In contrarian message, Trump preaches patriotism at UNGA

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United Nations, Sep 24 (IANS) US President Donald Trump took to the global stage of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to make a passionate case for nationalism declaring, “Love of our own nations makes the world better for all nations.”

A critic of globalisation who was elected on a platform of “America First,” he said several times that international frameworks of institutions and regulations were affecting the sovereignty of nations and saw a creep of “socialism.”

Delivering a contrarian message at the 193-member Assembly, he said: “If you want freedom, take pride in your country. If you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty. If you want peace, love your nation”.

Trump assailed the international trade system saying that it was exploited by some countries and people to impoverish the American middle class.

“For decades, the international trading system has been easily exploited by nations acting in bad faith. As jobs were outsourced, a small handful grew wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

“At the centre of our vision for national renewal is an ambitious campaign to reform international trade,” he said.

He devoted a part of his speech to criticising China for its trade practices and human rights record, and Iran, which he said was exporting terror and attacking countries in the neighbourhood.

Trump, who has so far shown military restraint in dealing with Iran, said: “The United States does not seek conflict with any other nation. We desire peace, cooperation, and mutual gain with all. But I will never fail to defend America’s interests.”

He expressed solidarity with the protesters in Hong Kong agitating for more democratic rights.

His speech for the most part was directed at the domestic audience and sounded like his campaign speeches for next year’s election.

Trump also strongly defended his stand against illegal immigration that has been criticised internationally and domestically. “When you undermine border security, you are undermining human rights and human dignity,” he said accusing those wanting open borders of promoting human smugglers who exploit migrants and abuse women.

He also took aim at UN policies on population, which he said contributed to abortions even at the last moment. With the emergence of the progressive wing of the Democratic party as a potent force, he denounced socialism.

By convention, the US is the second speaker at the opening of the high-level session of the General Assembly and follows the President of Brazil.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had also made attacks on socialism a centrepiece of his speech. He said that socialism had impoverished nations and attacked Cuba for spreading the message on his continent of Latin America and trying to undermine governments.

(Arul Louis can be contacted at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @arulouis)

–IANS

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