241214012‘Whataboutism’ would seem to be the rising topic of the week, as this column considers irrespective of whether President Donald Trump is any far more deplorable than his the latest predecessors.

Yesterday’s entry reviewed public remarks by Barack Obama at a similar place in his presidency. Right now this column notes a disturbing similarity in Mr. Trump’s treatment of President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and the courtesies prolonged by former President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Trump welcomed the Kazakh strongman to the Oval Office environment now. Prior to the conference, the liberty watchdog Freedom Dwelling outlined the challenges at stake:

Washington has preserved a partnership with Kazakhstan because of to its job in combating violent extremism and due to the fact it is arguably the most prosperous, safe, and secure nation in Central Asia. But this status will not endure outside of Nazarbayev’s presidency unless it is guaranteed by democratic rules like respect for human legal rights and the rule of law, the two of which are missing in Kazakhstan.

Although Nazarbayev refers to his country as a younger democracy, it is in fact a consolidated authoritarian point out whose chief has been in workplace due to the fact it obtained independence in 1991… Genuine opposition get-togethers are not permitted to register or run.

Kazakhstani authorities consistently prohibit the most essential applications of democracy by banning independent media and bringing prison expenses in opposition to tranquil protesters, bloggers, social media consumers, and civic activists. Torture is reportedly prevalent in the country.

This column understands the benefit of a pleasant government in that component of the planet, but surely a single can do business enterprise with a dictator with out entirely endorsing him.

Here’s the White Property tran

Wall Street Journal, Jan. 16, 2018