Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Brian Klaas: On Sunday, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used a rigged vote to take a wrecking ball to the remaining ruins of Turkish liberal democracy. On Monday, President Trump called Erdogan, a long-standing NATO ally, and congratulated him for entrenching and formalizing his role as an authoritarian despot. A shockingly misguided move, the call sent precisely the wrong signal to leaders around the world. Every leader from Caracas to Moscow will see Trump's seemingly unfettered enthusiasm for the death of a democracy. And they'll take note of a key lesson: Trump is happy to cheerlead for despots across the globe who abuse their people, so long as they work with him on counterterrorism and avoid weapons of mass destruction.

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Since a failed coup attempt last July, Erdogan has purged more than 100,000 Turkish civil servants, judges, teachers, soldiers and police officers.

In addition, Turkey has jailed more journalists than any other country. Erdogan has been using a near-permanent "state of emergency" to rule with an iron fist. Democracy has been dying a slow death in Turkey for years.

The White House readout of Trump's call with Erdogan mentions nothing about human rights. It fails to mention that independent observers said the election was manipulated in the regime's favor. It doesn't chastise Erdogan for jailing journalists or harassing the opposition.

It is silent on mass purges of civil society.

Instead, the White House summary of the call amounts to "Congratulations! Looking forward to working with you on terrorism."

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"It's unclear whether Trump's phone call arose because he genuinely believes that strongman rule is worth embracing, or because he is acting to promote the regime that protects Trump Towers Istanbul.

But either way, power-hungry aspiring despots around the world got the message: They can let the champagne flow in their palaces as they roll back democracy. The American president doesn't really care."

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2017-04-18 04:01 PM | Reply

"It's unclear whether Trump's phone call arose because he genuinely believes that strongman rule is worth embracing, or because he is acting to promote the regime that protects Trump Towers Istanbul".

Donald's a hateful man, and an awful president.

#2 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 04:13 PM | Reply

The scotus fiasco, exhibit A.

#3 | Posted by fresno500 at 2017-04-18 04:46 PM | Reply

Trump wishes it were that easy to jail journalists in this country... he still has time to werk on that, though.

#4 | Posted by Corky at 2017-04-18 05:10 PM | Reply

Fethullah Gulen, the Muslim cleric Erdogan wants us to extradite ought to move to Canada about now.

#5 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-18 06:18 PM | Reply

Erdogan and Putin are Trump's role models, well Queen Elizabeth is too. He's demanding to ride in the royal coach when he visits London in October, what else could that be about except that he believes that somehow he deserves to be considered royal. That his kids are really Princes and Princesses and he is King. He sure spends the nation's money on his own amusement like a greedy, selfish King with absolutely no shame and Melania certainly acts as if she thinks she's entitled to be our Queen.

#6 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-18 06:22 PM | Reply

Erdogan and Putin are Trump's role models, well Queen Elizabeth is too. He's demanding to ride in the royal coach when he visits London in October, what else could that be about except that he believes that somehow he deserves to be considered royal. That his kids are really Princes and Princesses and he is King. He sure spends the nation's money on his own amusement like a greedy, selfish King with absolutely no shame and Melania certainly acts as if she thinks she's entitled to be our Queen.

#7 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-18 06:22 PM | Reply

"And they'll take note of a key lesson: Trump is happy to cheerlead for despots across the globe who abuse their people, so long as they work with him on counterterrorism and avoid weapons of mass destruction."

Um, how is that any different from any previous administration?

Not just the US, but every nation will tolerate the presence and actions of a despot ruler in another nation if it suits their nations interests.

#8 | Posted by jamesgelliott at 2017-04-18 08:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

So long as they allow him to build a hotel, Trump loves them.

#9 | Posted by 726 at 2017-04-19 07:51 AM | Reply

726, being a cynic is not the same as being intelligent or witty.

#10 | Posted by jamesgelliott at 2017-04-19 04:29 PM | Reply

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"The president and secretary agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected government of Turkey, show restraint, and avoid any violence or bloodshed. The secretary underscored that the State Department will continue to focus on the safety and security of U.S. citizens in Turkey," the White House statement said.

#11 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-20 08:02 AM | Reply

Um, how is that any different from any previous administration?
Not just the US, but every nation will tolerate the presence and actions of a despot ruler in another nation if it suits their nations interests.
#8 | POSTED BY JAMESGELLIOTT AT 2017-04-18 08:21 PM | FLAG: | NEWSWORTHY 1

There's such a thing as degrees. This goes far beyond tolerance of despotism and is more like encouragement.

I get it. Terrorism is real. We have to guard against it. But totalitarian regimes like Erdogan's only foment more of it. Resistance grows. The government becomes the common enemy of the people.

#12 | Posted by cbob at 2017-04-20 09:18 AM | Reply

"726, being a cynic is not the same as being intelligent or witty."

Not exactly the same but certainly a component for intelligent and witty. Anyone who isn't cynical about the Trump administration is simply clueless. Which would prevent them from ever being considered intelligent and certainly not witty.

#13 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-20 09:42 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Anyone who isn't cynical about the Trump administration is simply clueless."

#13 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2017-04-20 09:42 AM | FLAG:

Yup.

#14 | Posted by cbob at 2017-04-20 10:00 AM | Reply

Conservatives only like democracy when they have a clear majority.

#15 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2017-04-20 10:43 AM | Reply

The scotus fiasco, exhibit A.

#3 | POSTED BY FRESNO500

You mean exhibit 812.

#16 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-04-20 11:36 AM | Reply

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