UN Follies

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Anne Bayefsky of National Review nails it on who was the biggest idiot speaking yesterday at the UN.

The real surprise of the day, however, was President George W. Bush. Last year at this time the president issued a list of reforms he expected from the U.N. in the near future: a new human-rights body which didn't count abusers among its members, a comprehensive treaty against terrorism, meaningful institutional reforms in the area of oversight, accountability, efficiency. Not one of those demands has been met, but instead of issuing a failing grade, the president said nothing at all about U.N. reform. On Iran, the most he could muster was "Iran must abandon its nuclear-weapons ambitions." No talk of sanctions. No mention of consequences for Iran's obvious refusal to abandon those ambitions. On Hamas he said "the world is waiting to see whether the Hamas government will "pursue an extremist agenda." Waiting to see? Just how many rocket attacks, kidnappings, speeches inciting racial hatred and violence, or murders does it take be an extremist? And on the Palestinian-Israeli front he said "the Palestinian people have suffered from "the daily humiliation of occupation" -- the exact language of -- yes, Kofi Annan.

No doubt, given the hostility of the U.N. forum toward America, nothing but obsequious babble from an American president would be well-received. Which is exactly the real and present danger of the U.N. -- only by running from who we are will we win a popularity contest at the U.N. It is a competition we shouldn't have entered.
Well, it's not too late to quit the UN and kick it out of New York. Until Madman Mahmood spoke, we did, I suppose, have that wild hope that our membership in the United Nations still served a useful purpose since Bush might suddenly grow a pair and use the lure of a prime-time audience to capture the Iranian president.

Of course, that never happened.

Instead, America got what good kids who try to kiss up to bullies always get growing up: more taunting.

Here's why. All a bully gives a damn about is knowing how much you will let him get away with. Often, simply standing up to him will do. Sometimes, five across the lips is needed for the more obtuse type. But those who treat a bully like they want to be treated themselves are in for a rude surprise: There is never reciprocation. There is no courtesy to a bully because all he comprehends is whether he has the upper hand or not. When he doesn't, he doesn't act confrontational. Naturally, he will project his own psychology onto others and so assume the same when he sees someone not being a complete ass. He thus reads any deference on your part as a confession that you do not have the upper hand. In other words, common courtesy, benefit of the doubt, and benevolence all read as "weakness" to a bully.

Bush could have saved a great deal of time by not delivering his speech at all. Instead, he should have just written "Kick me." in red crayon on its last page, pasted it the seat of his pants, and bent over at the podium. Indeed, all the other speakers yesterday, most notably the president of Iran, as well as the dictator of Venezuela today took their turns at taxpayer expense.

Last year was too late for Bush to address the UN, but this year, it was inexcusable.

We're "the devil", Mr. President. We might as well play the part.

-- CAV

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