There are two events held in New York City when the testosterone is so thick you practically need fog lights – Fleet Week, when the U. S. Navy arrives for a week’s leave, and the annual United Nations General Assembly. In one, the boys are let loose to play, in the other the alpha dogs come to schmooze and growl at each other.
Unless there are major changes in the line-up, the UN meeting is pretty much the same-old-same-old every time. You can expect Iran’s President Ahmadinejad to rant, and people to walk out on him (last appearance, he’s being term-limited). You can expect Venezuela’s President Chavez to rant, and people to walk out on him (running for re-election, again). Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas to meet with anyone he can, with no results. The national leaders will all make speeches, while their aides and ministers and cabinet secretaries meet with their counterparts.
And over here, in a corner, at a “special event” being convened by Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, you can watch the most irrelevant, pointless, non-event of the week…a video link appearance by WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange from his tiny little self-imposed prison in the apartment that the Ecuadorian government rents as an embassy in London. Yawn.
On Wednesday, Assange will be “making his case” to the United Nations that he should be granted some kind of special immunity from extradition by the United Nations, which frankly, doesn’t have any authority over his extradition from England to Sweden to complete the investigation into allegations that he committed rape and sexual assault in two separate events in Sweden. Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy, which is an office with no residence, since June 19, the day before he was supposed to surrender himself to board a plane to Sweden. He’s living in a tiny room with a cot, a computer and a treadmill for exercise. If he sets foot outside the building, he will be arrested by one of the police officers stationed at every exit from the apartment building. He has made one public appearance since June 19, doing an Evita on an embassy balcony to present his list of demands of…well, everyone.
Ecuador got involved in this because one of the released American diplomatic cables was our ambassador’s assessment that Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was up to his butt in the corruption that infests his police. He thinks he’s embarrassing the United State by denying us our quarry, the man we so desperately want to arrest, imprison, execute, spit on, drop from a plane, torture……
Yeah, right. Like we haven’t made it clear about a bazillion times that we don’t want Assange and there are no laws in America that we could use to prosecute him.
It will be amusing to see how many people bother to show up for this “special event.” After all, the entire Muslim world, and pretty large chunks of the non-Muslim world, have been dealing with riots and violence for the past two weeks, Syria is imploding, Iran and Israel are threatening World War III, governments are being toppled, new democratic governments are emerging, wars are being fought, the climate’s going nuts, and no one important really gives a flying fig about Julian Who?