Sometimes you just have to wonder about the United Nations. Last week the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, flew to New York to address the United Nations the day after President Bush spoke. “’Yesterday, the devil came here,’ Chavez said, drawing giggles from the audience as he crossed himself, looked toward the heavens and said the spot ‘still smells of sulfur.’” (Chicago Tribune; 9-21-06).
“ ‘The President of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here talking as if he owned the world,’ Chavez continued.”
Now just in case anybody doesn’t get the point that’s not just George Bush Mr. Chavez is talking about: It’s all of us.
What’s at stake here is a seat – which Mr. Chavez is running for – on the United Nations Security Council. He says, “We will win…even though the gringo’s and imperialists don’t want it.”
The United States opposes his candidacy. China, Russia, Argentina, and Brazil (who are supposed to be our friends) support him. So does Iran, Syria and The Arab League.
Why does it matter? Because once he is on the Security Council Mr. Chavez will get to vote on sanctions on Iran – and he’s already said he is all for Iran when it comes to enriched plutonium.
You might have hoped the United Nations’ reaction to the President of Venezuela calling the President of the United States – or anyone else – the devil would have been outrage. Or condemnation. Instead Kofi Annan hasn’t said a word, the delegates giggled and applauded and our friends in China, Russia, Brazil and Argentina are voting against us.
It’s hard not to conclude it would be the height of folly to believe the United Nations is going to put America’s interest first when it comes to Iran.
PS – I read recently that Venezuela owns one of the major oil companies (CITGO). With gas at $3 per gallon they made $32 billion in profits out of the United States – money Mr. Chavez gets to spend.
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