President Donald Trump on Sept. 19 gave his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly outlining “the administration’s foreign policy of ‘Principled Realism,’ a strategy of acting in America’s national interest and in accordance with our values.”
“Our foreign policy calls for the direct, robust and meaningful engagement with the world. It is American leadership based on vital security interests that we share with our allies all across the globe,” said President Trump.
“In over 30 years in my experience with the U.N., I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech,” said Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu. Kim Jong Un of North Korea, whom Trump referred to as “Rocket Man on a suicide mission,” was not in New York but responded shortly afterward calling Trump “mentally deranged.”
Trump is not the average U.S. president, nor is he the average national leader to address the U.N. Trump has had strong words in the past condemning the U.N. for its self-centered focus, threatening to cut funding if the body doesn’t become a little more America friendly, especially considering we provide over 22 percent of the U.N. budget.
In his speech Trump stressed America first, touting our accomplishments, service to the world, and our historical Constitution, something not heard in eight years. At the same time he called on all nations to celebrate their own national sovereignty, forming a world of strong nation states working together — this in strong contrast to the U.N.’s globalist tendencies.
The left, who called Trump’s inauguration speech “American carnage,” referred to his U.N. speech as “global carnage,” hostile, dangerous and intellectually confused, according to Fred Kaplan of Slate. The New Republic’s Ryu Speeth called Trump “America’s version of Gadhafi,” while Slate’s William Saletan said Trump was just another “despot, demagogue, war-crimes advocate and populist thug.”
Mark Thiessen of the Washington Post hailed Trump’s speech as “classic conservative internationalism, a vigorous defense of freedom, a bold challenge to dangerous dictators, and a commitment to the principle of peace through strength.”
Ben Shapiro of the Daily Wire called the speech “a blockbuster, in which Trump roundly rejected former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy of passivity.” Shapiro praised Trump’s stating “the noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are strong, independent and free,” while emphasizing his theme of nation state “sovereignty, security and prosperity for all.”
Trump dressed down the dictators of the world, calling for nations to “respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.” He actually named “radical Islamic terrorism” for what it is. He assailed North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela, declaring, “The problem with Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented ... delivering anguish, devastation and failure.”
Trump reminded the assembly of the United Nations Charter its purposes of maintaining worldwide peace and security and fostering cooperation between nations in order to solve economic, cultural or humanitarian problems. Trump thanked the U.N. secretary general and members for good things they’ve done, but stressed that reform was necessary because “too often the focus of this organization has not been on results, but on bureaucracy and process.”
Trump closed his speech with this message, “So let this be our mission, and let this be our message to the world: We will fight together, sacrifice together and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity, and for the almighty God who made us all.”
I say, Amen.
Mike Fullilove of Long Beach writes about local, state and national issues from a conservative perspective.