Daniel W. Drezner

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 ...

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:

It?s 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!

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