Our Opinion: How’s it working out?
Some world leaders have made their disdain for U.S. President Donald Trump very clear, very publicly. On Tuesday, he heard another round of lectures, after delivering one himself, at the United Nations.
Trump reiterated the philosophy that helped get him elected president. While embracing collective action, he used his speech at the U.N. to stress that, “I will always put America first.” And, he stressed the United States will take a strong stance regarding threats such as North Korea and Iran.
Well, now. Putting the interests of one’s own people first is anathema to many at the U.N. So is vowing to deal decisively with threats.
As has been customary on such occasions, Brazilian President Michel Temer addressed the U.N. General Assembly first on Tuesday. In what clearly was criticism of Trump, he said, “we need more diplomacy, not less…” Temer has other worries. He is charged in his home country with leading a criminal organization and obstructing justice. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was directly critical of Trump’s comments regarding North Korea. “This is a time for statesmanship,” he said.
For decades, U.S. presidents have followed that path, attempting to use diplomacy to hold North Korean militarism in check. The result? Pyongyang now has long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.
Fortunately, Trump tends to ignore advice such as that offered Tuesday at the U.N. His question to world leaders there ought to be: “Diplomacy? How’s that working out for you?”