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.
.. 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.
.. 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
.. “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.”
.. But what’s terrifying about Trump is that he seems to prefer dictators to our democratic allies everywhere.
.. 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. Sorry, no U.S. president should make such a joke, which, alas, was consistent with everything Trump has said and done before: He prefers the company of strongmen and, as long as they praise him, does not care how leaders anywhere treat their own people
.. Harb, an enormously decent British-educated surgeon, was imprisoned merely for tweeting mild criticism of Sisi’s crackdown on dissent... “The message is clear that criticism and even mild satire apparently earn Egyptians an immediate trip to prison.”
.. “For the second consecutive year, more than half of those jailed for their work around the world are behind bars in Turkey, China and Egypt
.. 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.
.. Trump doesn’t even have ambassadors in Turkey and Saudi Arabia today to whisper.
.. “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.