The stage is set, let the propaganda begin
Since the U.N.’s founding toward the end of the Second World War, its General Assembly has followed the famous Shakespearean adage: “All the World’s a Stage.” This will hold true when the General Assembly opens its latest session on Tuesday.
Interested parties have traditionally used this platform to wage a non-stop campaign to win the hearts and minds of the global community. It’s not that the U.N. has no influence-wielding bodies. The Security Council is the most important body in that organization. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], which is one of the worst agencies, is important when it comes to cultural matters. But the GA, which is supposedly the U.N.’s crown jewel, has become a venue for PR and propaganda.
This was underscored by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech on Iran when the assembly convened last year, when he drew the famous red line in that speech, warning against the danger posed by the Islamic republic; his intended audience was not present. The U.N. delegates were either already familiar with the topic or just too disinterested. In any event, he knew that a small diagram would not suffice if he were to change the policy of the various U.N. member states.
His target audience was those watching him on TV or following the event through the internet. He wanted to appeal to those who were not present in the hall, spanning the entire globe.
This will be the case in September 2013 as well, although the prevailing sentiment in the annual gathering can change like a diplomatic chameleon. Last year the annual gathering took place on the eve of the U.S. presidential elections. When President Barack Obama rose to the podium he used strong rhetoric against Iran’s nuclear program. He sounded almost like Netanyahu. But he only talked the talk.
Now things are different and the questions preoccupying the media gurus are different too. Will Obama shake hands with newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani? Will a skeptical Netanyahu grit his teeth as he watches those two meet? This has dominated the news cycles because the public always wants more drama and a creative twist to the story line. This is all the more true this year because the Iranian protagonist changed his script and may have also donned a mask. It was easy to hate Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But now the world wants to have him portrayed favorably, even though he is not as good as what people were made to believe.
Netanyahu will have to be reach deep into his creative mind as he tries to make Israel’s case again.
Not only will he not draw the red line again, the changes in the region will force him to adapt the substance and maybe even his pyrotechnics to this new atmosphere. His warning against Iran will undoubtably be wrapped with a sliver of hope, a wish that the U.S. effort to check Iran’s nuclearization would be successful even without firing Tomahawk missiles on Iranian cities.
Even Russia is not the Russia of 2012. It has seen a steady increase in its world’s standing in recent years. It has come a long way since its low point more than 20 years ago, just after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
President Vladimir Putin has gained stature at the expense of his U.S. rival. He has signaled to the rest of the U.N. delegates that he is the man with whom they should seek strong ties. Had the U.N. been founded in 2013, it would not have its headquarters in New York.
The longest PR campaign humanity has ever known will be showcased on Tuesday.Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized