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Trump ‘very disappointed’ Sweden won’t embrace American exceptionalism & release US rapper

Trump ‘very disappointed’ Sweden won’t embrace American exceptionalism & release US rapper
In the spirit of American exceptionalism, Donald Trump thinks nothing of demanding Sweden spring rapper A$AP Rocky from jail, ignoring the country’s own legal system, while holding the rest of the world accountable to US laws.

Trump has continued his charm offensive to get rapper A$AP Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) sprung from the Swedish jail where he’s been held for weeks on charges of aggravated assault, insisting he will “personally vouch” for the rapper's bail – never mind that Sweden doesn't have a bail system.

Swedish PM Stefan Löfven has explained to Trump that the government “cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings,” but something was apparently lost in translation, because Trump continues to plead with the Swedes for an intervention. Even though there is nothing Löfven could have done to stop the court from charging the rapper with aggravated assault this week, short of tearing up his country’s constitution to please the Americans.

But the idea that Sweden has a legal system of its own, and that American citizens are not magical unicorns immune to other countries’ laws, is foreign to a president raised on a diet of American exceptionalism.

When it comes to citizens of other countries, however, woe betide them if they run afoul of American laws, even if they’ve never entered the US. Julian Assange, an Australian (and briefly Ecuadorian) citizen currently imprisoned in London, is awaiting extradition to the US – where he’s never been – to serve what will likely be a life sentence for breaking laws that never applied to him.

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Despite his promise to retire the US from its self-appointed role as policeman, judge and executioner of the world, Trump seems reluctant to hang up the uniform. He has disavowed his 2016 campaign praise of WikiLeaks, whose publication of Hillary Clinton campaign emails was credited with helping him land the presidency, and even called it a “hoax.” Instead, he let his Secretary of State speak for him, declaring WikiLeaks an enemy of the state and calling for Assange to be imprisoned indefinitely.

Trump has similarly picked up where his predecessors left off in demanding the other countries of the world do Washington’s bidding, or else. Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, China, Russia, most of Central America, Mexico, and most recently Turkey have all been threatened with dire consequences if they don’t bend to the US’ will, despite being sovereign nations acting in accordance with international law. Why, then, should Trump expect other countries to violate their own laws in order to immediately cough up the American suspects they’ve imprisoned?

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Videos of the events leading up to the “assault” show the “victim” following Mayers’ entourage around and tussling with his bodyguard before the “beatdown” shown in the clip that was initially released. The rapper appears – especially to Americans inclined to sympathize with him – to be the target of unjust persecution, with the Swedes taking one of the locals’ word over that of a foreigner. Americans who believe they’re born with diplomatic immunity might not believe such a thing can happen to them, but entering another country and beating up one of one of the locals – no matter how much he deserved it – is unlikely to result in any kind of exceptional treatment from authorities.

Helen Buyniski

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