Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Philippines' Duterte is a bloody tyrant in the mold of Stalin

It is fair to call Rodrigo Duterte a bloody tyrant

To be clear, the president of the Philippine Islands, Rodrigo Duterte, will not give up power in five years -- or 50 years. The reason is plain: As part of his "War on Drugs," the Philippine president is sending death squads out to kill anyone even suspected of drug trafficking. It just so happens that many of those suspected of such a thing are mayors and public officials who disagree with him.

Should Rodrigo Duterte ever leave the office of the president, he will likely face criminal prosecution in the Philippines, if not in a world court.

Do not get me wrong, everyone wants the 'good guys' to win the War on Drugs. However, when the Magnetic North of trial by jury is lost then that means anyone can be accused, anyone can be murdered for the sake of what could very well be a trumped up charge. These Duterte death squads have even gone so far as to kill the wives and family members of suspected "drug kingpins."

This sounds an awful lot like a bloody purge, ala Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler. The Philippine Supreme Court has even endorsed this total lack of due process, meaning one of two things: 1. The judges of the court and their families will, themselves, be executed for a ruling against Duterte; or 2. There was never any actual juris prudence happening in the Philippines at any time in its history.

I do not care how 'conservative' someone is in their politics. When it comes to the day when death squads are randomly moving throughout the public murdering suspected drug dealers and drug users at large, without any due process, then that is the day when government has become an evil entity that requires removing.

The fact that the current U.S. Government has endorsed this way of doing things is nothing short of chilling. Have people become so cowed by technology and self-involvement that they cannot even recognize the indecency of murder in the name of accusation? I will say this, at least at the Salem Witch Trials there was a semblance of order with mock trials. Even that terrible practice has not been afforded those on Duterte's 'enemies list.'

Monday, August 7, 2017

Is Duterte ready to hand over the Philippines to China?

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has made his break with the U.S.


The Philippine Islands is one of the most tactical locations in the Pacific Ocean. During World War II, it was a strategic linchpin to recapturing the Pacific from the Japanese Navy. Whomever has control of the Philippines has a lot to say about what happens throughout the entire theater. Now to the point: Is Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte planning to allow the occupation of the Philippines by the Chinese military?

It's a good question, and here are some of the reasons to consider it: 1. Duterte rejected new grants from the European Union to protest its alleged interference with Philippine affairs, after he received more than $1 billion in pledges for development from China; 2. Inclusive of his newly minted deal with Beijing is the establishment of significant Chinese contruction and hydro companies throughout the Philippines; 3. While Duterte has scaled back U.S. military involvement in the Philippines, he has welcomed joint naval expercises between China and the Philippines, even personally welcoming a Chinese flotilla of warships to Davao, in May; 4. After saying "goodbye" to U.S. involvement in the Philippines post his landmark trade deal with China, the Philippine president welcomed both U.S. and Chinese military assistance in defeating Abu Sayef (the Chinese now being a player in the Philippines); and 5. Duterte stated decisively that it is "time to say goodbye" to the US during an October, 2016 visit to China.
Duterte has created a new era of cooperation with Beijing.

Duterte characterized the U.S. relationship with the Philippines as for the benefit of the U.S. entirely and derided former U.S. President Barack Obama as the "son of a whore." It is Duterte's position that, for too long, Philippine political decisions have been made in the West. He added, "What kept us from China was not our own making. I will charter a new course." Duterte, who is himself of Chinese extraction, also recently ceded ownership of the South China Sea to China, even after an international tribuneral found for retention of the seaway. However, Duterte stated the international tribuneral was a Western puppet of the United States. He then went on to say that the Chinese are the most powerful military and economic force in the theater.

With more than $1 billion in Chinese investment, besides from the establishment of many Chinese companies in the Philippines now, can it be believed that China would not secure its investments with military power?

Duterte has made it his practice to have long, extended periods of martial law to combat the uprising in the country's Mindinao Province. Yes, this is understandable, to an extent, because of the uprising. Yet, Duterte has, truly, chartered a new course; a course that could easily be undone by a successor in five years, though. In truth, most Filipinos would rather do business with Americans rather than the Chinese. So, the way to guard China's investment into the Philippines, and for Duterte to protect his legacy, is for him to simply not give up power at the time of the next election....maybe because of Abu Sayef...or some other group that may or may not exist.
Can the United States afford to have a Chinese-controlled Philippines?

Bear in mind, with what has already been signed between China and the Philippines, it would be perfectly legal for the Chinese military to show up to 'protect the freedoms' of the Filipinos. They could protect the investment of China and Chinese companies...and the Filipino president who opened the door for China.

Yes, the Filipino people are well known for their love of freedom and willingness to fight oppression. However, against the weight of the Chinese and Filipino military, a Filipino resistance would fail. And, let us face the fact that, unable to either pacify or extract itself from wars in Southwest Asia after more than 12 years, the U.S. military is far from the defense heavyweight it once was. No amount of wishful thinking -- or maybe even throwing money at it -- will recreate an American military that was prepared to fight and win wars. Today, the American military offers excuses about why it has not won and optimism about the future of failed campaigns -- not results. In light of that, the chances of an American military unilaterally displacing the invited Chinese military in the Philippines is small.

Perhaps the United States would have the 'legal' right to wage war should the Chinese military occupy the Philippines or become a satellite of Beijing's -- but lawyers never took an inch of ground.
Perhaps only the United States, with Russia by its side, could actually perform the miracle of beating the Chinese back from the Philippines -- except for the fact that Duterte has already made a peace treaty with Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation, which is a telling move.
I think Americans and Filipinos need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Jim Purcell is an award-winning journalist who has been recognized by, among other groups, the United States Congress and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He is a graduate of the New York Theological Seminary and is a former U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst at the XVIII Airborne Corps.