I just arrived, jet-lagged, in Geneva, to lend a hand to Roger Simon in covering the UN’s Durban Review Conference here this week. Not only was Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad staying at our hotel, but the hotel, rife with automatic-weapons-toting Swiss security, was in a state of some disarray. The management been ordered by the Swiss government to set aside some 40 rooms for Ahmadinejad’s entourage — and Ahmadinejad had then decided to extend his stay. While the hotel staff went to great lengths to minimize the problems for stranded new arrivals, guests (myself among them) with confirmed bookings were left to wait to check in until Mahmoud in his own sweet time was ready to check out.
With the added time, Ahmadinejad presided at a dinner Monday evening for some 500 people, mostly members of the Iranian community in Geneva, plus his entourage from Tehran.
So … here we have the president of a terrorist-sponsoring UN-sanctioned regime flying in to Switzerland to deliver from a UN pulpit a holocaust-denying slam against Israel so offensive that some of the Europeans actually walked out. To accommodate Ahmadinejad, the UN gives him a prime speaking slot on the first day of the conference; and to round out his projects while in town, the Swiss government commanded the hotel of his choice to provide dozens of rooms, from which his entourage could handle not only his latest Orwellian appearance at the UN, but also the big banquet that followed — so Tehran’s mullocracy could spruce up its contacts with Iranians in one of the financial centers of Europe.
And the occasion for all this is supposed to be a conference on racism? Roger and I were chatting about it earlier this evening — with Libya at the helm, and Iran on the planning committee, one of many better names that comes to mind for this conclave would be the UN’s Conference on Spreading Totalitarianism.