North Korea’s Kim keeps teen sex slaves, executes musicians with anti-aircraft guns, defector reveals

Kim Jong Un’s officials plucked teenage girls from North Korean schools to serve as the leader’s sex slaves, indulged in a gluttonous lifestyle while his people starved and ordered public executions that turned into horrific shows of violence, a North Korean defector revealed.

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Hee Yeon, who fled Pyongyang in 2015 and now lives in Seoul, told The Mirror about the years she spent living in constant fear of Kim Jong Un since the ruthless dictator took control of North Korea in 2011.

“Despite our privilege we were scared. I saw terrible things in Pyongyang,” Hee Yeon said.

FEMALE PRISONERS IN NORTH KOREAN CAMPS RAPED AND EXECUTED, THEIR BABIES FED TO DOGS, REPORT SAYS

In what heinous example, she recalled standing in a crowd of 10,000 people assembled to watch the execution of 11 musicians who allegedly made a pornographic video. Security guards ordered the viewers to leave their classes and stand in a stadium around the men, who were tied up and gagged.

“What I saw that day made me sick in my stomach. They were lashed to the end of anti-aircraft guns,” she said. “A gun was fired, the noise was deafening, absolutely terrifying. And the guns were fired one after the other.”

She added: “The musicians just disappeared each time the guns were fired into them. Their bodies were blown to bits, totally destroyed, blood and bits flying everywhere…and then, after that, military tanks moved in and they ran over the bits on the ground where the remains lay.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets supporters in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 12, 2017. REUTERS/KCNA   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. - RC1DA0FE3F10

Kim Jong Un meets supporters in Pyongyang. The dictator was hailed as “the great successor” when he came into power in 2011.  (Reuters)

Hee Yeon remembered seeing the remains “smashed…into the ground until there was nothing left.” She said the gruesome scene haunted her and took away her appetite for three days.

A report, released by The Transnational Justice Working Group in Seoul in July, also stated the regime’s firing squad carried out public executions in school yards, bridges and sports stadiums.

But that was just the tip of the insanity Hee Yeon said she witnessed. She said no one was immune to the young leader’s vicious whims, and anyone could be executed if they were suspected of disloyalty.

NORTH KOREA FIRING SQUAD CARRIES OUT PUBLIC EXECUTIONS IN SCHOOL YARDS, REPORT SAYS

“I was brought up [and] told he was like a god – that he was as a young boy an expert sailor, marksman before the age of seven, god-like,” she said. “Then I met him at big events, I found him terrifying, really scary, nothing god-like about him.”

Several previous reports also painted Kim as a hot-tempered man. He reportedly executed his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, when he “flew into a rage” after finding out about an alleged coup plot that was planned with China. Nam Sung Wook, a security expert, recalled the leader “exploded with foul language” when his former girlfriend suggested he stop smoking.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claps during a celebration for nuclear scientists and engineers who contributed to a hydrogen bomb test, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on September 10, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. - RC15DB4A91F0

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claps during a celebration for nuclear scientists and engineers who contributed to a hydrogen bomb test, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang.  (Reuters)

Hee Yeon also said “the prettiest” schoolgirls were taken away to work in one of Kim’s “hundreds of homes around Pyongyang.”

“They learn to serve him food like caviar and extremely rare delicacies. They are also taught how to massage him and they become sex slaves,” she said. “Yes, they have to sleep with him and they cannot make a mistake or object because they could very easily simply disappear.”

And as the rest of North Korea suffered from poverty and food shortages, Kim was reportedly indulging in $2,700 “bird’s nest soup,” caviar and other imported dishes.

“One of my friends went to work at one of his hundreds of homes in Pyongyang and she told me this was what he liked,” Hee Yeon told The Mirror.

CAN US MILITARY SHOOT DOWN A NORTH KOREAN MISSILE?

Kim came into power when his father died from a heart attack in December 2011. He has been credited with propelling the regime’s missile and nuclear program, appointing rocket scientists to identify flaws in the program that hadn’t been noticed before. Little is known about his secretive family, but he is married to Ri Sol-ju and reportedly has three children, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

This undated file image distributed on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, by the North Korean government, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an undisclosed location. North Korea’s latest nuclear test was part theater, part propaganda and maybe even part fake. But experts say it was also a major display of something very real: Pyongyang’s mastery of much of the know-how it needs to reach its decades-old goal of becoming a full-fledged nuclear state.  The jury is still out on whether North Korea tested, as it claims, a hydrogen bomb ready to be mounted on an ICBM.  (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

The photo shows Kim Jong Un after the regime carried out its sixth nuclear test, reportedly a hydrogen bomb.  (KCNA via KNS)

Kim vowed to complete his nuclear program despite recent U.N. sanctions against North Korea and President Trump’s threats to destroy the dictatorship. Trump addressed the U.N. assembly on Tuesday and mocked Kim as “rocket man,” saying the dictator was “on a suicide mission for himself and his regime.”

North Korea has threatened to strike the U.S. territory of Guam with missiles and conducted its 15th missile test of the year last week. It carried out its sixth nuclear test in early September. But amid the bombastic threats, Hee Yeon said the leader’s actions reflect his fear the regime will eventually be toppled.

“Kim Jong-Un threatens war because he feels cornered and has no escape,” she said.

Courtesy, Fox News

‘Complete failure’: US organizations unite to decry Trump’s UN speech on N. Korea

'Complete failure': US organizations unite to decry Trump's UN speech on N. Korea
Donald Trump’s speech at the UN, in which he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary, has been slammed by progressive organizations calling it a “complete failure of American leadership” and “yet another reckless escalation.”

READ MORE: N. Korea threatens US with ‘horrible nuclear strike and miserable and final ruin’

The three organizations – MoveOn.org, CREDO Action, and Win Without War – blasted Trump’s speech in a joint statement published on Tuesday.

“Donald Trump’s first speech to the United Nations General Assembly today – and in particular, his remarks about North Korea – was nothing short of a complete failure of American leadership,” the statement reads.

It adds that Trump threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” instead of “focusing on efforts to peacefully resolve the crisis surrounding its nuclear program.”

The organizations said it is “time for this charade to end,” calling it a “slow roll towards a catastrophic war” and stressing the need to solve the crisis diplomatically.

“Trump’s UN speech represents yet another reckless escalation in the ongoing tit-for-tat between North Korea and the United States that does nothing but edge us closer to nuclear war.”

The statement goes on to state that war on the Korean peninsula would “likely kill millions of Korean, Japanese and American troops stationed in the region; wreak havoc on the world economy; inflict a humanitarian crisis not seen since World War II and potentially compel the North Koreans to use their nuclear arsenal.”

The organizations also accuse Trump of employing “bluster and counterproductive threats.”

“Less than a year into office, Trump has managed to take what was a difficult, challenging situation and turn it into an even bigger, full-blown crisis and place our nation on the verge of a devastating and unnecessary war. Threats and bombastic tweets are not leadership, they won’t keep America safe, and they need to stop.”

In conclusion, the organizations state that “the choice is clear.”

“Either we let Trump’s incompetence and bellicosity drive us into a destructive conflict potentially more devastating than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined, or we can focus our efforts on negotiation.”

“We will not be deterred in our efforts to prevent another disastrous US-led war. The fate of the region and the world depends on it,” the end of the statement reads.

The joint statement comes after Trump delivered a no-holds-barred speech at the UN on Tuesday, vowing to “totally destroy”North Korea if necessary.

READ MORE: Trump does not want war with N. Korea, US not giving up on diplomatic efforts – Ambassador Haley

The three organizations weren’t the only ones to criticize Trump following the speech, with the California-based Jewish Voice for Peace accusing the US president of being a “threat to peace.”

Meanwhile, some took to social media to accuse Trump of threatening “genocide.”

Another person regarded Trump’s speech as proof that the leader only cares about it being “loved by his most right-wing base,” and not its reception by the rest of the world.

Some accused Trump of being a “danger to humanity.”

Still others called Trump’s speech a “terrifying vision of an aspiring dictator” and called on America to “wake up.”

Unsurprisingly, former Democratic presidential candidate and perhaps Donald Trump’s biggest foe, Hillary Clinton, also criticized the speech.

“I thought it was very dark, dangerous, not the kind of message that the leader of the greatest nation in the world should be delivering,” Clinton told US television host Stephen Colbert.

“When you face dangerous situations like what is happening in North Korea, to make it clear, your first approach should always be diplomatic,” Clinton added.

Meanwhile, a Trump parody account on Twitter took a lighter note, addressing the speech’s fictional edits.

“Had to edit parts out of UN speech where I called Canadian PM a doodiehead, said Kim Jong Un has cooties & threatened to nuke the Vatican!” the tweet states.

Despite the criticism aimed at Trump’s speech, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said earlier Wednesday that Trump “doesn’t want war.” 

READ MORE: Trump does not want war with N. Korea – Ambassador Haley

“We have tried to do this through dialogue, we’ve tried to do this through sanctions, we’ve tried every diplomatic measure that we possibly can. We’re not giving up on that…” she told ‘CBS This Morning.’

Courtesy, RT

850 jihadists killed as Russian warplanes help Syrian Army repel Idlib offensive – Moscow

850 jihadists killed as Russian warplanes help Syrian Army repel Idlib offensive – Moscow
Russian warplanes and Syrian forces have repelled an offensive by jihadists in a de-escalation zone in Idlib governorate in Syria. The forces killed some 850 militants and destroyed 11 tanks and other assets, Russia’s General Staff reported.

The offensive was launched by the militant group formerly called Al-Nusra Front and its allies on Tuesday morning, a statement from the General Staff said.

The jihadists attacked the positions of government forces stationed to the north and northeast of the city of Hama. The positions are part of a designated de-escalation zone, which covers Idlib governorate, the powerbase of a number of anti-government armed groups in Syria, the Russian military said.

The report accused US security services of instigating the offensive, which, the statement said, is meant to derail the successful operation of Damascus forces east of Deir ez-Zor.

The Russian General Staff said the militants tried to capture a unit of the Russian military police, which have a mandate to monitor the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation zone. The unit was forced to fight against a larger enemy presence for several hours, but prevailed thanks to the support of a local militia.

The Russian command in Syria ordered an operation to repel the militants’ assault, including airstrikes and a ground offensive conducted by the military police and special operations forces, General Sergey Rudskoy, spokesman for the Russian General Staff, added in the statement.

The Russian unit was successfully rescued. Three troops from the special operations forces were injured, but the Russian forces suffered no fatalities, Rudskoy said.

The General Staff said the jihadist offensive had been stopped. The militants’ estimated losses include some 850 fighters, 11 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, 46 armed pickup trucks, five mortars, 20 freighter trucks and 38 ammo supply points.

The statement says Syrian government forces supported by Russian warplanes launched a counteroffensive and recaptured territories previously seized by the jihadists.

Courtesy, RT

‘Rogue newcomer’: Rouhani calls Trump’s UN remarks over nuclear deal ‘ignorant & absurd’

‘Rogue newcomer’: Rouhani calls Trump’s UN remarks over nuclear deal ‘ignorant & absurd’
Iran will respond “decisively” to any violation of the 2015 nuclear deal by “any party,” President Hassan Rouhani said in his speech at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, as he hit back at US President Donald Trump.

US President Donald Trump’s UN speech was a “violation” of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani told journalists Wednesday, as cited by Reuters. He added that in case the deal collapses, Tehran could return to the high level uranium enrichment that is needed for its reactor fuel.

The leader of the Islamic Republic also said that his country has “various options” it could use to respond in case the US withdraws from the agreement, including resuming enrichment to satisfy the needs of the Iranian atomic energy industry, TASS reported.

Iran will respond “decisively” to any violation of the 2015 nuclear deal by “any party,” President Hassan Rouhani said in his speech at the UN General Assembly earlier on Wednesday, as he hit back at US President Donald Trump.

“I declare before you that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not be the first country to violate the agreement,” the Iranian president said, adding that Tehran “will respond decisively and resolutely to its violation by any party.”

He went on to say that “it will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by ‘rogue’ newcomers to the world of politics – the world will have lost a great opportunity,” apparently referring to Trump, who earlier called the Iranian nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions” and an “embarrassment” to the US.

Rouhani then warned that “by violating its international commitments, the new US administration only destroys its own credibility,” and once again said that Tehran does not plan to withdraw from the deal and return to nuclear weapons development.

However, in August, Iran’s president warned that Tehran is ready to withdraw from the deal within “not a week or a month but within hours” and return to its nuclear program should Washington impose new restrictions against it.

The Iranian leader then criticized the US president’s Tuesday speech to the General Assembly, calling it “ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric filled with ridiculously baseless allegations.”

In his speech, Trump called Iran a “depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos,” saying that it funds “terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.”

Last week, Trump hinted that the US might not re-certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement in October, adding that Tehran “violated the spirit” of the deal.

On Wednesday, the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, downplayed Trump’s statements by saying that the US president’s speech at the UNGA does not mean that the US plans to disown the deal.

At the same time, she said that the White House has “grounds” not to re-certify Iran’s compliance with the agreement in October.

Courtesy, RT

What are Donald Trump’s objections to the Iran nuclear deal?

The US president is threatening to pull the country out of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord. DW examines why Trump is considering dropping the deal and who shares his concerns on Iran.

UN Generalversammlung in New York | Donald Trump, Präsident USA (Getty Images/AFP/T.A. Clary)

The “worst deal ever”: That is how US President Donald Trump describes the 2015 landmark Iran nuclear accord. He repeatedly has signaled that the United States will withdraw from or revise the agreement, a threat he reiterated most recently during Tuesday’s speech at the UN General Assembly. 

Both the US State Department and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran has abided by the agreement, and nuclear non-proliferation experts and other international powers that brokered the deal are pressing the White House to stay in.

So why is the Trump administration against the nuclear accord?

The answer lies with the deal’s alleged weaknesses and, equally important, non-nuclear related issues that the Trump administration would now like to bring onto the negotiating table, such as Iran’s ballistic missile program and the Islamic republic’s expanding influence in the Middle East.

Watch video00:38

Trump slams Iran at United Nations

Read more: Donald Trump and the Iran nuclear deal – a crisis in the making

What does the Iran nuclear deal do?

Under the 2015 deal negotiated between Iran and the P5+1 (US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany), Tehran agreed to dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of crushing international sanctions and the unfreezing of billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets. Under the deal, Iran is permitted to maintain a small amount of nuclear-related activity and uranium stockpiles for research and medicine purposes.

However, the quantities are far below any threshold that would allow the fast and unannounced development of nuclear weapons. In effect, Iran is allowed peaceful nuclear research just as any other country.

Objection: delay but not prevent

At the time of the deal, Western intelligence agencies estimated it would take Iran as little as one year to produce a nuclear weapon. The 2015 accord restricted Iran’s nuclear-related activities for 10 to 15 years. After this period expires, the deal will need to be renegotiated or Iran could theoretically restart its nuclear weapons program.

Iran's Supreme leader Ali Khamenei (Irna)Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has accused Trump of unfair criticism of the country’s nuclear programs

If Iran then were to choose to pursue nuclear weapons, it would start from a lower starting point that would buy time for the international community to respond.

But the Trump administration finds this ‘sunset clause’ —  essentially the accord’s expiration date — to be problematic because it delays, rather than prevents, Iran’s development of a nuclear bomb. The White House’s concerns echo Israel’s, which has argued that the nuclear issue cannot be kicked down the road.

Read more: Ayatollah Khamenei slams US ‘bullying’ on nuclear deal

Objection: covert nuclear activity?

The deal also allows the IAEA inspections regime  to monitor declared nuclear facilities, storage facilities and supply chains.

However, the Trump administration argues that the nuclear accord does not provide access to restricted military sites that could be used for a covert weapons development program. It has demanded that inspectors gain access to these sites, something that Iran has rejected.

Supporters of the deal argue that any covert program would be spotted through existing monitoring provisions of existing facilities and supply chains.

Objection: ballistic missiles

The wording of UN resolution authorizing the nuclear deal is vague on ballistic missiles. It “calls upon” — but does not require —Iran not to carry out work “related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Iran says its ballistic missiles are conventional weapons that are not “designed to” carry nuclear warheads even if they are “capable of” delivering them. Since Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons, Tehran argues, the UN resolution does not apply to its ballistic missile program.

But the Trump administration argues that the missile program violates the nature of the deal and views it as a threat to US Gulf Arab allies and Israel. The US has slapped a number of sanctions on Iranover the program, causing Tehran in turn to accuse the US of going against the spirit of the accord.

Iran makes missiles tests (picture-alliance/dpa/Defence Ministry Iran)Iran launches a ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in March 2016

Objection: funds for ‘destabilizing activities’

Under the nuclear deal, a good chuck of Iran’s internationally frozen assets, valuing some $100 billion, were released. The Trump administration argues that is bad because this money can be used to fund Iran’s “destabilizing activities” in the Middle East and support of terrorist groups.

US grievances include Iran’s hostility to Israel, its engagement in Syria and Iraq, and the Islamic Republic’s wide regional support for various Shiite militant groups including Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi rebels in Yemen, as well as for Hamas, the militant Islamist organization in the Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, Washington and Israel are concerned that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a security and military organization separate from the regular armed forces, and Hezbollah are setting up bases on Israel’s doorstep in southern Syria.

Read more: Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad: Propped up by Tehran and Moscow

Trump visits Saudi Arabia (picture-alliance/abaca)In May, Trump opened a combating extremism center with Arab and Muslim allies in Saudi Arabia. At the time, he had sharp words for Iran.

Who objects alongside Trump? 

Internationally, Trump’s view of the deal reflects that of the Gulf Arab monarchies and the right-wing of the powerful Israel lobby in the US. Both the Gulf monarchies and Israel are concerned about Iran’s expanding influence in the Middle East and the end of Iran’s international isolation through the lifting of sanctions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly lambasted the nuclear deal and lobbied the Trump administration to pull out. However, current and former Israeli intelligence and military officials have said that while the deal is not perfect, Iran has not violated the agreement and a US withdrawal would backfire.

Netanyahu stands before the UNNetanyahu praised Trump’s hardline comments on Iran at the UN.

Domestically, critics of the Iran deal in Trump’s current administration include  US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, CIA chief Mike Pompeo and senior White House policy advisor Stephen Miller.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are reportedly in favor of the US staying in the deal, despite advocating a strong line against Iran.

How could Trump break the deal?

Trump faces an October 15 deadline to certify to the US Congress whether Iran is complying with the nuclear deal. If he does not certify compliance, Congress could impose nuclear-related sanctions, effectively killing the 2015 deal. However, it remains unclear how the Republican-controlled Congress would respond.

Read more: New US Russia sanctions bill risks EU anger

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FULL TEXT: Netanyahu’s Address to UN General Assembly


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to Iranians in Farsi, and says that penguins are ‘enthusiastic supporters of Israel’

Haaretz Sep 19, 2017 10:46 PM
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York September 19, 2017 TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP
Egypt’s Sissi to Netanyahu: Israeli-Palestinian peace would create new reality in Mideast
Analysis Trump delights Netanyahu with belligerent and nationalist right-wing UN speech
Netanyahu at UN: Iran must know that those who threaten us with annihilation put themselves in peril
The full transcript of Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly:
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, we’re in the midst of a great revolution. A revolution in Israel’s standing among the nations. This is happening because so many countries around the world have finally woken up to what Israel can do for them. Those countries now recognize what brilliant investors, like Warren Buffet, and great companies, like Google and Intel, what they’ve recognized and known for years: that Israel is THE innovation nation. THE place for cutting-edge technology and agriculture, in water, in cybersecurity, in medicine, in autonomous vehicles. You name it, we’ve got it.

Those countries now also recognize Israel’s exceptional capabilities in fighting terrorism. In recent years, Israel has provided intelligence that has prevented dozens of major terrorist attacks around the world. We have saved countless lives. Now, you may not know this, but your governments do, and they’re working closely together with Israel to keep your countries safe and your citizens safe. I stood here last year on this podium, and I spoke about this profound change in Israel’s standing around the world. And just look at what has happened since, in one year.
Hundreds of presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and other leaders have visited Israel, many for the first time. Of these many visits, two were truly historic. In May, President Trump became the first American president to include Israel in his first visit abroad. President Trump stood at the Western Wall, at the foot of the Temple Mount, where the Jewish people – or rather the Jewish people’s temples stood for nearly 1,000 years, and when the president touched those ancient stones, he touched our hearts forever.
In July, Prime Minister Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel. You may have seen ten pictures. We were on a beach in Hadera, we rode together in a Jeep outfitted with a portable desalination device that some thriving Israeli entrepreneur invented. We took off our shoes, waded into the Mediterranean, and drank seawater that had been purified only a few minutes earlier. We imagined the endless possibilities for India, for Israel, for all of humanity.
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In the past year, Israel has hosted so many world leaders, and I had the honor of representing my country on six different continents. One year, six continents. I went to Africa, where I saw Israeli innovators increasing crop yields, turning air into water, fighting AIDS. I went to Asia, where we deepened our relations with China and with Singapore and expanded our cooperation with our Muslim friends in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. I went to Europe, where in London and Paris, Saloniki and Budapest, we enhanced our security and economic ties. I went to Australia, becoming the first Israeli prime minister to visit our great allies down under, and just last week, I went to South America, visiting Argentina and Colombia, and then I went on to Mexico, becoming, if you can believe it, the first Israeli prime minister ever to visit Latin America.

After 70 years, the world is embracing Israel, and Israel is embracing the world.
(Applause)
One year, six continents. Now, it’s true: I haven’t yet visited Antarctica, but one day, I hope to go there. I want to go there, too, because I heard that penguins are also enthusiastic supporters of Israel. Now, you laugh, but penguins have no difficulty recognizing that some things are black and white, are right and wrong, and unfortunately, when it comes to UN decisions about Israel, that simple recognition is too often absent.
It was absent last December when the Security Council passed an anti-Israel resolution that set back the cause of peace. It was absent last May when the World Health Organization adopted – you have to listen to this – the World Health Organization adopted a Syrian-sponsored resolution that criticized Israel for health conditions on the Golan Heights. As the great John McEnroe would say, you cannot be serious. I mean, this is preposterous. Syria has barrel-bombed, starved, gassed and murdered hundreds of thousands of its own citizens and wounded millions more, while Israel has provided life-saving medical care to thousands of Syrian victims of that very same carnage. Yet who does the World Health Organization? Israel.
So is there no limit to the UN’s absurdities when it comes to Israel? Well, apparently not. Because in July, UNESCO declared the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron a Palestinian World Heritage Site. That’s worse than fake news; that’s fake history. Mind you, it’s true that Abraham, the father of both Ishmael and Isaac, is buried there, but so, too, are Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca – Sarah’s a Jewish name, by the way – Sarah, Rebecca and Leah, who just happened to be patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people. Well, you won’t read about that in the latest UNESCO report, but if you want to, you can read about it in a somewhat weightier publication. It’s called “the Bible.” I highly recommend it. I hear it even got four and a half out of five stars on Amazon. And it’s a great read. I read it every week.
Ladies and gentlemen, a moment to be serious. Despite the absurdities, despite the repetition of these farcical events, there is change, slowly but surely. There are signs of positive change, even at the United Nations.
Mr. Secretary-General, I very much appreciate your statement that denying Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitism, pure and simple. Now that’s important because for too long, the epicenter of global anti-Semitism has been right here at the UN, and while it may take many years, I’m absolutely confident that the revolution in Israel’s ties with individual nations will ultimately be reflected here in this hall of nations.
I say that because there’s also a marked change in the positions of some of our key friends. Thanks to President Trump’s unequivocal support for Israel in this body, that positive change is gathering force. So thank you, President Trump. Thank you for supporting Israel at the UN, and thank you for your support, Ambassador Nikki Haley. Thank you for speaking the truth about Israel.
(Applause)
But ladies and gentlemen, here at the UN, we must also speak the truth about Iran, as President Trump did so powerfully this morning. Now, as you know, I’ve been ambassador to the UN, and I’m a long-serving Israeli prime minister, so I’ve listened to countless speeches in this hall, but I can say this: None were bolder, none were more courageous and forthright than the one delivered by President Trump today. President Trump rightly called the nuclear deal with Iran – he called it “an embarrassment.” Well, I couldn’t agree with him more. And here’s why: Iran vows to destroy my country. Every day, including by its chief of staff the other day.
Iran is conducting a campaign of conquest across the Middle East, and Iran is developing ballistic missiles to threaten the entire world.
Two years ago, I stood here and explained why the Iranian nuclear deal not only doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, but actually paves it. Because the restrictions placed on Iran’s nuclear program have what’s called “a sunset clause.” Now let me explain what that term means. It means that in a few years, those restrictions will be automatically removed, not by a change in Iran’s behavior, not by a lessening of its terror or its aggression: they’ll just be removed by a mere change in the calendar. And I warned that when that sunset comes, a dark shadow will be cast over the entire Middle East and the world because Iran will then be free to enrich uranium on an industrial scale, placing it on the threshold of a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons. That’s why I said two years ago that the greater danger is not that Iran will rush to a single bomb by breaking the deal, but that Iran will be able to build many bombs by keeping the deal.
Now, in the last few months, we’ve all seen how dangerous even a few nuclear weapons can be in the hands of a small rogue regime. Now imagine the danger of hundreds of nuclear weapons in the hands of a vast Iranian-Islamist empire with the missiles to deliver them anywhere on earth. I know there are those who still defend the dangerous deal with Iran, arguing that it will block Iran’s path to the bomb. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s exactly what they said about the nuclear deal with North Korea, and we all know how that turned out.
Unfortunately, if nothing changes, this deal will turn out exactly the same way. That’s why Israel’s policy regarding the nuclear deal with Iran is very simple: Change it or cancel it. Fix it or nix it. Nixing the deal means restoring massive pressure on Iran, including crippling sanctions until Iran fully dismantles its nuclear weapons capability. Fixing the deal requires many things, among them inspecting military and any other site that is a suspect, and penalizing Iran for every violation. But above all, fixing the deal means getting rid of the sunset clause. And beyond fixing this bad deal, we must also stop Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and roll back its growing aggression in the region.
I remember when we had these debates. As you know, I took a fairly active role in them – and many supporters of the deal naively believed that it would somehow moderate Iran. It would make it a responsible member, so they said, of the international community. Well, you know, I strongly disagreed. I warned that when the sanctions on Iran would be removed, Iran would behave like a hungry tiger unleashed, not joining the community of nations, but devouring nations one after the other. And that’s precisely what Iran is doing today.
From the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, from Tehran to Tartus, an Iranian curtain is descending across the Middle East. Iran spreads this curtain of tyranny and terror over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere, and it pledges to extinguish the light of Israel. Today, I have a simple message to Ayatollah Khamenei, the dictator of Iran: The light of Israel will never be extinguished.
(Applause)
נצח ישראל לא ישקר.
(Applause)
Those who threaten us with annihilation put themselves in mortal peril. Israel will defend itself with the full force of our arms and the full power of our convictions. We will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces. We will act to prevent Iran from producing deadly weapons in Syria or in Lebanon for use against us. And we will act to prevent Iran from opening new terror fronts against Israel along our northern border. As long as Iran’s regime seeks the destruction of Israel, Iran will face no fiercer enemy than Israel.
But I also have a message today for the people of Iran: You are not our enemy. You are our friends. (Farsi: Shoma duste ma hesteed.) One day, my Iranian friends, you will be free from the evil regime that terrorizes you, hangs gays, jails journalists, tortures political prisoners and shoots innocent women like Neda Soltan, leaving her choking on her own blood on the streets of Tehran. I have not forgotten Neda. I’m sure you haven’t, too. And so, the people of Iran, when your day of liberation finally comes, the friendship between our two ancient peoples will surely flourish once again.
Ladies and gentlemen, Israel knows that in confronting the Iranian regime, we are not alone. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those in the Arab world who share our hopes for a brighter future. We’ve made peace with Jordan and Egypt, whose courageous president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi I met here last night. I appreciate President al-Sissi’s support for peace, and I hope to work closely with him and other leaders in the region to advance peace.
Israel is committed to achieving peace with all our Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians. Yesterday, President Trump and I discussed this, all of this, at great length. I appreciate President Trump’s leadership, his commitment to stand by Israel’s side, his commitment to advance a peaceful future for all. Together, we can seize the opportunities for peace, and together we can confront the great dangers of Iran.
The remarkable alliance between the United States and Israel has never been stronger, never been deeper. And Israel is deeply grateful for the support of the Trump administration, the American Congress and the American people.
Ladies and gentlemen, in this year of historic visits and historic anniversaries, Israel has so much to be grateful for. One hundred and twenty years ago, Theodore Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress to transform our tragic past into a brilliant future by establishing the Jewish state. One hundred years ago, the Balfour Declaration advanced Herzl’s vision by recognizing the right of the Jewish people to a national home in our ancestral homeland. Seventy years ago, the United Nations further advanced that vision by adopting a resolution supporting the establishment of a Jewish state. And 50 years ago, we reunited our eternal capital, Jerusalem, achieving a miraculous victory against those who sought to destroy our state.
Theodore Herzl was our modern Moses, and his dream has come true. We’ve returned to the Promised Land, revived our language, ingathered our exiles, and build a modern, thriving democracy. Tomorrow evening, Jews around the world will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of our new year. It’s a time of reflection, and we look back with wonder at the remarkable, the miraculous rebirth of our nation, and we look ahead with pride to the remarkable contributions Israel will continue to make to all nations.
You look around you, and you will see these contributions every day. In the food you eat, the water you drink, the medicines you take, the cars you drive, the cell phones you use, and in so many other ways that are transforming our world. You see it in the smile of an African mother in a remote village who, thanks to an Israeli innovation, no longer must walk eight hours a day to bring water to her children. You see it in the eyes of an Arab child who was flown to Israel to undergo a life-saving heart operation. And you see it in the faces of the people in earthquake-stricken Haiti and Nepal who were rescued from the rubble and given new life by Israeli doctors. As the prophet Isaiah said, (says in Hebrew first) “I’ve made you alight onto the nations, bringing salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Today, 27 hundred years after Isaiah spoke those prophetic words, Israel is becoming a rising power among the nations, and at long last, its light is shining across the continents, bringing hope and salvation to the ends of the earth.
Happy new year. Shanah tovah from Israel. Thank you.

Haaretz
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.813336

FULL TEXT: Donald Trump’s First Address to UN General Assembly

 
U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at North Korea and Iran during his first address to the UN General Assembly

Haaretz Sep 19, 2017 5:48 PM
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President Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly in New York on Sep 19, 2017. SPENCER PLATT/AFP
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The full transcript of U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly:
Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, world leaders, and distinguished delegates, welcome to New York. It is a profound honor to stand here in my home city as a representative of the American people to address the people of the world. As millions of our citizens continue to suffer the effects of the devastating hurricanes that have struck our country, I want to express my appreciation to every leader in this room who has offered assistance and aid.

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The American people are strong and resilient, and they will emerge from these hardships more determined than ever before. Fortunately, the United States has done very well since election day last November 8. The stock market is at an all-time high, a record. Unemployment is its lowest level in 16 year. And because of our regulatory and other reforms, we have more people working in the United States today than ever before. Companies are moving back, creating job growth the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time, and it has just been announced that we will be spending almost 700 billion dollars on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been.
For more than 70 years, in times of war and peace, the leaders of nations, movements and religions have stood before this assembly. Like them, I intend to address some of the very serious threats before us today, but also the enormous potential waiting to be unleashed. We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity. Breakthroughs in science, technology and medicine are curing illnesses and solving problems that prior generations thought impossible to solve. But each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value. Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body, not only support terrorists, but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.
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Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the systems and alliances that prevented conflicted and tilted the world toward freedom since World War II. International criminal networks traffic drugs, weapons, people, force dislocation and mass migration, threaten our borders and new forms of aggression exploit technology to menace our citizens. To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril.
It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair.

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We have it in our power, should we so choice, to lift millions from poverty, to help our citizens realize their dreams and to ensure that new generations of children are raised free from violence, hatred and fear. This institution was founded in the aftermath of two world wars to help shape this better future. It was based on the vision that diverse nations could cooperate to protect their sovereignty, preserve their security and promote their prosperity. It was in the same period exactly 70 years ago that the United States developed the Marshall Plan to help restore Europe. Those three beautiful pillars: they’re pillars of peace, sovereignty, security and prosperity. The Marshall Plan was built on the noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are strong, independent and free. As President Truman said in his message to Congress at that time, our support of European recovery is in full accord with our support of the United Nations. The success of the United Nations depends on the independent strength of its members who overcome the perils of the present, and to achieve the promise of the future, we must begin with the wisdom of the past. Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty to promote security, prosperity and peace for themselves and for the world.
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We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation. This is the beautiful vision of this institution. And this is the foundation for cooperation and success. Strong, sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect.
Strong sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny. And strong, sovereign nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life intended by God.
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In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch. This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that example. We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved constitution, the oldest constitution still in use in the world today. This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity and freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe whose countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity and the rule of law. The greatest in the United States constitution is its first three, beautiful words. They are: “We the People.” Generations of Americans have sacrificed to maintain the promise of those words, the promise of our country and of our great history.
In America, the people govern. The people rule. And the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people, where it belongs. In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government’s first duty is to its people. To our citizens. To serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.
As President of the United States, I will always put America first. Just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always, and should always, put your countries first.
(Applause)
All responsible leaders have an obligation to serve their own citizens, and the nation-state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition. But make it a better life for our people also requires us to work together in close harmony and unity to create a more safe and peaceful future for all people. The United States will forever be a great friend to the world, and especially to its allies, but we can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return.
As long as I hold this office, I will defend America’s interests above all else, but in fulfilling our obligations to our own nations, we also realize that it’s in everyone’s interests to seek a future where all nations can be sovereign, prosperous and secure.
America does more than speak for the values expressed in the United Nations charter. Our citizens have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedom and the freedom of many nations represented in this great hall. America’s devotion is measured on the battlefields where our young men and women have fought and sacrificed alongside of our allies. From the beaches of Europe to the deserts of the Middle East to the jungles of Asia. It is an eternal credit to the American character that even after we and our allies emerge victorious from the bloodiest war in history, we did not seek territorial expansion or attempt to oppose and impose our way of life on others. Instead, we helped build institutions, such as this one, to defend the sovereignty, security and prosperity for all.
For the diverse nations of the world, this is our hope. We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife. We are guided by outcomes, not ideology. We have a policy of principled realism, rooted in shared goals, interests and values. That realism forces us to confront a question facing every leader and nation in this room: It is a question we cannot escape or avoid. We will slide down the path of complacency, numb to the challenges, threats and even wars that we face. Or, do we have enough strength and pride to confront those dangers today so that our citizens can enjoy peace and prosperity tomorrow?
If we desire to lift up our citizens, if we aspire to the approval of history, then we must fulfil our sovereign duties to the people we faithfully represent. We must protect our nations, their interests, and their futures. We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these allow.
And just as the founders of this body intended, we must work together and confront together those who threaten us with chaos, turmoil and terror.
The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principal on which the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength. No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing and oppression of countless more.
We were all witness to the regime’s deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, (Otto) Warmbier only to die a few days later. We saw it in the assassination of the dictator’s brother, using banned nerve agents in an international airport. We know they kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea’s spies.
If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life. It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.
No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.
Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about. That’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do.
It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its only acceptable future. The United Nations Security Council recently held two unanimous, 15 to nothing votes adopting hard-hitting resolutions against North Korea, and I want to thank China and Russia for joining the vote to impose sanctions, along with all of the other members of the Security Council. Thank you to all involved, but we must do much more.
It is time for all nations to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior. We face this decision not only in North Korea. It is far past time for the nations of the world to confront another reckless regime. One that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room. The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos. The longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are in fact its own people.
Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian lives, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors. This wealth, which rightly belongs to Iran’s people, also goes to shore up Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship, fuel Yemen’s civil war and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East.
We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program.
(Applause)
The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.
It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death of destruction. It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained, and above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people and respect the sovereign rights of its own neighbors.
The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most.
This is what causes the regime to restrict internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protesters and imprison political reformers. Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the people will face a choice. Will they continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed and terror, or will the Iranian people return to the nation’s proud roots as a center of civilization, culture and wealth where their people can be happy and prosperous once again?
The Iranian regime’s support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its financing. In Saudi Arabia early last year, I was greatly honored to address the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations. We agreed that all responsible nations must work together to confront terrorists and the Islamic extremism that inspires them. We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation and indeed to tear up the entire world.
We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology. We must drive them out of our nations. It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries whose support and finance carry groups like Al Qaida, Hezbollah and the Taliban and others that slaughter innocent people.
The United States and our allies are working together throughout the Middle East to crush the loser terrorists and stop the re-emergence of safe havens they use to launch attacks on all of our people. Last month, I announced a new strategy for victory in the fight against this evil in Afghanistan. From now on, our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operations, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians.
I have also totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.
In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward lasting defeat of ISIS. In fact, our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many, many years combined. We seek the de-escalation of the Syrian conflict and a political solution that honors the will of the Syrian people. The actions of the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad, including the use of chemical weapons against its own citizens, even innocent children, shock the conscience of every decent person.
No society can be safe if banned chemical weapons are allowed to spread. That is why the United States carried out a missile strike on the air base that launched the attack. We appreciate the efforts of the United Nations agencies that are providing vital humanitarian assistance in areas liberated from ISIS, and we especially thank Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon for their role in hosting refugees from the Syrian conflict.
The United States is a compassionate nation and has spent billions and billions of dollars in helping to support this effort. We seek an approach to refugee resettlement that is designed to help these horribly treated people and which enables their eventual return to their home countries, to be part of the rebuilding process.
For the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region. Out of the goodness of our hearts, we offer financial assistance to hosting countries in the region, and we support recent agreements of the G20 nations that will seek to host refugees as close to their home countries as possible.
This is the safe, responsible and humanitarian approach. For decades, the United States has dealt with migration challenges, here in the western hemisphere. We have learned that over the long term, uncontrolled migration is deeply unfair to both the sending and receiving countries. For the sending countries, it reduces domestic pressure to pursue needed political and economic reform and drains them of the human capital necessary to motivate and implement those reforms. For the receiving countries, the substantial costs of uncontrolled migration are borne overwhelmingly by low-income citizens whose concerns are often ignored by both media and government.
I want to salute the work of the United Nations in seeking to address the problems that cause people to flee from their homes. The United Nations and African Union led peacekeeping missions to have invaluable contributions in stabilizing conflicts in Africa. The United States continues to lead the world in humanitarian assistance, including famine prevention and relief in south Sudan, Somalia and northern Nigeria and Yemen. We have invested in better health opportunity all over the world through programs like PEPFAR, which funds AIDS relief, the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Global Health Security Agenda, the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, part of our commitment to empowering women all across the globe.
We also thank the secretary-general for recognizing that the United Nations must reform if it is to be an effective partner in confronting threats to sovereignty, security and prosperity. Too often, the focus of this organization has not been on results, but on bureaucracy and process. In some cases, states that seek to subvert this institution’s noble aims have hijacked the very systems that are supposed to advance them.
For example, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the UN Human Rights Council. The United States is one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 percent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes. The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but, to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it.
Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some in fact are going to hell, but the powerful people in this room, under the guidance and auspices of the United Nations, can solve many of these vicious and complex problems. The American people hope that one day soon, the United Nations can be a much more accountable and effective advocate for human dignity and freedom around the world. In the meantime, we believe that no nation should have to bear a disproportionate share of the burden, militarily or financially.
Nations of the world must take a greater role in supporting secure and prosperous societies in their own regions. That is why in the Western hemisphere, the United States has stood against the corrupt, destabilizing regime in Cuba and embraced the enduring dream of the Cuban people to live in freedom.
My administration recently announced that we will not lift sanctions on the Cuban government until it makes fundamental reforms. We have also imposed tough, calibrated sanctions on the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has brought a once thriving nation to the brink of total collapse.
The socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country. This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried. To make matters worse, Maduro has defied his own people, stealing power from their elected representatives to preserve his disastrous rule.
The Venezuelan people are starving, and their country is collapsing. Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. This situation is completely unacceptable, and we cannot stand by and watch. As a responsible neighbor and friend, we and all others have a goal. That goal is to help them regain their freedom, recover their country and restore their democracy.
I would like to thank leaders in this room for condemning the regime and providing vital support to the Venezuelan people. The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable. We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people. We are fortunate enough to have incredibly strong and healthy trade relationships with many of the Latin American countries gathered here today. Our economic bond forms a critical foundation for advancing peace and prosperity for all of our people and all of our neighbors.
I ask every country represented here today to be prepared to do more to address this very real crisis. We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela.
(Applause)
The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.
(Scattered applause)
From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests and their wellbeing, including their prosperity.
In America, we seek stronger ties of business and trade with all nations of goodwill, but this trade must be fair, and it must be reciprocal. For too long, the American people were told that mammoth, multinational trade deals, unaccountable international tribunals and powerful global bureaucracies were the best way to promote their success. But as those promises flowed, millions of jobs vanished, and thousands of factories disappeared. Others gamed the system and broke the rules. And our great middle class, once the bedrock of American prosperity, was forgotten and left behind. But they are forgotten no more, and they will never be forgotten again.
While American will pursue cooperation and commerce with other nations, we are renewing our commitment to the first duty of every government, the duty of our citizens. This bond is the source of America’s strength and that of every responsible nation represented here today.
If this organization is to have any hope of successfully confronting the challenges before us, it will depend, as President Truman said, some 70 years ago, on the independent strength of its members. If we are to embrace the opportunities of the future and overcome the present dangers, together there can be no substitute for strong, sovereign and independent nations. Nations that are rooted in their histories and invested in their destinies. Nations that seek allies to befriend, not enemies to conquer. And most important of all, nations that are home to patriots, to men and women who are willing to sacrifice for their countries, their fellow citizens and for all that is best in the human spirit. In remembering the great victory that led to this body’s founding, we must never forget that those heroes who fought against evil also fought for the nations that they loved. Patriotism led the Poles to die to save Poland, the French to fight for a free France and the Brits to stand strong for Britain. Today, if we do not invest ourselves, our hearts and our minds in our nations, if we will not build strong families, safe communities and healthy societies for ourselves, nobody can do it for us. We cannot wait for someone else, for faraway countries or far-off bureaucracies. We can’t do it. We must solve our problems to build our prosperity, to secure our future, or we will be vulnerable to decay, domination and defeat.
The true question for the United Nations today, for people all over the world who hope for better lives for themselves and their children, is a basic one: Are we still patriots? Do we love our nations enough to protect their sovereignty and to take ownership of their futures? Do we revere them enough to defend their interests, preserve their cultures and ensure a peaceful world for their citizens?
One of the greatest American patriots, John Adams, wrote that the American Revolution was affected before the war commenced. The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. That was the moment when America awoke, when we looked around and understood that we were a nation. We realized who we were, what we valued, and what we would give our lives to defend.
From its very first moments, the American story is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future. The United States of America has been among the greatest forces for good in the history of the world and the greatest defenders of sovereignty, security and prosperity for all. Now we are calling for a great reawakening of nations. For the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people and their patriotism. History is asking us whether we are up to the task. Our answer will be a renewal of will, a rediscovery of resolve, and a rebirth of devotion. We need to defeat the enemies of humanity and unlock the potential of life itself. Our hope is a word and world of proud, independent nations that embrace their duties, seek friendship, respect others and make common cause in the greatest shared interest of all. A future of dignity and peace for the people of this wonderful Earth. This is the true vision of the United Nations. The ancient wish of every people, and the deepest yearning that lives inside every sacred soul. So let this be our mission, and let this be our message to the world: We will fight together, sacrifice together and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity and for the Almighty God who made us all. Thank you, God bless you. God bless the nations of the world, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.813252

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