You've gotta love the UN as it plays host to the rehabilitated terrorist Qaddafi and the thief of democracy Ahmadinejad, who in turn send diplomats and fellow leaders to sleep or to walk out in protest. All that and Obama's inaugural UN speech as President.
It is a week of global firsts…first address to the UN as US President by Barack Obama, first address by the supposedly rehabilitated terrorist Qaddafi, and of course Pundit’s first birthday.
Given the rambling, incoherent nonsense that constituted Qaddafi’s inaugural ‘speech’ I am surprised there was no mention of Pundit’s milestone. However like the very few I suspect who were determined to persevere through the diatribe, I could possibly have missed a little nod in Pundit’s direction, after all he didn’t leave out much. Surely the only reason he didn’t turn up with a birthday cake was the sudden eviction of his Bedouin tent from an upscale property in New York’s suburban Bedford. Apparently Mr D. Trump found out who had rented his land and ordered him off quicker than you’d welcome back a Lockerbie bomber.
For those—the vast majority of humans—who forwent the colonel’s UN appearance, save the drama of ripping up the UN charter and frequently checking to ensure his interpreter was indeed still awake and getting it right, his 81 minute piece of nonsense was an endurance test. Perhaps not quite in the Castro league, but it seemed as if he’d been saving all his life to talk about a few issues, so hence the call for a reinvestigation of J.F.K.’s and Martin Luther King’s assassinations, a comparison of the Taliban to the Vatican, a demand for trillions of dollars in compensation to African countries, a renaming of the Security Council to the “Terror Council” and the creation of an Israeli-Palestinian State to be known as ‘Israteen’. Why not Palerael you might ask, as I did to no-one in particular.
Oh, and of course, he who is challenged in the facial follicle department provided Obama the sort of endorsement he most certainly does not need. Qaddafi kept referring to him as “my son” and called him a Kenyan. Now that’ll get the ‘Birthers’ going on the next round of their ever-spinning planet of weirdness. Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck must have worked themselves into a lather over that one.
As for Obama, he looked like a choir boy, sandwiched as he was in the UN’s day between the mad Libyan and, just to make your dinner difficult to digest, Iran’s Ahmadinejad.
The cool, calm and collected US President covered the expected—democracy, trust, leadership, the role of the UN and all that. But really he’s pushing it a little far when he discusses the world’s duty to support the US in sorting out problems. Not every problem in the world has a trail of crumbs back to America but perhaps the biggest on the current plate do.
The way Obama sees it, the world chastised the USA for acting unilaterally. Well, under his watch unilateral action is no longer in style. Therefore the logic is that now America wants to work with the rest of the world don’t leave it to do everything itself. Okay, but what about the glaringly obvious disasters that are only with us because of the previous unilateral action? Sort of like the fireman who sets the house on fire then guilts all his fireman mates to put out the blaze.
One such blaze which showed no sign of losing its heat was the mess that is Iran.
Outside the UN Iranians from all over the United States and Canada had traveled to protest Ahmadinejad’s presence. Their ability to do so—peacefully but loudly—was designed to be in stark contrast to their fellow Iranians who are still subjected to tear gas, beatings, incarceration, rape, torture, sham trials and death for daring to confront Ahmadinejad’s June election ‘victory’.
But inside the marbled auditorium, their cries went unacknowledged—of course. As expected, Ahmadinejad offered the usual garbage about Iran’s beautiful democracy and associated anti-Semitic rhetoric.
The biggest difference between his and Qaddafi’s addresses was while everyone was basically asleep for the Libyan, most were absent for Ahmadinejad. There was a predictable series of walk-outs designed to be noticed by all.
The man at the podium, however, was either blissfully unaware of his diminishing audience or didn’t give a fat rat’s about their staged exits. I would bet on the latter because Ahmadinejad was not talking to the UN and the diplomats there. He was talking to his domestic audience, to the growing split within his powerful domestic clergy and to those his state sponsors—namely Hezbollah and Hamas. He knew the cameras would be there for his every word, and they were. Who cares if the Canadians walk out as a way of de-legitimising him?
That Ahmadinejad is an unusual personality is perhaps an understatement of monumental proportions and that came through in his UN address last year when he reported back to Tehran about a halo of light appearing behind him as he took centre-stage.
It has to be said that much of what he’d accused the West of last session had some foundation—double standards on nukes and sanctions, and the blind eye the US was then turning to illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. This year, however, there was no heaven-sent endorsement from a higher power. Not even the least discernible flicker of acknowledgement from the skies above. The difference, with no respect at all Mr President, is a fraudulent election, a perversion of the democracy promised, and a hideous crackdown on a people who dared to believe they had a right to choose.
As they say about the UN, even Hitler would have been allowed to speak.