Friday, June 22, 2018

The Autocrat Speaks

Now for a change of pace to a different unsettling development...

President Trump achieved a major milestone in his presidency this past week through his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  Perhaps this is the main cosmic reason for his presidency; after all, if only Nixon could go to China, perhaps only Trump could go to North Korea.

Had he been able to remain silent, he could justifiably rest on his laurels.  Direct communication with the North Korean regime is a historic and potentially very beneficial event.  Sadly, this was not meant to be.

President Trump had to describe his meeting to the press, praising one of the benefits of being a dictator to a Fox News reporter.  "He's the head of a country, and I mean he's the strong head.  Don't let anyone think anything different.  He speaks and his people sit up at attention.  I want my people to do the same."

Again, this should be alarming to anyone who is paying attention.  He knows that the North Korean people sit up at attention because they have a justifiable fear that if they don't they will be jailed, exiled, or executed, right?  And Trump wants to enforce that here?

This might be excusable as a one off slip if President Trump did not have an unfortunate habit of praising dictators.

On Saddam Hussein - "We shouldn't have destabilized Saddam Hussein, right?  He was a bad guy, really bad guy, but you know what he did well?  He killed terrorists.  He did that so good."

On Vladimir Putin - "He's running his country and at least he's a leader, you know, unlike what we have in this country."  I think our country does plenty of killing, also."

On Kim Jong Un - "If you look at North Korea, this guy, I mean he's like a maniac, okay?  And you've got to give him credit.  How many young guys - he was like 26 or 25 when his father died - take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden ... he goes in, he takes over, and he's the boss.  It's incredible.  He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one.  I mean this guy doesn't play games.  And we can't play games with him."

On Benito Mussolini - "It's okay to know it's Mussolini.  Mussolini was Mussolini...It's a very good quote.  It's a very interesting quote... what difference does it make whether it's Mussolini or somebody else." (after quoting "It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.")

On Moammar Gadhafi - when asked if he believed the Middle East would be better today if Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein were still in power - "100 percent," "it's not even a contest."

On the 1980s Chinese Communist Party - "I was not endorsing it.  I said that is a strong, powerful government that put it down with strength.  And then they kept down the riot.  It was a horrible thing.  It doesn't mean at all I was endorsing it." (calling the Tiananmen Square protesters a "riot" and the People's Liberation Army strong in suppressing it)

Perhaps Fox was really right when it referred to the meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Trump as the meeting of "two dictators."

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