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As France "Grandstands" On Syria and Pillay, Russia's Rocket Poem Response

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 8 -- Charging France with "grandstanding" on getting a briefing about Syria in the Security Council by High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, several Council members told Inner City Press on Thursday afternoon that French Ambassador Araud was "ridiculous" and "more concerned with bragging to the media than getting anything done."

  The Security Council President for the month, Russia's Vitaly Churkin, took a more diplomatic approach. He emerged Thursday afternoon from the Council and told Inner City Press, "I want to make a statement."

  He said, "in some science fiction, there was this little poem. It is difficult to translate poems from Russian into English but it went something like this: this morning a rocket was launched. It is flying sixteen times the speed of light so it will reach its destination at 6 pm... yesterday."

  Amid laughter, Inner City Press asked to be sure this was a reference to the threat of a procedural vote to get Pillay to speak.

  Churkin nodded and said, "before anything happened they spread the rumor that Russia and China were against, and they start writing that Russia and China are against it. We almost had a deal on how to do it. The usual culprits were as usual all confused about things."

(c) UN Photo
Churkin with cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, France's rocketman not shown

  Asked if Pillay's briefing will be Monday or Tuesday, CHurkin laughed and said, I don't want to be faster than the speed of light." Watch this site.

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Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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