v7n2_08 - Address to Seton Hall University By Robert E....

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Address to Seton Hall University By Robert E. Andrews W e probably all remember the images in the days after Saddam Hussein’s government fell. They were dramatic images of Iraqis going to the street and pulling down a huge statue of Saddam Hussein in the last days of his regime. It was a compelling image of Iraqis taking rope and pulling over this statue of Saddam and watching, both literally and symbolically, his government fall to the ground. At that very same spot where that statue tumbled to the ground, something different happened on October 24, 2005. A convoy of cars and trucks reached the security gate that is around that area. That area is a turnabout, as they call it over there—we call it a traffic circle in New Jersey. And near it are two of the most prominent hotels for visiting journalists, diplomats, and other people coming to Baghdad. One is called the Palestine Hotel, which is probably the most significant hotel in Baghdad. There was a security perimeter that existed around that circle. On October 24, a car breached that security perimeter, engaged some of the guards, and shot some of them. Several minutes later, a cement truck breached the same perimeter and detonated in front of the Palestine Hotel, killing, at last count, at least a dozen people—probably killing many more—and certainly injuring many others. Several minutes later another vehicle came through, apparently laden with explosives, and engaged some private security guards and US military personnel. This vignette dramatically illustrates what I believe, sadly, is a failing US policy in Iraq. At the very spot where we were supposed to have our greatest triumph, where the statue of Saddam literally crumbled to the ground, there was violence and mayhem that was beyond belief in its human suffering, but all too believable in its frequency. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t pick up the newspaper and read about similar attacks in virtually all parts of that country. Another juxtaposition was the welcome, and good news, on October 25, that the votes have been counted, and it appears that the Iraqis have approved their new constitution. It was accompanied by the very welcome news that nearly two-thirds of eligible Iraqi voters went to the polls, under threat and fear of death, and participated in that referendum. That is a significant achievement that is not to be minimized. The other news the same week was that the two thousandth US soldier gave his or her life. Through it all, whether it was the transfer of sovereignty, the foolish Congressman Robert E. Andrews , (D-NJ) spoke at Seton Hall University on October 25, 2005. 79
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course INTERNATIO 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at Boise State.

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v7n2_08 - Address to Seton Hall University By Robert E....

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