…no drama – all PR… there is a tide in the affairs of men…

At the 68th Annual Meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday 24th September, the embarrassment would continue and increasingly so – but some would remain unrecognizing of embarrassment, being exceptional and solely from their own perspective.

Unlike the discourtesy of a speech to the General Assembly that was three times the expected length, the President of Brazil would include in her address the issue of wide-scale espionage conducted by the NSA of the US on Brazil in particular. And that she did within the allotted time. Julian Borger of The Guardian strives to be evenhanded, yet with the predictable ‘tilt’ to a ‘well-meaning’ US, with his Brazilian president: US surveillance a ‘breach of international law’

“As many other Latin Americans, I fought against authoritarianism and censorship and I cannot but defend, in an uncompromising fashion, the right to privacy of individuals and the sovereignty of my country,” the Brazilian president said. She was imprisoned and tortured for her role in a guerilla movement opposed to Brazil‘s military dictatorship in the 1970s.

[Bold added for emphasis]

Moral underpinnings and accomplishments of substance? No need to mention which exceptionalist country had provided strong support to that dictatorship (and others), trifling matter glossed over by the establishment media. After all, who are ‘the good guys’?

And in contrast to that speech, the tiresome predictability of this one, more verbose and self-contradictory, no longer provokes incredulity. Instead ridicule is now the standard response. Over at emptywheel, where there is little obsession to be on the White House social calendar, we read Speaking at UN, Obama Tries to Claim He Was Always For Diplomacy in Syria

Yes, today Obama stood in front of the UN General Assembly and openly said that he has the right to carry out a military attack unilaterally if there is “no inclination to act at all” from the UN Security Council.

But fear not! Obama has actually been in favor of diplomacy all along (well, actually only since he and Kerry got boxed into it by Lavrov, Putin, Assad and Rouhani, but who’s keeping score anyway; certainly not the corporate press in the US):

And we would be offered yet more ridicule of the Nobel Laureate for Peas(?), with this offering from John Queally over at commondreams, Obama Tells World: US Is ‘Exceptional’ But (Don’t Worry) Not ‘Imperial’

In a display of what critics were quick to interpret as the rhetorical equivalent of U.S. military imperialism and its hubris in foreign policy matters, President Obama defended the idea of “American exceptionalism” and its outsized role in international affairs during his address at the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

And then comes the coup de grâce, from David Swanson at firedoglake, with his Top 45 Lies in Obama’s Speech at UN.  Just a sampling.

8. “… and there is a near certainty of no civilian casualties.” There are hundreds of confirmed civilian dead from U.S. drones, something the Obama administration seems inclined to keep as quiet as possible.

9. “And the potential spread of weapons of mass destruction casts a shadow over the pursuit of peace.” In reality, President Obama is not pursuing peace or the control of such weapons or their reduction and elimination in all countries, only particular countries. And the United States remains the top possessor of weapons of mass destruction and the top supplier of weapons to the world.


31. “[A]n Iranian government that has … threatened our ally Israel with destruction.” It hasn’t. And piling up the lies about Iran will make Iran less eager to talk. Just watch.

32. “We are not seeking regime change.” That’s not what Kerry told Congress, in between telling Congress just the opposite. Also, see above in this same speech: “a leader who slaughtered his citizens and gassed children to death cannot regain the legitimacy….”

And there are more than forty-five. The only conclusion is that there is a pathology in these lies, ignoring the debacle of those NSA lies. Surely, using the allotted time would have resulted in far fewer lies and even less ridicule?

The disenchantment has been too late in the coming. Hope springing eternal? Those of the ‘backyard’ had also hoped for change from especially the then newly-elected, articulate President. That opportunity was there at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. There a pleasant conversation with a President Chávez totally believing that the rhetoric of the first non-white President of the US did define his substance and morality. The video of the brief conversation Obama se despidió de Chávez Bye bye, my friend tells a tale.

But what would result from that meeting? Perturbed that their President should be friendly with a leader who was briefly overthrown in 2002 with US complicity, the US MSM would question the appropriateness of the meeting. And the US politicians would be more aghast at any meeting with the ‘bad guy’. The result?

The articulate President would demonstrate his innate leadership qualities and moral moorings – he recanted, promptly disavowed the meaning of the meeting, and proceeded to disparage the President of Venezuela. Those who remember the Shirley Sherrod or Rev Wright episode will have already sketched the Portrait of Hope and Change. And not lost on those familiar with the work is that exceptional embodiment of Frantz Fanon’s, ‘Peau Noire, …’ The reward of future obscene wealth assured. No drama.