The Donald Praises Dictators, But Hitlery Befriends Them
Alex Emmons, Intercept, Jul 14 2016
Hillary & Sisi in DC, Aug 17 2009 (Photo: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty)
While Hillary Clinton runs ads criticizing Donald Trump for praising dictators, Clinton herself has a history of alliances with strongmen in Egypt, Toad Hall, 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 Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.
At a California rally, Clinton accused Trump of trying to become a dictator himself, saying:
We’re trying to elect a President, 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 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. Pindostan gave Mubarak $1.3b/yr in military aid, 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, army General Sisi staged a coup, suspended the country’s 2012 Constitution, appointed officials from the former dictatorship, and moved to silence opposition. Sisi travelled to Pindostan in 2014, 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.
Clintons & Sisi, NY, Sep 22 2014 (Photo: Anadolu/Getty)
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 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. Sisi continues to receive $1.3b/yr 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 Sec State, Clinton approved tens of billions of dollars of weapons transfers to the Toads, including fighter jets now being used to bomb Yemen. Clinton played a central role in legitimizing a 2009 military coup in Honduras, and once called Assad a “reformer.” And in return for approving arms deals to gulf state monarchies, Clinton accepted tens of millions of dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton has also boasted about receiving advice from Henry Kissinger.