On Tuesday the 19th, September 2017, the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, gave his first speech to the United Nations (U.N.). The U.N. was a body formed after the global horror of the First and Second World Wars, to bring Nations together to resolve disputes and conflicts through dialogue, diplomacy, and negotiations, and to try its utmost to avoid the recurring horrors of inter-national wars, unnecessary violence and bloodshed. It was also tasked to the new organization to act to prevent aggressive and warlike nations from attacking and invading other nations for their own gain. Since its formation, the U.N. has had a mixed track record in carrying out this mandate, in a large part because the most powerful founding nations, such as the United States (U.S.), Russia and China have ignored the U.N. Charter of mutual non-aggression and have invaded other countries for self gain. For example: Russia – the Eastern European Countries; China – Tibet; and the United States – Iraq, among others.
Nevertheless, the U.N. has done some good through the years to bring peace and cooperation in an ever conflicted World, and has worked in myriad ways for the common good. But most importantly, the U.N. currently, is the only forum where the representatives of 193 member nations can meet, and try and find peaceful means to resolve national and global conflicts, and to further the overall development of humanity. The U.N. has been far from perfect, but in an imperfect World it is the only means of global cooperation and dialogue.
In this forum Trump came to give his first speech to the assembled World leaders of 193 countries and promptly confirmed their fears that he is truly uninformed, undiplomatic, and quite unfit to be a global leader. All the rough traits that his supporters in the U.S. find endearing, on the World stage they make him look like an amateur doing more harm than he realizes through his lack of knowledge, and unbecoming and unnecessary bellicosity.
His immature theatrics, enabled by his fawning rather gutless and equally uninformed handlers, and by his ever gnawing need to make waves, draw attention, and for sounding sure even when clearly wrong, and his penchant for looking decisive and tough even though he is strictly an armchair warrior (going to all lengths to squirm out of being drafted into the U.S. armed services), make him less than credible as an American leader much less a global one. In his first speech he proved everything that the International Community had feared about him.
In a forum designed for global affairs, he started by tooting his own horn on the domestic front.
He bragged how well the U.S. economy was doing under his 9 months of dysfunctional leadership, ignoring the fact that the economy was salvaged by the previous President, Barack Obama, from the catastrophic drop in 2009, and has been on a general continuous upward swing ever since, helped in a large measure by the ultra-supportive policies of the Federal Reserve.
He bragged that the unemployment rate was the lowest because of him, again failing to acknowledge that the unemployment rate declined the furthest under Obama’s two terms, and this was a continuing trend since then.
He bragged that the stock market was at its highest levels during his brief 9 month tenure, ignoring the phenomenal 8 year rise since the bottom in 2009 under Barack Obama, which he had consistently mocked as a mere bubble, but now, all of a sudden that same continuing bubble became proof of his success. That which was not acceptable when Barack Obama was President is perfectly acceptable now, and he wants to own it.
And so it went – an unashamed self-promotion introduction that lacked decency, truthfulness and credibility. His global audience listening at the U.N. and around the World, unfortunately for him are aware of the facts, much as he and his administration are dismissive of them. And much as he would like the World to be as gullible as his core base of supporters, who continue to believe in him in spite of his deserved reputation of being permanently and factually challenged, the audience listening to him are ultra sensitive to the actually reality of America.
Then he went on to chastise ‘the rogue regimes represented in this body’ that ‘not only support terror but threaten other nations and their own people …’ and went on to list the wrong doings, everything from - ‘criminal networks traffic drugs, weapons, people, force dislocation and mass migration’, to ‘exploit technology to menace our citizens’. The problem with the list rattled off by Trump, is that the founding and controlling members of the U.N. (America, the Western Nations, Russia and China), are some of the guiltiest of the wrong doings that have created some of the greatest horrors, post the Great Wars. For example: the U.S. and Europe are the two biggest and richest illicit drug buying markets in the World. They together, fuel most of the drug growing and trafficking profits. Without them the illicit drug trade would shrink to an inconsequential size, in the West, but the Western governments don’t want to own those dubious titles of being prime causes of massive international drug trade and the equally profitable money laundering operations that go hand-in-hand. Heck some of the Western Banks after 2008 used the drug money to bail themselves out, and the CIA for years used drug monies to carry out its covert and regime changing operations. Recently Trump’s own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, confessed that America's voracious appetite for drugs was responsible for the drug cartel problems in Mexico and elsewhere. To the problems of global drugs, for the first time, he admitted ‘we own it’.
Also, the U.S. and some of the Western countries have invaded the most countries in the past decades, either under false pretenses as in Iraq, or to root out post 9/11 terrorism, as in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, etc. Whatever the reasons, in supposedly avenging thousands of American or Western deaths these invasions produced hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties in the targeted countries, and basically destroyed the entire countries and reduced them to rubble (see Iraq, Syria, Yemen). So it is a bit rich for Trump to castigate ‘rogue regimes represented in this body’, when those rogue regimes, be they North Korea, Iran, Syria, or any other, simply would not qualify as the most dangerous, destructive, or the most guilty, if innocent civilian casualties and destruction of countries were used as the qualifiers.
As for the case of cultivating illegal weapons markets, people smuggling and illegal immigration practices, once again the U.S., Russia, China, and some of the European countries lead by a wide margin either as the seller or the buyer of such illicit goods and services. So without acknowledging these problems emanating from the West, how can the rest of the countries even begin to mitigate them? The U.S. and the West, are some of the biggest players in the World when it comes to wars, drugs, weapons sales, global trade and financial high jinxes such as global interest rate fixing, the creation and sale of toxic assets, and the enslaving of nations through IMF debt.
Then, just to show how disjointed his thinking can be, Trump recites the reasons for the formation of the U.N. and the implementation of the far-sighted ‘Marshall Plan’ after WWII, and their great success in fostering a better, more secure, free and prosperous World, and then contradicted himself with his commitment to non-cooperative 'America First’, and every sovereign country for them-self mantra. He talked about cooperation, diversity, tolerance and coalitions for the common good, and of America letting others live as they wished without imposing its own ideas, political and cultural values on others, and in the next breath informed the World that America will do what is best for it, regardless, even if it means imposing its will on others, economically and militarily, if it thought it necessary.
The irony, contradictions and hypocrisy of his own words escaped him as he faced leaders of the World that had been witness to an America, after WWII, that had fought wars in Korea, Vietnam, Latin and South America, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria, overtly, covertly and everything in between. Including regime changes (for control of resources such as oil, minerals, forests etc.) in Iran, Latin and South America. And ‘Hot Wars’ and ‘Cold Wars’, to impose its political (democratic versus communist/socialist), and economic (capitalist versus socialist) ideologies, in most parts of the World. In the past decades since WWII, no country has been more proactive in imposing their world views on the Planet, through overt and covert war, than America. But then that type of knowledge and honesty is way beyond the Trump.
On and on the mixed messages went: the flouting of America’s greatness, magnanimity throughout history, its superlative constitution, its example as the country and culture to emulate. The problem is that most of the World has already acknowledged America’s greatness, and embraced its cultural values in many ways, it is Trump (since being the President) who has repeatedly flaunted the Constitution and been challenged for it in the U.S. Courts, and tainted its culture of tolerance and magnanimity, more than anyone else, in history, period!
He stressed America’s right to look to its own interest first, above all else, but he didn’t recognize the dichotomy inherent in his objections to others acting strictly in THEIR own interest. Like North Korea pursuing its objective to have a viable nuclear deterrent. Or, Iran wanting to further develop its defense capabilities. The U.S. and the rest of the founding members of the U.N., all of whom are nuclear armed and retain their absolute right to arm themselves as they see fit, will not tolerate restrictions being put on them as to how they arm themselves. In fact, in these times of greatest concern regarding North Korea’s nuclear program, both Russia and the U.S. are on a renewed arms race to ‘upgrade and modernize’ their respective nuclear arsenals for greater deterrence.
Paradoxically, while Trump chided Iran and North Korea for their desire to become more lethally armed, he boasted about the significant boost to the American Defense Budget, which will rise from an average of $550 Billion annually under Obama, to over $700 Billion under him. A massive modernizing of the U.S. nuclear arsenal plus his boast of creating ‘the strongest armed forces in the World’ to defend America, jangled badly with his inane statements about global cooperation, respect for national and cultural sovereignty, and the right to do what is in the national interest of each nation represented in the U.N. (except when the most powerful decide who can, and who cannot).
The most telling event that illustrated the emptiness of Trump’s words, and the hypocrisy of the World powers, came right after his speech, when the U.N. asked every nation to sign ‘The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons’. Most of the countries signed, but America, Britain and France, along with Israel, Russia and the other major nuclear powers, boycotted the signing. So much for speeches!