Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old student who was returned to the US in a coma last week after 17 months as a prisoner in North Korea, has died in hospital. His parents added that his death had been inevitable as a result of “the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans”.
Warmbier was arrested at Pyongyang airport in January 2016 and sentenced in March to 15 years hard labour for allegedly taking a propaganda poster from his hotel room, where he had been staying as part of an organised tour.
Speaking at a public event last week, Donald Trump took credit on behalf of his administration for getting Warmbier back.
“Let me start by saying that I’m glad Secretary of State of Rex Tillerson and I, along with a very talented team, were able to get Otto Warmbier back with his parents,” Trump said in a speech in Miami. “What’s happened to him is a truly terrible thing, but at least the ones who love him so much can now take care of him and be with him.”
Commenting on Warmbier’s death this week, President Trump said: “Lot of bad things happened, but at least we got him home to be with his parents.”
Trump offered his condolences to Warmbier’s parents, and said: “Otto’s fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency.”
However there is a deep hypocrisy with the recent statements of Trump and his administration. Past US presidents have always looked the other way for tyrants and despots. They have have had no problem now or in the past of having relationships with terrible governments around the world.
It was Madeleine Albright, who served as Bill Clinton’s secretary of state in the year 2000. It was her who gave Kim Jong Il a silver dish when she visited in October 2000. She even gave a basketball signed by Michael Jordan. Kim Jong Il was reported to be a huge fan of the NBA star.
U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife who visited in 1994 under the guise of a private trip gave Kim Jon II a bowl.
Trump has no problem with unsavoury governments, as long as there is monetary and strategic interest for the US.
It was only recently that Trump said that he would be “honored” to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un under the right circumstances.
Trump has extended his invitation to Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte to visit the White House. He is the same gentleman who said last summer, “Just because you’re a journalist doesn’t mean you’re exempted from assassination if you’re a son of a bitch.”
The US defence secretary, Jim Mattis, sat down with Egypt’s ruler, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who seized power in a bloody coup in 2013. Possibly the most authoritarian leader in the Middle East, Sisi bears responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of Egyptians, jailing thousands of others and running his country’s economy into the ground.Donald Trump welcomed him to the White House
Trump has developed solid relationships with King Salaman of Saudi Arabia. Both have been seen dancing and singing together, plotting and planning in a unholy alliance. All this whilst Yemen continues to be bombed and has been for the last 3 years.
Nearly 19 million people require assistance and 6.8 million are at risk of famine. This has been compounded by a cholera outbreak that has surpassed 124,000 cases and is projected to double every two weeks. Almost half the country’s medical facilities have been destroyed. A Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes from the combined effects of hunger and lack of medical facilities.
Saudi forces have targeted farms, food facilities, water infrastructure, marketplaces, and even the port of Hudaidah, where most of the humanitarian aid was entering the country. Meanwhile, extremist groups such as al-Qaida and Isis have seized upon the chaos to expand their reach.
Donald Trump has been quick to resume weapons sales, clinching an enormous $110bn deal during his trip to the kingdom in May. The treacherous Saud family promised Trump that their military would undergo rigorous US training, signing a $750m training program.
The Saudis also agreed that US advisers would sit in their air operations control center; previously, only a small US team was allowed to operate from another office to coordinate logistical assistance.
Therefore when Trump offers the world condemnations about North Korea and regimes ‘that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency’, it is the US that has a history of keeping warm relationships with them. In fact for many of these corrupt regimes in the world, it is America that has often been the one that sustains their authority over millions of people.