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"be tough with allies, be nice to dictators"

Reader comment on item: The Death of Soleimani and Its Consequences

Submitted by Anon (Israel), Jan 8, 2020 at 19:22

This is hardly the case, Dr. Pipes. No one could argue that Trump is being 'nice' to Iran's leaders, nor was he very kind or even polite to N.Korea's leader when their leader was threatening to attack the United States. Instead, he ridiculed him at the United Nations, while also hinting that the U.S would end up killing N.Korea's leader ("little rocket man is on a suicide mission"). Once N.Korea changed its tune, Trump rewarded this about-turn with the occasional compliment.

Nor can anyone claim that Trump is tough on Israel or on the United Kingdom, or on its allies generally.
Actually, it was Obama who sought to appease the U.S's enemies while embarrassing its friends (endlessly criticizing Israel, offending the U.K with a crappy gift of some movies on dvd, which cost $49.50 and which could not be played in the U.K, suggesting that Britain should reach a compromise with Argentina over the Falklands).

By the way, when Trump leaned on Turkey to release the pastor, about a year ago, you speculated that perhaps Trump would extradite Gulen in return. Well, a year has passed and it has not happened. Perhaps you ought to recognize that you were probably mistaken and that the Pastor's release was a fairly significant achievement for Trump and represented a significant defeat for Erdogan.

Finally, of course Trump is tougher on Iran than on Turkey, for the simple reason that unlike Iran's Supreme Leader, Erdogan has not been leading crowds in chants of "Death to America". My feeling is that such chants rub Trump the wrong way and that when the same country also works to construct nuclear weapons, Trump is rather keen on stopping them. If Erdogan will lead crowds in the same chants while building nuclear weapons, I'm sure Trump will be much tougher on him.

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