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Trump At The UN: The Born-again Hegemon
Darko Lazar

During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump lambasted the UN for its "utter weakness and incompetence".

Trump at the UN

"The United Nations is not a friend of democracy, it's not a friend to freedom, it's not a friend even to the United States of America where, as you know, it has its home," Trump said.

In a little over a year, Trump has toned down his rhetoric and is no longer such a vocal critic of the UN. In fact, his time at the White House has helped Trump part with most of his campaign pledges.

Today, his speeches stand in stark contrast to those he delivered in the summer of 2016, becoming a lot less complimentary of American isolationism - the most appealing characteristic of his campaign, and one of the main reasons why Hillary Clinton was reduced to writing books about "what went wrong".

Today, it's all about total destruction

During his first address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump began by bragging about the nearly USD 700 billion that he plans to spend on the US military, hoping to make it "the strongest it has ever been".

Although the US president has provided a number of convincing demonstrations that he has indeed given up on trying to end America's role as the ‘world's policeman', his speech at the UN marks his administration's official embrace of the ‘deep state'.

In a speech that lasted three times longer than the fifteen minutes normally allocated to each speaker, Trump called for "a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty, to promote security, prosperity, and peace, for themselves and for the world".

Although it was remarkable to hear those words uttered by a leader of a country that has been striving for the complete opposite since its inception, Trump quickly elaborated on the US version of global peace and security.

"North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world," Trump added. "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

Trump barley blinked, as he became the first president in the history to UN to threaten another sovereign state with complete destruction from a podium decorated with the symbol of peace.

That said, there should be no doubt that the USD 700 billion infusion into the US military machine would have much trouble destroying North Korea, which, unlike Washington, has not gone to war since 1953.

During that war, the Americans proved that they were more than capable of "totally destroying" North Korea, but as history has shown, that did not translate into defeat for Pyongyang.

There is a big difference between wining a war and destroying a country - something that the US has most clearly demonstrated in Syria.

The bloody fiasco that the Americans and their Saudi allies created in that country would be enough to force most statesmen to bury their heads in the sand.

While Washington and its partners armed and trained terrorists, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah have made tremendous sacrifices to save the region from the Daesh menace.

But during his UN debut, the US president shamelessly took credit for "big gains toward the lasting defeat" of Daesh, while taking aim at the only real contributors to the battle against the terror group.

Trump claimed that a "corrupt dictatorship... turned a wealthy country... into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos."

No, he wasn't talking about Saudi Arabia. He was accusing the Iranian leadership, which hasn't been at war since it was forced to defend itself against an attack from Saddam Hussein in 1980, of being a "murderous regime".

Trump did not only have the audacity to accuse Hezbollah - a resistance movement defending Lebanon from ‘Israeli' occupation for decades - of attacking its "peaceful... ‘Israeli' neighbors"; he also blamed Iran for undermining regional peace.

Iran reached the shores of the Atlantic through Rumi

Speaking on the same podium one day later, the Iranian President, Sheikh Hassan Rouhani labeled Trump's speech as "ignorant, absurd, and hateful rhetoric".

Moreover, Rouhani warned that it would "be a great pity" if the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries was "destroyed by 'rogue' newcomers to the world of politics".

The 'rogue' newcomer - Trump - is promising to scrap the deal, despite the fact that such a move will have unforeseen consequences in both the Middle East and the world.

As opposed to a government that is unable honor its international agreements and relies on a USD 700 billion military budget to exert its influence around the world, the Iranian president struck a very different tone at the UN than his American counterpart.

"Iran does not seek to restore its ancient empire, impose its official religion on others, or export its revolution through the force of arms," he said.

"We have reached the shores of this side of the Atlantic through Rumi and spread our influence throughout Asia," Rouhani added, referring to the 13th-century mystic writer whose Persian-language poems are widely read in the west.

Two years ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at the UN General Assembly, warning the west of the potential consequences resulting from its charted course. His calls certainly seem to have fallen on deaf years. This year, the ascent of Donald Trump appears to have even more trouble looming on the horizon.

Source: Al-Ahed News

23-09-2017 | 07:59

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