Turns out that Trump is quite popular…in Egypt.  Shadi Hamid, writing for the Atlantic, discussed how Trump’s proclivity for authoritarian regimes where they are opposed to radical Islamists is being reciprocated.

I, like many Americans, have relatives who are Trump supporters. The only difference is that they live in Egypt, which, like Alabama or Texas, is Trump country, at least among a certain group of so-called liberal elites. These “liberals” (who are liberals in some senses but not in others) and of course Sissi himself, did little to hide their enthusiasm for the Republican nominee. Most of my relatives enthusiastically backed the August 14, 2013 massacre of Muslim Brotherhood supporters. And this is what they like about Trump—that he seems to hate the Brotherhood just as much as they do.

So we get to one of our classic foreign policy dilemmas.  Do we support the brutal dictatorship that supports our foreign policy against our enemies or do we stay true to our values and stand up for human rights and democracy?

To me, it’s obvious.  The Sissi regime is the strong horse we should be supporting as the only other viable force for governing Egypt with popular support is fully unacceptable: the Muslim Brotherhood.  Make no mistake about it, had the military not intervened and overthrown the Brotherhood, they’d be bulldozing the Great Pyramid at Giza right now.

Trump’s affinity for brutocrats like Duterte, Erdogan, and Sissi might be distasteful.  However, we’re moving back into a world where we don’t have the luxury of promoting democracy for its own sake all over the place.  It’s starting to resemble the Cold War, where we needed the odd Nasser, Noriega, Marcos, and scores of others to support our interests in various regions against bigger problems.

Far from simply snuggling up to dictators, I think Trump deserves praise for embracing political reality.

What do you think?  Is supporting guys like Sissi worth it for the blemish on our reputation and the risk that an anti-American regime will take their place should they get overthrown?


  1. Why no just make friends with Kim, then, and get it over with? What’s the difference between Kim and Duterte?

  2. Eh. Why not have peace with Kim? I could care less if we pulled our troops out of South Korea.

  3. I would be all for it if it just meant pulling troops out and everything stays the same. But if we pull out and Kim moves in, we’d be sentencing the S. Koreans to literal death by starvation, like the N. Koreans enjoy now. I am all for just ignoring Kim and his little tantrums, but saying that it would be an honor to meet him? The same day that Duterte says he doesn’t have time to accept an invitation to the the WH? Have these people heard of face?

  4. I don’t think so. South Korea has three times the population and a powerful economy. I don’t believe they couldn’t hold their own against DPRK. Particularly if we gave them time to purchase enough weaponry.

    Duterte knows which way the wind is blowing in the Pacific. He favors China and he’s probably smart for that. Would be nice if Trump could pull him into our orbit, but I don’t think it likely.

  5. I agree about Duterte, which make Trump look like an idiot when he thinks he made a new dictator friend.
    Andrew Jackson is super sad about it

  6. Now that Goldman Sachs and trump’s family have completely taken over the executive branch can we even say any of these moves are trump’s anymore? Trump is no more in control of any of this than I am.

    This is pretty much the most pathetic and transparent attempt by the Mercer family to run the table in American politics and they’ve taken the stupid yokels for a ride with the border wall. 2018 can’t come fast enough.

  7. To be fair, Trump has property in Egypt and Manila, so it’s not like he needs someone to explain this to him. This is business, not American history.

  8. I’m not sure what you mean by that. All presidents fail at some point to sway foreign leaders. There are limits to what one can achieve with well-intentioned diplomacy against another leader’s interests.

    Bush and Obama thought they could reach an understanding with Putin and both had to sit and watch him attack his neighbors, helplessly. Clinton could never get Arafat to deal in good faith for a Mideast peace agreement. Obama genuinely thought he could get Iran to make nice with us and that failed. It goes on and on.

    The Philippines are essential to our interests in the Pacific. Trump would be a fool if he didn’t try to bring Duterte around.

  9. Remind me of a time when Bush, Clinton or Obama had their WH invitation publicly refused by head of state. There is a difference between ignoring a dictator when you know there is nothing to be done and extending an invitation without knowing it won’t be swatted away.
    This blog is devolving into revisionist fiction the more your guys flails. Today you compared Trump’s diplomacy skills to Clinton and someone posted that the Irish were also slaves. I look forward to your explanation tomorrow of how Trump was not wrong when he said a good shutdown will be good for the country.

  10. Cracker, please. I’ve criticized Trump plenty when appropriate. You, on the other hand, are incapable of finding fault with anyone who happens to have a (D) after their name for anything. It’s predictable and laughable

    I could seriously say anything about any Democrat and you’d defend it. If I mention that Bill Clinton stuck a cigar up Monica’s vagina, you’d praise him for not exposing her to risk of cancer by leaving it unlit.

    Speaking of Bill Clinton, his diplomacy skills weren’t that exemplary. He made a deal with North Korea to stop them from getting nuclear weapons that failed. He failed to broker a lasting agreement with the IRA in Northern Ireland. He ignored the Rwandan genocide. Also, he ignored the rise of al-Qaeda.

    Comparing Trump’s foreign policy to Clinton’s is an insult to Trump. Trump can only do better than Clinton.

  11. Remind me of a time when Bush, Clinton or Obama had their WH invitation publicly refused by head of state.

    History is not your friend.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declined an offer from the United States government to meet President Barack Obama later this month, the White House said on Monday, in the latest signal of their fractured relationship.

    “Revisionist fiction” in deed.

  12. Well, let’s also not forget that Duterte called Obama a “son of a whore”. Trump is already doing better with Duterte than his predecessor was.

  13. Yeah, and when he did that, Obama cancelled a meeting with him, not the other way around.

  14. I find plenty of faults with Bill Clinton (and Hillary and Obama, go re-read your derangement post) in general and that relationship in particular.
    But the man could speak in complete sentences and had a basic grasp of history. Your boy just said that peace in the Middle East is easy.

  15. He did not say it would be easy. Do you even bother to pay attention to what he says or just what you’re told to believe by left-wing nutjobs?

    Besides, he said this today:

    “I’m committed to working with Israel and the Palestinians to reach an agreement, but any agreement cannot be imposed by the United States or any other nation. The Palestinians and Israelis must work together to reach an agreement that allows both peoples to live, worship and thrive and prosper in peace. And I will do whatever is necessary to facilitate the agreement, to mediate, to arbitrate anything they’d like to do, but I would be a mediator or an arbitrator or a facilitator.”

    He’s putting 100% of the onus on the Israelis and Palestinians to work out their differences. You really should make it a point to try to understand what he says instead of just running with whatever Trevor Noah or whichever other liberal idol you worship is saying he said.

  16. Yes, Obama got his feelings hurt. That’s a great reason to ignore the head of state of a nation that’s extremely important to our strategic interests while he’s all but begging the Chinese to build a naval base in his country.

  17. Yeah, and when he did that, Obama cancelled a meeting with him, not the other way around.

    Which has absolutely nothing to do with your knee-jerk comment because you were certain it would be impossible to find an example of someone doing it to Obama or some other recent President.

  18. Dude, I was not responding to you. I’ve stopped doing that a while back, when the memes started. My response was to Thrill’s post directly above it and nothing else.
    FWIW, I could write up a post explaining the difference between WH staff negotiating a day that’s convenient for both parties to meet, then releasing a statement, and an impulsive child inviting another dictator to visit over the phone as if he is setting up a playdate, only to get rejected, but I fear that it will be too nuanced.
    Lets leave it at this – you are right, I was wrong, Obama also got a rejection from a world leader.

  19. Lets leave it at this – you are right, I was wrong, Obama also got a rejection from a world leader.

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