JIM HIGHTOWER ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
"We've had a great relationship," exulted a giddy Donald Trump, following his two-day schmoozefest in Manila with the thuggish president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte, a self-styled "toughie" who boasts of personally killing many people and who likes to compare himself to Satan, has been on a murderous rampage since his election last year. In the name of eliminating drugs, he has unleashed a massive military assault across the country, not merely targeting dealers, but also anyone using drugs. His onslaught against his own people is a human rights atrocity, with untold thousands essentially being executed in what are antiseptically termed "extrajudicial killings" — ie, illegal, unjustified... murderous.
Yet, the present President of the United States says Duterte is his new buddy, and Trump stressed in their official discussions that the Philippine president can count on him and the U.S. (which includes you and me) to be a friend. And, as a friend, Trump didn't bother his authoritarian buddy with any unpleasant talk about those rampant human rights abuses.
Instead, the Duterte-Trump get-together was one of mutual praise and even affection. Indeed, Donald was delighted when Rodrigo impulsively grabbed the microphone at a gala state dinner and serenaded Trump with a love ballad: "You are the love I've been waiting for," he crooned.
In fact, Duterte had earlier demonstrated that love when he named Jose Antonio to be his trade representative to our country. Antonio, a Philippine real estate mogul, happens to be a partner with our president in the luxurious new Trump Tower, now under construction in Manila. Cozy, huh?
Well, gosh, I guess Putin would deny that, wouldn't he? But Trump really, really wants to believe that his bro wouldn't fib to him. "We seem to have a very good feeling for each other," Donald said sweetly. "I believe that when [Putin] tells me that, he means it. I believe that he feels he and Russia did not meddle in the election."
"Feels?" Putin is a former KGB espionage agent, a practiced liar and a conniving authoritarian who rules Russia with an iron fist. He doesn't govern by his feelings, but his "feelers" — loyal operatives who make sure he knows everything that's going on. And he certainly knows that Russia did indeed mess with America's most sacred democratic principle: free and fair elections. Moreover, he knows that by duping Donald, he's free to keep messing with our internal affairs.