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(DV) Random: Ahmadinejad, Bush and Kofi Annan







Ahmadinejad, Bush and Kofi Annan 
The Sixty-First General Assembly of the United Nations
by Jack Random
September 21, 2006

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The sad truth is that, before the eyes of the world at the concluding session of the sixty first General Assembly of the United Nations, Iran’s titular President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a diplomat, an advocate of peace and justice, while the leader of the western world was a pretender -- a sophomoric dilettante with no grasp of international dynamics and no appreciation of the changes he has brought upon us all. 

Ahmadinejad gave praise to a full spectrum of revered religious figures -- Adam, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed -- while our president pointed to the triumphs of democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq. 
Ahmadinejad plaintively stated the case against Israel and the dominant world power without venom, without threats, and without appeal to the baser nature of men. 
George W. Bush raised the specter of ongoing war with veiled threats and disdain for the international body he was addressing. 
We were told that Ahmadinejad was a lunatic and a mortal threat to the very foundation of the civilized world but he failed to play his part. Few who listened to his words could fail to hear his humanity. Few who listened to his words could fail to hear his plea for mutual respect and equitable, peaceful settlement of international conflict. 
Yes, Ahmadinejad has made statements (perhaps born of frustration and bitter respite) beyond the limits of western sensibilities but the man who appeared before the beleaguered and regal body of nations was not an enemy to human values. 
Our president has also made statements beyond the limits of reasoned discourse. 
Yet, the evening of the concluding assembly of the sixty-first United Nations did not belong to Ahmadinejad or George W. Bush. It belonged to Kofi Annan.  In his final days as Secretary General, the most difficult diplomatic post on earth, Mr. Annan spoke eloquently of the pressing and largely unresolved conflicts on the world stage:  A grossly inequitable world economy, the ascendance of aggressive use of force, and the deterioration of the rule of law. 
The failures of the United Nations are well chronicled but poorly understood by the American public.  The community of nations is fully capable of reaching agreement on the critical issues confronting the planet but the veto power of the world’s dominant nation has constantly subverted the better intentions of the world community. 
The president deserves credit for his words regarding the genocide in Darfur but in the light of his policies of aggressive war and occupation, in deference to his blindness on Palestine and global climate change, his words were like shadows in the dark. 
Darfur, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kyoto: These are the world’s most pressing problems and on these our president is absent without leave. 
The foundation of the international order is the rule of law.  Under the leadership of this president, we have rewritten the Geneva Conventions, defied the cardinal prohibition against aggressive war, selected which United Nations resolutions shall and shall not be honored, promoted the idea of democracy while subverting democracy wherever it does not conform to the neocon vision of American dominance, demeaned the International Criminal Court, circumvented all established moral tenets against torture and rendition, and undercut the very foundations of freedom and democracy at home. 
America has known many trials and tribulations, some of which have shaken us to the core, but rarely have we lost our moral grounding so thoroughly as we have today. 
It is time we announced to the world that we, as American citizens, are not the nation our president portrays. We are not hungry for war.  We are not the hammer of wrath. We are not the great deceivers. We are not torturers. We are not the purveyors of toxic air and water. We do not desire to bend the world to its knees. 
We are a peace loving people. We believe in justice, the rule of law and the standards of common decency.  We believe in the truth. We uphold justice.  We believe in the golden rule:  Live and let live. 
We are America and George W. Bush does not speak for us.

Jack Random is the author of Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press) the Jazzman Chronicles, Volumes I and II (City Lights Books). The Chronicles have been published by CounterPunch, the Albion Monitor, Buzzle, Dissident Voice and others. Visit his website: Random Jack.

Other Articles by Jack Random

* The Propaganda War: Revisiting Afghanistan on 9-11
* J’ Accuse!: Israeli Crimes Against Humanity
* Liberation Ramble South of the Border
* Haditha, Zarqawi & the Politics of Distraction
* Misconceptions in the Immigration Debate: What Would Crazy Horse Do?
* Requiem for American Democracy
* Paradigm Shift: Embracing the Power of Green
* Remember the Bastille: A Response to Mickey Z
* Designated Fall Guy: Replacing Rummy
* Libertad Y Justicia Para Todo!: Liberty and Justice For All
* Barry Bonds and the Steroids Saga
* Defiling the Grave of an American Hero: The Censoring of Rachel Corrie
* Starving the Beast: Programmed Ineptitude
* Constitutional Suspension: An Abdication of Democracy
* Right and Responsibility Depictions of the Prophet Mohammed
* Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan: Challenging the Pro-War Democrats
* The State of the Union: A Stumbling Illusion of Strength
* The Presidential Power Grab
* Surrealistic Pillow: The West Virginia Mining Disaster
* Pataki & Bloomberg: How to Bust a Union
* The Imperial President and the NSA Spying Scandal
* France and the Burning Embers of Repression
* The Activist Court & the Neoconservative Agenda
* The Agnew Factor: Clearing the Impeachment Path
* Iraq and New Orleans: The ABCs of Police Lawlessness
* The Age of Catastrophe: Preparing for Disaster
* No Tears for Rehnquist: The Legacy of a Chief Justice
* Zero Tolerance: Bush Gets Tough as New Orleans Suffers
* Hugo Chavez and the American Slug: Pat Robertson’s Call for Assassination
* The Lie of a Strong Economy (Beneath the Towers of Avarice)
* Fooled Again: Major Party Turnabout
* The New War Candidate: Major Paul Hackett for Congress
* Free Judy! The Fine Art of Calling a Bluff
* Executive Blackmail: The Betrayal of Democracy in Haiti
* Blame the Democrats & Move On: The Federalist Court
* Against the Wind: The Inevitable End of the Iraqi Occupation
* London and Madrid: Reflections on the War on Terror
* Judith Miller: The Anti-Hero
* Schizo Scherzo: The Last Waltz
* The Last Throes: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
* Impeach Bush -- US Out Now!
* Recall the Governator
* The Gates of Hell: Occupied Iraq
* May Day: The Rise & Fall of the Middle Class
* The Papal Aristocracy: Confessions of a Nonbeliever
* No Citizen Left Behind
* A Marine Comes Home: The Untold Story of War
* The Compassionate Leader -- In a Time of Crisis
* In Defense of Barry Bonds
* Defending Dan? Rather Not
* David Went to Canada...& Johnny Got His Gun