With domestic scandals pressing in on him from all sides, Donald Trump took the past week off to visit the Middle East and participate in a number of important events in Europe. It was his first trip abroad; and other than bowing to a Saudi king and shoving the prime minister of Montenegro aside, there were seemingly few diplomatic gaffes.
Still, it was kind of a unique trip for an American President. No other American President had ever made Saudi Arabia the first stop on a trip abroad. But Trump was apparently anxious to seal an arms agreement, worth $350 billion over 10 years and $110 billion immediately, with our good friends the Saudis.
You remember the Saudis, of course, a nation best known for giving us Osama bin Laden and fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers; and also a nation held in such high regard that Congress voted last year to allow 9/11 families to sue the country for its suspected links to the attackers
By the way, Trump went out of his way on this portion of his trip to reassure kings and despots that he wasn’t interested in criticizing them for much of anything, let alone the human rights abuses their regimes routinely engage in.
Then it was off to our closest friends and allies in Europe who came in for a lot of criticism indeed on numerous matters, including the level of their contributions to NATO; an issue that was resolved a long ago time ago.
Tom Janssen, more of whose work can be seen here, is a Dutch editorial cartoonist working for the Netherlands Press Association and the Dutch national daily Trouw.
He captured perfectly the hypocrisy of Trump lecturing anyone about doing their fair share. From what little we know, it seems highly unlikely Trump has ever paid his fair share of Federal taxes, the very taxes that support U.S. military participation in NATO, for example.
Not to mention Trump’s forthcoming tax proposal, which would greatly increase income inequality in the United States by providing massive tax cuts to the rich and powerful (including the Donald himself and members of his family) while shifting the tax burden to those much less well off.
Trump? Fairness? Give me a break!
Our runner-up this week comes from Nate Beeler, the editorial cartoonist for The Columbus Dispatch. It also provides some insightful commentary on Trump’s foreign adventure and diplomatic skills.