Fiamma Nirenstein

A slap in the face to the lazy and unscrupulous UN

Donald Trump addressed the United Nations yesterday in a statesmanlike manner with a far-reaching doctrine. He gave an anti-globalist, but internationalist speech that put the United States at the forefront of the democratic alliance, which is currently not only striving for a different world, but also struggling against capitulation and decline.

He began his speech by speaking about domestic affairs, citing the devastation of the recent hurricanes that have hit his country, and the resilience of the American people. He then quickly turned his focus in a decisive, popular manner from his own citizens by engaging in a wider political and theoretical discourse against the political representatives of the UN, lazy and unscrupulous, who have wasted more than nine billion dollars of U.S. payments by solely giving back not only inefficiency and ineptitude, but also exalting authoritarian regimes and expressing hatred for the United States itself.

The message was the following: if you don’t change, we will use our money more wisely and in a manner that is more suited to American values. He reiterated them: freedom, respect for human rights, decency, mutual respect, sacrifice for causes in which Americans, throughout history, have proved they are ready to die for….

In addition, he highlighted precisely what Obama has continually dodged, a world in which evil exists and lurks in rogue states, i.e. terrorism, aggressive behavior, hatred for our values, persecution of dissidents… The U.S. doesn’t seek to engage in polemics with Russia or China, but instead hopes to bring them into its design of a global order while it declares war on anyone who infringes upon the freedom of others, explicitly citing the threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China seas. Democracy, self-determination as a remedy to aggression: Trump suddenly seems like George W. Bush in the aftermath of the attack on the Twin Towers, he’s not afraid to say that the enemy must be stopped by any possible means.

North Korea was described by Trump as the monster it actually is for not only its dissemination of fear and death among its own people, but also for its destructive hubris. Moreover, he announced his commitment to its total destruction before the General Assembly, which is language that is not typically heard at the UN. In addition, he went straight to the basic theoretical notion: “If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph”.

Here he plunged the sword: to the bewilderment of the elegant Iranian ambassador with the turtleneck seated at his desk, Trump placed Iran on par with North Korea. He stated – what a relief – that he was embarrassed by the worst deal the U.S. has entered into, that “rather than use its resources to improve Iranian life, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.”

Moreover, Iranian money, he stated, “also goes to shore up Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship, fuel Yemen’s civil war, and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East”. Who dares to ever say that Iran is the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world and the persecutor of its own people? Only Benjamin Netanyahu.

But now Trump too: Cartago delenda. And among the countries that must change in order to survive, Trump included Cuba and Venezuela, the theoretical step to reaffirm the U.S.’s forgotten role in defending freedom and democracy against communist dictators. Against fanaticism there is the America of realism, the great inspirer of justice, values, and patriotism. Trump uttered those forbidden words, repeating “America first” but strong, threatening, promising that this America will tend to all: you don’t have to be democratic, but you have to respect democracy.

The entire UN is trembling: war on terror, no globalism, no chaos, order and nations… Order? Nations? Yes, just those. But can we believe Trump? Well, it was a nice speech befitting of the very difficult climate in which the world is trying to navigate, he has succeeded in steering it.

Translation by Amy Rosenthal

This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (September 20, 2017)

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.
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