Foreign Policy: Craziest Stuff Said at the U.N.


What is Qaddafi Doing? 
Year: 2009

Quote: “It should not be called a security council, it should be called a terror council.”

Impact: After 40 years in power, Libyan Leader Muammar al-Qaddafi spoke to the United Nations for the first time at this year’s general assembly and certainly made up for lost time. In his 100 minute speech, Qaddafi listed half a century’s worth of grievances and conspiracy theories including accusing the Untied States of developing swine flu and questioning the official record of the Kennedy assassination. Most of Qaddafi’s wrath was reserved for the U.N. Security Council, which he likened to al Qaeda.

Year: 1974

Arafat Preps for Battle

Quote: “An old world order is crumbling before our eyes, as imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, and racism, whose chief form is Zionism, ineluctably perish.”

Impact: The Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman was invited to address the General Assembly for the first time at the request of the non-aligned movement, a coalition of developing countries that has been historically critical of Israel in the U.N., Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat took the stage wearing fatigues and delivered a blistering attack on Zionism. One year later, the notorious “Zionism equals racism” was passed and Israel’s relations with the U.N. have been, at best, uneasy ever since.


Castro Goes Long
Year: 1960

Quote: ”Were Kennedy not a millionaire, illiterate, and ignorant, then he would obviously understand that you cannot revolt against the peasants.”

Krushchev Puts His Foot Down, Year: 1960

Quote: “Mr. President, call that toady of American imperialism to order.”

Impact: Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev provided one of the cold war’s most iconic moments when, in an attempt to silence a Filipino delegate who was railing against Soviet imperialism, he issued the above epithet, removed his shoe, and began banging it on the table. The gesture has become a classic example of overheated rhetoric, but it shouldn’t have been all that surprising coming from the man who coined the phrase, “we will bury you.”

Ortega Goes Rambo on Reagan

Year: 1987

Quote: “Before consulting the hotheads who present various military options such as a military invasion: remember, President Reagan, Rambo only exists in the movies.”

Impact: Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega used the platform of the U.N. to assail U.S policy in Central America, particularly the financing of the Contra rebels and supporting the Somoza dictatorship, which Ortega said “bled the Nicaraguan people dry.”


Chavez Sniffs out a Sinner

Year: 2006

Quote: “The devil came here yesterday, and it smells of sulfur still.”

Impact: Venezuela’s theatrical president, Hugo Chavez, has always loved the spotlight that the General Assembly provides and it was never more in evidence than when, with a flourish, he compared U.S. president, George W. Bush, to Satan.

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