The Tempest

Not Exactly Shooting For \”Miss Congeniality\”

UN Diplomatic

Posted by Daniel on Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Today’s meeting at the UN should prove to be very interesting. Not for what happens, but rather for what doesn’t happen.

President Bush will be in the same building as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He plans to give a stinging speech today regarding the ongoing war on terror, part of which is supposed to include criticism of Iran’s nuclear inrichment program.

It’s already been widely reported that Ahmadinejad would very much like to face Bush in a televised debate. According to Bush’s staff, this is never going to happen.

Which makes today’s gathering at the UN all the more a scene of potential bitch-slapping. Knowing the hard line stance the Iranian President continues to take, Bush is runnng on the assumption that during his speech, there won’t be some sort of repeat of the 1960 UN incident in which Nikita Khrushchev banged his shoe to disrupt a general assembly meeting.

It is widely thought that the possibility exists for Ahmadenijad to actually try to confront Bush at some point during the meetings. There are supposed to be precautions regarding this:

“I’m sure both will have minders working hard to keep them apart,” said U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown. “So probably, the great clash of the titans, the rumble of the jungle — whatever you want to call it — is not going to happen.”

Right.

So Bush plans to stand there giving his little speech which is supposed to verbally take international leaders to the proverbial ‘woodshed’ for their lack of even basic democratic freedoms, international justice and diplomatic complacency. Sprinkled throughout this speech, I’m sure, will be smatterings of 9/11, the Middle East conflicts, Oil, humanitarian aid, terror, etc.

All the while, it will be interesting to know where, in the seating arrangement, Ahmadenijad will be sitting. Will Bush’s eyes fall upon him at any time during the speech? If so, will this provoke Ahmadenijad into ‘calling Bush out’?

I think it’s a shame that the general assembly, which is gathered to discuss important issues such as Darfur and Middle East peace, is going to be overshadowed (once again) by Bush and his terror target.

Bottom line, what further damage to the diplomatic process can the two least diplomatic people on the planet do?

The news ought to be interesting tonight.

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