Le Monde, France’s leading newspaper, denounces Trump Administration’s assault on the Rule of Law

lThe leading French newspaper Le Monde has published an Editorial which underlines the degree the Trump Administration has trashed the reputation of the United States as a “shining city on a hill”, a model envied by the world, which is a leader in the struggle for democracy and the rule of law around the world.


Editorial, “Le mauvais exemple de la démocratie américaine; Pressions sur l’appareil judiciaire, attaques virulentes de ses opposants et des journalistes… par ses méthodes, Donald Trump ne cesse de mettre à l’épreuve les garde-fous du système politique américain, quitte à l’affaiblir,” Le Monde, le 17 février 2020 (à 12h00).

In Munich, on February 15, 2020, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to reassure the Munich Security Conference that the West–this community born of the Cold War–is in much better health than many in Europe maintain. “The West is victorious,” he asserted, “Freedom and democracy are victorious. We respect the rule of law. (translation to English from French translation).”

[“L’Oust, cette communauté née de la guerre froide, est en bien meilleure santé que ne le prétendent certains en Europe, a assuré M. Pompeo. « L’Occident est victorieux. La liberté et la démocratie sont victorieuses. Nous respectons l’Etat de droit. “]

Citing recent examples of Trump’s assaults on the Rule of Law in the U.S., Le Monde declared that if these arguments were once effective during the time the unity of the West was forged under American leadership against Soviet ideology, “they are, unfortunately, less and less credible when they come from President Trump’s team.”

[‘Ai ces arguments étaient efficaces à l’époque où l’unité du « bloc » occidental se forgeait autour du leadership américain contre l’idéologie soviétique, ils sont, malheureusement, de moins en moins crédibles lorsqu’ils émanent de l’équipe du président Donald Trump.”]

The World can see clearly what Trump is doing in his assault on the rule of law.  The loss of prestige and leadership capacity is enormous.

Some day the American people may wake up to the fact that the Trump administration has been and is inflicting enormous damage on the country’s reputation in the world, and its ability to lead other democratic countries in common pursuits.

It will be a day of reckoning.


The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.