Trump’s UN Rant: A stain that must disappear from the page of time

American Herald TribuneYURAM ABDULLAH WEILER: “If you are without feeling for the suffering of others, It is not possible for you to be called ‘Human’.”

In his debut performance at the podium of the United Nations General Assembly before an audience of world leaders, U.S. president Donald J. Trump pontificated, “If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph,” [1] In less than an hour while speaking before the august assemblage, Trump managed to discredit himself, his advisers and his country by his juvenile theatrics, which included soporific rants, threats of war and name-calling. “In a sane world, someone should have slapped handcuffs on Trump and hauled him off to a criminal court,” Finian Cunningham correctly observed. [2]

Initiating his verbal assault on a nation that has seen U.S. nuclear forces on its borders for nearly 70 years, Trump asserted, “No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea.” Of course, the former reality TV icon failed to mention that the U.S. has deployed its THAAD (“Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense”) missile system in Seongju, South Korea over the past year, giving the Pentagon the potential for a first strike against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Also not mentioned was the North Korean offer in January to “sit with the U.S. anytime” to discuss provocative joint U.S.-South Korea war games, as well as U.S. nuclear weapons and ballistic missile deployments. [3]

“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,” Trump harangued, provoking a visual display of obvious embarrassment on the part of his White House chief of staff, John Kelly. [4] After all, how could Trump speak convincingly about the U.S. being “forced to defend itself” with some 200,000 troops deployed in 177 countries around the world, and over 60,000 U.S. troops stationed within a 1300 kilometer radius of Pyongyang alone. [5] Not until Washington calls back all its armed forces and dismantles its worldwide chain of imperial bases could a U.S. politician talk about the need for a defense of the U.S. homeland and be believable.

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.” Trump is not referring to himself, of course. This insult was directed towards the leader of DPRK, Kim Jong-un, who undoubtedly is well aware of the inevitable result of provoking a war with South Korea or the U.S., which has massively superior military capabilities. Apparently, Trump is oblivious to the fact that such demeaning rhetoric does not help to diffuse tensions. Or perhaps inflaming the crisis is his true intention, or his backers’ intention. In either case, the foreign minister of the DPRK, Ri Yong-ho, referred to Trump’s threats as “the sound of a dog barking,” and said he even “felt sorry” for Trump’s mortified advisers. [6]

Then the current occupant of the Oval Office moved on to blaspheme the Islamic Republic of Iran, which, unlike the DPRK, doesn’t have a solitary nuclear weapon. In fact, Iran has not launched a war of aggression since Nader Shah invaded India in 1738. Furthermore, Iran has been a continuous victim of U.S. aggression beginning with the CIA-orchestrated d’état in 1953, through the U.S.-backed, 8-year-long war imposed by Saddam from 1980 to 1988 and the downing of Iran Air Flight 655 by an American warship, not to mention all the years of U.S. economic sanctions and efforts at destabilizing the sovereign government since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, with Washington’s ultimate goal being regime change in Tehran. [7]

Overlooking these facts or being unaware of them, Trump proceeded to sound the klaxon to call the world’s leaders to their battle stations in preparation for the coming Iranian assault. “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,” warned Trump, without providing one iota of evidence to justify his lengthy diatribe against Iran.

In rebutting Trump’s vomit of vile verbiage before the UN General Assembly, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Hassan Rouhani emphasized, “We in Iran strive to build peace and promote the human rights of peoples and nations.” In a clear reference to the repugnant rhetoric employed by the former real estate tycoon turned U.S. president during his rant before the world’s leaders, Dr. Rouhani said, “Our discourse is one of dignity and respect, and we are unmoved by threats and intimidation.”

Pointing to the foundational flaw of Trump’s hyper-nationalistic “America First” policy, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated, “In today’s globalized world, peace, security, stability and the progress of all nations are intertwined.” Reminding the assembly of global elites of Iran’s venerable record of religious tolerance, the President of Iran said, “Throughout its history, Iran has been the bastion of tolerance for various religions and ethnicities.”

In direct contrast to the U.S., which exports its cultural tradition of neoliberal economics and cutthroat capitalism at gunpoint, “Iran does not seek to restore its ancient empire, impose its official religion on others, or export its revolution through the force of arms,” Dr. Rouhani averred. “We have reached the shores of this side of the Atlantic through Rumi and spread our influence throughout Asia with Saadi.” [8]

Interesting that Dr. Rouhani mentioned Saadi, the 13th century Iranian poet best known for his works “Gulistan” and “Bustan,” for one of his poems, Bani Adam, stands near the gate of the United Nations building entrance. [9] Particularly in view of Trump’s threatening tirade, it is worth repeating the classic lines written so long ago by Saadi of Shiraz in Iran, the land that invented tolerance and moderation:

Human beings are related to each other,
Who, in creation, are of one essence.
When, as time passes, one member is afflicted with pain
The other members should not remain unmoved.
If you are without feeling for the suffering of others,
It is not possible for you to be called “Human.” [10]

Most likely, Trump was oblivious to the presence of the poem by Saadi at the United Nations. Certainly, he was completely unaware that the Persian word, ruzgaar, is found in verses of the Saadi poem in the line, “cho ozvi be dard aavard ruzgaar,” “When, as time passes, one member is afflicted with pain.”

With equal certainty, when Trump spoke of a “reckless regime” that vows “destruction to Israel,” he was, or more likely, his speechwriter was, alluding to former President of Iran Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s oft mistranslated and misunderstood statement, “een rezhim-e eshghaalgar-e qods baayad as safhe-ye ruzgaar mahv shavad,” [11] meaning “This regime occupying Quds (Jerusalem) must disappear from the page of time (ruzgaar).” In an October 2005 speech, former President Ahmadinejad borrowed these words from Imam Khomeini, who had spoken them several years earlier. An incorrect translation of the phrase was spread by the western media, and given currency by the New York Times, resulting in Dr. Ahmadinejad’s words being twisted into a call for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”

Here is the same Persian word that Saadi used, ruzgaar, which has a wide semantic range, including “world,” “circumstance,” “situation,” “plight,” “opportunity,” “occasion,” “time” and even “wind.” In this case, the word is probably best translated as “time,” but it could also be rendered as “circumstance.” Outside of the New York Times, however, there does not appear to be a single case of a credible source translating “ruzgaar” as “map.” Nevertheless, this mistranslated phrase containing the word “ruzgaar” spoken by Dr. Ahmadinejad continues to be used by the U.S. and its western accomplices as evidence of Iran’s innate hostility toward a certain nation, which is and has been afflicting its indigenous Palestinian population with the pain of oppression for decades.

But an important point to note here is the use of the passive voice for the verb in the phrase, “mahv shevad,” meaning “disappear.” There is no threat of military force here; the phrase is merely an affirmation of the inevitable collapse of the Israeli regime due to its internal corruption and flawed, racist ideology of Zionism. As U.S. scholars Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett write, “Ahmadinejad analogizes the eventual disappearance of ‘the regime’ in Israel to the collapse of the Soviet system—a result of internal failures, not external aggression.” [12] Juan Cole, professor of history at University of Michigan concurring, wrote, “It was apparently some Western wire service that mistranslated the phrase as ‘wipe Israel off the map’, which sounds rather more violent than calling for regime change.” [13]

Based on Saadi’s Bani Adam, Trump’s U.N. rant not only is a stain on the page of time (ruzgaar), but also disqualifies him from being called “Human.” To borrow a phrase from Imam and Dr. Ahmadinejad, “een rezhim-e eshghaalgar-e vashington baayad as safhe-ye ruzgaar mahv shavad,” “This regime occupying Washington must disappear from the page of time.”


[1] Donald J. Trump, “Remarks by President Trump to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly,”The White House, September 19, 2017, accessed September 21, 2017,

[2] Finian Cunningham, “Descent into barbarism: Trump makes virtue out of war and genocide at the UN,” Russia Today, September 20, 2017, accessed September 21, 2017,

[3] “Americans Reject U.S. Hostile Policy toward DPRK,” Korean Friendship Association, September 21, 2017, accessed September 21, 2017,

[4] Kyle Feldscher, “John Kelly apparently went through some sort of existential crisis during Trump’s UN speech,” Twitter post, September 19, 2017, accessed September 21, 2017,

[5] “U.S. Military Deployments by Country,” Visual Capitalist, March 18, 2017, accessed September 21, 2017,

[6] “‘Sound of a dog barking’: North Korea ridicules Trump threat,” The Guardian, September 21, 2017, accessed September 21, 2017,

[7] Seyyed Hossein Mousavian, Iran and the United States (New York and London: Bloomsbury, 2014), 24, 35-43.

[8] Hasan Rouhani, “Address to United Nations General Assembly,” Website of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, September 20, 2017, accessed September 21, 2017,

[9] “Iranian Poetry ‘Bani Adam’ Inscribed On United Nations Building Entrance,” Zaufishan, September 17, 2011, accessed September 21, 2017,

[10] Translation by the author of this article.  The line containing “ruzgaar” in Saadi’s poem is:
چو عضوى به درد آورد روزگار

[11] این رژیم اشغالگر قدس باید از صفحه روزگار محو شود.

[12] Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, Going to Tehran (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2013), 19.

[13] Juan Cole, “Ahmadinejad I Am Not Anti Semitic,” Informed Comment, June 26, 2007, accessed September 21, 2017,