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Man has got to have a code.


Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who strikes us as what you'd get if you blended Donald Trump with any given stereotypical Third World dictator from a bad B-movie (then threw in a dash of Paul LePage's anti-drug rhetoric), is not a man who thinks small. He's proudly called President Barack Obama a son of a whore -- or son of a bitch, depending on which Tagalog-to-English cuss book you're using. He's used the same colorful language toward U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg, and both for the same reason: The United States doesn't look very favorably on Duterte's human rights record or drug policy, which mostly consists of letting the police and armed forces kill anyone suspected of selling or using drugs. It's sort of like a Tough Love intervention, only without the love, the treatment program, the hugs, or the survival of the addict. But it's got the "tough" part down.

Having a human rights record that makes the international community miss the patient wisdom of an Idi Amin doesn't bother Duterte. In fact, he's only sorry he hasn't had the chance to ramp up his extrajudicial killings to truly impressive levels:

“Hitler massacred three million Jews,” Mr. Duterte said after returning to the Philippines from a trip to Vietnam, understating the toll cited by historians, which is six million. “Now there is three million, there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

Killing that number of drug users would “finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition,” he said.

Duterte was apparently responding to critics who had compared him to the Nazi dictator, essentially embracing the comparison:

“If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have...,” he said, pausing and pointing to himself.

For some reason, the government of Germany didn't seem all that flattered by the comparison either:

Germany’s government slammed Duterte’s comments as unacceptable. “It is impossible to make any comparison to the unique atrocities of the Shoah and Holocaust,” said a foreign ministry spokesman, Martin Schaefer.

The World Jewish Congress president, Ronald Lauder, said Duterte’s remarks were “revolting” and demanded that he retract them and apologise.

“Drug abuse is a serious issue. But what President Duterte said is not only profoundly inhumane, but it demonstrates an appalling disrespect for human life that is truly heartbreaking for the democratically elected leader of a great country.”

Phil Robertson, Asia deputy director for Human Rights Watch, said it was baffling why anyone would want to compare themselves to “one of the largest mass murderers in human history.”

“Does he want to be sent to the international criminal court? Because he’s working his way there,” he added.

Duterte's anti-drug policy appears to have been devised by a team of psychopaths, with enthusiastic support from the Philippines' national police chief, Ronald dela Rosa, who has encouraged addicts to free themselves from addiction by going out and murdering drug dealers with impunity:

“Why don’t you give them a visit, pour gasoline on their homes and set these on fire to register your anger,” Ronald dela Rosa said in a speech aired on television [...]

“They’re all enjoying your money, money that destroyed your brain. You know who the drug lords are. Would you like to kill them? Go ahead. Killing them is allowed because you are the victim.”

Presumably, Duterte would then follow up by killing the addicts, too:

He promised on the campaign trail that 100,000 people would be killed and so many bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay that fish would grow fat from feeding on them.

Days after his election win, Duterte also offered security officials bounties for the bodies of drug dealers.

When he took office on 30 June, Duterte told a crowd in Manila: “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

Both men have occasionally seemed to walk back their most hyperbolic pronouncements before later saying something even more outrageous, as with Duterte's comments Friday about wanting to emulate Hitler. By the weekend, he's likely to back off a bit and say he's shooting for a record more like Pol Pot's.

During his visit to Vietnam, Duterte also claimed upcoming joint Philippines military exercises with the United States would be the last of their kind, although government officials later "said that all military agreements with the United States were still in effect and that they were awaiting 'clarification and guidance' from Mr. Duterte." He said other stuff, too!

While in Vietnam, Mr. Duterte also said he had received information that “the C.I.A. is planning to kill me.” Officials in his government and at the United States Embassy in Manila declined to comment on that statement.

Um, sorry to interject with a #CIAfact, but if the CIA was planning to kill Duterte, he PROBABLY wouldn't "receive information" about it.

A spokeswoman for the embassy, Molly Koscina, said Friday that the United States would continue to work with the Philippines to “uphold our shared democratic values.” She said the relationship was built on “shared sacrifices for democracy and human rights, and strong people-to-people and societal ties, and obviously we’d like to see that continue.”

It was not reported what Ms. Koscina later muttered under her breath, or exactly how badly she may have depleted the U.S. Embassy's gin reserves.

Yr Wonkette is sincerely hoping Donald Trump continues yelling at a former beauty pageant contestant this weekend, lest he accidentally hear something about this Duterte guy and decide he has some intriguing ideas that should be explored further. Unfortunately, there is a Trump-branded tower in Manila, so it's possible the hairy monomaniac may somehow become aware of his Filipino alter ego.

[NYT / Guardian / Guardian]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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