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Good Reads: Ahmadinejad and the UN theater, Hollywood's machine gun preacher

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech sends a third of the UN to the exits, while Hollywood introduces us to a 'Machine Gun Preacher' on the hunt for an African warlord.

By Scott BaldaufStaff writer / September 23, 2011

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, listens during an interview with editorial staff from the Associated Press on Thursday, Sept. 22, in New York.

Bebeto Matthews/AP


In the annals of global diplomatic craziness, it’s quite an accomplishment when a world leader can top the antics of Muammar Qaddafi and Hugo Chavez. By most accounts, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's 15-minute speech – which prompted a walkout of about one third of the diplomats at the United Nations General Assembly – did just that.

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Joby Warrick of the Washington Post captures it all in his piece yesterday, including Mr. Ahmadinejad’s assertion that Osama Bin Laden could have been captured alive to finally answer the question of who was behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Ahmadinejad implies that Mr. Bin Laden was merely an agent, and that Washington itself ordered the attacks.

“Instead of assigning a fact-finding team, they killed the main perpetrator and threw his body into the sea,” Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad is not the only man to say strange things at the UN General Assembly, of course, a fact that Joshua Keating of Foreign Policy magazine reminds us of. There are some real gems in his “Top 10 Craziest Things Ever Said during a UN Speech,” including Mr. Chavez’s assertion that the podium at the UN still smelled of “sulfur” a day after US President George W. Bush had given his speech, as well as Russian Premier Nikita Krushchev’s shoe-beating tantrum.

Continuing the lunatic parade, development blogger Brett Keller uncovers the real story about Rev. Sam Childers, a gun-toting Harley Davidson riding preacher who claims to have taken up arms to hunt down African warlord Joseph Kony. Sadly, but understandably, Mr. Childers has become the subject of a new Hollywood movie called Machine Gun Preacher.


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