Thursday, September 23, 2004

A Chilly Diplomatic Reception

When President Bush addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, his tone was less conrontational than in previous visits. Nonetheless, his speech was not well received by the assembled delegates. Here's how Farah Stockman described it in the Boston Globe on Wednesday:

There was no burst of applause during Bush's speech to the General Assembly yesterday, even when he talked about the world's common struggles against poverty and disease. And the applause at the end was subdued.

In contrast, Zimbabwe's dictator, Robert Mugabe, was applauded when he told the UNGA on Wednesday that "we are now being coerced to accept and believe that a new political-cum-religious doctrine has arisen, namely that 'There is but one political god, George W. Bush, and Tony Blair is his prophet.'"

Mugabe is a thug and the line about Bush and Blair is offensive on several different levels, but the fact that it drew applause while nothing President Bush said was applauded speaks volumes about the international community's disdain for the current leadership of the United States. It's not at all clear that a "global war on terrorism" can be waged effectively in this climate.

(I apologize for the absence of links in this post. My sources were articles found on LexisNexis Academic.)