Saturday, January 21, 2017

Reactions

The New York Times collected reactions from here and abroad to Trump's speech. A common theme of writers from third world dictatorships was that he reminded them of home. Here is Mohammed Hanif:

KARACHI, Pakistan — Did President Donald J. Trump just say “America First”? It’s kind of worrying that American presidents have to steal slogans from third-world dictators.

In Pakistan, we had a military ruler named Gen. Pervez Musharraf. He made lots of friends in Washington, D.C., after taking over in a bloodless coup in 1999. On his return from his first visit to Washington, he proclaimed “Pakistan First.” He was such a great buddy of President George W. Bush that he got the latter to endorse his book on television. These buddies started new wars, rekindled old ones. Lots of people died, lots more fell into new depths of poverty.

When you say America first or Pakistan first — or whatever unlucky country it is that allows a pampered old man to say those things — it always means me first. My family first. My friends first. My friends’ friends are going to be O.K. I’ll decide what’s best for this country. In fact, I have already decided what’s best for this country: me. The bargain will work out like this: At the end of this, there will be lots more dead people, but we’ll have even more money than we did before.

And Mona Eltahawy:

CAIRO — “He sounds just like one of our despots,” said a friend after we watched Donald J. Trump speak at his inauguration. It was an address worthy of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, our general turned president.

It was stunning to watch Mr. Trump try to mold the United States in the shape of Egypt, where the military has ruled us, in one form or another, for over six decades.

No wonder Mr. Trump called Mr. Sisi “a fantastic guy” when they met in New York last year.

All his buddies seem to be dictators and thugs.