Putin and Obama at UNGA 2015

    The political climate was turbulent this year and the forecast isn't going to be sunny. Judging the two speeches wasn't a very complicated task, these are more like statements and in some degrees I felt both leaders tried to gather support, allies maybe. I began with Putin but in this article I will leave him after Obama for reasons you will see.

Barack Hussein Obama II

    The American president's performance (indeed it was somewhat of a show) was something a typical American could relate to. Simplicity enriched with idealism and a hefty does of shallowness. The idea of USA's exceptional role in the world is still strong as a mindset. In order "to prevent a third world war" the United States, after the Second World War "worked with many nations". Presumably also with the United Kingdom that under Churchill created plans to invade the Soviet Union. The US itself had plans to nuke Moskow. Furthermore "they supported the steady emergence of strong democracies accountable to their people instead of any foreign power", wonderful phrase but coming from the mouthpiece of the US is deeply puzzling. This country has a long history of interventions in other countries in order to place political or military leaderships favorable to their interests. In Afghanistan they armed the Taliban, remember? Not to mention South America, Panama maybe?

    The speech goes on with interesting points but then you get to parts like "we see greater polarization (...) movements on the far right (...) calling for the building of walls to keep out immigrants" targeting Hungary but also, funny enough, the US itself, remember Mexico? Another example of dissonance between American speech and actions. Obama recognized Iran as "revolutionary", the third in order after "rising China" and "resurgent Russia". Rising implies evolution, resurgency implies regeneration, reviving after a bad period. Obama makes clear the fact that these three "old enemies, perceived adversaries" are getting stronger while America "cannot by itself impose stability on a foreign land", speeking of Iraq. The general idea is not that Obama says that the US is weak but that the US is searching for allies.

    He mentions "revolutionary" Iran's violation of the NPT while omitting that Israel, despite the fact that it has nukes, is not a member of the NPT and does not allow international inspectors. "America has few economic interests in Ukraine", if it had, we would of known by now however it has many interests in making life hard for Russia. "For 50 years, the United States pursued a Cuba policy that failed to improve the lives of the Cuban people. We changed that." We will see what the Cuban president has to say about that but at least in western media it seems that something changed especially after Ukraine. The US tried to invade Cuba once and to assassinate Castro hundreds of times.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin

    Putin's speech had the following main themes: to strengthen the UN by building on the principles on which it was created (disdain from scheming and trickery and a spirit of cooperation) ; state sovereignty ; the Islamic State did not come from nowhere ; he addressed the Muslim spiritual leaders to intervene and counteract Islamic State propaganda; the WTO should be respected and states should refrain from imposing unilateral sanctions; economic selfishness ; climate change.

    Climate change is almost unilaterally acknowledged as a problem. The Russians tried to adopt a different strategy from their American counterparts, they situate themselves somewhere above and don't want to interfere in other countries and they want these countries to know that. They don't care about corruption or human rights, these are internal issues to be addressed by the sovereign country in question, not by a foreign power. Russia doesn't propose to civilize the universe, at least not yet. The Islamic State issue is an almost open attack on the United States of America. This is indeed common sense because in truth ISIS was armed either directly or through third parties by the US to bring down Assad. Similar in concept to how the CIA used Ukrainian far right groups to bring down Yanukovych.

You can read the full transcripts here: Putin ; Obama


From the Past : Karim Khan Zand

Kharim Khan Zand was a "Vakil", a ruler and founder of a short lived dynasty in Iran in the 18th century (1751 - 1794). His rule was not marked by glorious military conquests but by the stability and equilibrium he gave to the state, whose capital was in Shiraz. His time was a transition towards the modernity attributed to the Qajars.