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Don the Con’s Dictator Friends: Duterte, al-Sisi, Erdogan, et al.


According to a post in yesterday’s Guardian, Don the Con has invited Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines for a visit to the White House.  Duterte is notorious for the 7,000-plus killings committed by vigilantes and police since he took office ten months ago.  Most of those killed were claimed to be drug dealers and users.  Duterte has also called for the public to kill drug users.

Other new friends of Don’s include Recep Erdogan of Turkey, who just pushed through a referendum giving himself dictatorial powers and abrogating portions of the Constitution.  Erdogan is also notorious for his crackdown after a failed coup last year, in which hundreds of thousands of people were jailed or lost their government positions.

Then there’s military dictator al-Sisi of Egypt, who took power in a coup and ousted the first democratically elected leader of Egypt.  He is said to have ordered the massacre of over eight hundred Islamist protesters when he gained power.  al-Sisi decimated the Muslim Brotherhood, which had won a plurality of Egyptian voters.

Don the Con has reached out to the military dictator of Thailand, prime minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha; this man is little known in the West.  He took power in a coup in 2014; he has promised elections “soon” but they have been repeatedly delayed.   The prime minister is a royalist who has used the country’s laws against criticism of the king to suppress dissent.  The police regularly orders the press not to discuss issues it deems inappropriate for “national security” reasons.

In the case of the Philippines, Don the Con has a conflict of interest because his “family brand” is opening a skyscraper in Manila.  There are likely to be government considerations that need to be dealt with in the operation of a large building, and favors to the Trump administration are likely to be forthcoming from the Duterte administration.  Silence about the human rights record of the Philippines will be rewarded by good deals for Don the Con’s companies.


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