The Trump Mysteries - Are Dictators Fantastic?

Though to Trump’s credit (this is not the right word) I think he would also condemn and call for sanctions against these people he’s complimented and congratulated. Perhaps within minutes. Perhaps in the same sentence.


Well of course. It all depends on which of his mouths he’s talking out of.

Yes; ones who didn’t do what they were told, which I alluded to above.

FWIW, my own rule of thumb is to learn from the past, judge the present, and plan for the future. That is to say that for people who are long dead like Washington or Mencken or Robert E. Lee, I’m not going to bother with trying to figure out if they were, on the whole, good or bad people. Instead I’ll look at their actions and consequences. For the living, I’ll evaluate to make a judgment because it’s more useful in how I relate to them, whereas I don’t need to relate to the dead, their problems are over.

So if Mencken were alive today, I’d moderately approve of his anti-chiropractic message, since I have no problems with chiropractors practicing, but feel the industry is opaque, misrepresents itself, and doubt I would ever let one near my body. But he’s dead, so the point is basically moot to me. Disclaimer: not a hard and fast rule, merely a general guideline I follow.

Just my 5¢.


I usually love Tom the Dancing Bug, but this one is so unrealistic in its claims. I mean, many of the panels would lead you to believe Trump can read!


I guess the difference might be Trump’s financial involvement.

1 Like

This is true but chiropractors were claiming to cure other conditions. There was a libel case in the UK which they took out against a science writer who said their claims were “bogus” but it came out, I think in court, that when they started the case against him they told their members to purge their websites of these claims.


Carter famously hosted Mohammad Reza and toasted him in a speech now famous for being a major foreign policy flop, especially because of the events that followed.

1 Like

I can’t recall any other U.S. President who stood to personally make untold millions of dollars through private, non-transparent business interests in those dictator-led countries while he was still holding office.

Reagan might have buddied up with Saddam Hussein but at least we can be reasonably sure he did so under the belief it was best for what he saw as US interests, not just because Ronnie had a luxury hotel opening up in Baghdad.


I guess I separate the “inviting violent dictators to the White House” issue from Trump’s absolutely vile nepotism and personal profiteering which were an issue far before this point and this is just another example in those issues.


Like how quickly was Ivanka in front of Abe?

Even Presidents who buddy up to dictators usually have some sense of decorum about which ones get invited to the White House. Saddam Hussein got a handshake from Rumsfeld but he didn’t get an invite to the Lincoln Bedroom.


I agree, which is why I said:

I don’t think Trump is handling it in the same way as previous leaders, and the impression he gives in public speeches next to world leaders is oafish at best (I forget who was literally standing next to him as he explained to a Jewish the real “truth” about anti-semitism). I expect his track record to be identical to what it has been so far: a dumpster fire of no redeeming value to anyone nor directly profiting from his position.

I’m not exactly Greenwald or someone explaining to the world that Trump is the same as all the Democrats before him, which I don’t agree with. I don’t even agree that this is an important aspect of foreign policy so much as an appeasement to prevent retribution. Having Egypt decide to restrict access to the Suez Canal forcing ships to route closer to routes famously cutting through pirate-heavy areas is a pretty big deal.

I love the detail of the lantern-jawed portraits in the Whitehouse :grin:

Regarding the comic topic; It’s especially relevant right now given Drumpfs recent tweeted disdain for democracy.

What happens in the Lincoln Bedroom, stays in the Lincoln Bedroom. I ain’t passin’ judgement. :wink:

Of course dictators are fantastic - they live in and promote fantasies.


But, but you’re violating the “They’re All The Same” rule. You can’t make distinctions!

Follow the Rules:

  1. Trump Is Like Every US President.

  2. Democrats and Republicans Are All The Same.

  3. Hillary : Emails :: Trump : Everything Trump Does.

  4. Bernie 2024.


я не понимаю. Vladimir Vladimirovich just tells me to post this stuff, I don’t know what it’s about.

Now, seriously.

I am not falling into a “they are all the same” trap. What I’m effectively saying is that US State Department policy has been fairly consistent since WW2, when poor old FDR thought that Stalin liked him and was duly fooled. There’s “our” dictators and the rest, and so long as they stay “our” dictators a few thousands or tens of thousands of murders, extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses are ignored. When they start getting independent minded, suddenly their bad behaviour gets noticed. Whether it’s Nasser, Saddam, Pinochet, Duterte hardly matters. Except that, over Nasser, the US stepped in because they wanted the British Empire destroyed.

On domestic politics US politicians differ. Nobody would confuse Trump and Clinton. But on foreign policy US self-interest is abundantly clear. Presidents come, Presidents go, but the MIC hand in hand with the State Department rolls on.

The US (and its Presidents) favor dictators authoritarians who favor the US’ national interests. This just isn’t news or new.

I’m pretty sure FDR knew what a monster Stalin was, but he had a little fête called World War 2 that he had to tend to before he could get justly outraged. One dictator at a time.

Yes, the '70s and '80s were a ridiculous foreign policy mess. But, hey: the '90s. Milosevic.

As for Sadat , what do you suggest: treating them like Castro? Isolating Cuba was the worst possible thing we could have done. If we’d ignored Sadat, we wouldnt have had the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. We unleashed our moral dudgeon on Qaddafi (even after he gave up all his nuclear preparations to us)-- that worked well.

Our present coddling of dictators is exceptional: it is not (necessarily) in the national interest. It is because the President actually likes them, likes their style. Putin, Sisi, Duterte, Erdogan. We have a man-child-baby-narcissist-pumpkin in office who really does admire bloodthirsty dictators for their “strength” and coddles some when it directly enhances his business interests and net worth. This has not been the case with any President in recent (or distant) history.


Almost every mass-murdering right-wing kleptocratic thug of the mid to late 20th century gained and held his position with American support. Soeharto, Pinochet, Saddam, etc. etc.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.