Wednesday 26 September 2018

President Trump’s Boasts Of Accomplishments Draws Laughter At The United Nations

Image result for President Trump declared that his administration “has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” foreign leaders laughed.
Donald Trump campaigned for the presidency claiming “the world is laughing at us.” Now it really is laughing — at him.

Apparently mistaking the United Nations General Assembly for a campaign stop on Tuesday, Mr. Trump opened his annual address — usually, a somber occasion for a president to assess the state of the world — by boasting that his administration “has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”

President Donald Trump delivered a sharp rebuke of global governing at the United Nations on Tuesday, drawing headshakes and even mocking laughter from fellow world leaders as he promoted his aggressive “America First” agenda and boasted of America’s economic and military might.

Trump arrived late, forcing a last-minute scheduling switch, then received polite applause but also blank stares as he took his blustery brand of policies to the annual General Assembly.

Speaking in triumphal terms, Trump approached the address as an annual report to the world on his country’s progress since his inauguration. He touted economic figures, declared that the U.S. military is “more powerful than it has ever been before,” and crowed that in “less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”

Five sentences into the president’s remarks, the audience began to chuckle and some leaders broke into outright laughter, suggesting the one-time reality television star’s puffery is as familiar abroad as it is at home. Appearing briefly flustered, Trump smiled and joked that it was not the reaction he expected “but that’s all right.”

That’s when the other world leaders started chuckling.

“Didn’t expect that reaction,” Mr. Trump said, like a comic in a roomful of hecklers, “but that’s O.K.”

Actually, it’s not O.K. America’s president is now openly derided in the most important international forum.

In last year’s United Nations address, Mr. Trump introduced the themes of American sovereignty and national identity (and vowed to “totally destroy” North Korea). This year, he offered a more ornate statement of his atavistic if still rather an incoherent agenda.

“Each of us here today is the emissary of a distinct culture, a rich history and a people bound together by ties of memory, tradition and the values that make our homelands like nowhere else on earth,” the president said. “That is why America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control and domination.”

He added: “The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.”

Just what the president meant by “global governance” is unclear. But he seemed intent on conjuring up the phony black helicopter vision of international institutions as an “unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy” intent on erasing borders and eliminating national governments.

“We reject the ideology of globalism,” Mr Trump said, “and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.”

Mr Trump said the United Nations had some potential for good, and he implicitly recognized that, for all his bluster, the United States could not really hope to go it alone in an era of transnational threats, when he thanked South Korea, China and Japan for working with the United States to reduce the danger of a nuclear North Korea. But he reaffirmed his decisions to withdraw the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council and cut cooperation with the International Criminal Court, castigating it as having “no jurisdiction, no legitimacy and no authority.”

The president seemed to have no understanding that the bodies he criticized, including the World Trade Organization, are part of a post-World War II system established by the United States and its allies and that America still has considerable influence to effect reforms, provided its leaders are committed enough to try.

Mr Trump was quite explicit in his view of foreign assistance as a reward for good behaviour and for personal loyalty. “Moving forward,” he said, “we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and, frankly, are our friends.”

There was no acknowledgement that foreign aid has been used as a strategic tool to protect American security interests by fighting terrorism, advancing democracy, eradicating disease, promoting trade and cultivating allies.

For Mr Trump, it’s all about the quid pro quo and the political message to his domestic audience.

Via -The New York Times 

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