President Trump issued a searing executive order Thursday targeting human rights abusers. The administration is ending the year with a bang, piling accomplishment upon accomplishment. The latest presidential order comes while Congress is still in the midst of its celebrations over the newly passed tax reform bill.
Trump declared a national emergency and imposed harsh sanctions on 13 Islamic extremists and criminals. ISIS is crumbling but the war against radical Islam is nowhere over.
“The department is committed to protecting and promoting human rights and combating corruption with all of the tools at our disposal,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.
“Today’s actions advance our values and promote the security of the United States, our allies, and our partners.”
Trump didn’t mince words. The executive order is written in strong, decisive language that demands a response. Mainstream media outlets, however, probably hope that the story will die without much fanfare. They hate reporting on Trump’s triumphs.
The targeted individuals were sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Act.
“The Magnitsky Act, rather, is about money. It freezes certain Russian officials’ access to the stashes they were keeping in Western banks and real estate and bans their entry to the United States,” writes the Atlantic.
“The reason Russian (and now, American) officials keep talking about adoption in the same breath is because of how the Russian side retaliated to the Magnitsky Act in 2012, namely by banning American adoptions of Russian children…”
The Act originally applied to Russians before it was expanded by the current administration.
Politico reports that guilty men targeted by Trump’s executive order include “Yahya Jammeh, former president of Gambia; Slobodan Tesic, an arms dealer in the Balkans; Mukhtar Hamid Shah, a Pakistani surgeon specializing in kidney transplants; Guatemalan Congressman Julio Antonio Juárez Ramírez; and Artem Chaika, the son of Russia’s prosecutor general.”
The war on terror is changing. The Bush administration was marred by incompetence. The Obama administration was a slave to convention. Trump, however, is already forging a new path. He’s proven again and again that he’s not willing to sacrifice his values.
“I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the prevalence and severity of human rights abuse and corruption… have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems,” reads the new executive order.
“Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets.”
2018 looks like it will be the year of Trump. The enthusiasm that carried him to the White House dimmed slightly as Republicans hemmed and hawed over his agenda. However, the successful passage of the new tax reform plan seems to indicate that conservatives are getting into line.
“Treasury is freezing their assets and publicly denouncing the egregious acts they’ve committed, sending a message that there is a steep price to pay for their misdeeds,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
“At the direction of President Trump, Treasury and our interagency partners will continue to take decisive and impactful actions to hold accountable those who abuse human rights, perpetrate corruption, and undermine American ideals.”
America has taken on the role of a world leader. We can’t afford to allow repeated, deliberate human rights abuses to be ignored. Trump needs to focus on improving the U.S., but that doesn’t mean he should ignore the rest of the world.
“We have sought to target those who will send a strong message to the international community and that the United States takes seriously our role in promoting international norms,” said a senior administration official.