- Posted September 24, 2009 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
SHOULD DONALD TRUMP HAVE ALLOWED GADHAFI TO PITCH HIS TENT?
There is a huge flap currently going on in the United States over the fact that Donald Trump has leased one of his properties in Westchester County to Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi as a temporary residence while he is in New York to attend the General Assembly session of the United Nations.
Not surprisingly, passions among ordinary Americans are running high. They regard Gadhafi as a "killer" and are furious at Donald Trump for his insensitivity to popular feelings. Some say he is selling his soul for hard cash. An American friend of mine was agitated enough to make this outburst, "When is enough money enough? Donald, YOU ARE FIRED!!"
One can understand - and even sympathize - with American angst, but in the world of realpoltik, one has to be practical. As long as the United Nations headquarters are located in NYC, you cannot stop heads of state of member nations from attending the General Assembly session. Even as an American embassy in a foreign country is considered American soil, the United Nations could justifiably claim that it belongs to all its member states. You may justifiably call Gaddafi (and Iran's Ahmedinejad) known killers, but you cannot dispute their right to attend the General Assembly of an institution they are legitimate members of. If one does not like it, the best solution is to relocate the United Nations in another country.
Also, let us not forget that during the cold war, the United Stateswas quite happy to do business with "killers" like Chile's Pinochet, so long as he kept the communists in check. One may argue that it served the national interest of the United Statesat the time. Fair enough. In the same vein, Gadhafi could claim that his speech at the United Nations serves the national interest of Libya.
Perhaps Donald Trump is guilty of a lapse in judgement - although he claims that he cannot be personally aware of who his numerous affiliates his properties to - but does he really deserve to be reviled? Gadhafi is in the United States legally, with a valid visa. He has to stay somewhere. Righteous indignation may be therapeutic, but it has to be tempered with reality.