US Hostilities against Philippines Reason behind Duterte’s Harsh Words: Expert
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Washington-based political analyst said recent remarks by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte against the US have their roots in Washington’s long record of hostility toward the Southeast Asian nation.
“President Duterte has been quite clear as to his reasons for wanting to end his nation's dependence on the US,” Michael O. Billington, a senior editor with the Executive Intelligence Review, said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
“He (Duterte) refers to the slaughter of Philippine Moros during the US takeover of the Philippines in the early 20th Century as the ultimate cause of the continuing insurgency in his home province of Mindanao,” the senior analyst added.
Billington is an activist in the LaRouche Movement, Asia editor for the Executive Intelligence Review, and author of Reflections of an American Political Prisoner: the Repression and Promise of the LaRouche Movement.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his harsh words for long-time ally Washington, saying he wants US troops out of his country in the next two years and is willing to scrap defense pacts. As you know, Duterte last week announced in China his separation from the US “both in military and economics”. It seems that he is willing to put an end to his country’s dependence on the US. In your opinion, why is the president pursuing such policy toward Washington?
Billington: President Duterte has been quite clear as to his reasons for wanting to end his nation's dependence on the US. He refers to the slaughter of Philippine Moros during the US takeover of the Philippines in the early 20th Century as the ultimate cause of the continuing insurgency in his home province of Mindanao. He refers to the failure of the US to grant actual independence to the Philippines in 1946, as had been intended by Franklin Roosevelt, and instead keeping economic chains on the country. He refers to the US use of his country as a military base for the illegal and criminal war against Vietnam, and even getting Philippine soldiers to join that war. He refers to the US-orchestrated coup against Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, resulting in the shutdown of the Marcos development policies, turning the Philippines from the leading nation in Southeast Asia into an impoverished and hungry country. He refers to the exploitation of the nation’s raw materials without allowing the infrastructure development necessary to build a modern nation. He refers to the illegal EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) of 2014 which allows the US to set up bases across the country without the Senate's approval, despite the fact that the Constitution demands it. He notes that the purpose of the EDCA deployment of forces is to confront China, for no reason, since China is no threat to the Philippines and the issues over sovereignty in the South China Sea can only be solved amicably through negotiation, as he is now demonstrating.
He also issued a powerful indictment against Obama, Bush, Tony Blair and their cohorts for the crimes against humanity in the Mideast wars of aggression against Iraq, Libya and Syria. That indictment, of course, has been excluded from all western press. It has been transcribed by EIR for publication in the EIR, at http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2016/2016_40-49/2016-44/pdf/37-39_4344.pdf along with an article on Duterte's China visit, at http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2016/2016_40-49/2016-44/pdf/34-36_4344.pdf
Tasnim: According to local media reports, hundreds of Filipino activists and indigenous citizens have recently staged protests in capital, Manila, to call for the withdrawal of US troops from the Southeast Asian country. The US deployed about 1,200 special forces to Mindanao in 2002 for what it called training and advising Philippine military units fighting local militants. The program was halted in 2015, but a number of US soldiers remain there. What do the Philippine people think of US military presence in their country?
Billington: The Special Forces in Mindanao were intended to counter China, not to aid the Philippines in combatting the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group, one of the many terrorists groups spawned by the US in Afghanistan to counter the Russian war on terror in that country in the 1980s.
The demonstrations against the US military presence, sponsored by the leftist Bayan organization, were relatively small in size, but were not only aimed at the US Special Forces still in Mindanao, but also those now moving into the bases approved by President Aquino's EDCA deal with Obama. That is by far the more important issue, as the only purpose of the EDCA deal is to use the Philippines as an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" in Obama's confrontation and possible war with China. Duterte knows this, and repeatedly says that they are not needed "because there will be no war" between his country and China.
Tasnim: US President Barack Obama back in early September canceled a planned meeting with his Filipino counterpart after the latter insulted him with vulgar language. The two leaders were scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the 28th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. However, hours later, a US spokesman announced the cancellation of the meeting after Duterte lashed out at Obama for wading into his campaign against drugs. Why did Duterte use vulgar terms to describe Obama?
Billington: Actually, the cuss words were not aimed at anyone, it is just the way he talks. Note that on Thursday he told the press that God had called on him to stop cussing, and that he would indeed stop.
Obama's refusal to meet Duterte, and in general his denunciation of what he and the western press and political leadership calls the "extra-judicial killings" of drug lords, is particularly disgusting in my view due to the fact that Obama is overseeing the biggest Opium War against the world, including his own country, since the British Opium Wars against China in the 19th Century. Obama has ordered his Justice Department not to jail the bankers who have been caught laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in drug money, including HSBC, Citi Group and others, but only to pay fines and continue with their crimes. Meanwhile, the US is suffering the most massive heroin epidemic in its history, and the mass destruction of our youth with Heroin and other drugs, while Obama is openly working to legalize drugs. This is a crime against humanity of massive proportions. Duterte is in fact proving to the world that drugs can be stopped, and the youth saved from menticide, by a no-compromise approach. Obama's professed outrage is not only hypocritical given his own crimes -- including his illegal wars and his weekly delight in making up a list to be killed by drones each week, with no "due process" -- but must also be seen as a defense of the western banking system, which has become dependent on the huge flow of drug money.
Tasnim: Later, Duterte denied insulting Obama. He said his remarks were not directed at Obama but at the US State Department, which has raised concerns over potential human rights violations in Duterte’s anti-crime campaign. "I got really angry about these threats over this human rights issue. This is the fault of the crazy people in the State Department,” he said. Duterte said he had clarified his comments to Obama when they met in Laos at the ASEAN summit. What is your take on this?
Billington: Duterte has distinguished between Secretary of State John Kerry, on the one hand, and Obama and his henchmen on the other. Kerry advised Duterte to talk to the Chinese, to solve the South China Sea issues peacefully through dialogue, even as the White house and the Defense Department were preparing for war against China.
As he has said repeatedly, he is not against economic and social cooperation with the US, and welcomes US investment, but that he will not allow his country to be dictated to, nor to be used to confront China or any other country. He noted that if the US would offer investments in infrastructure of the sort being offered by China as part of China's global "Silk Road" process for win-win cooperation, he would welcome it.
While Duterte does not address the financial panic spreading through the western financial system, it is important to note that US war preparations against Russia and China have nothing to do with the so-called "aggression" of those two nations, but rather the perceived threat of the new development paradigm for the entire world represented by the BRICS, the AIIB, the One Belt One Road Silk Road projects, and so on. The British and their asset Obama will risk global nuclear war and the end of civilization rather than allow this new paradigm to undermine their unipolar world order.