Late Tuesday I was asked what I thought of President Trump’s speech before the United Nations. An acquaintance suggested that, whatever other conclusion I might possibly reach, Trump was clearly putting America on footing to war with the world.
If you watched only snippets broadcast on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS and ABC or heard summaries of TV commentators, you might well come to the conclusion President Trump was indeed war-like, picking fights when not picking on other nations. But if you took the time to watch and listen to what was being said during a complete airing of the speech, such as you can easily find on YouTube or via C-SPAN, you would have to come to a different conclusion.
For starters, Trump was very thankful for the coalitions formed by many nations that stand with us in the fight against terrorism. He even thanked nations for taking in displaced refugees from warring countries that clearly have no regard for the lives of their own people.
And on multiple occasions, Trump mentioned the basis for the United Nations’ existence, built on three pillars of world peace: sovereignty, security and prosperity for all nations. So much for his supposedly dismissing history or the aims of that 72-year-old institution.
President Trump also laid bare the history of the human rights violations and atrocities carried out by many nations that hypocritically have served on the United Nations Human Rights Council. And he called out Iran’s regime for assisting terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and for promoting terrorism around the world. He mentioned the horrible conditions of refugees and drew attention to those nations that trade with Iran and essentially support this rogue nation.
President Trump also made clear what must be obvious to all by now: the unacceptable assault on the national security of the United States and its allies by North Korea, including its launching of ICBMs and pursuit of nuclear weapons. Yes, he offered heavy words and stressed his intentions if forced to act against North Korea. And, yes, he did say we would “totally destroy” North Korea and did indicate Kim Jong Un was on a “suicide mission.”
Venezuela’s dictator, Nicolás Maduro, was also called out in a direct way, accused of starving his own people and subjecting them to a tyrannical socialist government. Trump specifically highlighted the many failures of socialism and communism, stating any government that oppresses its people, imprisons opposition activists and has no respect for humanity is a threat to those of us trying to live in peace.
After outlining these many issues, Trump went back to the basics. He reiterated the need for unified efforts to address and solve problems. He asked world leaders to act now to gain prosperity in the future. He spoke of dealing with the problems of today so our children will not have to face these problems tomorrow.
How one can conclude this speech was fear-mongering and war-like is beyond me. The president clearly stated our challenges, identified the offenders and rallied nations to rise and act against those who promote terrorism and seek to usher in global chaos.
I applaud President Trump for not only having the courage to say what must be said but also for his efforts to unite peaceful nations against all oppressive regimes. His critics should reconsider what they might initially label bombast or bluster and instead apply a more accurate adjective for his speech about a hostile world: honest.