The US delegation made a very public point of angrily walking out today during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech (PDF) at the United Nations. The speech criticized the occupation of the Palestinian territories, the US occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and called for a UN fact-finding investigation into the 9/11 attacks.
That, and the condemnations of capitalism and exhortations to embrace religion made the speech a relatively pedestrian one for the Iranian president. But the opportunity to be publicly outraged by him is not one to be missed, no matter the context.
The spokesman for the US delegation Mark Kornblau issued a statement almost immediately after the faux-impromptu walkout, declaring that President Ahmadinejad was spouting “vile conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic slurs” and adding that it was “predictable.”
Ironically President Ahmadinejad seems to have foreseen this condemnation, insisting that everyone opposing the occupation of Palestinian territories is called an anti-Semite and that “all values, even freedom of expression, in Europe and in the United States are being sacrificed at the altar of Zionism.”
So to make a long story short, none of the speech seems to have been a surprise, none of the “outraged response” seems to have been a surprise, and none of the response to the response seems to be a surprise. The speech served as little but an opportunity for everyone to pretend to be riled up once again about issues that they have constantly been railing about.