“China’s nationalist Global Times newspaper ran a cartoon captioned “Bully pulpit” showing Trump holding a megaphone, shouting “America First,” while the state-owned China Daily newspaper said Trump’s speech was “full of sound and fury.” (Source: Washington Post)
Imposing ‘America first’ and motivating other nations to also focus on their own ‘sovereignty’ – as president Trump did during his address to the United Nations, yesterday – will further undermine the already fragile United Nations, the current international order.
The problem with North Korea and Iran is that they are actually doing what president Trump is now promoting: put their own North Korean and Iranian sovereignty and interests first, with disregard for the interests of other states and the international community, at least that is the perspective of the US.
The double standard of the US is obvious: Sovereignty of other nations is promoted, but only if consistent with ‘America first’, that is American interests. If other nations also pursue their ‘sovereignty’ but their interests conflict with American interests, the United Nations is blamed by the US for failing to accomplish its purposes. Trump’s implicit threat to reconsider its (financial) support to the United Nations in the future, was not particularly subtle.
The United States’ current approach to international relations and the international order is a formula for disaster: It will further increase tensions, and at the same time undermine the already fragile fabric of the current international order. Collapse and a systemic crisis are a matter of time. Remarkable, if you consider that the United Nations still especially promotes American interests.