“There can be no substitute for strong, sovereign, and independent nations, nations that are rooted in the histories and invested in their destiny, nations that seek allies to befriend, not enemies to conquer, and most important of all, nations that are home to patriots.” – President Donald J. Trump
“Wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure.” – President Donald J. Trump
President Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly for the first time today.
President Trump was clear, direct and forthright.
Sovereignty was the underlying and continuing theme.
It was a speech the UN members needed to hear – containing truths that needed to be told.
It might have been President Trump’s best speech to date.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it best:
In over 30 years in my experience with the UN, I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech.
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) September 19, 2017
You can find the full transcript here.
President Trump’s speech had a wonderful continuity while containing distinct segments.
We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity. Breakthroughs in science, technology, and medicine are curing illnesses and solving problems that prior generations thought impossible to solve.
But each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value. Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terrorists but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.
Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the systems, and alliances that prevented conflict and tilted the world toward freedom since World War II.
International criminal networks traffic drugs, weapons, people; force dislocation and mass migration; threaten our borders; and new forms of aggression exploit technology to menace our citizens.
To put it simply, we meet at a time of both of immense promise and great peril. It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights, or let it fall into a valley of disrepair.
To overcome the perils of the present and to achieve the promise of the future, we must begin with the wisdom of the past.
Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty, to promote security, prosperity, and peace, for themselves and for the world.
We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties, to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.
Strong, sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect.
Strong, sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny.
On American Sovereignty:
We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved Constitution, the oldest constitution still in use in the world today. This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe whose own countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity, and the rule of law.
In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people where it belongs. In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government’s first duty is to its people, to our citizens, to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values. As President of the United States, I will always put America first. Just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always and should always put your countries first.
The United States will forever be a great friend to the world and especially to its allies. But we can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return. As long as I hold this office, I will defend America’s interests above all else, but in fulfilling our obligations to our nations, we also realize that it’s in everyone’s interests to seek the future where all nations can be sovereign, prosperous, and secure.
On National Sovereignty:
If we desire to lift up our citizens, if we aspire to the approval of history, then we must fulfill our sovereign duties to the people we faithfully represent. We must protect our nations, their interests and their futures. We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders, and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these allow.
We must work together and confront together those who threatens us with chaos, turmoil, and terror. The score of our planet today is small regimes that violate every principle that the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries.
If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.
On North Korea:
No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans. And for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more.
North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life.
It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.
No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles.
The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.
It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its only acceptable future.
Yeah, President Trump referred to Kim Jong-un as Rocket Man at the UN General Assembly.
On Iran and the Iranian Nuclear Deal:
The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country, with a rich history and culture, into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos. The longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are, in fact, its own people.
Its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors. This wealth, which rightly belongs to Iran’s people, also goes to shore up Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship, fuel Yemen’s civil war, and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East.
We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program. The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States.
It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction. It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. Above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors.
The Iranian regime’s support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its finance.
We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation and, indeed, to tear up the entire world. We must deny the terrorists’ safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology. We must drive them out of our nation. It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries who support and finance terror groups like Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban, and others that slaughter innocent people.
The United States and our allies are working together throughout the Middle East to crush the loser terrorists and stop the reemergence of safe havens they use to launch attacks on all of our people.
Our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operation, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians. I have also totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.
On Syria, Iraq & ISIS:
In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward lasting defeat of ISIS. In fact, our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many, many years combined. We seek the deescalation of the Syrian conflict, and a political solution that honors the will of the Syrian people.
We appreciate the efforts of the United Nations’ agencies that are providing vital humanitarian assistance in areas liberated from ISIS, and we especially thank Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon for their role in hosting refugees from the Syrian conflict. The United States is a compassionate nation and has spent billions and billions of dollars in helping to support this effort.
On Refugees and Immigration:
We seek an approach to refugee resettlement that is designed to help these horribly treated people and which enables their eventual return to their home countries to be part of the rebuilding process. For the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region.
We have learned that over the long term, uncontrolled migration is deeply unfair to both the sending and the receiving countries. For the sending countries, it reduces domestic pressure to pursue needed political and economic reform and drains them of the human capital necessary to motivate and implement those reforms. For the receiving countries, the substantial costs of uncontrolled migration are born overwhelmingly by low-income citizens whose concerns are often ignored by both media and government.
I want to salute the work of the United Nations in seeking to address the problems that cause people to flee from their home. The United Nations and African Union led peacekeeping missions to have invaluable contributions in stabilizing conflict in Africa. The United States continues to lead the world in humanitarian assistance, including famine prevention and relief, in South Sudan, Somalia, and northern Nigeria and Yemen.
On much-needed Reform at the United Nations:
We also thank the secretary general for recognizing that the United Nations must reform if it is to be an effective partner in confronting threats to sovereignty, security, and prosperity. Too often the focus of this organization has not been on results, but on bureaucracy and process. In some cases, states that seek to subvert this institution’s noble end have hijacked the very systems that are supposed to advance them.
It is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the UN Human Rights Council.
The United States is one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 percent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes. The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but to be fair, if it [the UN] could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it.
The American people hope that one day soon the United Nations can be a much more accountable and effective advocate for human dignity and freedom around the world.
In the meantime, we believe that no nation should have to bear a disproportionate share of the burden, militarily or financially. Nations of the world must take a greater role in promoting secure and prosperous societies in their own region.
On Venezuela & Socialism:
We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela. The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.
From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems.
America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests, and their well-being, including their prosperity.
On Fair Trade:
In America, we seek stronger ties of business and trade with all nations of goodwill, but this trade must be fair and it must be reciprocal.
For too long the American people were told that mammoth, multinational trade deals, unaccountable international tribunals, and powerful global bureaucracies were the best way to promote their success. But as those promises flowed, millions of jobs vanished and thousands of factories disappeared. Others gamed the system and broke the rules, and our great middle class, once the bedrock of American prosperity, was forgotten and left behind, but they are forgotten no more and they will never be forgotten again.
On the Duty of Government:
While America will pursue cooperation and commerce with other nations, we are renewing our commitment to the first duty of every government, the duty of our citizens. This bond is the source of America’s strength and that of every responsible nation represented here today.
Back to Sovereignty:
There can be no substitute for strong, sovereign, and independent nations, nations that are rooted in the histories and invested in their destiny, nations that seek allies to befriend, not enemies to conquer, and most important of all, nations that are home to patriots, nations that are home to men and women who are willing to sacrifice for their countries, their fellow citizens, and for all that is best in the human spirit.
If we do not invest ourselves, our hearts, and our minds in our nations, if we will not build strong families, safe communities, and healthy societies for ourselves, no one can do it for us.
We cannot wait for someone else, for faraway countries or far-off bureaucrats. We must solve our problems, to build our prosperity, to secure our futures, or we will be vulnerable to decay, domination, and defeat.
The true question for the United Nations today, for people all over the world who hope for better lives for themselves and their children, is a basic one: Are we still patriots? Do we love our nations enough to protect their sovereignty and to take ownership of their futures? Do we revere them enough to defend their interests, preserve their cultures, and ensure a peaceful world for their citizens?
And finally, the Mission:
The American story is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future.
The United States of America has been among the greatest forces for good in the history of the world, and the greatest defenders of sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all.
Now we are calling for a great reawakening of nations, for the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people, and their patriotism.
History is asking us whether we are up to the task. Our answer will be a renewal of will, a rediscovery of resolve, and a rebirth of devotion. We need to defeat the enemies of humanity and unlock the potential of life itself.
Our hope is a world of proud, independent nations that embrace their duties, seek friendship, respect others, and make common cause in the greatest shared interest of all: a future of dignity and peace for the people of this wonderful Earth.
So let this be our mission, and let this be our message to the world. We will fight together, sacrifice together, and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity, and for the almighty God who made us all. Thank you, God bless you, God bless the nations of the world, and God bless the United States of America.
It was an absolutely fantastic speech. It was a historical speech.
The importance of Sovereignty, Freedom and Self-Reliance coupled with a stance against the evils of Socialism, Dictatorships and Extremist Ideologies.
With a reminder of what the UN actually should be about – just for good measure.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was 100% accurate in his assessment.
This was the most courageous and bold of speeches given at the UN General Assembly in decades. Maybe ever.
My guess is most UN staffers were horrified.
Which is just fine with me.
For those who’ve been concerned that President Trump’s Agenda has been watered down, this speech provided a stunning rebuke.
From start to finish, President Trump spoke about making the Sovereignty of Nations – particularly the United States – great again.
I loved every word of it. I hope you did as well.
For those who missed President Trump’s televised speech – it’s worth watching in full.
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