Remind me, why are we welcoming this roadshow of tyrants to New York? And I do mean welcoming, with Americans picking up the tab for the surrounding security, subsidizing their Turtle Bay watering hole, enduring their motorcade jams and contributing more than $5.3 billion of your tax dollars this year to the UN that is bringing them here to strut the world stage.
Warming up for next week’s grand jamboree of the UN General Assembly in Manhattan, more than 100 nations belonging to the “Non-Aligned Movement” have just held a summit in Cuba, starring Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Cuba’s Raul Castro, North Korean big-wig Kim Yong Nam, and — could any such gathering be complete without him? — the UN’s Kofi Annan.
Networking opportunities abounded, with Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency reporting on a sideline meeting in which Ahmadinejad and North Korea’s delegate, Kim, eager to build on their lively cooperation to date in missile and bomb technology, urged that “mutual relations should expand in all fields.” Ahmadinejad went on to suggest that Latin America, and Colombia in particular, deserve to benefit from Iran’s nuclear bounty. And before traveling on to New York, he plans a pit stop in Venezuela, whose swaggering dictator, Hugo Chavez, used the Cuba conclave to rally support for his bid this season to join the UN Security Council (for more on how this kind of networking is catching on in American’s backyard, see Michelle Malkin’s terrific coverage of Hezbollah in Venezuela). Everyone who is anyone in modern tyranny, from Belarus to Zimbabwe to Syria, had a man (or woman) on the spot these past few days in Havana.
These are the stars of the “Non-Aligned” crew now heading for the UN mothership, whose Secretary-General Annan — apparently still too busy to disclose his personal finances (see posts below) — traveled to Havana to tell them all, in the concluding words of a speech that began with thanks to Fidel Castro, “for his enormous contributions,” that “I thank each and every one of you for the outstanding partnership we have enjoyed during the 10 years that I have served as Secretary-General of the United Nations.” Said Annan: “I could not have done it without your support.”