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Monday, September 18, 2017

Trump at the United Nations!

Weekly Opinion Editorial
U.N. CLUB SHOULD BE CLOSED!
by Steve Fair

     President Trump is at the United Nations this week in New York City.  On Monday as he addressed the General Assembly he noted the UN “has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement.  We seek a United Nations that works to regain the trust of the people around the world,” the president said.  "I encourage all member states to look at ways to take bold stands at the United Nations with an eye toward changing business as usual," Trump said.  The president also said that no one member should be shouldering a disproportionate share of the burden- militarily or financially.  Of the 193 members, the United States taxpayer is the largest provider of financial contributions to the United Nations:  twenty two percent of the total UN budget and twenty eight percent of the peacekeeping budget.  Japan contributes the second highest with 9.68%, followed by China (7.921%), Germany (6.389%), France (4.859%) and UK (4.463%) round out the top five. Russia contributes about 3%- same as Canada. 
     The fact is the United Nations has been a very ineffective body since its inception in 1945.  It is only as powerful as her members want it to be, because it doesn’t have any real enforcement power.  It operates on the idea of consent, not force.  If a member government doesn’t want to allow UN peacekeepers to do inspections, they simply tell them to take a hike.  The ultimate goal of the UN is to blur the lines of sovereign nations and establish a global governing body.  Charles de Gaulle, former president of France, famously called the UN, “the thingamabob,” saying it should work to facilitate defense treaties between countries and not create a global security alliance. 
     Trump’s primary reason for going to the UN is to rally support among member nations for dealing with North Korea.  North Korea keeps testing missiles and nukes despite tougher UN sanctions.   He is hopeful the UN will vote to enact sanctions on oil exports from North Korea.  By doing that it would pinch Kim Jon-un’s revenue stream. But no matter what the UN does or doesn’t do will likely not impact what Trump will do in regard to North Korea.
    President Trump has been very critical of the Obama negotiated Iran nuclear deal since he was candidate Trump.  He has said that he doesn’t believe Iran is complying with the spirit of the deal and favors more sanctions on Iran or renegotiation.
     As world leaders gather together this week at the UN, they will see a reduced presence of high level US officials at the meetings.  Normally there are over one thousand diplomats attending the week’s meetings.  Trump has reduced that number by several hundred. Politico reports that Trump said he wants to leave a ‘toe print, not a foot print’ at the UN meetings. That sends the message the president doesn’t believe the UN has America’s best interests at heart.  He’s right!  Trump once said the UN was, “a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.”  The sad part is the American taxpayer are paying the club dues.