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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Trump Wins!

He did it again. He delivered a powerful and clear foreign policy vision, and did it in the belly of the sclerotic beast known as the United Nations.

I thought President Trump's address to the 72nd UNGA was a masterful performance. You can read the text here. I am starting to like his speaking style; it's not classical rhetorical, nor polished Reagan Hollywood recitation. It's plain, easy to understand, and very clear in presenting his vision of America and of America's place in the world,
We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government. But we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation. This is the beautiful vision of this institution, and this is foundation for cooperation and success.  
Strong, sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect. 
Strong, sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny. And strong, sovereign nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life intended by God. 
In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch. This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that example. We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved Constitution -- the oldest constitution still in use in the world today. 
This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe whose own countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity, and the rule of law.  
The greatest in the United States Constitution is its first three beautiful words. They are:  “We the people.” <...>
In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government's first duty is to its people, to our citizens -- to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.  
As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always, put your countries first.  
It is a return to seeing the world as a collection of nation-states, each with its own interests and culture; states which can and should find areas of mutual cooperation while living their own lives and allowing others to live theirs. It is a step back from the silly borderless globalism which has produced the multi-cultural havoc we see in Western cities, and along our southern border. He puts our interests first, and asks other leaders to do the same with their countries. Revolutionary.

He then plunged into describing the state of our world and the challenges it faces--the real ones, not the fake Al Gore ones,
The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries.  
If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength. 
No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more.  
We were all witness to the regime's deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America only to die a few days later. We saw it in the assassination of the dictator's brother using banned nerve agents in an international airport. We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea's spies. 
If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life.

It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict. No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. 
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.
Now, of course, some of the bien pensants in the media and among the traditional foreign policy establishment have lost their minds because of the words "totally destroy North Korea." He was not threatening North Korea; he was being honest. He provided an honest even obvious description of what a war provoked by North Korea would produce, to wit, the destruction of North Korea. Is that an accurate description? Yes. "Rocket man" and his defenders need to remember that. 

He also put Iran on notice that he is not fooled by the absurd Obama/Kerry nuclear deal with Iran (here, here),
It is far past time for the nations of the world to confront another reckless regime -- one that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.  
The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy.  It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos.  The longest-suffering victims of Iran's leaders are, in fact, its own people. 
Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian lives, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.  This wealth, which rightly belongs to Iran's people, also goes to shore up Bashar al-Assad's dictatorship, fuel Yemen's civil war, and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East.  
We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program.  (Applause.)  The Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.  Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it -- believe me.  
He did not hesitate to use the taboo phrase,
We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation, and indeed to tear up the entire world.  
We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology.  We must drive them out of our nations.  It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries who support and finance terror groups like al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban and others that slaughter innocent people. 
The United States and our allies are working together throughout the Middle East to crush the loser terrorists and stop the reemergence of safe havens they use to launch attacks on all of our people. 
He also showed an understanding of the humanitarian havoc wrought in Latin America by the progressives' favorite regimes in Havana and Caracas. He also produced an epic line re socialism,
We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela. (Applause.) 
The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. (Applause.) From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems.
Sure the speech was a little on the long side, and had the customary boiler-plate praise of the UN ideal--to be expected--but he also called out he UN for its waste and incompetence and reminded that that we pay for a disproportionate share of the UN budget.

Overall, I give the speech an eleven out of ten. It was a refreshing and bracing dollop of reality and honesty. I hope and trust he follows up with action what he has laid out in words.

24 comments:

  1. Also ditto!

    Two things in coverage of speech caught my attention. 1) Many MSM headlines were "Trump Threatens N.Korea" and then stories talk about Trump being "bombastic" or "belligerent." The stories buried or didn't report the fact that Trump said IF WE OR OUR ALLIES ATRACKED, we would destroy N. Korea. MSM did not make it clear that Trump was talking defense. 2) A number of Fox people said they liked speech because Trump for first time stated "America first" did not mean America alone, but America in partnership with other nations. Gosh, that's what I understood him to be saying from the beginning. The chattering class, including many at Fox, made up Trump the isolationist.

    One last thought. Steve Bannon and Breitbart have been on some sort of megalomaniac messianic mission to slam Trump for every perceived deviation from his promised agenda. One thing they have slammed Trump for recently not using the term "radical Islamic terrorism." Breitbart attributes that to Trump now being controlled by McMaster. Well, he used it today in the forum that matters most to the audience which least expected to hear it. So much for Trump being controlled by his employees.

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  2. Diplo, Sir,

    It wasn't as successful as all that. I saw the CNBC coverage, and NOT ONE of the hosts fainted. Trump should have gotten at least three.

    Green Bear

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  3. didn't call out climate cabal?
    they infest the UN
    saved for next speech?
    too much money thrown away on global warmingism already?

    - reader #1482

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    1. Yes, that was the one thing I had hoped for: putting another nail in the coffin of the Paris Climate Accord . . . maybe there was already too much on the plate.

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    2. Trump always left open possibility of coming back in if terms reasonable for U.S. I don't know what he had in mind. Whole deal, like all international climate deals, is geared towards screwing us. He has EPA rolling back climate change regs/projects right and left. He personally hates wind turbines because of his experience with them in Scotland. He is aware of the infamous Climategate emails (which showed climate models are a fraud). And clearly he understands the insane economics of cutting out carbon emissions. So I have no idea how/why there is anything that could be negotiated. But again, he has very explicitly left possibility open. And Tillerson has said in last couple of days Trump open to rejoining if it can be renegotiated. I assume Trump didn't slam Paris Accord because of whatever he may have in mind about renegotiating something. Also, I think that would have been kind of a distraction from his other themes that he made fit together very well.

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    3. Yeah... not enough time probably.

      I have a bad feeling that Trump is backpedaling on Parexit due to political and financial pressures likely within his close circle. Too many people stand to lose too much of that central-planning-committee-allocated money if we don't go all the way with what is more and more becoming a scam and cudgel.

      imo, the science behind this hypothesis never had a shred of certainty, and it hasn't provided any increase in rigor since. This is fine for academic spelunking. But it's not fine for consumption outside academia.

      - reader #1482

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    4. Reader #1482

      I have been very involved as climate warming skeptic since 2009, day House passed Cap and Trade bill. (Got zero news coverage cuz Michael Jackson died, and media stayed 24/7 on that for next 10 days.) I have paid close attention to Trump on global warming and the Paris Accord. Trump, imo, is aware of the the overall fraudulence of the models, if not necessarily the precise scientific specifics. (He has referenced the Climategate emails and called the whole thing "a hoax.") Given his grasp of economics, one has to assume he understands the economic non-viability of now heavily subsidized "green energy." He has also specifically addressed the political point of the Paris Accord: cripple the U.S while allowing China and India to continue growing, all without the Accord making any real difference to decreasing carbon emissions. Plus America required to give billions to poor countries for "climate change damages." As I said, I don't know what there is to renegotiate and what he may have in mind, but I trust Trump. I don't think he is going to betray America. As for giving in, in general: I think on some things he may in (hopefully) some very contained ways. There is immense pressure on him and resistance to everything he does. First priority: he needs to survive. Yeah, he's got a problem that his SecState, imho in so many ways a very useful one, is a warmist. (Bizarrely Big Oil is playing both sides: continuing to drill but funding and investing in warmist/green research/projects.) So, imo, it possible he will get back into Paris in what I hope/assume will be some window dressing or way less destructive way. Yeah, maybe I'm rationalizing. But my bottom line is I think Trump is a miracle, is delivering and will continue to deliver in many ways so I will forgive the ways in which he doesn't, as no one else would have delivered anything.

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    5. It's science that suffers as a whole in the end... and also in the end, that suffering is not Trump's fault, even if he gives in to some window dressing non-agreement that lets the alarmists save face.

      - reader #1482

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  4. On another forum I challenged my colleagues to find one thing Trump said that was wrong -- disagreeing with him does not count.
    So far, the silence has been overwhelming.

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  5. "But we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation."

    Ah, but who is to judge the first? Presumably the US assigned to itself the power to judge that Saddam, Gadaffi, and Assad were not respecting the interests of their own people. And then assigned to itself the power to abrogate its duty to respect the rights of every other sovereign nation and thereby awarded itself carte blanche to rain death and destruction on them. And whomever it next has a whim to attack.

    I'm disappointed, Mr Mad, that you don't view this claim as the most hypocritical piffle, neither truthful nor wise.

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    Replies
    1. His speech was clear on that: the US government is to put the people of the US first. If enemies start taking down skyscrapers in the US, and are generally compliant and/or suborning/encouraging such things, and even refusing to cooperate in stopping this kind of threat, the US government should take action... applying what little power it has liberally.

      But I honestly don't know about Ghadaffi... he was largely dethroned because he was acquiescing to US demands on nuclear proliferation. I'm not quite certain how Obama got that so screwed up in his head. I imagine if he were open and honest about it he would say: "Oops." because it really seems like it was an afterthought... an internet-outrage-gone-bad.... and Obama seemed to buy it.

      - reader #1482

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    2. IMO, Gaddafi was taken out BECAUSE he was compliant... to Bush. Obama and Hillary were all about the Muslim Brotherhood... spreading it far and wide. To me, everything they did pushed the MB's agenda. Insidious. And the Obama administration was ate-up with MB adherents. Just how it looks to me. That explains Egypt, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Jordon, ... also the deep desire to undo 35 years of Iran policy.. and that explains the abortion of the Green revolution in Iran. Someone that knows more than me will write a book on all of this some day, as more stuff is exposed. A LOT of folks got killed in the ME under Obama's watch. A lot of instability and war and refugees.

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    3. "If enemies start taking down skyscrapers in the US": Saddam had nothing to do with that.

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    4. I believe that is immaterial. IMO, Saddam was soaking up a huge deployment of diplomatic and military assets, efforts, and focus in a containment action that was unsustainable in light of our post-9/11 challenges.

      - reader #1482

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    5. What happened to Ghadaffi is NoKo's Un's excuse for acquiring nukes and ICBMs. Actually he has a point. So do what the US wants, then when you are weak they will turn on you. Thanks HRC and Obama.

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    6. @1482: in other words the hare-brained reckless attack on Iraq had nothing whatever to do with "we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties ..."

      @Anon: "the US government is to put the people of the US first." Jolly good, but that also has nothing to do with "we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties ..." unless there is an unspoken addendum "except us".

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    7. ahhh yes.. because Saddam was the great respecter of other countries' sovereignty! I get it now. :)
      Iraq was in no way fulfilling either of those two principles, and if it *had* been fulfilling those, there would've been no need for war. This doesn't mean that those principles were the *reason* for war. There are a whole lot of logical concepts which are 'necessary but not sufficient'.

      I don't think Trump said that America is obligated in some way to 'enforce' those principles. It's just what is expected among countries which work with the US. It would be hoped that the UN would have similar expectations, but it doesn't.

      - reader #1482

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    8. Re the late and unlamented O [mal-]administration and the Muslim Brotherhood:

      Methinks that this was the "fresh" thinking that has infected the Democratic Party since the days of Henry Wallace. Namely, identify the wave of the future and get on its good side. Much of the Democratic Party, shaped by the memory of our very lamentable Viet Nam experience, came to the conclusion that Communism was inevitable, at least for Asia and other non-North Atlantic regions, and that America's cardinal folly was to launch the Cold War. Fast forward, and remembering how the USA was caught flat-footed by the Iranian Revolution, the Dems thought that redical Islam is the wave of the future for everywhere from Mauretania to Mindanao, and they decided to cozy up to Muslim Brotherhood (with the brokering of our wonderful Sa'udi allies). Hence, we found ourselves backing Morsi, taking out Qaddafi, and getting ourselves involved with allies of Qaida and Da'esh in Syria.

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    9. Khadify / Ghadafi / Ghadify - oh how ever you spell it - was taken out by France and England for humanitarian reasons, without thinking what came next. And the US led from behind supplying the logistics and anti missile support necessary, with the urging of Samantha Powers (don't want another Rwanda) and Clinton (looking for a cheap victory). And the Arab Spring was the future!

      Amazing how this failed, on so many levels.

      I am not sure what was worse for Nuclear Non Proliferation. The broken promises made to Ukraine, or to Libya?

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  6. Diplomad, why aren't you in the Trump Administration?

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  7. Ya know what's the worst thing about antifa? They make me feel sorry for Nazis. And I *really* don't ever want to feel sorry for nazis.

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