US President Donald Trump made his debut speech at the United Nations in his hometown of New York City on Tuesday and got one thing right, a number of things wrong, and one thing completely out of bounds.
First, the good: The president delivered some well-deserved digs at socialism in Venezuela and elsewhere. “The socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country,” said Trump. “This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried.”
He added: “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.”
Now, the bad: Trump threatened to wipe out North Korea. “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,” the American commander in chief declared. He also sounded a harsh and confrontational tone toward Iran. Former US Congressman and presidential candidate, Dr. Ron Paul, said conservative and libertarian Americans should be concerned about the aggressive nature of Trump's speech. “I don't think there's much assurance that we're going to be moving in the right direction,” he said on Wednesday. “Fire and fury remind me of shock and awe... and [that] turned into a nightmare... This could end up a lot worse than Mission Unaccomplished in Iraq.”
And for the ugly: In a pejorative slam against the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, Trump said “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.” That kind of tough talk will make it more difficult to resolve the Korean question peacefully.
The American president also touted the new US military budget of almost $700 billion. He neglected to mention that this appropriation comes at a time when the government officially owes more than $20 trillion, and faces a long-term fiscal gap multiples higher.