Despite the need for the occasional U.N.-eze translation device, what Americans get for their $5 billion a year was painfully clear. First came Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He proclaimed that the Arab-Israeli conflict was the most important conflict on earth today. Why? Because it was “emotional” for “people far removed from the battlefield.” Translation: Anti-Semites from all over the world get emotional about the existence of a Jewish state. Annan’s solution to all this feeling was for the Security Council to end the Israeli “occupation.” Until that time, it was quite understandable that “other conflicts” all over the globe won’t be resolved. Translation: Deliver up Israel on a U.N. carving board or the blood-thirsty mobs will not be satiated. While he was at it, Annan couldn’t resist a dig at the pope. He complained that the feelings of the mob were also provoked by “insensitivity towards other people’s beliefs or sacred symbols — intentional or otherwise.” What the secretary-general did not mention in his final major address before retirement, as he pontificated about the demands of our age, was the word “democracy.”Well, of course he didn't.
Reactions to Bush's speech are, well, mixed (at least in National Review--who said those guys were in the bag for Bush?):
Joshua Muravchik:Compare with Claudia Rossett (who rocks, by the way):
In his speech to the General Assembly, President Bush showed what the U.N. should be, a platform from which the United States can speak truth to powerlessness. In contrast to the suffocating banalities that fill the air at the General Assembly, Bush’s forceful advocacy of freedom — and his willingness to speak plainly about the freedom deficit in the Middle East—was a breath of fresh air.
President Bush said so many of the right words. He was so right to address some of those words not to the assembled “excellencies” of the General Assembly, but directly to the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iran, Syria, and Darfur. In his basic message about the nature of freedom, and the need for it, he was — as he has been for years now — so very right. And yet, his speech at the United Nations rang hollow.