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THOMPSON: Trump defined by perverse relationships with dictators

November 26, 2018 - 12:13 PM

 


OPINION


Just how despicable is Donald Trump? Well, take your pick…because there’s plenty of evidence over the past few years…lying, corruption, profiteering, womanizing and breathing new life into white supremacy.

But nothing defines Trump’s inner-self more than his perverse relationships with authoritarian leaders around the world.

Trump’s highest praise and the leaders he heralds most aren’t ex-presidents Obama or Bush or even Reagan. Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Theresa May of the United Kingdom and Canada’s Justin Trudeau aren’t among those Trump most admires either.

No, Trump likes good, old-fashioned strongmen and dictators…and no doubt wishes he had their powers. Who are his favourites? Well, Vladimir Putin of Russia is without question Trump’s answer to “Who’s your daddy?”

Close behind Putin, of course, are North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Rodrigo “Duterte Harry” Duterte of the Philippines, Xi Jinping of China, followed by Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt - and though he’s fallen a couple notches - you have Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan still ahead of leaders of former U.S. allies.

But the fastest rising star in Trump’s galaxy of leaders with blood on their hands is Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (A.K.A. MbS)…a figurative and literal “Number One with a Bullet” Trump heartthrob.

Last week, Trump released an official statement that - beside proving his near illiteracy - showed beyond a shadow of doubt his lack of decency. It was a send-up of just how twisted the man who occupies the Oval Office really is. In a rambling - near unintelligible in parts - statement, Trump swore unflagging allegiance to Saudi Arabia and MbS.

He began with: “The world is a dangerous place!” Yes, the exclamation point is Trump’s. Just as when he speaks - and probably thinks - Trump lies when he writes. Trump’s blatant attempt to end the controversy of Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder at the Saudi Consulate in Turkey…shows him to be soulless, at best.

Trump said, “Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event -- maybe he did and maybe he didn't!” Note…another exclamation point. Trump then ended with a sentence as obtuse and ironic has himself…“It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!” The man loves exclamation points. By the way, America’s intelligence agencies…as well as every other intelligence agency from Germany to Israeli, agree that MbS was involved directly in the killing of Khashoggi.

Oh, and for the record…among the lies in his statement was this gem: “After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States.” The actual amount in the nearly two years since Trump’s sit-down with the Saudi Crown Prince…$14 Billion. Hmmm…in another 47 years, America will have all that cash. Just to be clear, this is like me saying, when I win Lotto Max…I’ll look you up…we’ll have lunch.”

Saudi Arabia - according to Trump - is America’s friend. I remember when Canada, England, France, Germany and other NATO countries were America’s best friends. Now, apparently, America only has eyes for nations like Saudi Arabia, which is leading a coalition that is committing war crimes in Yemen.

About 85,000 children under five years of age have starved in Yemen since the bombing and blockade by the Saudis…who, of course, blame the Iranians. Another 14 million Yemenis are near starvation, according to the United Nations.

Of course, it was easy for Trump to buy into the MbS BS. Remember, he hated President Obama…and the Iran Nuclear Deal. When Saudi Arabia entered Yemen’s civil war in April 2015, it was to fight the Shiite rebels backed by Iran. Three and a half years later…it’s a stalemate between combat forces…but millions of civilians are suffering. The Saudi-led bombardment, using arms and weapons from the United States, has decimated the country.

Last November, Trump bragged that Time Magazine called him, advising him he would "probably" be picked for the second year in a row. But he “took a pass” because it wasn't a sure thing, he said. Neither the call from Time nor the conversation ever happened, according to Time.

Even so, last week Trump volunteered this about the Time Person of the Year for 2018: "I can't imagine anybody else other than Trump. Can you imagine anybody other than Trump?”

Trump’s peculiar and constant reliance on illeism - referring to oneself in third-person - isn’t enough to land him another Time cover.

Remember, with Trump, it’s not about America’s or the world’s interests…it’s about getting even, punishing enemies…revenge. This tragic flaw, along with his sociopathic love of himself above everyone, and an incurious nature that likes of which I have never seen…make him my “Most Despicable Soulless Person of the Year. The voting wasn’t even close, Donald. Sorry you didn’t get Time’s cover…again. That voting wasn’t close either.


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