Diplomats in Washington and across the international community are appalled at Donald Trump’s disgraceful diplomatic behavior. While he dodges his intelligence briefings and brushes aside the guidance of the State Department, he has been sucking up to every foreign leader he’s spoken on the phone with, discarding all regard for American foreign policy interests to appease his own personal desire to be liked and admired.
His most recent gaffe has been to invite the murderous President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, to visit the White House. An eccentric and irrational leader who has drawn comparisons to Trump not only for his outrageous misogyny but for his populist and anti-establishment message.
Duterte has compared himself to Adolf Hitler, called President Obama a “son of a whore” who could “go to hell” and horrifyingly joked of a rape victim that she was “so beautiful he should have been allowed to go first.” On the campaign trail, Duterte promised to “fatten the fish in Manila Bay with the bodies of 100,000 criminals.”
Since taking office, Duterte has initiated a brutal anti-drug war in the Philippines that has killed over 3800 people and created an anarchic sense of lawlessness as police and vigilante groups execute suspected drug dealers without trial. The killing has reached heights of 38 victims a day, earning condemnation from human rights groups around the world, but he has shrugged off the criticism.
“In my country there is no law that says I cannot threaten criminals. I do not care what the human rights guys say. I have a duty to preserve the generation. If it involves human rights, I don’t give a shit. I have to strike fear” said Duterte. “I will retire with the reputation of Idi Amin.”
Donald Trump’s friendly conversation with a murderous strongman may have something to do with the fact that Duterte just appointed Trump’s business partner Jose Antonio as “special envoy” to the United States, creating yet another conflict of interest that will force the President to choose between his wallet and the good of the United States. Nothing Trump has ever done gives any indication he wouldn’t choose himself.
This comes righto n the heels of Trump’s astonishing phone call to Pakistan, where he promised to visit the “fantastic, fantastic country” and promised to do everything he could to help the nation that hid Osama bin Laden for ten years and actively supports the Taliban. Donald Trump’s narcissism is a direct threat to our national security, but it’s far too late to do anything about that now.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.