Wednesday, September 20, 2006

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Oh, Hugo....

So Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and George W. Bush walk into a UN General Assembly.... wait, that's not a joke, it actually happened.

Hugo gave a funny speech at the UN today -- that Noam Chomsky opening was a killer!

Here's the one part of the speech that actually made sense:

I don't think anybody in this room could defend the system. Let's accept -- let's be honest. The U.N. system, born after the Second World War, collapsed. It's worthless.

Oh, yes, it's good to bring us together once a year, see each other, make statements and prepare all kinds of long documents, and listen to good speeches, like Abel's (ph) yesterday, or President Mullah's (ph). Yes, it's good for that.

And there are a lot of speeches, and we've heard lots from the president of Sri Lanka, for instance, and the president of Chile.

But we, the assembly, have been turned into a merely deliberative organ. We have no power, no power to make any impact on the terrible situation in the world.

Readers are heartily encouraged to postulate what would happen if the UN General Assembly was actually given any real power.

UPDATE: CBS News reports on one interesting aftereffect of Chavez's tirade:

Its rare to hear Congressional Democrats coming to the rescue of President George W. Bush. But a day after Venezuela's president called Mr. Bush a "devil" in front of the United Nations General Assembly, several prominent Bush critics are siding with the White House.

Rep. Charles Rangel the Democrat who represents the New York City neighborhood that Hugo Chavez visited Thursday took a swipe at the Venezuelan President for his behavior at the U.N.

Rangel said he wants to make it clear to the Venezuelan President that his comments on Wednesday were inappropriate and the American people are offended by his criticism of President Bush.

"I just want to make it abundantly clear to Hugo Chavez or any other president - don't come to the United States and think because we have problems with our president that any foreigner can come to our country and not think that Americans do not feel offended when you offend our Chief of State," Rangel said.

"Any demeaning public attack against him is viewed by Republicans and Democrats, and all Americans, as an attack on all of us," Rangel said.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who spent most of the day criticizing the Bush administration's economic and environmental policies, told reporters that Chavez's performance at the U.N. "demeaned" himself and the his nation.

"He fancies himself as a modern day Simon Bolivar, but all he is an everyday thug," Pelosi said.

If this keeps up, I propose that Chavez be given a chance to vent at the UN every week!

posted by Dan on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM




Comments:

Well, it might just turn the world over to, oh, I don't know....SATAN!

posted by: Zathras on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



Bush is El Diablo? Hey, I thought the Left told us that Cheney was the supreme evil in the administration...

posted by: Alan K. Henderson on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



What would happen if the UN General Assembly was actually given any real power? Probably it would help the West to realize that UN is already dead. Or whatever happens when bunch of populists try to control power...they will wreck havoc and we will end up with a new world order...a real Pax Americana perhaps with viceroys, legions and of course emperors :)) At any rate, how the hell UNGA will have real power anyway ;)

posted by: A. N. Onymous on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



A juster world?

posted by: Dan K on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



without armed forces there's no real power, so I guess they'd sell their ideology to some group possessing armed forces - oh, but that's already happening, no?. Power without consequences is meaningless.

posted by: Gus on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



Probably the most significant consequence of giving the General Assembly real power would be a lifting of the ban on smoking in the UN building.... oh, and peacekeepers would be deployed to midtown to protect UN diplomat vehicles from getting parking tickets. they would be authorized to use force if an NYC tow truck shows up...

posted by: SteveinVT on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



But we, the assembly, have been turned into a merely deliberative organ. We have no power, no power to make any impact on the terrible situation in the world.

When has the General Assembly had any real power? IIRC, all it can do is pass non-binding resolutions, and it's been that way since day one.

Passing binding resolutions is something exclusively reserved to the Security Council, and even then, a passed resolution is only really binding if a Great Power is willing to contribute military resources to enforce it.

In practice, this means the only UNSC resolutions anyone has to pay attention to are the ones the US enforces. Everything else that comes out of the UN can be ignored with no consequence more serious than some eurodiplomats saying rude things about you in newspapers, anonymously and off the record.

feh.

posted by: rosignol on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



A clone army?

posted by: Arr-squared on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



the US (along with other great powers) would lose autonomy. and, they would not merely be a deliberative organ as mr. hugo pronounced. but, that's an obvious point.

is it me, or is calling someone the devil kind of child like...i would not want a name-caller making tough global decisions. i could just ask my little brother to do that.

posted by: the devil's advocate on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



The UN is bad because it's powerless. The UN should be powerless because it's bad.

Nice argument. Rinse, repeat.

posted by: double-plus-ungood on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



i would not want a name-caller making tough global decisions. i could just ask my little brother to do that.

So, would you say it's a good thing we don't have any name-callers making tough global decisions for the USA?

posted by: J Thomas on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



The UN still has the same power and value that it has always had. The fact that it continues to annoy people of all backgrounds is proof of that.

It's like mass marriage counseling. Most of the time it will feel worthless to the parties involved.

posted by: Babar on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



May I be the first one to note the glaring irony, that when America does exactly what Chavez does i.e. judging various leaders around the world with insulting characterizations the result is the same?

posted by: Nick Kaufman on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



Did you hear Bill Clinton's comments: "Chavez didn't help is cause." He didn't say that Chavez was wrong calling Bush a devil, it just didn't help his cause! And Rangel was almost as good with " He can't come to my district and call Bush a devil." meaning I'm the one that gets to say these things about my president, not some two-bit dictator.

posted by: Tom Adams on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



Did you hear Bill Clinton's comments: "Chavez didn't help is cause." He didn't say that Chavez was wrong calling Bush a devil, it just didn't help his cause! And Rangel was almost as good with " He can't come to my district and call Bush a devil." meaning I'm the one that gets to say these things about my president, not some two-bit dictator.

posted by: Tom Adams on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



Well, they can't very well talk up Bush's good points, can they? They'd have to invent some, and that would come back and bite them.

posted by: J Thomas on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]



Is everyone too young to remember when Ronald Reagan toured the Russian part of the Soviet Union and made speeches to various groups lambasting his host country? The American press lapped it up! So what to say about Chavez and Ahmadinejad other than they were both speaking for home consumption.

posted by: Stewart Rowe on 09.20.06 at 11:10 PM [permalink]






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