President Trump greets Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi as he arrives at the White House in Washington on April 3. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Regarding the May 2 editorial “An unwelcome invitation” and front-page article “Praise for strongmen alarms rights advocates”:

Editorial writers and reporters who voice surprise or dismay that the president has befriended a motorcade of dictators must be taking history lessons from President Trump himself.

The soundtrack of our foreign policy for a century has been: “He may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.” Among others, think of Nicaragua’s Anastasio Somoza Debayle, Cuba’s Fulgencio Batista, Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, the Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos, South Korea’s Syngman Rhee, China’s Chiang Kai-shek, Indonesia’s Suharto, Iran’s Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein (in warring against Iran) and Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko. We support Saudi Arabia despite its misogyny, bigotry and tyranny because it spends staggering sums on American weapons and produces more than 10 million barrels of oil per day.

On the heels of World War II, the United States recruited more than 1,500 scientists from post-Nazi Germany to assist in the Cold War against the Soviet Union. We handsomely rewarded and decorated the services of Wernher von Braun and Arthur Rudolph, the Nazi brains behind Adolf Hitler’s V-2 rocket, for developing our Pershing missile and helping us beat the Soviets to the moon.

Ecclesiastes taught us long ago: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

Bruce Fein, Washington