This weekend marked President Trump’s hundredth day in office. We can say with confidence that, on the whole, this hasn’t been the absolute worst. In fact, I think President Trump has done a decent job thus far. Unfortunately, for every good thing President Trump does (i.e. Gorsuch nomination), we can find something that troubles us. This week, we ought to be troubled by President Trump’s invitation of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House.
Once our close ally in Southeast Asia, the Philippines slowly began to drift away from American interests upon Duterte taking office. This began in the last months of the Obama presidency. Last fall, Duterte reportedly told Obama to “go to hell.”
Nevertheless, Duterte’s distaste for Obama does not necessarily mean he’s now a renewed friend of the U.S.
Reports show that President Trump reached out to Duterte on Saturday, as part of routine outreach to foreign leaders. The two discussed possible strategies for dealing with North Korea.
The cause of great concern comes from their discussion of Duterte’s war on drugs. Since he took office last June, over ” 7,000 people have been killed, including about 2,000 in police operation.” He is a popular target of human rights organizations, who would love to see him tried at the Hague.
Like Trump, Duterte suffers from recurring foot-in-mouth syndrome. Here are just two highlights:
- “If I become president, I advise you people to put up several funeral parlour businesses. They will be packed. I’ll supply the dead bodies.”
- “Hitler massacred three million Jews … there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”
Reporters have compared Trump unfairly to Hitler by some members of the media. However, Duterte willingly, favorably compares himself to Hitler.
We’ve made unsavory alliances before, but we, as a country, can’t stand for this level of amorality. An alliance against North Korea is one thing, a dinner at the White House is quite another.