This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Engaged With Justin Trudeau - Smile!

"I also mentioned human rights, the rule of law and specifically extrajudicial killings as being an issue that Canada is concerned with."
"I impressed on him the need for respect for the rule of law, and as always offered Canada's support and help as a friend to move forward on what is a real challenge."
"The president was receptive to my comments and it was throughout a very cordial and positive exchange."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin (Sunny Ways) Trudeau, ASEAN summit, Philippines

"I will answer the fisherman and the farmer and I will explain to them patiently why it is so, but I will never, never allow a foreigner to question why it is so."
"I said I will not explain. It is a personal and official insult. It angers me when you are a foreigner, you do not know what exactly is happening in this country."
"You don't even investigate. I only answer to the Filipino. I will not answer to any other bullshit, especially foreigners. Lay off."
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, say he spoke with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on human rights in Manila on Monday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, say he spoke with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on human rights in Manila on Monday.  (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The rough-and-ready, unabashed tough-guy president of the Philippines made it clear long ago how he feels about outside interference in the manner in which he governs his nation. It seems that his orders to shoot first, ask questions later, has the approval of the electorate, sick of lawlessness, the challenges posed by Islamists' threats and depredations in a basically Roman Catholic country, along with the incidental scourge of drug trafficking and addiction.

President Duterte rode to victory during the general election where he was voted in as a president who vowed to clean up the mess in the Philippines. He had his stint as mayor in a trouble-ridden city to prove he could and would make good on his election promises. On ascending to the seat of government he lost no time in unleashing police and the military to the task of cleaning up both drug traffickers, users, and Islamist threats, though both remain, albeit in diminished form.

His methodology is not for the weak-of-heart, and humanitarian organizations were quick to condemn the man who boasts of his own forays into sweeping up crime and personally killing perpetrators. He is proud of his exploits and enjoys shocking those who disapprove, and they are legion, though they are not the electorate, but outsiders. Outsiders like Canada's Prime Minister who is no one's understudy as a proudly boastful self-promoter. His own popularity with his electorate has plunged in reflection of his administration's mismanagement on every file save self-aggrandizement.

Justin Trudeau no doubt reminded Mr. Duterte of his visceral dislike of Barack Obama whom he referred to unflatteringly as a "son of a bitch" who could "go to hell" for chiding him over his methodology in fighting crime, urging instead that the drug war in the Philippines be tackled "in a way that's consistent with basic international norms", in so doing earning Duterte's eternal scorn and derision. But there's a new President now in the United States and the two men, Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte have common characteristics, notably that of thuggish temperaments.

"Countries around the world know that when you engage with Canada you will hear about human-rights concerns and we are the first to mention that we are not perfect, either", gloated Trudeau. Certainly, he takes credit for much, having shouted out to the world at large that "Canada is back!" when he was elected Prime Minister. As for Trudeau and his political party admitting to occasional 'imperfections' that would be a pleasant surprise to most Canadians, as their Prime Minister's election promises appear to have failed one after another while his government forges ahead in their implausible mismanagement.

A different story emerged from President Trump's performance with the irascible Duterte, as the two-of-a-kind duo met and discussed issues of mutual interest and import to both countries. President Trump declared that he and Duterte "had a great relationship", and simply took to another subject when he was asked whether he had raised concerns over human rights. Duterte's spokesman, on the other hand remarked that no human rights or extralegal killings were mentioned during the Trump-Duterte discussion; rather they spoke at length of the Philippines' war on drugs.

A joint statement issued in the aftermath of their discussion declared that they "underscored that human rights and the dignity of human life are essential, and agreed to continue mainstreaming the human rights agenda in their national programs". So isn't that grand? Could be that Duterte is scheming how he might disinvite Trudeau from taking a seat at an ASEAN East Asia Summit, as the first time that Canada has been invited to sit at that Summit, the host being displeased with the manners of his guest.

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