Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ahmadinejad, Chavez denounce Bush at UN General Assembly

"The Security Council must be overhauled because the current structure allows some “hegemonic powers” to impose their policies on others, undermining its credibility and fostering global mistrust, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the United Nations General Assembly."

"“It must be acknowledged that as long as the Council is unable to act on behalf of the entire international community in a transparent, just and democratic manner, it will neither be legitimate nor effective,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said in an address to world leaders gathered for the Assembly’s annual general debate. He accused the United States and the United Kingdom, which are both permanent members of the Council, of being able to commit “aggression, occupation and violation of international law” with impunity.

"“Can a Council in which they are privileged members address their violations? Has this ever happened?” he asked. The Iranian President cited several examples of what he said were situations where “nations are not equal in exercising their rights recognized by international law. Enjoying these rights is dependent on the whim of certain major powers.”

"He listed Iran’s nuclear activities, which he described as “transparent, peaceful and under the watchful eyes of IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] inspectors”; the recent conflict between the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and Hizbollah in Lebanon; the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory; and the continuing violence and presence of foreign troops in Iraq. “In all these cases, the answer is self-evident. When the power behind the hostilities is itself a permanent member of the Security Council, how then can this Council fulfil its responsibilities?”

"Mr. Ahmadinejad called for the General Assembly, “as the highest organ of the UN,” to lead the task of reforming the UN system as a whole and the Security Council in particular. In the interim, he said, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and Africa should each have a permanent, veto-wielding representative on the Council. “The resulting balance would hopefully prevent further trampling of the rights of nations.”"

Sensible remarks that undoubtedly most world leaders would agree with. There is nothing that Bush can do to counter this, the man is just an embarassment for the United States, and a danger to the world.

Venuzuelan President Hugo Chavez also addressed the Assembly in similar terms, remarkably enough brandishing a copy of Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival in the process, which promptly shot to number one (from 26,000!) on the bestseller lists.

"The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our heads," Chavez said.

"I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyze yesterday's statement made by the president of the United States. As the spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums, to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world.

"They say they want to impose a democratic model. But that's their democratic model. It's the false democracy of elites, and, I would say, a very original democracy that's imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons. What a strange democracy. Aristotle might not recognize it or others who are at the root of democracy.

"What type of democracy do you impose with marines and bombs?

"The president of the United States, yesterday, said to us, right here, in this room, and I'm quoting, "Anywhere you look, you hear extremists telling you can escape from poverty and recover your dignity through violence, terror and martyrdom."

"Wherever he looks, he sees extremists. And you, my brother -- he looks at your color, and he says, oh, there's an extremist. Evo Morales, the worthy president of Bolivia, looks like an extremist to him.The imperialists see extremists everywhere. It's not that we are extremists. It's that the world is waking up. It's waking up all over. And people are standing up."

This is open, public ridicule of an Emperor who has no clothes, in the heart of the Great City of the Empire itself. No wonder 'Bonkers' Bolton wanted to blow off the top ten stories of the UN building.

Chavez entertained the General Assembly by remarking as he took the stand that "The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in the house. "And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here." [crosses himself] "And it smells of sulfur still today.

"Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world."

You could tell Bush was offended by Chavez calling him the devil, because his tail stopped wagging. But seriously, when pressed for comment, "I won't dignitify Chavez with an response," President Bush fumed. "I'm very busy right now trying to unite Congress behind my torture plan." hat tip: Big Gav.

We've already seen how British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been found to have the Mark of the Beast on his forehead. Where does our own little Johnny Howard stand in relation to these epochal events? John W Howard he likes to style himself, the W standing it is said for Winston, as in Churchill. But when the laughter dies down, we must remember that W also stand for 'Dubya' - the Beast. Howard has the Mark, no question.

UPDATE: More from the article linked above: "Hegemony or Survival dislodged the earlier number one by New York Times columnist Frank Rich The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina. "I hate the guy. Forget about geopolitics," Mr Rich joked overnight speaking on US television, when asked about being bumped from the top book sales spot.

"Mr Chomsky, 77, told to the New York Times last week that he would be "happy to meet" Mr Chavez. A linguistics scholar and longtime critic of US foreign policy, he told the daily he is "quite interested" in Mr Chavez's policies and finds many of his views "quite constructive."

There are some good reviews of Hegemony or Survival on the Amazon site as well as the usual ignorant, hateful, deranged attacks that people make on Chomsky. I agree with the main reviewer that the book gets a star knocked off for being a bit of a rehash and also as compared to some of Chomsky's very best and most important works such as Manufacturing Consent, the work in question does not merit five stars - but as the reviewer rightly said "to suggest that Chomsky is ever anything less than four stars is to betray one's ignorance and bias." The book in question is a must read for anyone concerned about the future of the planet.

Chomsky seems to evoke emotional reactions in some readers (and non-readers). For people new to him I would urge that it is important his books be read carefully, in full, including the notes, and that the content of his argument be properly understood before formulating an opinion. It can be seen on the Amazon site that certain misrepresentations or misunderstandings about Chomsky are repeated over and over again by 'critics', but if you have any knowledge of the subject at all these errors are quite obvious and have been refuted by Chomsky and others time and again.

For example, its said that Chomsky 'hates America and supports tyranny'. No, he despises all tyranny, and loves the freedom and prosperity of America, but as a true patriot criticises his country where it has done wrong. Or, it is said that he is totally negative but has nothing constructive to propose. Again, for those with any knowledge of the matter, he is full of positive suggestions, which basically fall along the lines of the country living up to its professed beliefs in freedom, democracy and human rights and thus ending involvement in crimes, violations and abuses.

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