Monday, September 04, 2006

Traveling without divisions, you don't get no respect

Iran and Ahmadinejad have once again demonstrated the great and awesome power of the UN and their fear of its sanctions, in Iran's continued defiance of the UN's call for limitations on its nuclear program. Although Kofi Annan made a special trip to Iran to discuss these matters, the Iranian leader might very well have paraphrased Stalin (instead of the historical tyrant he usually prefers to channel, Hitler) and asked: how many divisions does Kofi Annan have?

The answer? Quite a few, but unfortunately they lack the ability to fight, being either unarmed or lightly armed and only allowed to fire in self-defense. And the UN's proposed sanctions, hardly frightening in and of themselves, are likely to be blocked by Iran's buddies Russia and China, as Iran is well aware.

As for Annan himself, he well might paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield and say: I don't get no respect, despite (or perhaps because) of Iran's praise for his visit as "good, suitable, and positive." In other words: powerless, meaningless, and suiting Iran's aims to place a cooperative face on its nuclear ambitions.

Annan made a small gesture of relative defiance by criticizing Iran's nose-thumbing announcement of a conference devoted to the fact that the Holocaust was an "exaggeration," as well as the mounting of an exhibit in Teheran of cartoons mocking said Holocaust (or, rather, un-Holocaust).

Annan's statement of the Holocaust's historical reality is okay as far as it goes, which isn't all that far. It illustrates the tepid nature of the UN response--or the diplomatic response in general--when faced with evil. Annan is typical of those groups in trying to reason with the unreasonable, and to plead with the inhumane. Such reasoning and pleas are doomed to fall on deaf ears.

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