Donald Trump Praises Dictators, But Hillary Clinton Befriends Them
Alex Emmons reports in The Intercept:
While Hillary Clinton runs ads criticizing Donald Trump for praising dictators, Clinton herself has a history of alliances with strongmen in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Honduras.
Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s top foreign policy advisor, warned last week that Trump’s “praise for brutal strongmen knows no bounds.” The Clinton campaign released a video compilation of Trump’s comments about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Russian President Vladamir Putin, and former Iraqi and Libyan dictators Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.
At a California rally, Clinton accused Trump of trying to become a dictator himself. “We’re trying to elect a President,” said Clinton, “not a dictator.”
Practically speaking, however, the choice voters will face in November will be between a candidate who praises dictators and a candidate who befriends them.
Clinton has described former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak and his wife as “friends of my family.” Mubarak ruled Egypt under a perpetual “state of emergency” rule, that involved disappearing and torturing dissidents, police killings, and persecution of LGBT people. The U.S. gave Mubarak $1.3 billion in military aid per year, and when Arab Spring protests threatened his grip on power, Clinton warned the administration not to “push a longtime partner out the door,” according to her book Hard Choices.
After Arab Spring protests unseated Mubarak and led to democratic elections, the Egyptian military, led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, staged a coup. El-Sisi suspended the country’s 2012 Constitution, appointed officials from the former dictatorship, and moved to silence opposition.
Sisi traveled to the U.S. in 2014 and met with Clinton and her husband, and posed for a photo. The Obama administration last year lifted a hold on the transfer of weapons and cash to el-Sisi’s government.
Meanwhile, repression in Egypt continues to escalate. By the government’s own admission, it has imprisoned more than 34,000 people – and sentenced huge numbers to die. Amnesty International released a report Tuesday documenting forced disappearances and torture by the el-Sisi regime, including one account of a 14-year-old who was kidnapped by government forces and raped repeatedly with a wooden stick to extract a confession.
El-Sisi continues to receive $1.3 billion dollars in military aid each year from the Obama administration.
Egypt is far from the only military dictatorship that Clinton has supported. During her tenure as Secretary of State, . . .