Why Does Hillary Clinton Have a Problem with Authoritarian Leaders Now?

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Hillary Clinton and Faure Gnassingbé

In a recent Tweet, Hillary Clinton denounced President Donald Trump’s recent decision to pull American troops out of northern Syria to allow Turkey to engage in its own military operations in the region. The move has been criticized as a betrayal of America’s Kurdish allies in the region. Not only did Hillary Clinton present the move as a betrayal, but she also accused Trump of siding with the “authoritarian leaders” of Turkey and Russia.

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Hillary Clinton’s tweet encapsulates the hypocrisy regarding how Trump’s relationship with Russia is being dealt with by Clinton herself and by the media at large. I’ll start with Clinton highlighting the “authoritarian” nature of the leaders of Turkey and Russia. This is obviously done to present some sort of moral condemnation towards Trump for supporting such un-democratic leadership, but this is something that Clinton herself has done.

Pictured above is Clinton shaking hands with Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, who was installed as president of Togo by the military in 2005. Despite the brutal nature of Faure’s regime, as Secretary of State, Clinton visited Togo and spoke favorably about him. Former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak was described by Clinton as being a close friend. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi seized power in Egypt through a military coup and he too was supported by Clinton. El-Sisi also happens to be Trump’s favorite dictator.

The part about betraying loyal allies is also interesting when one considers Clinton’s role in overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. What tends be neglected about that intervention is that Gaddafi was an American ally prior to the uprisings against him in Libya. He was assisting America with the War on Terror and had been described as being a “model” leader by Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice. Despite the fact that Gaddafi was an American ally in the region, Clinton had no issue with intervening in Libya to topple him and seemed to take particular joy in the fact that Gaddafi was tortured to death. The intervention ended up being a failure — according to President Obama it was his worst mistake — and the chaos in Libya since Gaddafi was overthrown has remained largely ignored by the American media.

As I said, this isn’t just an issue with Hillary Clinton, but a larger problem with the American media. The governor of Mississippi visited Togo and shook hands with the dictator there. Had a Republican governor visited Russia, I am certain that would raise questions and concerns from the media and perhaps Clinton herself, but the dictatorship in Togo is acceptable to both political parties, so the issue of American support for the dictatorship in Togo is never raised. And the ongoing protests in Haiti have been receiving relatively little media attention. Whereas the media is concerned about Russian meddling in American politic, Haitians are requesting that America cease meddling in Haiti’s politics. And Haitians have not been shy about voicing their displeasure with Hillary Clinton either. There is a lot of hypocrisy involved in how American politicians and the American media discusses American foriegn policy. Clinton’s criticisms of Donald Trump simply reinforces this fact because not too long ago Clinton herself was guilty of engaging in the very things that she is accusing Trump of.

Dwayne is the author of several books on the history and experiences of African people, both on the continent and in the diaspora. His books are available through Amazon. You can also follow Dwayne on Facebook and Twitter.

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