Tuesday, March 18
A photograph, a kiss and a bitter end to UN hopes
Suzanne Goldenberg in Baghdad, March 18, 2003, The Guardian
The sun was sinking low in the afternoon sky when the two weapons inspectors emerged to pose for photographs in front of the limp blue United Nations flag, taking their personal record of the day when diplomacy failed and gave way to war.
In New York, barely two hours earlier, Mohamed El Baradei, chief of the UN nuclear monitoring agency, had given notice that his inspectors were to leave Iraq after receiving a warning from Washington to quit. Later the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, gave the formal order for hundreds of humanitarian staff, oil monitors and weapons inspectors to withdraw. [...]