The rise of the G20 was only one of the defining moments in international relations to grab headlines in the past week.
The other was the lingering absurdity of the United Nations General Assembly. It was here that Libya’s Muammer Gaddafi arrived, scratched “We are here” on his Assembly seat then held forth for a rambling 100 minutes (somewhat in excess of the 15 minutes alotted to each speaker).
As The Times reported:
The Libyan translator matched the “Brother Leader of the Revolution” word-for-word for 90 minutes before collapsing from exhaustion, just after Mr Gaddafi denounced the popular Ottawa Treaty outlawing landmines.
“A mine is a defensive weapon. If you put it there, you come to it. I put it along the border of my country. If you want to invade me then you may be killed,” Mr Gaddafi said.
The translator broke down as the man once denounced by Ronald Reagan as the “mad man” of the desert embarked on a tirade about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and an explanation of his call for a single-state solution called “Isratine”.
Kevin Rudd would speak soon, but first, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who concluded his usual confection of persecution and velied anti-Semitism:
The world is in the process of change and transformation. God’s promised destiny for mankind is the pure existence of humanity. The day will come that justice will become all encompassing and global and every individual will be honored and revered. It is then that the path of human excellence will open before humankind and people will move toward becoming Divine creatures reflecting the Divine attributes of God. Human beings should reach a point that they become manifestations of “knowledge and wisdom”, “mercy and forgiving”, “justice and fairness”, “power and ethics” and “charity and kindness” of God.
All this can be attained when humanity reaches its zenith and the last Divine resource, a progeny of the beloved prophet of Islam, Imam Mahdi (peace be upon him) will appear and so will Jesus, son of Mary (peace be upon him) and all other righteous people who will assist him in this great global endeavor and this is the very idea of awaiting a savior. Awaiting the government of the good and the righteous which is the hope of all people for the betterment of the world. They shall come and with the aid of the pious and the righteous will fulfill the historical ideals of human beings for freedom, excellence, growth, security and tranquility, peace and magnificence. They shall come to end war and aggression and bestow knowledge, morality and friendship on all humankind. Yes, (and indeed) yes, a bright future lies ahead for humanity.
The G20 and the UN General Assembly. Only one of these two is making sense.