Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines president who called President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and told him to “go to hell”, has been invited by President Donald Trump to visit the White House. Trump apparently doesn’t share Obama’s disgust over Dirty Harry Duterte’s method of “shoot first and ask question later” – killing 6,000 drug suspects in 6 months.
Ever since he named and shamed 5 police generals allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade on July 5, 2016, Mr. Duterte, also known as “The Punisher”, is unstoppable. His administration hunts and kills drug dealers and users in a scale not seen before in the history of the country. His killing spree, however, didn’t amuse former President Barack Obama.
Obama had questioned Duterte administration’s human rights, only to be called a “son of a bitch” and lectured that the Philippines wasn’t an American puppet. In retaliation, the upset Mr. Obama scrapped a planned first meeting with the Philippine leader in September, 2016. But it didn’t matter to Mr. Duterte because Obama was on his way out of the Oval Office.
Duterte hated Obama but he likes Trump because both individuals share a common characteristic – shooting from the hip and say things they may not have really meant. After having a “very friendly conversation” on Saturday, the White House press office announced that Trump had invited President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines to visit the White House.
President Trump immediately faces criticism over the invitation due to Duterte’s horrible human rights track record. The U.S. president is being accused of endorsing Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs”, which could send a wrong signal to the global community that for the right price, the U.S. is ready to bend over and celebrates a man who boasts of killing his own citizens.
In defence, Trump administration clarifies that Duterte’s cooperation was needed to counter North Korea. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said – “There is nothing right now facing this country and facing the region that is a bigger threat than what’s happening in North Korea.” Priebus claims that this “doesn’t mean that human rights don’t matter.”
In reality, however, America cares about human rights only when it suits the nation. What Obama administration called human rights brutality, the Trump administration actually calls it a war which the Philippines President Duterte was “fighting very hard” against the “scourge” of narcotics. Therefore, there’s no benchmark to human rights as far as the U.S. is concerned.
Besides the Philippines, two other Southeast Asia countries are also invited to the White House. President Trump spoke to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former general who heads a military government that took power in a 2014 coup. Both leaders have been invited to the White House too.
While Singapore is the region’s richest country, Philippines and Thailand – both long-time US ally – have been leaning more towards China after being criticized by the previous Obama administration. President Duterte had actually announced his country’s “separation” from Washington during a visit to China in October, 2016, despite winning a sea territory case against Beijing in The Hague.
Interestingly, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak, another leader who has followed Prayuth Chan-ocha and Rodrigo Duterte’s footsteps in shifting alliance to China to teach the U.S. a lesson, is NOT invited to the White House. This is indeed very strange considering that Mr. Najib and even his wife, Rosmah Mansor, have declared their admiration of President Trump
If Mr. Duterte was a man who prides about killing drug pushers, Mr. Najib was a boastful man who brags about being Trump’s favourite prime minister and golf buddy. Last December, First-Lady Rosmah Mansor went into a huge gloating exercise, claiming how the U.S. President Trump asked Najib to call him back at 4:30am.
When Rosmah’s bragging stunt didn’t get the attention desired, she told all and sundry how her daughter – Nooryana Najwa – called at 4am, thrilled to have met Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Donald. Obviously, it’s extremely insultingto Najib and Rosmah that they didn’t get an invitation when even a brutal executioner Duterte and a general who took power in a 2014 coup get theirs.
But how could President Trump invite PM Najib to White House when the highly explosive 1MDB scandal has stretched from Malaysia to Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong, U.S., UK and Luxembourg? How could the U.S. invite a leader whom the Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber has revealed to have stolen money using a “Ponzi Scheme“?
Najib Razak was “a poster boy for the 21st century kleptocracy” whom in order to save himself from 1MDB scandal, he had replaced the Attorney-General unlawfully, removed the lead investigators and intimidated the leadership of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Central Bank. That would be the information in the National Security Council dossier for President Trump.
More seriously, Trump is concerned about Najib’s path to Islamic radicalization. Under his administration, Mr. Najib is working hand in glove with extreme Islamist party PAS towards implementing ancient barbaric Hudud law. Heck, Najib regime also protects and harbours Zakir Naik, a dangerous Indian Islamic preacher wanted by Government of India for terror propaganda and money-laundering.
– Finance Twitter