Donald J. Trump’s week at the U.N. should squelch renewed chatter about his alleged mental instability and unfitness for office.
From Sunday to Thursday, a commanding President Trump practiced high-level diplomacy in New York. He signed the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, hosted a reception for Security Council members, and conducted one-on-one talks with U.N. Secretary General Ant√≥nio Guterres and the leaders of Colombia, Egypt, France, Israel, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
Wielding a gavel, President Trump chaired the U.N. Security Council, specifically on limiting weapons of mass death. He also fielded wide-ranging questions at a one hour, 22-minute news conference.
But President Trump’s main event was his 35-minute address to the General Assembly. He advocated "principled realism." He reasserted Washington’s vision of individual, sovereign nations bilaterally collaborating with America. This deepens the president’s break with Obama’s policy, which was to surrender ever more American influence to the U.N., the Paris global-warming treaty, and other multilateral bodies and agreements.
"America is governed by Americans," Trump said. "America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination."
The president confirmed the effectiveness of his tough-but-fair engagement with North Korea. Kim Jong Un’s missiles have not soared over Japan and the Pacific since last November. His nuclear bombs have gone undetonated since last September.
"Our hostages have been released," Trump explained. "And as promised, the remains of our fallen heroes are being returned home to lay at rest in American soil." He added, "The sanctions will stay in place until denuclearization occurs," even as negotiations continue. For now, all’s quiet on the northern front.
In the Mideast, Trump noted, "the bloodthirsty killers known as ISIS have been driven out from the territory they once held in Iraq and Syria.” Nearby, Saudi Arabia and “the Gulf countries opened a new center to target terrorist financing."
President Trump slammed "the corrupt dictatorship in Iran." He said, "Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death, and destruction . . . We cannot allow a regime that chants 'Death to America,' and that threatens Israel with annihilation, to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth."
By leading the Axis of Evil, Iran underscores daily the rank idiocy of Obama’s cash-fueled appeasement. The Iran nuclear deal was supposed to make Tehran kinder and gentler, after Obama plied it with $400 million in air-freighted, freshly laundered Swiss francs and another $115 billion in unfrozen financial assets.
Instead, Iran took the money and ran.
"In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget grew nearly 40 percent."
Trump observed. "The dictatorship used the funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, increase internal repression, finance terrorism, and fund havoc and slaughter in Syria and Yemen."
Compared to Obama’s Mr. Rogers approach, Trump is Muhammad Ali.
"Last month, we began re-imposing hard-hitting nuclear sanctions that had been lifted under the Iran deal," Trump stated. "Additional sanctions will resume November 5th, and more will follow."
This ever-mounting pressure is challenging the mullahs’ grip on power. May Iran’s youth pile upon Ayatollah Khamenei what their parents heaped on the Shah.
Finally, unlike the increasingly socialist Democrat Party, President Trump excoriated the poverty and pain that socialism generates wherever it slithers.
"Virtually everywhere socialism or communism has been tried, it has produced suffering, corruption, and decay," Trump said. "All nations of the world should resist socialism and the misery that it brings to everyone."
Trump correctly cited once-prosperous Venezuela as a nation devastated by the “triumph” of socialism. "Today, socialism has bankrupted the oil-rich nation and driven its people into abject poverty," Trump recalled. He properly has tightened sanctions on the incompetent and cruel socialists in Nicol√°s Maduro’s dictatorship.
President Trump’s more unorthodox moments sometimes overshadow a fact he underscored at the U.N. this week: He is a serious player on the world stage who has steered American foreign policy away from its destination under Obama — over a cliff.