Harry C. Blaney III

If necessary “we will have no choice but totally destroy North Korea.” Donald Trump at the UNGA

I am ashamed as an American citizen of the speech that Donald trump made to the UN on Tuesday. It was threatening, it was contradictory, rude, and it insulted the whole purpose of the United Nations and the common goal of seeking peace and human rights.

It showed America as a selfish, ignorant, and offensive nation rather than the “the leader of the free world.” Trump diminished our nation and did NOT make our nation greater.

The threat by Donald Trump that he would “totally destroy North Korea” was one of the most stupid and dangerous statements ever to emulate from an American Preside not just at the UN General Assembly but ever. It was filled with public unnecessary threats, indifference to others, even advocating for others the narrow nationalistic and isolationist policies he thinks works for him to others as if that kind of stance would make our world more safe and prosperous. It makes our world clearly less safe and more dangerous as the US urges other to be selfish and nationalistic as their only main concern. It does not get them to act in the larger interest.

The UN Trump speech was the largest verbal disaster I have ever known in my many decades as a professional in foreign affairs. His words makes America appear selfish, nationalistic, and to be feared. It was through and through disingenuous on many levels.

Further it was hypocritical as well, with its many contradictions. Like supporting human rights when we (Trump) supports the likes of brutal dictators in Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Poland, Philippines, etc. All along never saying what is happening in Russia or what they did in Ukraine and Syria. Russian actions undermining democracy and unity in America and Europe yet were only vaguely alluded to. His moves to leave the Iran deal and the Paris climate change accord show even more his indifference to our global threats. Selfishness has not been a core American value and contrary to our values is inciting others to be equally selfish and self-centered. This ends only in war, conflict and “beggar my neighbor “ policies worldwide. It encourages genocide, it promotes authoritarian nationalism which is dangerous to our nation and other democracies.

It was for me the a sad moment seeing a person, our so-called president, undemanding all of our values, traditions, insulting the sacrifices of Americans who died to protect our nation and freedom worldwide. It was an insult to our constitution’s proclamation on universal equality liberty, and human rights.

One of the strange revelations is the very weak even often apologetic reviews the Trump UN speech has received from much of the mainline press, including op-eds, and editorials. There are exceptions, but one of the strangest is that of David Ignatius of the Washington Post entitled “A Welcome Flirtation with the U.N.” that almost was overflowing with his praise of the speech for its so called more moderate tone and the fluffy and empty and contradictory platitudes that it contained. He did helpfully cite some contradictions in the talk. He however downplayed the Trump threats and the stupid North Korea nuclear “war play” with language that did not help American goals. Did it help to call Kim “Rocket Man” when one day we may need to sit down together to save off catastrophe?

Trump was like a bully on the playing field trying to intimidate his opponent, in this case Kim Jong Un, to react with a crazy attack to perhaps justify war with the NK? There is little doubt in my mind that he was sassing on Kim without concern for the outcome and to further undermine ideas of a diplomatic solution. (I hope I am wrong and thought his words would help make a “deal.”) The result was predictable with Kim and his people sassing him back saying Trump was a dog barking.

The larger problem was neither Trump nor Kim seem able to pay the cooperative diplomatic game of mutual “win-win,” but with the daily cry in NK that America will attack is reinforced now by Trump’s “totally destroy North Korea.” We now can only hope both will see the self-destruction cliff before them embodied in their words and threats. I have never in over four decades of foreign policy work and following presidential speeches and helping to shape some, such crude and foolish words uttered by a president. Already there is some effort by the concerned nations to try to walk back this confrontational stances by both sides.

The contrast finally was the tone of such leaders as French president Macron who did not talk of nationalism but of global cooperation and integration to address the worlds ills. We have a very serious problem of many high risks and we need not add to them but solve them and this speech only set that goal back.

We welcome your comments!!


  1. Bob Lamoree September 25, 2017 / 2:31 PM

    When it comes to ‘loving our fellow man’ . . . there are some (men) whose actions are such that, a genuinely loving person might describe the circumstance as a ‘work in progress,’ while the more sanguine of us would liken it to ‘a mission impossible.’

    In the instance of Mr. Trump, although elected by a minority, a majority were probably hoping for him to act and be presidential once he took office. Alas! He dashed those hopes with his inaugural speech, and he’s been the same loose canon since. The U.N. speech was but another evidence of his character, which come hell or high water nothing is not going to change.

    So, what’s the answer? Unless or until he, Trump, really screws up, we muddle onward, praying for an end to his presidency. But then we realize who is next in line . . . and the nightmares continue.

    • Harry C. Blaney III September 28, 2017 / 11:07 AM

      I am sorry to say that I agree sadly with Mr. Lamoree regarding the statements and behavior of Trump and this continues to this day with his support of gutting ObamaCare, including attacks on GOP Senators that said they wold not support gutting the ACA and especialy his nasty statements about Sen. McCain. But more recently his crazy name calling of the North Korea leader Kim only adds to the danger of an unnecessary conflict that is better addressed by diplomacy including sanctions but better by negotiations with an outcome both sides can gain from and include denuclearize both Koreas and reduce military threats.

      And I agree that those in “waiting” should Trump “leave” are not much better on their policies which represent hate for the poor and minorities and far right ideas, they are a bit more balanced than Trump and probably will be more careful in conflict situations. Perhaps?

  2. Chic Dambach September 24, 2017 / 7:40 PM

    Blaney is right on all points. I would simply add that Trump’s rejection of global cooperation in favor of individual, narrow nationalist self-interest reverses the entire post WWII framework that has fostered a dramatic reduction in violent conflicts and reduction in hunger and poverty as well as vital cooperation on major environmental issues.

    • Harry C. Blaney III September 28, 2017 / 11:15 AM

      Chic Dambach, has made a correct analysis of the impact of Donald Trump and has up to this day shown continued perhaps even higher levels of instability and insanity in word and acts as exemplified by his dangerous statements on North Korea, his praise of dictatorships, and most recently in his failed push for gutting ACA including his new tax proposal which will weaken America with even more enriching the very rich and not much, even worse, when the price for the cuts will be cuts for the middle class and poor in programs like health care, environment,reductions in affordable housing, education, etc.

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