How is the emeritus professor who wounded in the August 2003 bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad doing?


Author: Ed Cohen

Read a story by Gil Loescher in the magazine’s spring 2004 issue.

Emeritus Professor of Political Science Gilburt Loescher, who was nearly killed in the bombing at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad in August 2003, continues to recuperate in England.

He lost both of his legs above the knee, his right hand was badly damaged, and he spent weeks unconscious after the terrorist blast. But as of early December he was learning to walk on prosthetic legs and had even taken his first drive in a car equipped with hand controls. He and his family are keeping an online journal of his progress at

Loescher and his research partner, Arthur Helter, had just arrived at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad to meet with U.N. Special Envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello when the bomb exploded. Helton and Vieira de Mello were both killed, although Loescher later learned that the U.N. envoy survived long enough to call rescuers on a cell phone and give their location.

Loescher remembers the attack and vows to carry on with his work for peace in an article (“I was not going to die in the rubble”) written for the group Open Democracy. Read the account at

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