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At UN, Obama Twice Cites KFC, No Congo, Mali or Sudan, Nor UN Reform

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 25 -- Twice in US President Barack Obama's speech to the UN General Assembly he cited the destruction of restaurants, by fire and smashing.

  Among with these two apparent references to the attack on Kentucky Fried Chicken in Lebanon (KFC has since closed its stores in Pakistan), Obama delivered a 3900 word speech which did not mention Sudan, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Haiti, or the need for UN reform.

  As Inner City Press noted yesterday, quoting a UN official that it was "insulting or depressing," Obama will not stay after his speech to give the toast at Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's luncheon for heads of state, which it's said American Presidents have gone since 1986.

  Obama will head crosstown to the Clinton Global Initiative -- a fifteen minute appearance he appeared to plug in his UN speech, saying he would talk about human trafficking later in the day -- and then to the airport and back to Washington. The campaign is calling. But what are the events?

  Obama drew applause, after saying he was Christian, by saying he supports the right to be harshly critical of him. In a portion of the speech that Ban Ki-moon, notably, has not echoed Obama defended freedom of speech. He chided Iranian leader(s), it seems clear, for Holocaust denial, and called for criticism of attacks on Shiite pilgrims and Sufi shrines.

   But what about mausoleums in Timbuktu? The words Sahel or Mali did not appear in Obama's speech.

  Earlier, Ban Ki-moon had said that "the crisis in the Sahel is not getting sufficient attention." Ya don't say. But on September 19 when Ban Ki-moon held a pre-GA press conference, of the 10 questions chosen none were on Africa.

  Africa is over 50% of the world of the Security Council and UN, but it featured little not only in Ban Ki-moon's press conference but also in Obama's speech. Syria is the big one: but what will these speeches accomplish? Watch this site.

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