President Trump came under attack this week from every angle. In the wake of his UN speech last Tuesday Trump has received criticism from every quarter, but the problem he has is not the threats from North Korea, nor the predictable censure from Cuba, not even the blasts from his many domestic critics, some of whom have been as critical of the UN as they have been of the President, but the criticism, some of which, admittedly, has been indirect, from those he can supposedly count among his friends. In particular the Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May.
Whilst the Washington Post described the speech as ‘defiant and pugilistic’, the New York Times referred to how the President had ‘brought the same confrontational style of leadership he has used at home to the world’s most prominent stage…..as he vowed to ‘totally destroy North Korea’ if it threatened the United States’. Something which has since actually happened, and for which many, on both sides of the Atlantic, are still waiting for a response. After the North Korean foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, likened the speech to the ‘sound of a dog barking’ on Wednesday, Kim Jong-un released a statement the following day in which he referred to the Trump as a ‘mentally deranged US dotard’.
Last Wednesday, the prominent peace activist and human and labor rights lawyer, Professor Dan Kovalik of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, himself a regular contributor to CounterPunch, the Huffington Post and TeleSUR, told the Russian news service ‘RT’ that not only was the United States accusing its enemies of things that it does, but President Trump was ‘accusing them of doing things that we do a hundred times over. We begrudge North Korea for having a few nuclear weapons when we have more nuclear weapons than any country on Earth and are engaged in a $1 trillion modernization of these weapons.’
The question of illegality in relation to certain passages of the speech was not lost on Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, who, in an interview with Aaron Mate of TRNN, described the speech as a violation of international law under Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter, which specifically forbids sovereign member states from either threatening or using force, without the back up of a UN Resolution. In an earlier interview on the same news network, Col. Larry Wilkerson, a former chief of staff to Colin Powell, had described the build up to the speech as a ‘Diplomatic Fiasco‘; in particular Ambassador Nikki Haley’s remarks in her recent speech at the American Enterprise Institute on the Iran nuclear deal.
Iran’s response to the President’s speech was to include an attack on Israel, the United States’ principal ally in the region, which the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, described as the ‘criminal Zionist state’. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had referred to Trump as the ‘new Hitler’ whilst simultaneously condemning Trump’s threats to take ‘further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.’
Although reactions to the speech, which basically amounted to little more than lip service to the Corporate Welfare and Warfare States on a variety of different levels, from a crowd of staunch Republicans at Friday’s rally in support of senator Luther Strange at Hunstville in Alabama, was enthusiastic to say the least, Sunday’s response to some of what was said on Friday from twenty-seven players from the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens at Wembley Stadium was perhaps an appropriate precursor to Lenin Moreno’s counter to Trump’s tough talk on Venezuela early on Monday. In an exclusive interview with RT President Moreno said that the Ecuadorian government believed that there should be no meddling in Venezuelan affairs, stating in Spanish that ‘each country has a right to its own path, its own way, the right to self-determination’, before adding that ‘there should not be even the slightest possibility of other countries’ intervention on its territory’.
But perhaps the greatest damage to the Presidential credibility in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, comes in the wake of Thursday’s statement from Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega that his country is about to sign up to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. This leaves the United States and Syria as the only two non compliant nations, a fact that was to earn President Trump a stern rebuke from Theresa May in her own flagship address to the UN’s General Assembly. Speaking just hours before a personal audience with the principal focus of her criticism, Donald Trump himself, the UK Prime Minister accused the President of ‘deliberately flouting’ the international rules which form the basis of ‘global cooperation’.
Having begun his career as a junior researcher at Thames Television in London, he has written for a wide range of publications including 'The Brighton Reporter', 'Durham Town and Country', 'The Brighton and Hove People' and 'The New Celtic Review'. As an exhibited film maker he has been a regular contributor and award nominee at the Portobello Film Festival in London; and has seen his work shown at the annual London Film Makers' Convention at the prestigious Round House Theatre.
As well as receiving enthusiastic reviews from BBC Radio 4 and others for his book on Sir Walter Scott, his pioneering work as an Underground Film Maker on the fledgeling Goa Trance Scene has set him in a field of his own amongst many of his contemporaries; both in the UK, where he presently resides, and elsewhere. Current projects presently in hand include a book centred on his 'Legendary London' series of documentary films, which have stimulated an enthusiastic response from the likes of Glenda Jackson and others; and a novel set in France and Edinburgh during the eighteenth century Scottish Enlightenment.
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