Typically, the role the United States has played in the world, though admittedly without consistency or authenticity most of the time, is to remind nations of their responsibility to uphold human rights. This issue has been raised by all presidents since President Jimmy Carter, who was the first to make it a centerpiece of his foreign policy, until now. As I have watched donald trump on his two major trips abroad there are two words that he has yet to mention: human rights.
The following is a transcript of a call between donald trump and President Duterte from the Philippines who has been roundly criticized for his abuse of human rights in his relentless murder of drug addicts in his home country. More than 6,000 people have been killed under his brutal rule and Fig Tree Revolution has talked about this before.
Duterte: Thank you for calling and good evening, it is night over here.
donald trump: Okay I hope it’s not too late? It’s okay isn’t it? It’s not too late?
Duterte: No it’s okay, we are just having dinner with some of the members of ASEAN.
donald trump: I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.
Duterte: Thank you Mr. President. This is the scourge of my nation now and I have to do something to preserve the Filipino nation.
donald trump: I understand that and fully understand and I think we had a previous President who did not understand that, but I understand that and we have spoken about this before.
Duterte: Yes, I know that. Thank you.
They go on to talk about other things. Below are their final comments.
donald trump: Thank you Mr. President. You are a good man. Yes, certainly in November. Welcome and thank you and we will certainly be happy to see you, Rodrigo. I look forward to seeing you. If you want to come to the Oval office I will love to have you in Oval office. Anytime you want to come. I will be in the Philippines in November, but anytime if you are in DC or anywhere, come see me in the Oval office. Work it out with your staff. Seriously, if you want to come over, just let us know. Just take care of yourself and we will take care of North Korea. Keep up the good work, you are doing an amazing job. Say hello to the people of the Philippines for me.
Duterte: They know that you are calling. It is the last day of the ASEAN Summit and everyone was asking. Sultan Bolkiah just left but I will tell remaining guys here what you told me. We are all for peace, there’s no secret about that.
donald trump: Good, you take care of yourself, come see me before November, you are invited anytime.