Stateside,  Vote 2016

Trump: Dictators’ chump and Stopper

Hillary Clinton went after Donald Trump on national security and foreign policy Thursday in a speech Thursday in San Diego. And even if you don’t think she made the case that she should be president, you have to concede she made the case that Trump should not be.

The whole speech is worth watching or reading, but this part stood out:

“America’s network of allies is part of what makes us exceptional. And our allies deliver for us every day.

“Our armed forces fight terrorists together; our diplomats work side by side. Allies provide staging areas for our military, so we can respond quickly to events on the other side of the world. And they share intelligence that helps us identify and defuse potential threats.
“Now Moscow and Beijing are deeply envious of our alliances around the world, because they have nothing to match them. They’d love for us to elect a President who would jeopardize that source of strength. If Donald gets his way, they’ll be celebrating in the Kremlin. We cannot let that happen.
“That’s why it is no small thing when he talks about leaving NATO, or says he’ll stay neutral on Israel’s security.

“It’s no small thing when he calls Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. We’re lucky to have two friendly neighbors on our land borders. Why would he want to make one of them an enemy?

“And it’s no small thing when he suggests that America should withdraw our military support for Japan, encourage them to get nuclear weapons, and said this about a war between Japan and North Korea – and I quote – ‘If they do, they do. Good luck, enjoy yourself, folks.’

“I wonder if he even realizes he’s talking about nuclear war.
“And I have to say, I don’t understand Donald’s bizarre fascination with dictators and strongmen who have no love for America. He praised China for the Tiananmen Square massacre; he said it showed strength. He said, ‘You’ve got to give Kim Jong Un credit’ for taking over North Korea – something he did by murdering everyone he saw as a threat, including his own uncle, which Donald described gleefully, like he was recapping an action movie. And he said if he were grading Vladimir Putin as a leader, he’d give him an A.

“Now, I’ll leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants.

“I just wonder how anyone could be so wrong about who America’s real friends are. Because it matters. If you don’t know exactly who you’re dealing with, men like Putin will eat your lunch.”

Writing at Slate, Fred Kaplan points out the undisguised hopes of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un that Trump will be the next president of the United States.

Trump’s bromance with the Kremlin chief first blossomed late last year, when he praised Putin’s “leadership” and said, “I would get along with Putin”—sparking Putin to call Trump “a very lively man, talented without doubt,” whom he could “get along with” as well.

The salutations from the hermit kingdom of Pyongyang came just Monday, in the form of an article in the official newspaper of the ruling Workers’ Party hailing Trump as a “wise politician” in contrast to “the thick-headed Hillary.”

Some attribute these odd salutes to the like-mindedness of authoritarian personalities, but this misses the point. More likely, Putin and Kim pine for a Trump presidency because they see he’s an easy mark, someone who thinks he’s smart and tough but who, in fact, is all set to give away the store.

And in case you haven’t noticed, Trump– when he isn’t blustering ignorantly about “bombing the shit out of ISIS” or about torturing suspected terrorists and murdering their families– is quite capable of talking, just as ignorantly, like this:

He calls Hillary Clinton “trigger happy” and appears to believe the US has been responsible for “millions” of deaths in the Middle East. He does a throat-clearing denunciation of Saddam Hussein (“a miserable, horrible human being”) before praising him for having “killed terrorists.” (Which “terrorists” were those?)

Minus the Muslim-bashing and chest-beating, Trump would have made an excellent speaker at a Stop the War rally circa 2005.