Monday, May 1, 2017

NPR—Trump Invites Controversial Philippines Leader To White House

Trump’s White House invitation to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is a disturbing development. It shows Trump’s acceptance of Duterte’s out of control anti-drug campaign against drug dealers and users.

Duterte has been accused of running a campaign of killing distributors and users in his country’s illicit drug trade. He reportedly has had more than 3,500 drug dealers and addicts killed by police and vigilante militias. Duterte has publicly encouraged civilians to kill addicts and said he will not prosecute police for extrajudicial executions.

Duterte has likened himself to Adolf Hitler. He said, “Hitler massacred three million Jews ... there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

Like Duterte, Donald Trump is obsessed to rid the United States of Drugs from Mexico and has praised Duterte for “fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs.”

Duterte and Trump embrace authoritarian styles of governing. Both Duterte and Trump were elected because of their strongman tactics. Trump has shown an affinity for some foreign leaders who have poor human rights reputations. It should be troubling to every American, yet it is not by a disturbing number of Americans who don’t seem to care.

President Barack Obama angered Duterte because of his criticism of alleged extrajudicial killings. Duterte responded by threatened to end the Philippines’ defense alliance with the United States. Trump responds to those who disagree with his policies in the same way.

Unlike President Obama, President Trump seems to have no problem with Duterte’s methods. At least he hasn’t spoken out against them.

Robert Reich responds:

Through history tyrants have befriended other tyrants, to their mutual advantage.

Trump’s recent record:

1. Yesterday Trump phoned President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, inviting him to visit the White House. Duterte is an authoritarian leader accused of ordering extrajudicial killings of thousands of people suspected of using or selling narcotics, as well as others who may have had no involvement with drugs. He has referred to President Barack Obama as a “son of a whore.” And he has declared open season on suspected terrorists, saying that if he were presented with a suspected terrorist, “give me salt and vinegar and I’ll eat his liver.”

2. Two weeks ago, Trump called to congratulate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey for his victory in a much-disputed referendum, filled with voting irregularities, which expanded Erdogan’s powers and has put Turkey on the road to dictatorship.

3. Trump said the recent terrorist attack in Paris will help the right-wing extremist Marine Le Pen.

4. Trump has praised President Xi Jinping of China, although Xi has cracked down on dissent and emerged as the most powerful leader (dictator) China has had since Mao Zedong.

5. Trump played host at the White House to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who had not been granted an invitation since he seized power in a military coup nearly four years ago.

6. And don’t forget Trump’s vow during the presidential campaign to pursue a warmer relationship with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. (The effort has faltered somewhat in light of questions about links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.)

The United States once advanced democracies against dictators. Under Trump, it’s doing the opposite.

Trump Invites Controversial Philippines Leader To White House

By Miles Parks