Mel Gurtov: In fall 2018, with Pompeo at the helm, the State Department announced that it would “use the full weight of American economic and diplomatic power to help create the conditions for the restoration of democracy for the Venezuelan people.”
Mel Gurtov: Trump has overplayed his hand, not so much because of the withdrawal of US forces as because he has once again revealed how ego, arrogance, and impulsiveness drive his decision making.
Mel Gurtov: China’s failure to acknowledge major abuses of human rights is consistent with Xi’s repression of dissent at home and concentration of power in the party-state, both to an extent not seen since the Mao era.
Mel Gurtov: Trump is not another Hitler, but his wanton destruction of democratic processes, his efforts to undermine institutions of international cooperation, and his thinly veiled incitements of supporters to violence are all too reminiscent of the Nazi era.
Mel Gurtov: The murder of Jamal Khashoggi, an independent-minded Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist, almost certainly at the hands of a Saudi assassination squad dispatched by (now King) Salman, shows what happens when US foreign policy is for sale.
Mel Gurtov: We should recognize how far the North Koreans have come, in company with the South Koreans, toward reducing the threat of war, building trust, and moving discussion of Korean security onto the plane of diplomacy.
Mel Gurtov: When the smoke clears for the umpteenth time in this absurd presidency, we may find ourselves still at square one, hoping for electoral victories in November and the start of impeachment proceedings in January.
Mel Gurtov: Trump has made perfectly clear that democracy, including respect for human rights and accountable, transparent government, is irrelevant to friendship with America.
Mel Gurtov: Every world leader who shrinks from directly addressing this situation through public and international policy is, to my mind, guilty of a crime against humanity.
Mel Gurtov: We also know that the Russians have for decades been cultivating ties with Trump in anticipation that he might be an important asset.
Mel Gurtov: Trump has declared that certain military exercises, alliances (read: NATO, Japan, South Korea), and overseas bases are too expensive. Human rights concerns do not figure in such a bottom-line calculus.
Mel Gurtov: What the North Korean foreign ministry actually said in its statement of July 7 is far more nuanced, and speaks directly to the longstanding differences between Pyongyang and Washington.
Mel Gurtov: Among the extraordinary backward steps Donald Trump is taking America, none is more shameful, than his disregard for—in fact, his calculated trampling on—human rights at home and abroad.