Friday, December 03, 2004

Its rare that a book on terror and liberalism makes me laugh out loud...

I picked up Paul Berman's book called Terror and Liberalism. I had heard a few good reviews on it. It was supposedly funny and well-written. Although I have only read the first chapter today before teaching, it did make me laugh. Berman was discussing the first Gulf War coalition and the elder President Bush's diplomatic manuevering and one passage in particular stood out:

Bush the Elder labored earnestly at assembling his coalition, and did so with enormous skill, too, until, by the time he had finished, his alliance stretched all the way, ideologically speaking, to the Baathis dictatorship in Syria, which was not much different from the Baathist dictatorship in Iraq. The medieval despots of Saudi Arabia took their place in the grand coalition. The alliance turned out to be a pirate crew of terrorists, dictators, kings, anti-Zionists, oil moguls and one eyed gangsters. It was terrifying to behold. It was the United Nations General Assembly...

As I am sitting here reading the newly released UN reform report, I cannot get this passage out of my mind. Once I finish the report, I will post some thoughts on it. Hopefully, I will have something up by tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: Chrenkoff has a nice post on the UN and dynamics that drive it. In reading his post, the Berman quote came immediately to mind.