Trump is a laughing stock. But if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying | Michael H Fuchs

At the UN general assembly, world leaders laughed at the US president after he bragged about his own performance. Perhaps they needed comic relief

Americas

For the rest of the world, President Donald Trumps America is a laughing stock, not a leader.

That was the takeaway from Trumps speech to the 2018 United Nations general assembly. Trump opened his speech the same way he opens his campaign rallies, TV interviews, and probably conversations with every visitor he meets: In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.

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The response from the leaders assembled in the room? Laughter. The entire world literally laughed at the US president and they werent laughing with him.

Even Trump himself was taken aback: I did not expect that reaction

And while reporters and foreign policy experts could not recall another leader ever before drawing derisive laughter at a UN speech, it did not end there. When Trump made another claim Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy the cameras revealed the German delegation laughing and snickering to one another.

With Trumps own behavior and policies as a backdrop, the substance of Trumps speech merited laughter it was an incomprehensible joke.

The main theme of Trumps speech was protecting US sovereignty and he said that all countries should do likewise. He claimed: The United States will not tell you how to live, work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return. But shortly thereafter Trump spent portions of his speech telling Iran and Venezuela what to do at home.

In the Middle East, Trump claims his new approach is yielding great strides and very historic change as he announced that the United States is working with Gulf countries, Jordan and Egypt to establish a strategic alliance. Moments later, Trump reversed course and launched a broadside against Opec (of which the Gulf states are the key members) for ripping off the rest of the world.

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Unfortunately, the consequences of the policies embedded within Trumps speech are no joke. They can inflict lasting damage.

Donald
The substance of Trumps speech merited laughter it was an incomprehensible joke. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

On Iran, Trump outlined policies that portend only more conflict. As Americas allies France, Germany and the United Kingdom work with Russia, China and Iran to preserve the restrictions on Irans nuclear program that are now in jeopardy because of Americas withdrawal and sanctions, Trump is stoking a regional Sunni-Shia conflict and imposing more sanctions on Iran. The nuclear deal made conflict with Iran less likely; Trumps actions are making violence and war more likely.

Trump portrayed uncontrolled migration as a threat in a meandering tirade that conflated migration with immigration, human trafficking and illegal immigration. Deriding the Global Compact on Migration intended to foster cooperation on migration issues which only the United States and Hungary, a country swept up in its own anti-immigrant fervor, refuse to sign Trump made clear his dark view of the flow of all people across borders.

Its why Trump closes Americas doors to refugees, rips children from their parents when crossing the US border and attempts to restrict legal immigration. Its why, even as the world grapples with the worst crisis of displaced people since the second world war, Trump repeatedly attempts to slash US funding for humanitarian assistance and withdraws Americas role as a leader in trying to address crises from Syria to Myanmar. And its why Trump ignored the warnings of his own state department that ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for hundreds of thousands of people from countries like Honduras and El Salvador would destabilize those countries and actually exacerbate unauthorized migration towards the United States.

The list of Trumps foreign policies and the ways they can wreak havoc can go on and on. Trump didnt even once mention climate change which his administration refuses to believe even exists the greatest existential threat facing the world today.

Perhaps most telling was the list of countries that Trump highlighted at the end of his speech as those embodying the dreams of the kind of nations our children will inherit. Trump praised Saudi Arabia, a brutally repressive dictatorship where women have few rights, and which is fighting a war in Yemen that is creating a humanitarian catastrophe. He praised Poland, a Nato ally where democratic institutions are under assault from its own government. And he praised Israel, a US ally that runs a military occupation of the Palestinian people in the West Bank. If these countries are Trumps idea of the future we want to leave for our children, Trumps vision of the world he wants to build is quite dark.

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Perhaps the laughter in the room during Trumps speech was a tinged with a sense of anxiety and dread. Perhaps it was the response that comes from those who recognize they are listening to a reckless, dangerous vision from the leader of the worlds most powerful country. And all one can do is muster is a despondent chuckle.

  • Michael H Fuchs is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and a former deputy assistant secretary of state for east Asian and Pacific affairs

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

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