Patterico's Pontifications


President Trump Has Invited Brutal Thugs To The White House

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:00 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I hated it when President Obama flew to Cuba to make nice with brutal dictator Raul Castro, under the guise of “normalizing relations” with the country. It was a shameful moment for the U.S., and an insult to Cuban-American lovers of freedom who risked life and limb to make it safely to our shores. It was also an insult to the memory of any who perished while trying to flee the repressive regime. And as I recall, most of you hated the president’s actions too.

Likewise, I find it equally repugnant that the our current president is making nice with another brutal thuggish leader, and admitted murderer, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Unlike Obama, President Trump isn’t flying to the southeast Asian country to meet with Duterte. Instead, he has invited the dictator to the White House:

President Trump has invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House, according to a readout of Trump’s call with the leader on Saturday.

“President Trump enjoyed the conversation and said that he is looking forward to visiting the Philippines in November,” the readout said, adding that Trump invited Duterte to the White House “to discuss the importance of the United States-Philippines alliance.”

As a reminder, more than 7,000 people have reportedly been murdered as a result of of President Duterte’s controversial war on drugs. Meanwhile, in the face of criticism, President Trump is defending President Duterte’s efforts:

“The Philippines is very important to me strategically and militarily,” Trump said Monday in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News, two days after he invited the Philippine leader to Washington. “I look forward to meeting him. If he comes to the White House that’s fine.”

“He’s been very, very tough on that drug problem, but he has a massive drug problem,” Trump said in the interview.

On top of the president extending an invitation to President Rodrigo Duterte, Trump has also invited Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House:

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will meet his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, at the White House in an upcoming visit in mid-May, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Monday.

The invitation came from Trump, Kalin said, adding the two would discuss Syria, Iraq and the potential extradition of the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating a failed coup last year.

This the same President Erdogan who is intent on silencing journalists in his country, as well as seizing and taking control of Christian houses of worship.

I know people are going to defend President Trump’s “outreach” to a couple of brutal thugs by saying it’s part of a larger, necessary strategy concerning our relations with various countries in the region. And maybe that’s true. And maybe President Trump will take advantage of his captive audience and push the freedoms, democracy and liberties we value here in the United States. I really have no idea. I just know that I like to be consistent, and if it was repugnant for President Obama to cozy up to a thuggish leader and habitual abuser of human rights, so too is it for President Trump. Convince me otherwise.

P.S. Can we resist doing the standard drive-by anti-Trump hysteria nonsense? I’m interested in substantive discussion.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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