Other leaders were very happy to see somebody else doing it; they applauded and laughed at George W Bush called devil.
They shook their heads up and down while looking at each other as the Venezuelan president described his American counterpart as a lunatic that thinks he owns the world.
I do not remember the last time these dignitaries looked as happy, I could not recall the last time I heard such enthusiastic applaud.
The Democratic Party, desperate to win the mid-term election, has to calculate every single move. The risks of saying nothing versus saying something, even if it means nothing, is tremendous.
After what I am sure is a good internal debate within the Party, they came up with the most ridiculous statements I ever heard, something along the lines of "We know he is lunatic, but only we can say it!"
The mainstream media have some sound bites to chew on, and everybody is happy!
This is not the dialogue of a farce comedy off Broadway; it is a very accurate description of the debates in the United Nations General Assembly, which concluded its first week with many fireworks, headlines, angry quotes and funny ones. http://www.un.org/webcast/ga/61/gastatement21.shtml
The General Assembly is a two-week long event (19-29 September) attended by many of the world leaders, an unusual equalizer where small and large, nuclear and none nuclear, rich and poor, permanent and temporary members are allocated the same amount of time and the right to address the world.
These leaders under the bright lights, in front of the microphones, are usually cautious.
They understand perfectly well that after the press conferences are over, and the endless interest evaporates, they will have to go back home to real people, real problems and maybe the highlight of the next eleven months will be a meeting with the ambassador of one of the five permanent members in the security council.
This year was very different. The anti-American tone did not come only from America's rivals like Iran and Venezuela, but also a host of more moderate nations-- a trend underscoring the United States' troubled image in the world.
One speaker after another described a world gone wrong _ unparalleled turmoil in the Middle East, a wider gap between rich and poor, anxiety about human rights abuses. While often the U.S. is not mentioned, the reference is clear.