by Syahirah Anwar
President Donald Trump’s speech to world leaders at United Nation’s 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly left jaws dropping. And not in a good way.
Speaking for the first time on the UN pulpit, Trump came across as combative individual, who was ready to incite war rather than make peace.
Aside from tooting his own horn – claiming that his administration has done more to defeat ISIS in the past eight months as compared to the previous Obama administration, and how more jobs are being created in the United States and that “unemployment is at its lowest in 16 years”, and “stock market is at an all time high”, and repeating the words “great” 10 times in his slightly over 40 minute speech, Trump’s debut speech drew a lot of blank faces from those in attendance.
Trump stood on stage and rained insults on a variety of countries – North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela. He called North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, “Rocketman” – to which the latter later retorted that Trump is a “dotard” (which means an old person who has become weak or senile). Trump went on to say that the Iran deal, which former President Barack Obama said was a “historic understanding”, was an “embarrassment to the United States”.
Personally, I am not too sure if his main intent of taking the stage at UNGA was to throw shade at his predecessor and to verbalise his Twitter rants, but what he said on stage was certainly not an example of how a world leader should be addressing his fellow leaders.
In fact, Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, called it a “bombastic, nationalist speech” and that is has been “decades since one last heard a speech like that in the UN General Assembly”. As she puts it, it was a “speech at the wrong time to the wrong audience”. In other words, this speech would have been apt if his audience included people like Hitler and Mussolini.
However, he did have some form of support during his speech – from his staunch ally and probably BFF (best friend forever), Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. The latter was seen nodding his head in full agreement of Trump’s remarks on the Middle East situation and how Iranian funds were being diverted to Hezbollah and other terrorist organisations, who were attacking “their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbours”.
I mean, there is no surprise there that he got Netanyahu’s support, since both of them seem to share the same nationalistic views.
Overall, his entire speech was a blame game of countries, and individuals, which he found to be a “problem”, rather than a solution for peace or to promote an agenda that would help stabilise the world. And of course, absolutely no blame should be placed upon the United States, who have played a significant role in destabilising many regions around the world, especially in the Middle East.
Trump failed to even take a minute to address the most important issue that was being discussed by world leaders, which is climate change – because to him climate change is a hoax. So while the rest of the world leaders saw importance to discuss that “hoax” and do something about it, Trump felt it was more important to make sure that everyone knew the United States is ready to “totally destroy” North Korea and all its people, and that the “scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based”.
But then again, this is Trump, and I think the world is getting used to his rants. He is an online bully to his nemesis’ on Twitter, and he is definitely portraying himself as a bully on the world stage as well. Maybe that is the image he is going for as the 45th President of the United States.