Thursday, August 28, 2008

I know you are but what am I?

In Russia's statement in the Security Council today, Russian Ambassador Vitaly I. Churkin accused Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili of "authoritarian actions in crushing dissidents within Georgia."

Apparently, irony does not translate well into Russian. But on the other hand, Russian insults apparently don't translate well into English, or else the translator's booth, during Churkin's speech, would have picked a more fitting word to describe Georgia's policies than "chauvinistic."

Did I mention that today's Council meeting on the situation in Georgia was the biggest load of pointless, juvenile insult-hurling I have seen in a long time? (And when it comes to open Security Council debates, the sort that former US Ambassador John Bolton once derided as "therapy sessions," that's saying something.) This state of affairs really does not benefit the West at all. Not only does it demean the Council, but -- to be perfectly honest -- the Russians have proven themselves to be way better at witticisms and one-liners than the Americans or British have, at least since Bolton left Turtle Bay. No one could go toe to toe with the Russians on zingers than Bolton. Maybe they should bring him back.

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