- - Tuesday, September 19, 2017


No more globaloney. That was the enduring message President Trump had Tuesday for the United Nations. He gave it to the delegates with the bark on, but tempered with just enough of the butter they’re accustomed to hearing from their indulgent betters.

He treated them to a few delicious Trumpian touches they could groan over, good for reminiscing later with their like-minded colleagues over drinks in the delegates lounge, meant as a reminder that, in the words of one observer, “the United Nations was never meant to be a gigantic bureaucracy that would steadily become a world government.”

The U.N., he told them, is only an association of sovereign states whose strength is based on “the independent strength of its members,” and those members must be “strong, sovereign and independent.”

He said a few things that many of the delegates — “snowflakes” writ large — thought they would never have to hear at the United Nations, such as “the problem in Venezuela” — and everybody, even the Venezuelans, understood what he was talking about — “is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.”

And this: “Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some in fact are going to hell.” For those who looked for the fainting couch on hearing that, he might have said that some are only en route to hell, and others are already there.

He gave the delegates the plain and unvarnished word, which they can send home in the next diplomatic pouch, that when the United States finally deals with North Korea no one can say the North Koreans were not warned. He was unusually diplomatic and tactful. He did not described Kim Jong-un as the crazy fat kid, or a nut with a weird haircut playing with his weapons as if they were toys in the nursery, but that “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission,” and if he attacks the United States “we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

The United Nations is mostly about noise, hot air and fatuous nonsense, and American presidents usually say nice, harmless things they don’t actually believe, to be diplomatic, gracious and polite, rarely rebuking with plain speech the lies and hypocrisy that find such a comfortable home at the United Nations.

Mr. Trump didn’t disappoint the delegates who came to see for themselves if the new American was really the president they had heard so much about. He proved that yes indeed, he is, but he said the necessarily harsh things with the cool demeanor he usually keeps to himself.

In all, his speech was a good day’s work, proving again that when he wants to the Donald can rise to a presidential occasion with grit and panache. The alliances of decent men and women had “tilted the world toward freedom since World War II,” he told them, and invited them to join the United States and “fight together, sacrifice together for peace, for freedom, for justice.”

But these must not be mere words. That was the message for the delegates to take home, because he’s a president who sounds like he means it.

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