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Anytime you convene the bosses of the world's nations, there's gonna be sparks. Whether it was Yasser Arafat supposedly bringing a gun to his debut speech or Slobodan Milosevic referring to the UN Court as a "retarded child", it's been a hotbed for hotheads. Clearly the UN has considerable flaws and at times has dropped the ball when it needed to stop genocide or prevent unnecessary wars. But at the end of the day, it's probably safer to have a body where leaders can try to verbally air out their differences rather than see each other on the battlefield.
However, let's face it: the UN tends to favor Western nations and its allies. I'm not going to get into the specifics, but it's not coincidental that when certain world leaders give inflammatory speeches, they tend to be from countries that the West deems suspicious. Alas, a look back...
5. Nikita Kruschev, 1960
Although there were a lot of issues going on, Kruschev was mainly unhappy with how the UN intervened in the newly-independent Congo. The former-Belgium territory was on the brink of civil war and was an epicenter of international power struggles - even Che was out there getting it in. Kruschev called for the resignation of the UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold, but got played out by the rest of the council. Not feeling the response, he pounded his fists in what was the first documented violation of UN protocol.
4. Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto, 1971
Pakistan's President, and father of the late Benazir Bhutto, was salty with what he perceived as the UN's favoritism towards India. Rather than submit to UN demands and risk political repercussions at home, he ripped up some Security Council documents and stormed out.
3. Hugo Chavez, 2006
Venezuela's controversial leader never did like Bush. The day after Dubya gave his whoopty-whoop speech, Chavez called him out as a "devil" in front of his international peers. In this clip, ABC News reports on the episode and is clearly dumbfounded by the general assembly's reaction of jubilation.
2. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 2009
The creepy Iranian President has a history of going hard at Israel every time he grabs the mic. This speech was no exception. As soon as he turns it up, dozens of European delegates walk out in demonstration. Not a good look.
1. Muammar Al-Qadhafi, 2009
Qadhafi is an interesting one. Yesterday, he made his first U.N. appearance after 40 years in power and delivered a lengthy speech that simultaneously patronized President Obama as his "son", while condemning the war in Iraq. But he didn't stop there. Libya's nuclear-powered head of state referred to the committee as the "terror council", called for the investigation of all the wars that have occurred on the U.N.'s watch, and suggested that the swine flu was a governmental creation. And FOX News' summary: he loves Obama!
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