Powell goes ad-lib at UN: Reminds the world of our record and resolve
It was a classic moment in world history and millions were able to see it…….Secretary of State Colin Powell ditched his prepared remarks after listening to countries from the Axis of Weasel turn resolution 1441 on its head saying it’s all about inspections (instead of Iraq’s disarmament). He delivered a powerful response, albiet on deaf ears at the UN, in a tense UN Chamber with the world watching.
After Hans Blix and the head of the IAEA gave their reports, several nations went down the line in turning resolution 1441 on its ear. First Syria, who turned on the United Nations and challenged it to do something about Isreal’s weapons of mass destruction “in violation of UN resolutions.”
Then Chile, then France.
Each seemed to praise Saddam, making him sound like a cooperative colleague deserving of an Employee of the Month Award rather than the deceptive non-compliant threat to the world he is.
The first to speak for the Axis of Weasel was France. The French ambassador told the world in a nutshell that resolution 1441 was about inspections (not disarmament) and seemed to volunteer his nations GPD to ensure inspections forever.
At one point, in an effort to add import to his country’s position he said the following “Mr. President, I speak for a an old European country, one which has………..” and went on with more waffling and mission-spin. This was an obvious slap at Donald Rumsfeld’s comments about “old Europe and New Europe” some weeks ago challenging our allies to remember their obligation in the world.
A woman from Spain followed and was the first to go the other way in a brilliant, to the point speech. She challenged the Blix directly asking saying that his last sentence said more results could be attained “if Iraq cooperates.” She said if cooperation is required than it is lacking and therefore a breach of resolution 1441. Muy Bien, Senora! A welcome surprise.
Then it was Britain’s turn.
“Mr. president, ” began British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, “I speak for a VERY old county….” in a perfectly British ice-breaking moment that leveraged laughter from all in the chamber and likely millions watching.
“A very old county that was founded in 1022” Again, more laughter.
“By the French.”
Uproarious laughter. Than he tore apart the “inspections forever” countries by telling the UN that if it allows a country holding the UN in contempt to gain benefits by non-compliance to resolutions, not only is the UN’s credibility in danger, but so is the world peace.
Good show, ol’ chap!!!
As brilliant as these ad-lib remarks to address each other’s position in the world were, Colin Powell closed the case for France very neatly.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, distinguished members of the council, it’s a great pleasure to be here with you again to consider this very important matter, and I’m very pleased to be here as the secretary of state of a relatively new country on the face of the Earth.
But I think I can take some credit sitting here as being the representative of the oldest democracy that is assembled here around this table. Proud of that. A democracy that believes in peace, a nation that has tried in the course of its history to show how people can live in peace with one another, but a democracy that has not been afraid to meet its responsibilities on the world stage when it has been challenged; more importantly, when others in the world have been challenged, or when the international order has been challenged, or when the international institutions of which we are a part have been challenged.
He concisely reminded France, Germany etc., all, that the United States has saved each of these countries’ collective asses by contributing militarily of economically to their success.
It dawned on me as I watched, these were great moments in history, rivaling other great moments, but these were live, on television for ALL to see. Amazing, indeed.
My dad likes to remind us of an ancient Chinese curse (yes, curse). It is, simply translated: “May you live in interesting times.”
Indeed, we do.