Trump to Dictators, Have a nice day.

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Trump to Dictators, Have a nice day.

Postby Michaels153 » June 27th, 2018, 1:18 pm

Trump to Dictators: Have a Nice Day
By Thomas L. Friedman
Opinion Columnist: June 19, 2018
Watching President Trump recently accuse Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of stabbing him in the back prompted me to Google a simple question: How many Canadians were killed or wounded since April 2002 fighting alongside Americans in Afghanistan? The answer: 158 were killed and 635 wounded.

Think about that: America, not Canada, was attacked on 9/11. Nevertheless, our ally to the north sent thousands of its own young men and women to Afghanistan to help us destroy the forces of Al Qaeda that attacked our cities — and 158 Canadians gave their lives in that endeavor. The United States is Canada's most important ally and defense partner. Defense and security relations between our two countries are longstanding, well-entrenched and highly successful. (these are the words taken from a Canadian article: "National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces." (they spell defense with a c, not an s).
Background: The Permanent Joint Board on Defence (PJBD) - established in 1940 to discuss and advise on defense policy issues related to continental defense and security.
The Military Cooperation Committee - established in 1946 and meets bi-annually as the primary strategic link between Canadian and U.S. joint military staffs.
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) - established in 1958 and based in Colorado. Traditionally, the Deputy Commander of NORAD has been a senior Canadian Armed Forces officer.
Tri-Command Framework - signed September 2009, outlines how NORAD, U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), and the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) operate and cooperate.
The Canada - US Civil Assistance Plan - signed February 2008, to facilitate the support of military members from one nation to the armed forces of the other nation in support of civilian authorities during an emergency such as a natural disaster.

So this unique, longstanding military partnership between Canada and the U.S. began back in 1940 and not in 2002. When Canada decided to join us to battle Al Qaeda it did so partly out friendship and as our ally, but also out of the realization that Al Qaeda represented a worldwide threat and not just a threat to their Southern neighbor and ally.

Mr. Friedman continues:
And yet, when their prime minister mildly pushed back against demands to lower Canada’s tariffs on milk, cheese and yogurt from the U.S., Trump and his team — in a flash — accused Trudeau of “betrayal,” back-stabbing and deserving of a “special place in hell.”

A special place in hell? Over milk tariffs? For a country that stood with us in our darkest hour? That is truly sick.

Now this is how this editorial begins with a discussion about our Canadian ally. I don't think that anyone looks at Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a dictator, so this introduction was meant to compare how President Trump treats his own allies and then compare that with a subjective view as to how President Trump treats real dictators.
Does Mr. Friedman believe that because two countries are allies, that it is okay for one country to take advantage of another? Does he believe that the relationship of an ally warrants the blind acceptance of treatment considered unfair by either party? Martin Luther King Jr. said: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." And yet in January 2012 when then President Obama rejects Trans Canada's application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, Mr. Friedman offered no criticism to President Obama for not standing by our longstanding Canadian ally. And in March of 2013, Mr. Friedman wrote a column calling for President Obama to say no the Keystone XL pipeline.
So Mr. Friedman's "opinion" piece, in my opinion, begins deceptively biased and ill-reasoned.

Mr. Friedman continues:

[quoteBut it tells you all you need to know about how differently Trump looks at the world from any of his predecessors — Republican or Democrat. Everything is a transaction: What have you done for ME today? The notion of America as the upholder of last resort of global rules and human rights — which occasionally forgoes small economic advantages to strengthen democratic societies so we can enjoy the much larger benefits of a world of healthy, free-market democracies — is over. President Trump does look at world differently from any of his predecessors - Republican or Democrat. And, President Trump did tell the world that the emphasis that he was going to pursue during his presidency is: - America First. That does not mean that America plans to be unfair to anyone. President Trump said that America will no longer be the world's piggy bank.

“Trump’s America does not care,” historian Robert Kagan wrote in The Washington Post. “It is unencumbered by historical memory. It recognizes no moral, political or strategic commitments. It feels free to pursue objectives without regard to the effect on allies or, for that matter, the world. It has no sense of responsibility to anything beyond itself.”][/quote]
None of this is true to any degree. President Trump's "America" has not stopped caring about anyone. President Trump has not sought the removal of the U.S. from the UN. In the original spirit of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Trump has been trying to stand up for our dairy products. President Trump ordered an airstrike on Syria in response to a chemical attack. Is that an example of Robert Kagan's "Trump's America does not care." ? And isn't this an example of a noble act akin to Mr. Friedman's Afghanastan example.Did "Trump's America" recognize the moral and political committment to Israel when it stood by it in recognizing Jerusalem as it's capital, and moved their embassy to Jerusalem? Did "Trump's America" recognize it's moral, political, and strategic commitment to South Korea, and Japan when he stood up to North Korea's Kim Jong UN? Did "Trump's Ameirica" recognize it's moral commitment to the world when it placed sanctions on Russia (twice), or when it expelled 60 Russian diplomats?

...But what’s terrifying about Trump is that he seems to prefer dictators to our democratic allies everywhere.

There is no proof of this allegation either. But this is what Mr. Friedman offers in support of his claim:
As Trump told reporters about the North Korean dictator on Friday: “He speaks, and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
Trump later said this was a joke. It was a joke. Sorry, no U.S. president should make such a joke, which, alas, was consistent with everything Trump has said and done before Which was consistent with everything President Trump has said and done before? Is this President not allowed to have a sense of humor? And does having a sense of humor mean that he, the President does not take his job seriously? That is not a logical nor a reasoned explanation for a joke.: He prefers the company of strongmen and, as long as they praise him, Where does Mr. Friedman arrive at this conclusion? He certainly did not use deductive reasoning so where is the inductive tie here? does not care how leaders anywhere treat their own people If President Trump did not care how leaders treat their own people he would not have acted as he has in Syria, Israel, and regarding both Korea and Russia.— including how they treat people risking their lives to model their countries on ours (or at least on what they thought was ours).

While this approach may buy us some time with North Korea, it is hurting us and our friends in many other places — because it’s being taken as a free pass for dictators North Korea and Russia still has sanctions imposed on them. They are not getting a free passeverywhere not just to crush their revolutionaries or terrorists but even their most mild dissenters. It leaves no space for even loyal opposition.

Take Egypt. On May 31, Human Rights Watch reported that the Egyptian police had “carried out a wave of arrests of critics of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in dawn raids since early May 2018.” Those arrested included Hazem Abd al-Azim, a political activist; and Wael Abbas, a well-known journalist and rights defender; as well as Shady al-Ghazaly Harb, a surgeon; Haitham Mohamadeen, a lawyer; Amal Fathy, an activist; and Shady Abu Zaid, a satirist. On April 20, 2017, the Washington Post reported on a freed Egyptian American prisoner that returned home folowing President Trump's intervention. The article said: "President Trump and his aides worked for several weeks with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to secure the freedom of Aya Hijazi, 30, a U.S. citizen, as well as her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, who is Egyptian, and four other humanitarian workers.

I got to know some of these young people during the Arab Spring. They are not violent, radical Islamists. They are wonderful, peace-loving, rule-of-law-seeking Egyptians — eager to work with any Egyptian leader who wants to build a more open, tolerant, consensual Egyptian political and civil society. Harb, an enormously decent British-educated surgeon, was imprisoned merely for tweeting mild criticism of Sisi’s crackdown on dissent.

“The state of oppression in Egypt has sunk so low that al-Sisi’s forces are arresting well-recognized activists as they sleep, simply for speaking up,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The message is clear that criticism and even mild satire apparently earn Egyptians an immediate trip to prison.”

Sisi should hang his head in shame for arbitrarily jailing good young people like this — and the U.S. Congress should be taking up their cause if our president and secretary of state are too cynical to do so. Notice that there was no acknowledgment of what President Trump has previously done in facilitating the release of six people form Egypt.

The same is true in Turkey today under the leadership of a real bum, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. I realized the other day that almost all my Turkish journalist friends had been either jailed, fired or exiled by the caliph-tyrant Erdogan.

This is a trend. As the Committee to Protect Journalists reported in December: “For the second consecutive year, more than half of those jailed for their work around the world are behind bars in Turkey, China On November 14, 2017 The New York Times published: "How Trump Helped Liberate UCLA knuckleheads" . On October 18, 2017, David Rohde had a column in the New Yorker: "Is Trump helping to Free American Hostages Worldwide?" In that article, Mr. Rohde reported that Joshua Boyle, along with his wife Caitlan Coleman being rescued out of Pakistan. Joshua had been a prisoner of the Taliban for five years. and Egypt. … President Donald Trump’s nationalistic rhetoric, fixation on Islamic extremism and insistence on labeling critical media ‘fake news’ serves to reinforce the framework of accusations and legal charges that allow such leaders to preside over the jailing of journalists.”

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has initiated some hugely important efforts to diminish the control of hard-line Islamists in his country and empower its women. But the arbitrary, nontransparent way he has arrested and interrogated allegedly corrupt Saudi business leaders — and similarly 17 women driving activists — is contributing to a climate of fear there. This will undermine his efforts to attract the foreign and Saudi investments that are vital to M.B.S.’s vision of reforming the Saudi economy.

In U.S.-allied Bahrain, Abduljalil Alsingace, the blogger and human rights defender, who was sentenced in 2011 to life in prison for writing “critically about human rights violations, sectarian discrimination and repression of the political opposition,” is rotting in jail, noted the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In U.S.-allied Philippines, the outspoken senator and former human rights commissioner Leila de Lima, who has been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s antidrug war that has left more than 7,000 dead in the past three years in gun battles with the police and vigilantes, was thrown in jail in February 2017 on trumped-up drug charges and still languishes there.

And in once pro-Western Poland, the country’s most powerful politician, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, is trying to replace the independent judiciary with judges selected purely for their loyalty to him and his party, snubbing his nose at the European Union’s liberal, rule-of-law values.

In the past, America would have been a reality principle, and at least some voice of restraint, forcing foreign leaders to say, “The Americans will never let us get away with that.” No more. Trump doesn’t even have ambassadors in Turkey and Saudi Arabia today to whisper. I will contrast President Trump's actions so far with some of our last President.

“In America, we’re going to survive Trump,” says Michael Posner, director of the Center for Business and Human Rights at N.Y.U. Stern. “We have strong institutions and plenty of people committed to maintaining our democratic processes. But places like Egypt, Turkey or the Philippines are fragile states where activists for decades relied on the U.S. to stand up and say, ‘There are consequences for your relations with the U.S. — trade, aid, military, investment — if you crush peaceful dissent.’ Today, we have a president who is not only not critical, he actually congratulates leaders on their fraudulent elections and seems to endorse their bad behavior.”

Remember: These leaders are not repressing violent radicals, Posner adds; they are literally “criminalizing dissent and debate.” And their citizens now think that we’re O.K. with that. If that stands, the world will eventually become a more dangerous place for all of us.

The gist of Mr. Friedman's complaints of President Trump seems to center around the plight of jailed journalists around the world. In spite of President Trump's work around the world, Mr. Friedman seems to imply that the jailing of any journalist or activist anywhere in the world is somehow the responsibility of President Trump. And, if there are any jailed journalist or activists anywhere, then President Trump does not care because he has been critical of some in the press and the media here.

Here is the contrast:
On December 29, 2015, In Investors Business Daily Editorials: U.K. Condemns Muslim Brotherhood, While White House Hosts It.
[quote]Infiltration: In a major break with the U.S. Britain has banned the radical Muslim Brotherhood, a group that raises the global banner of violent jihad, while the Obama regime continues to treat it like the Rotary club.
...Prime Minister David Cameron further explained: "I have made clear this governments' determination to reject intolerance, and to counter not just violent extremism, but also to tackle those who create the conditions for it to flourish."[
Our leader, (Obama) on the other hand condemned Britain's move against the Brotherhood as "political repression."/quote]
Back on December 15, 2012, Mr. Friedman wrote a column: "Egypt: The Next India or the Next Pakistan?" In that column this is
what he asked. Will Egyptian democracy empower minorities and protect their rights, or will the military and Muslim Brotherhood control everything always? Mr. Friedman offered no criticism of then President Obama for his dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood.

On January 13, 2018, Mr. Eli Lake wrote in Bloomberg how that the U.S. shows beginning of a response to Muslim Brotherhood. Although President Trump decided not to go as far as the U.K. has gone, they are recognizing the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists but are dealing with charities associated to it individually.

On August 20, 2012, then President Barack Obama used the phrase "red line" in reference to the use of Chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war.
On August 23, 2016, Obama reportedly declined to enforce red line in Syria after Iran threatened to back out of nuclear deal.
(The story was written by Pamela Engel from Business Insider.
Back on September 3, 2013, Mr. Friedman published his column: Arm and Shame. In that column, Mr. Friedman said: "The United States should definately respond to Syria's murder of innocent civilians with poison gas.'
But the United States did not respond. And the very next day on 9/4/13, Obama said: "I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line.
On April 14, 2018 ABC reported: Trump orders strike on Syria in response to chemical attack

On December 31, 2017, Mallory Shelbourne of The Hill wrote this column: "Trump earns praise for support of Iranian Protestors."
From that article: "The President's supporters are marketing Trump's approach to Iran as a stark contrast from the Obama administration.
...Obama said, I don't want to get involved. I don't want to mess up the chance of getting a deal with Iran.

August 3, 2017: CNN announces that "Trump signs Russia sanctions bill."
January 24, 2018: Alan Rappeport of the New York Times reported "Trump Administration Slaps New Sanction on North Korea.
March 15, 2018: Kevin Liptak reported on that "The Trump administration announced it is enacting new sanctions on Russia.
March 30, 2018: David Sanger, the New York Times national security correspondent, said that it was hard to argue President Donald Trump hasn't been tough on Russian President Vladimir Putin after his recent expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats...
"When have we ever done more in terms of sanctions or who we got rid of? Cuomo asked...From lethal aide to Ukraine, to sanctions, to diplomatic expulsions, the U.S. has taken a pretty hard line against Moscow over the last 14 months.

Mr. Friedman's opinion column is Trump to Dictators: Have a Nice Day. A pity he could be so wrong and not recognize it. He should have written: Obama to Dictators: Have a Nice Day.
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