Pajamas has the election analysis well in hand, so I’ll offer a few vignettes of other doings around Manhattan today — where I slogged over to the UN in the rain that has been falling Shakespearean-style since the election results began coming in.
Enroute, I stopped off to hear Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, speaking at a lunch hosted by the Hudson Institute. Wiesel takes quite seriously Iran’s threats to wipe Israel off the map — “They mean it.” He would like to see Iran’s President Ahmadinejad “declared persona non grata all over the world,” and he urged that Iran with its declared aim of genocide should be “expelled from the United Nations.” Wiesel would also like to see the UN prohibit the use of children as human shields, and declare it a crime against humanity to engage in suicide terrorism.
Don’t hold your breath. Over at the UN, it was another in the long series of days, months and years devoted to trashing not the suicide terrorists or the wielders of children as shields, but Israel. The UN’s Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories had just spent the morning reporting to the General Assembly’s Special Committee on something-or-other, where the speakers ranged against Israel (a democracy) included representatives of North Korea, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, Qatar, Syria and Iran (not democracies). There was also a speaker from Lebanon, which is usually described these days as a “fledgling democracy,” but I am starting to think that any government infested by one of the world’s major terrorist groups probably deserves a label less coy.
There was also a debate going on in the General Assembly today on ending the U.S. embargo against Cuba. One very good reason right off the bat for keeping the embargo is that the dozen speakers ranged against the U.S. included such bastions of thuggery as Vietnam, Sudan, China, Burma, Laos and Zimbabwe.
But the thuggery, of course, is elsewhere. At UN headquarters, it was a cozy day. By 5 PM, drinks were flowing in the Delegate Lounge. TV’s here and there in the building were tuned to news of the U.S. elections and Rumsfeld’s resignation. The rain pattered against those big windows. And somewhere down south, in Washington, the threats of oversight and demands for accountability that have dogged the UN in recent years are washing away.