Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ban Ki-Moon Rebukes Iranian Leadership

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon sharply rebuked the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for delivering a speech at the non-Aligned Movement conference that lambasted Israel, the UN, the US, and the west. Ban, who was in attendance at the Tehran-hosted conference, accused Khamenei of describing Israel "in racist terms" after Khamenei, among other tidbits, said Israel was comprised of "bloodthirsty wolves".

Depending on one's view of things, folks are happy that Ban made the statement or unforgiving that he attended the conference in the first place (or, I suppose, angry that he dared criticize those who want to see Israel obliterated). As for me, I don't envy the sort of balancing that Ban has to do as part of his role as UN Secretary General, and I guess he does it about as well as one might hope. On the other hand, I don't actually find the UN as an institution to be all that useful except as a convenient forum for hearing the collective views of the community of nations. These views, more often than not, turn out to be repellant, but it's still useful information to know I guess -- so long as one does not make the mistake of actually according them normative weight as well.

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