World

Dangerous Liaisons
September 24, 2009

For years, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez cast himself as President Bush's arch-nemesis, repeatedly accusing the Bush administration of plotting to overthrow the Venezuelan government and to assassinate him. This was how Chávez justified an unprecedented military buildup and his tightening alliances with Russia and Iran.

Qaddafi vs World Cup Soccer
September 23, 2009

This is my lucky day, because I've just discovered that even the King of Kings of Africa has his own blog. And it's pretty great. Unfortunately, like many a blogger, the wacky dictator seems to have lost interest and hasn't posted much lately; his most recent item is a peculiar 2007 call for an international ban on machine guns. ("Wisdom, concern for humanity and humanitarian considerations all demand the elimination of machine guns." True dat.) But nothing competes with his amazing 2006 diatribe against World Cup soccer: First, beware the deadly diseases caused by The World Cup.

Reality TV Concept: Qaddafi and Trump
September 23, 2009

You know what I would watch? Pitch My Tent!, a high-stakes reality show in which eager young builders compete to design the most splendid Bedouin campsite for the approval of Donald Trump and The King of Kings of Africa.

Qaddafi at the U.N.
September 23, 2009

Today was arguably the United Nations at its best. I know that sounds odd, since the day was dominated by the insane musings of Muammar Qaddafi.

Trump Dumps Qaddafi!
September 23, 2009

Would that every day brought a story so entertaining: A tent on Donald Trump's estate in suburban New York City was dismantled Wednesday, and Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy apparently will not be showing up there at all. The dismantling came just after Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano said the Secret Service had told him Gadhafi would be coming to Trump's property. Spano's office later said the Secret Service reported he would not visit Bedford, after all — something "subject to change."... Trump had been criticized for renting space for Gadhafi, and his organization issued a statement

The Missile Defense Payoff? Medvedev Says Iran Sanctions May Be "Inevitable"
September 23, 2009

Hmm, Russian president Medvedev certainly sounds more open to sanctions against Iran than his foreign minister did a couple of weeks ago. I wonder what might explain that.

Qaddafi's Madness, Cont'd
September 23, 2009

A wonderful account from the NYT's Sharon Otterman. I hadn't realized the official time limit on speeches was meant to be fifteen minutes. The Libyan went six times that long. Also, a money quote: “We are content and happy if Obama can stay forever as the president of America." I have more than a few neighbors here in Brooklyn who might agree. And just when you thought things couldn't get any weirder, it appears that Qaddafi is en route to Donald Trump's estate, where his Bedouin tent has been pitched. Paging Tom Wolfe!

China Aids Iran
September 23, 2009

At a moment when the U.S.

Qaddafi's Ramble: "All of You Are Sleeping!"
September 23, 2009

Immediately following Obama at the lectern here at the U.N. is the Libyan "leader of the revolution" (as he was introduced), who has emerged from his bizarre run-in with Donald Trump--and the interference of angry protesters--to deliver a predictably kooky speech. If I have it right through the shaky translation device clipped to my ear, Qaddafi is raging against Western imperialism and manipulation of the U.N. by great powers which renders smaller nations irrelevant: "You are just like the speakers in hyde park -- no more no less ...

Obama's U.N. Exhortations
September 23, 2009

I spent a decent chunk of my morning navigating the U.N.'s press credential system and, after filling out the same computerized form for the fourth or fifth time in the past three days (which I fear sheds some light on U.N. peacekeeping operations), and later seeing a Japanese reporter rush out of a bathroom stall with his pants at his knees, for reasons unclear, I made it inside to hear Barack Obama speak. It was an elegant speech, as always, if not a terribly profound or historic-seeming one.

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