Sep 26 2013

US Faces Criticism From Many Fronts at UN Meeting Even As Obama Reiterates US Exceptionalism

Feature Stories | Published 26 Sep 2013, 9:44 am | Comments Off on US Faces Criticism From Many Fronts at UN Meeting Even As Obama Reiterates US Exceptionalism -

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As the United Nations General Assembly meeting continues in New York this week, we’ll examine the state of international politics and nation-to-nation dynamics.

While the highly anticipated handshake between US President Obama and Iranian President Rouhani did not happen, the two nations came closer to normalizing relations than at any time in the past 35 years. Still, during his speech to the UN, Rouhani lambasted the US’s use of drones the Middle East and the violence of sanctions on Iran, while Obama reiterated the US’s right to act militarily against perceived threats in his UN speech.

Meanwhile, echoing the global outrage over revelations of the US’s heavy reliance on surveillance, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef denounced American spying as a violation of her nation’s sovereignty.

Her colleagues in Latin America, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, and Venezuela’s president Nicholas Maduro are also upset with the US. Morales, who had initially decided to boycott the meeting, changed his mind, and in his speech yesterday called for the UN headquarters to be moved out of the US. He also accused the US of harboring terrorists. Maduro did not even show up to the meeting citing intelligence that his life was in danger if he attended.

And, finally Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir, who has a warrant for his arrest by the International Criminal Court and had announced he would attend the UN meeting, canceled his appearance at the last minute.

GUEST: Marjorie Cohn, Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, author of the forthcoming book, Drones and Targeted Killing, which will be out next year published by the University of California Press.

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