its own negligence.

No, the true humanitarians here are not the syrupy-sentimental, the envious, the spiteful, the reflexive America-haters, or the secular do-gooders at the United Nations; the True Humanitarians are those who bring the heart to care and the arms to protect; those who bring moral strength and the blessings of material hope and freedom; those willing to give their lives to insure terror is hunted and killed in Iraq and wherever it festers its evil disease of the soul. These True Humanitarians are not clothed in blue with the white spider-patch on their sleeve; rather, their hearts are covered in desert camouflage strong arms and shoulders wear righteous red, as well as white and blue.

Two Towers, one Pentagon and a dusty aid mission outside of Baghdad is quite enough to teach the teachable the true nature of evil and reveal, in all its hideousness, the darkened heart of our enemy is it not? Let's get on with the war we must win. With or without the 'humanitarians' from the UN. It is won or lost within us before it is ever engaged in the field. Steel our hearts for the struggle and know that not all will join us. Bear our arms with courage. Hold out, in honor, the selflessness and generosity of our effort, even as we stand strong for the substance of humanity. Even while the morally decadent fall away from the adversity of the challenge, with ever more sophisticated pretense. Civilization requires strength and fortitude as well as keen feelings. Survival of civilization requires it. Say a prayer for the fallen humanitarians, and continue to march. Iraq is not Kansas, indeed. Neither is it Manhattan.

Frederick Peterson is a former Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, Military Editor for and a frequent commentator on Fox News Channel. He is a Senior Vice President at Xybernaut Corporation.

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