***Live Updates*** Obama, Rouhani at UN
On Tuesday, President Obama will address the UN General Assembly for the fifth time. Year after year, he apologizes to the assembled--comprised primarily of non-democratic states--for any offense caused by his predecessors. He then promises to dilute America's moral leadership role because we're apparently all equal. Last year, he spent lots of time apologizing for the Benghazi video that wasn't.
On Iran, every year President Obama gives the Iranian mullahs another chance to stop building a nuclear weapon and make nice:
- 2009: “I am committed to diplomacy that opens a path to greater prosperity and a more secure peace for [Iran] if…[it] lives up to [its] obligations.”
- 2010: “The United States… seek[s] a resolution to our differences with Iran, and the door remains open to diplomacy should Iran choose to walk through it.”
- 2011: “There's a future of greater opportunity for the people…if the…[Iranian] government meet[s its] international obligations.”
- 2012: “America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited.”
This year, President Obama is expected to look for an Iranian lifeline--the kind of "lifeline" Putin threw him on Syria. (Other people would say it bears a striking resemblance to cement shoes.) So expect more diplomacy--and more nuclear bombs.
President Obama is also expected to repeat a favorite theme: chiding Israel to do more to create a Palestinian state, despite the dedication of this state's future leaders to incitement and violence--and regardless of the fact that today it is more obvious than ever that the Arab-Israeli conflict has nothing to do with the lack of Arab democracy and the carnage from self-inflicted turmoil across the Arab world.
Obama will speak in the morning, and the new so-called "moderate" Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, will speak in the afternoon.
Considering Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received warm applause for his pro-genocide, antisemitic, 9/11 inside-job speeches, Rouhani is looking forward to an even better reception.
Rouhani has two primary goals. He aims to say anything that will buy time from President Obama and the European Union. That shouldn't be too hard, since both Obama and the EU have been falling over each to label Iran "positive, good, constructive" in the lead-up to Tuesday's speech.
Second, Rouhani wants to paint Israel as a warmonger for having the audacity to (a) resist a "nuclear-weapons free Middle East" while others in its neighborhood are trying to wipe it off the map and have zero intention of halting their weapons' programs; and (b) suggest Rouhani's "charm offensive" is just plain offensive.
So here goes with 2013's UN diplomacy-for-dummies--the dummies being the presidents who think we believe a word they say.
9:00 a.m. EDT: Speech of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
9:50 a.m. EDT: The America-bashing begins:
10:00 a.m. EDT: President Barack Obama:
2:00 p.m. EDT: President Hassan Rouhani
As Iranian President Rouhani takes the stage at the UN General Assembly, we learn that earlier today he refused to shake hands with President Obama. Incredible. The leader of the world's one superpower wants to greet the leader of world's evil empire--and the former gets snubbed (from White House pool report, emphasis added):
What we had indicated was the same thing we’ve been saying to you guys for the last few days and the President said for the last few years, which is we’re open to having discussion with the Iranians at any level. We did not have any plan for a formal bilateral meeting here. We indicated that the two leaders could have had a discussion on the margins if the opportunity presented itself. The Iranians got back to us; it was clear that it was too complicated for them to do that at this time given their own dynamic back home.