There may be some who will denigrate President Trumps’ inaugural speech to the United Nations as lacking in subtlety. They may have an argument although an examination indicates that the American chief executive ignored little essential detail in his arguments.
What Trump delivered was a a new call to the civilized world for the reevaluation of the nation-state, reminding them that though he spoke favorably about the prospects of the international body he was addressing, it had not fulfilled its promise. That promise, he also reminded his listeners, as President Harry S Truman had said, was the joining together of the world’s political polities through their every accent on the fulfillment of their individual sovereignty.
Trump laid out for his readers the three major crisis areas in international affairs which faced the institution’s 193 members. There was no diplomatic falderal in his presentation of the problem of a criminal regime in North Korea has brought the world to near disaster with its development of nuclear and missile weapons. He spelled out individual cases of its unsurpassed cruelty to its own citizens as well as interlopers. Nor did he let the Russians and the Chinese off the hook on their continued support of the regime where UN and USA sanctions were largely irrelevant. He echoes the earlier warning by the Permanent U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley to the UN that the U.S.’ military option to deal with the problem may have been reached.
Trump made no excuse for inadequacy of the Obama Administration’s deal to postpone development of nuclear weaponry by the Iran regime which he reminded listeners had a reputation as black as any historical tyranny. He suggested that his Administration would move to denounce that agreement and curb the export of terrorism through its own and its satellites in the Mideast.
Again in language no listener could fail to understand, he pointed out the Venezuelan regime had bankrupted a once prosperous country – one where the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has indeed successfully, Trump said, instituted socialism. What Venezuelan democrats know is that U.S. oil refineries have been fitted for import its particularly heavy crude, in 2016 more than 270 million barrels worth about $10 billion. The decision of whether to close off those imports and further cripple the Maduro regime has to be on the docket at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Trump went out of his way make a demonstration of his own personal support for Israel, and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, so often a target of anti-Americanism in the UN. The new emphasis on the American alliance with Israel in the Mideast was not only in sharp contrast to the Obama Administration. But it was also by implication a warning there would be no more American support for a Palestinian movement which refused to accept the existence of a Jewish state and continued to sponsor terrorism and assassination.
Trump made short shrift of the Hurricane destruction in the United States which he argued would be overcome by this country’s energy and proficiencies.
But inmplicit throughout Trumps message was his theme of “America first”, a new U.S. nationalism based on an emphasis on Washington – as he urged other nations – to assert their national sovereignty. While promising the U.S. would continue its support of the UN – and lending Sec. Gen. António Guterres help in his effort to reform its bloated and inefficient bureaucracy – he warned that sovereign nations could not pass their obligations to international organizations.
Donald Trump’s UN speech will go down in U.S. history as a call for a new American nationalism, one based on its sovereignty as he urged other countries to assert theirs.