Drug War

Trump's 'Great Relationship' With a Vicious Drug Warrior

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who likens himself to Hitler, promotes the mass murder of drug users.


When Maximo Garcia heard that he was on a list of local drug suspects in Mayombo, he tried to clear his name with the police chief, explaining that he no longer used drugs and had never sold them. Four days later, the Philippine news site Rappler reports, a masked gunman shot up Garcia's house as he and his family were eating lunch, wounding him and killing his 5-year-old granddaughter.

So it goes in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, which has claimed somewhere between 7,000 and 13,000 lives since he took office in June 2016. Although Duterte's bloody crusade has drawn international criticism, Donald Trump evidently did not think the subject was worth broaching during his meeting with Duterte in Manila on Monday.

Trump, who this week bragged about his "great relationship" with Duterte, had previously praised his Philippine counterpart's "unbelievable job on the drug problem." Trump meant that as a compliment, but the viciousness of Duterte's anti-drug campaign does beggar belief.

"If you know any addicts," Duterte told a crowd of supporters after taking office, "go ahead and kill them yourself, as getting their parents to do it would be too painful." A few months later, he likened himself to Hitler, saying "there's 3 million drug addicts" in the Philippines, and "I'd be happy to slaughter them."

Police officers and vigilantes have taken Duterte at his word, assassinating people identified, rightly or wrongly, as drug users or dealers. Duterte says the carnage is not really a human rights issue, because drug users are not really human.

"Crime against humanity?" Duterte said during an August 2016 speech to soldiers. "Are they humans? What is your definition of a human being?" He dismisses the deaths of children killed by bullets intended for drug suspects—children like Maximo Garcia's granddaughter—as "collateral damage."

Even while endorsing murder as a morally legitimate response to drug abuse, Duterte periodically insists that he does not condone lawbreaking. Yet he has created an atmosphere of impunity by promising to pardon police officers accused of using unnecessary deadly force.

The thousands of drug suspects killed by police officers in the last 16 months supposedly offered violent resistance. But investigations by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and news outlets such as Rappler and The New York Times have found that police routinely plant drugs and weapons to justify what amount to summary executions.

Last August police in Manila shot and killed 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, claiming he had fired a gun at them. A police photo showed a pistol and two packets of methamphetamine next to his body. But witnesses contradicted the official account, and video from a neighborhood security camera showed police dragging the boy, still alive, into the alley where his body was found.

That incident sparked public outrage in the Philippines, leading to charges against the officers who killed the teenager. We may never know how many innocent people have been killed in similar circumstances, but without surveillance footage to prove it.

The U.S. State Department notes that "extrajudicial killings" in the Philippines "increased sharply" last year, amid "numerous reports that the [Philippine National Police] committed arbitrary or unlawful killings in connection with a government-directed campaign against illegal drugs." In a November 2 letter to President Trump, Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) and James McGovern (D-Mass.), who co-chair the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, urged him to "impress upon President Duterte the United States' profound concern over reported extra-judicial killings associated with the Philippine government's 'war on drugs.'"

This week's meeting was Trump's chance to qualify his earlier praise for Duterte's "great job" as a drug warrior. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said "human rights briefly came up in the context of the Philippines' fight against illegal drugs." So briefly, it seems, that Philippine officials did not even notice.

"The issue of human rights did not arise," Duterte's spokesman said. "It was not brought up."

© Copyright 2017 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. I have a hard time phrasing what I want to say here. That’s disappointing that Trump didn’t discuss this at all. Perhaps it’s the inhuman Nth dimensional chess many people say he’s playing. Maybe it’s just that he likes anyone who is respectful to his face. Duerte is truly a monster though, and I wish that he had taken a stance on this. I don’t believe that we should go to war over this, but at the very least disapproving rhetoric has some value.

    I also fear that much of the distaste for Duerte comes from him directly representing what we as American’s cover up with niceties.

    1. “Much of the distaste for Duterte comes from him directly representing what we as Americans cover up with niceties.”

      Carl Jung pointed out the psychological theory that we tend to hate in others that which we recognize as flaws in ourselves. But surely there are many of us who actually believe drugs should be legal (all of them, not just pot) while still detesting Duterte.

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    2. Unfortunately Trump, as a representative of the USA, has to deal with all sorts of countries and leaders. It is in America’s interests to not simply tell other countries what they should and should not be doing. Trump is trying to keep the Philippine leadership on team USA rather than team China. Bad mouthing Duerte would not help that.

      Any free loving people’s know that murdering people for using and/or selling drugs is horrible. Life is cheap in the P.I. and people are poor there. They have all sorts of problems and this is a situation where populist tyrants like Duerte fit right in. These tyrants never solve problems like drug abuse, just make it seem to disappear. Clearly, Filipinos have chosen to ignore history as it applies to authoritarian types.

      In the Pacific rim, there are bigger fishes to fry than domestic stuff in the P.I. North Korea is the biggest threat to the USA right now and its coming to a head. Either China does something or the USA will have to. If Trump isolates China and the Philippines because of those countries being socialist shit holes, how is that going to solve the NK problem?

      1. “North Korea is the biggest threat to the USA right now and its coming to a head. Either China does something or the USA will have to.”

        Always interesting to see a Libertarian spouting CNN’s talking points. This belief that communist China is willing or able to sort out ‘America’s biggest threat’ is naive and desperate. It has world power in decline written all over it.

        1. More like CNN is spouting MY talking points. But I wouldn’t know since I don’t pay attention to hacks like those at CNN.

          1. “But I wouldn’t know since I don’t pay attention to hacks like those at CNN.”

            You’re not missing much. Anyhow, FOX, NYT, Washington Post will do just as well. They all have the same silly take on the issue as you do.

      2. @ lc1789

        You sum up the issue well. We can’t stop Duterte, but we can stop China, and maybe NK while we’re at it.

        1. “You sum up the issue well.”

          He parrots the MSM very well. Too bad it’s wishful and dangerous thinking. And you, Telcontar have added a whole new dimension of foolishness, that USA can manipulate China more easily than PI.

          1. I was actually more referring to China’s efforts to gain full control over the South China Sea, not their alleged usefulness re: North Korea.

            But we actually do have more leverage over the PRC than Duterte as specifically regards the DPRK, because they don’t want a war on the Korean Peninsula any more than we do. They don’t want US military activity on their border, and keeping Duterte off of their team makes them feel less secure in their near-abroad, and thus even less happy about the prospect. By contrast, Duterte has made it clear that we can’t threaten him at all without pushing him to Team PRC, ergo we have no leverage over him whatsoever.

            Thank you for the compliment, BTW. The condemnation of an imbecile is as sweet to the ear as the praise of a sage.

            1. “The condemnation of an imbecile is as sweet to the ear as the praise of a sage.”

              I wouldn’t dream of condemning you. I’m saying you don’t know what you’re talking about. Your idea is just another variation of an idea that the Skippy was bandying about as a solution to America’s number one threat on the planet. (Not the Iranian one but the North Korean one.) He (and probably the CNN correspondent he was parroting) was suggesting selling boat loads of expensive weapons to Taiwan (not so far from PI) in order to frighten China into doing America’s bidding on the Korean peninsula. Naive and wishful thinking.

              America kissed bye bye to any chance of leverage over China when the pres, god bless him, put the kibosh on the TPP, the anti-chinese trade coalition that Obama and Clinton were cooking up (with Reason cheering on.)

              1. No one in this thread- the caricatured facsimiles of your opponents that you keep in your head aside, or course- was talking about “frightening” China with the Phillipines, or Taiwan or anyone else, as *our main policy*. The PRC is far more disturbed by the thought of millions of North Korean refugees swarming over their border, and the loss of their long-time sleeve card/attack dog, in the event of a US-DPRK war than anything else. Which is why I said “and maybe NK while we’re at it”, not “this is the make-or-break element to our DPRK policy”.

                That said, another reason for China to intervene is because they REALLY don’t like the idea of US troops on their Korean border- and they know that would be the only possible result of full-scale war. And that discomfort is only magnified if they know that US military assets are also near them in other places: like the Phillipines. Again: an incidental part of making them sweat, not a central one.

                And North Korea is only highly incidental to the question of Duterte as well. Our REAL reason for tolerating his depravity is the need to keep China from acquiring complete dominance over the South China Sea. I made this clear in both previous comments. Just as you have made your habit of selective reading clear in yours.

                1. “and the loss of their long-time sleeve card/attack dog,”

                  North Korea is not China’s attack dog but an independent state that tries to act in its perceived interest. Its nuclear programme is opposed by just about every nation in the world, I imagine. The idea so widely held by Americans that North Korea is China’s puppet is naive and wishful thinking. And as I’ve written before, it’s got declining world power written all over it. The notion that America can’t deal with North Korea directly, but has to resort to using nations like PI or Taiwan to scare China into sorting out North Korea is pitiful.

                  1. Are you under the impression that a gangbanger with a pitbull on a chain is in complete control over said pitbull’s actions? Of course the DPRK is an “independent state that tries to act in its perceived interest”- so is a real-life attack dog. You can’t give a deranged pitbull or rottweiler orders, you just keep it in your backyard, knowing it’ll attack anything that comes near. China can’t give NK orders on a day-to-day basis, but that doesn’t mean that NK isn’t very useful for them- they act as a sort of Cerberus guarding the PRC’s Korean border from Western encroachment. And if the dog doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, eg be a good little guard dog? They stop feeding it. Because it can’t feed itself.

                    And how is it a “sign of decline” to try and surround China, as best we can, with *our own military assets*? Were you under the impression that it was supposed to be the Taiwanese or Phillippine militaries that were going to be doing the intimidating? Maybe that idiot on CNN you referenced thought that, but the actual idea is to make China feel surrounded by *US* bases and staging areas- so that the idea of adding another, on a newly minted PRC-Unified Korea border, is even less appealing. Not to mention, make them even more willing to believe that we feel secure enough in our position in the area to try something crazy like launch a preemptive assault on NK- thus making them more likely to take drastic action of their own (eg cut back trade w/ NK) to forestall it.

                    1. “they act as a sort of Cerberus guarding the PRC’s Korean border from Western encroachment”

                      Mad dog metaphors aside, you have a point. The best way to prevent an American invasion of North Korea is for her to develop nuclear weapons. America only attack non nuclear countries. Yet you expect China, a country wary of American influence, to somehow disarm North Korea of her nuclear arsenal, sole guarantor of America not attacking, because Americans find it to their liking? Good lord man it’s hare-brain. And America’s brightest have been spouting on like you for over a decade now, going back to the W Bush years. It’s never worked and during that time, North Korean nuclear and missile technology have advanced by leaps and bounds. Why insist on policy that’s a proven failure? Because America’s in decline and sane and sensible policy making is breaking down.

                    2. “Yet you expect China, a country wary of American influence, to somehow disarm North Korea of her nuclear arsenal, sole guarantor of America not attacking, because Americans find it to their liking?”

                      No. I expect China to do what it needs to do to keep US military bases as far from its borders as possible. They know that if we launched a preemptive invasion, that would result in that happening; ergo, if they were convinced that a US first strike was real and imminent, they would be driven to use the one power they have over Kim- their ability to cut off trade and strangle NK- to force Kim to the table.

                      Trump’s plan probably won’t work, if only because he flubbed it, but it isn’t the same as previous administrations’: Obama and Bush genuinely thought they could pressure China to do this with plain old diplomacy. That approach was never going to work, for the reasons you outlined above. But that is not what Trump is/was trying to do. Trump was trying to BLUFF China into thinking we were crazy enough to attack NK preemptively- by making all these incendiary statements, playing up the “madman with launch codes” rep that Trump has, moving aircraft carriers, and generally doing his best to mimic Nixon’s strategy against the USSR- so that China would decide to bite the bullet and try to stop Kim before we had the chance. (cont.)

                    3. (cont.)

                      As I said, it doesn’t seem to be working, because Trump hasn’t been able to seal the deal: Jinping is wise to his game now, and knows that Trump is trying to goad him. However, it was the only plan left to us other than an actual preemptive strike- a bombing campaign or a Chinese trade blockade are the only two things that could possibly influence Kim’s mind at this point- and so it was worth a shot. And if Trump were to up the pressure again, by moving troops into the region and ratcheting up the rhetoric, it could still work. It’s that or accepting Kim’s arsenal (which is sadly most likely inevitable at this point).

                      All of which, of course, brings me back… *again*… to the original point: which is that maintaining pressure on the PRC re: North Korea has *always been incidental* to why we tolerate Duterte. Handing China the Philippines would be a problematic but likely not deciding factor in the NK pressure campaign, but China also wants to control the South China Sea. They want to control the massive amount of trade that goes through it, and the minerals that lie beneath it, as well as the waters around Taiwan. That’s at least as big a threat to US interests as NK, which, when combined with there being no way to physically stop Duterte’s rampage without causing even worse bloodshed, means we are best off patting him on the head and hoping he loses his next election.

                    4. “However, it was the only plan left to us other than an actual preemptive strike- a bombing campaign or a Chinese trade blockade are the only two things that could possibly influence Kim’s mind at this point- and so it was worth a shot.”

                      I bet you didn’t know that China has responded to US suggestions and come up with a plan that doesn’t involve a US pre-emptive strike or a trade blockade. They call it ‘freeze for freeze.’ It means the North Koreans freeze their nuclear programme in exchange for US freezing their military maneuvers on the peninsula. US has repeatedly rejected the idea. Apparently it’s not worth a shot. Probably because such a plan leaves China in a strengthened position, and that’s the key. North Korea is just a pretext.

                    5. OR:

                      It might be that allowing your deterrent to conventional military invasion to mildly atrophy in return for a “programme freeze” by a nation that has never made a promise it didn’t break or an agreement whose terms it didn’t violate is a laughably na?ve idea.

                      Every single time the Kims have made a promise to back off of their nukes in exchange for US concessions, they have lied and pursued them in secret. And why wouldn’t they? They know nukes are the key to their survival; and so, only a threat to their survival, like a blockade or an attack, could deter them from it. They have nothing to gain by giving up their nuclear program for so small a concession as cessation of a few tank maneuvers and infantry trust falls; it wouldn’t even be a fair exchange. And so we have every reason to assume that they have no intention of abiding by such an agreement; because they would be fucking morons if they did.

                      You have fallen for China’s rhetorical strategy hook, line and sinker: they proposed this BS specifically to try to deflect attention from their ability to influence Kim, and get America to try this quixotic tripe so they could avoid having to do it themselves. And right on cue, mcredulousman and his fellow useful idiots dance along.

                    6. You seem to believe that North Korea can’t be trusted in its relations with the USA, and that’s only natural; you been told so by the CNN talking heads a thousand times, but you trust them in their dealings with China. But it’s me who’s naive. North Korea is just a pretext.

                    7. I don’t trust them “in their dealings with China”- I trust them *to do what is in their best interest*, as do we all. If they had a genuine reason to fear for their own survival, they would get rid of the nuclear paraphernalia they needed to get rid of, open themselves up to the inspections that would be needed to confirm it, and otherwise do all the necessaries to ensure that the nation that held their fate in its hand- be that nation China, America or any other- did not see fit to snuff them out. That it is China which possesses that power is a coincidence of geography and Cold War politicking, nothing more.

                      A trade blockade by their primary trade partner constitutes that “genuine reason to fear”. A tank exercise in the DMZ does not. It is a matter of what genuinely constitutes “leverage” over the DPRK, and what doesn’t. Exercises, or the “freezing” thereof, do not constitute leverage because they are symbolic only. Ergo, in response to such a freeze, the DPRK would have no reason to make any effort to dismantle its nuclear program, or allow international inspectors to verify that it had done so.

                      Just as they didn’t every previous time trusting souls like yourself tried to give them concessions to entice them into not being the treacherous liars they are.

                    8. “If they had a genuine reason to fear for their own survival”

                      You mean like getting heavily bombs by the USAF? It’s happened before when Kim’s grand dad was in power. Thanks largely to American efforts, North Korea is I believe the 5th most heavily bombed place in the history of the planet. Didn’t know that, did you?

                      What’s all this nonsense about them needing to rid themselves of these weapons? Who’s gonna stop them? Not the USA, who can’t let go of this idiotic idea that China is gonna pull yankee chestnuts from the fire. Not China either.

                      “do not constitute leverage because they are symbolic only.”

                      Well, if it’s only symbolic, well how can it be important. We’re all Americans, after all, aren’t we? Even the Koreans are Americans and they’ve never placed any importance on symbolism.

                      You’ve been talking nonsense since you started. Stop parroting CNN. North Korea is a pretext.

                    9. And you have the gall to say *I’m* talking nonsense. Your entire response is adolescent word salad, with no unifying theme beyond a Ufologist-level need to believe that NK is some poor abused little lamb because of that time (which I was already fully aware of) 70 years ago that we enthusiastically bombed them after they TRIED TO ENSLAVE ONE OF OUR ALLIES, who would gladly give up their CitySploder 5000 if we just stopped doing wheelies across the street from them, and now the “secret truth” is being covered up by those notorious Trumpian nationalists at CNN.

                      Peel your moist flesh off of your Mulder body pillow and grow up. NK is the worst country on earth, run by the worst people on earth, and absolutely should not have a goddamn BB gun, much less nuclear weapons. We don’t want to attack them because we don’t want Seoul to become Stalingrad or Chernobyl, and so we’re trying to pressure China to do it *because it is the best of several bad options*, not because we actually expect it to work (it was always a long shot) or because we couldn’t do it ourselves (a single Ohio sub could reduce NK to ash, but would blast the entire Pacific Rim with rads in the doing).

                    10. “And you have the gall to say *I’m* talking nonsense. ”

                      Yes, I’ve said it several times, and explained why it’s nonsense. But you’ve got this compulsion to follow more than a decade of failed policy toward North Korea, like American media and policy makers. A failed policy which you say will continue to fail, but think it’s the best anyway. The moral and intellectual bankruptcy of America in decline is clearly on display.

                    11. You have “explained” nothing but that you cannot read, or else have not the cognitive capacities to comprehend what you have read.

                      *I*, on the other hand, have explained at length, repeatedly, using the discursive equivalent of primary colors and slow enunciation as one would when explaining things to a dim child, that:

                      A, the Trump plan is not the same as the previous administrations’,
                      B, why the unlikelihood that his plan will succeed does not make the other options better,
                      C, why your alternative, copy-pasted from the People’s Daily, of trying to convince the DPRK to give up its most important project in exchange for a meaningless cessation of tank maneuvers is itself an example of the na?ve wishful thinking you project onto your opponents,
                      D, why America’s desire to disarm the DPRK without dousing South Korea and Japan with 20 ICBMs’ worth of radioactive material or subjecting the former nation’s capital to a 20,000-gun artillery orchestra is a symptom, not of a declining superpower, but rather of a restrained and disciplined one, that would rather tolerate a nuclear enemy than risk massive bloodshed.

                      Your arguments are a poorly-mixed cocktail of selective reading, defiant ignorance and willful illogic. As always.

  2. Manila Narczis. I *hate* Manila Narczis.

  3. Unsure why it is America’s job to police what the rest of the world does.

    Either you want us to or not.

    He also has spoken to the UN, which is about the most corrupt and useless organization in existence.

    In diplomacy, you work with what you can together and paper over issues. I didn’t see you condemning Obama for his talks with Cuba, who are no better.

    1. It’s pretty obvious at this point that Reason is going to criticize the republicans (and especially Trump) no matter what they do, while of course largely giving Obama and the democrats a pass on doing the exact same things. If Trump refuses to engage with awful foreign leaders, they’re going to rip him as being an arrogant isolationist, and then when he does actually engage these foreign leaders, they’re going to rip him for talking to awful foreign leaders.

      This is their schtick, and it’s obviously not ever going to change under this leftard fugazi leadership running things here.

      1. That’s pretty much the same impression I get out of this site. It’s why they’ve been running opinion pieces disguised as news, touting the benefits of globalization and why all Libertarians should be on board with it. Sorry, but if companies decide to ship there manufacturing overseas, I’m more than happy to slap a 30% tariff on it. It’s not like there is loads of people lined up in the Middle East and Far East Asia lining up to buy the cheap crap China or Mexico makes and sells at Target, and it hurts low and middle income people harder to ship their jobs overseas, than it does to put said tariff on it.

      2. I disagree. The fact is is that Reason has been quite scathing of Obama and the Democrats. You strike me as neither truly conservative, nor libertarian, but strongly partisan, no less.

        1. Jeffersonian162, meet Dum Dee. Dum Dee, meet Jeffersonian162.

        2. Depends on the policy. Reason has very much fallen for the feelz of progressives in a lot of areas, and this has shaded their writing.

          Also, perhaps the biggest difference, is that they always portrayed Obama as “Ah this well meaning, very intelligent and competent man, has made an error in judgement. Aw shucks that sure is bad, he should have done XYZ instead!”

          Whereas with Trump it is “OMG, he’s so evil, he’s a complete moron, he’s basically LITERALLY HITLER!” just like the leftist media.

          It’s the TONE they use and the way they frame it. Trump is no policy wonk, but he’s not as dumb as the lefty media makes him out to be, or Reason for that matter. He’s not a “doin’ it for the feelz” kind of guy, but neither am I, and that doesn’t make somebody LITERALLY HITLER. He has reasons he supports some “harsh” policies that aren’t nice to certain groups or whatever, and so do I.

          That’s because all the people at Reason are seemingly Left Libertarians, and the feelz are heavily weighed in their minds. So every time Trump does something they don’t like it’s because he’s a moron, but with Obama it was that he just made a bad call… Despite the fact that Trump’s gut instincts and general policy positions are far better, even from a libertarian perspective, than Obama. It’s kinda BS.

    2. Unsure why it is America’s job to police what the rest of the world does.

      Either you want us to or not.

      That’s oversimplified, but agree that the US should not be world police, and should cease the false pretext of “humanitarian aid” to describe relationships with client states for geopolitical reasons.

      The US should not be supporting Duterte in any capacity. He is a violator of basic human liberty, and uses his own war on drugs as a means to assert his strongman persona through killing his arbitrary “bad guys”. There are other actions that could be taken in response to this that don’t involve policing.

  4. Duterte is a weird case. He was elected by a large margin and a solid majority support him and his drug war, and not in a “Putin has a 95% approval rating” kind of way. He hasn’t really been targeting his political opposition with any of his crackdowns, although there have been a few questionable hits. While he has boycotted the media at times, he has not tried to shut them down.

    His anti-drug campaign is full of terrible human rights abuses, but unless he starts destabilizing the country, threatening his neighbors, or using his power to undermine democracy or declare himself dictator, I think we should stay the hell out of it. We need the Phillipines as an ally in the region, and Filipinos like America more than basically any other country in the world. We ally with far more dangerous dictators and terrible regimes around the world.

    That being said, Trump could definitely ease up on the outright praising of the guy. Do what we do with Saudi Arabia.

    1. I agree we should stay out of it. But I don’t see that condemning the actions of a leader has to be followed by military intervention, or even cutting all diplomatic ties.

      It also doesn’t make sense that you need to praise Duterte to the skies just to maintain a cordial diplomatic relationship with the Philippines. As you say, I don’t think presidents usually praise the Saudi’s treatment of citizens whose behavior they don’t like, even while keeping Saudi Arabia as an ally.

      1. Just think of Trump’s wild praise as wild sarcasm.

        No president will ever be the perfect combo of everything. Trump does this weird “over the top” praise thing. I just see the difference between Americans he meets and praises and the wild praise he lavishes on China and Duerte. Dictator Xi and Duerte eat up the fake praise and that’s all that matters.

        1. It’s because that’s how you do it in business man! Back slapping “This guy is the greatest! No really, he is! And he’s not only brilliant in business, but lemme tell ya he cooks some mean BBQ ribs too! What a guy!!!”

          That’s the kind of guy Trump is. As shallow and ridiculous as it seems, this stuff actually works! I’m self employed now, and did some sales when younger, and my dad is a pretty super salesman type who rubbed off a lot. I have read a lot of sales and business books, and as dumb as it looks like from the outside 95% of people will eat this shit up even though it’s obviously just superficial praise. So Trump uses it a lot, and it usually works. I bet Duerte loves him now compared to before.

  5. Andrew Anglin, the infamous neo-Nazi, and the Las Vegas shooter both spent time in the Philippines. No doubt they were both inspired by this guy.

  6. Trash-talking Trump has no problem talking shit about people on the twitters, meeting people face-to-face suddenly he’s a shit-eating dog. That’s how internet tuff gais are. Trump’s a bully, he likes bullies, he likes it even more when bullies tell him he’s a great bully.

    1. Its not really shit eating, its not getting your friends close and your enemies closer. It does the USA no good to alienate China and the Philippines over domestic abuses right now.

      Get China to solve the NK issue, then blast them for being commie bastards.

      If you still want all your precious crap from China, you cannot just say “fuck you Commie dogs” and cut off all trade with the murderous bastards.

      One thing Trump is good at is getting weak minded fools to trust him so Trump gets what he wants. Trump is working these foreign fools and for American interests not some other country’s interests.

  7. Now the Libertarians at reason want US involvement in the activities of sovereign nations?

    How far should we go? Should we stop at verbal condemnation? Should we wage economic war? Should we wage an actual shooting war?

    Some Libertarians here are quick to abandon their principles if it means taking a shot at President Trump.

    1. Wrong – we just need to stop giving military aid to the Philippines. Because when you do that, the beneficiary will gladly find uses for it.

    2. We should assassinate Duterte and frame the Chinese.

      1. And Plant drugs on him??

  8. Philippines has been drifting towards Russia and China influence. Recall Duterte insulting Obama last fall. For all Trump cares Duterte can roast drug dealers on a spit over an open fire if he can maintain our alliance.

  9. most presidents have not verbally attacked their host while in the host country, Obama was very good at that, but it doesn’t mean they approve of everything they are doing. Reason knows this

  10. There might not be the extrajudicial murder of suspected drug addicts, here in these United States, but the persecution of drugs and their users (including cannabis plant material) is real and present, no less, albeit cloaked in the ritualism the legal and moralistic. To whit, the engendering of the “scapegoat”- a kind of sacrificial lamb, onto which all of a communities ills are heaped- is as old as human societies, and is the unavoidable “metabolism” of same, whether such takes the form of witches, demons, or the “preternatural” addict.

  11. Drugs, and those that use and traffic in them, are a scourge on the face of their Earth.
    Shooting’s too good for them: Get a whip!

  12. Great relationship like what they out there on the golf course and wife swapping? They like shook hands and talked, he made Trump laugh calling out the press, that is it. Jeez I don’t understand the love for drugs. It just seems like a waste of time and money anyway. In the Philippines the political families kill each other. They are a rough set of people.

  13. These kinds of articles would serve readers better if you lumped all the politicians together, because it opens the door to each side accusing each other of the same things–and both sides are usually correct.

  14. I didn’t vote for Trump, nor Hillary. I’m a voluntaryist. To me, voting is immoral. But I care so little for progressives and the liberal media that I had almost–not really–become a Trumpet as I watched CNN,MSNBC, Bloomberg, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, NYT, WAPO, and every other establishment news outlet pile on the poor chump with a combination of chortling over his repetitive faux pas and passing on their made-up fake news about him. It’s as if the lamestream-media boobs believe Donald needs help in proving he’s a lousy president. They’ve sacrificed any journalistic integrity they might once have had in order to pay him back for winning, and then rubbing their noses in their predictions of his defeat, mocking their daily flacking for Hillary, ridiculing them while taking multiple victory laps at rallies in Trump country all around America. The media’s rage at Donald had almost (not!) pushed me into the Trump camp. But then I watched him toast Putin and Dutarte like a obsequious courtesan of Louis XIV, ass kissing two of the most immoral creatures on the planet. So now I hope Congress takes away his scepter before his term is up, assured that his successor will do an equally fine job of proving the utter uselessness of government.

    1. Trump, a lousy president? Have you checked the stock market during the last ten months? Nothing but up up up, setting records repeatedly of new all-time highs. More people at work than at any time in history. Manufacturing is again a major industry in America. Illegal entries down 70%. Unemployment under 5%. Consumer confidence zooming, housing sales up. Did you not see the sheer respect in the faces of the Oriental leaders meeting Trump?

      If this is a lousy president, we need more of him. A LOT more.

      1. It’s acceptable to say, he’s a lousy president but…. I’m not afraid to say, after observation, that I like him more as president than I ever imagined I would. I even like his speaking style, which I’ve NEVER been able to say about any president in my lifetime. I never once feel as if he’s speaking down to me. No buts for me. Sorry, comrades.

  15. I watched a “Drug Wars” episode shot in the Philippines. Agents raided a slum. They arrested 200 people, after finding ONE GRAM of methamphetamine. Label anyone you don’t like (they don’t look like you, they don’t have the wealth you have-pick one…), call them a drug user, and arrest them, when the cameras are on. Kill them when the cameras are off. Duterte, who has taken fentanyl. Even an Hitlerian murderer gets opioid pain relief, because it works.

    1. “Even an Hitlerian murderer gets opioid pain relief, because it works.”

      Real Fuhrers prefer uppers.

  16. So what do you propose, Sullum? That Trump leave the PI and tell the world that America’s too good to deal with their leader because he’s a murdering scum? You may not get it, but that’s not the way diplomacy works.

  17. I read an interesting article awhile back written by a Filipino chick who mostly grew up in the USA. All of her older family members in the USA who actually properly grew up in the old country supported Duerte, and she couldn’t possibly understand why. They told her the Philippines is not like America, stuff is just fucked up there, and you gotta do things differently. She still didn’t quite get it, but had wanted to visit family there so booked a trip.

    The short version is after learning there are STILL open guerilla fighters in parts of the country, the rampant corruption, and just generally how fucked up everything is… She didn’t agree, but got how some people could. Life is cheap, and being harsh sometimes gets shit done. I think the drug war fight is a dumb thing to get tough on, but I myself could see getting hardcore as fuck on some other types of crime or whatever. Going in and literally obliterating organized street gangs, including lots of gun fights and bodies piled up… A la 1930s style FBI tactics… I dunno how opposed I’d be. That’s why this shit happens. People are sick of the thugs, and if somebody will go in and wreck their shit, they don’t care if there’s collateral damage.

    Hence everybody loves him for doing shit that seems ultra harsh and fucked up to those of us who have never lived in third world fucked up countries.

    1. ALSO, a big part of what Reason never mentions, or the rest of the western press, is a MAJOR part of his campaign is not just against drugs… But against corruption in general. He’s been firing cops and corrupt officials like crazy, jailing many of them for taking bribes etc. So this one part, the drug war, is only a small part of the picture, and people are probably more in favor of the general anti corruption thing than JUST the drug aspect… Although organized drug slinging based gangs would obviously not be loved by many people either.

      1. If you don’t want criminal gangs “slinging” drugs, the solution is simple. Legalize the damn drugs, and let duly licensed, regulated and taxed businesses take over.

        1. I’m all for drug legalization… We just have to convince the other 98% of the world that crack should be legal, then this stuff can stop! LOL

  18. What’s happening in the Philippines is the US drug war writ large. Of course Trump supports it. The same reason as he and a long, long line of his predecessors in the White House have supported Israel. Because those nations are everything the US government, collectively, wishes it could be.

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  21. Swift in a parrellel, suggested the poor/drug addicts hey be eaten on toast.

    Rio Police had squads that shot the clouds of homeless children whose little gangs were a plague.k

    What does the author suggest be done with the 20% of Americans who shove all manner of drugs in their bodies?

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