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Category Archives: Politics/Geopolitics

Duterte Cancels Joint U.S.-Philippine Naval Patrols in South China Sea, and Turns to Russia, China for Military Arms

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Sept. 13, 2016 (EIRNS)–Philippines President Duterte continues his clear-headed dismantling of Obama’s military impositions on his country, implemented under the willing tool President Aquino. Following Duterte’s declaration on Monday that all remaining U.S. Special Forces in Mindanao must leave (the U.S. has not yet received such an official order), he has now announced the cancellation of Obama’s deal with Aquino to carry out provocative joint naval patrols of “contested waters” in the South China Sea.

“We will not join any expedition or patrolling the sea. I will not allow it, because I do not want my country to be in involved in a hostile act,” Duterte said in a speech during the 48th anniversary of the 250th Philippine Airlift Wing at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, as reported in the {Philippines Inquirer}.

“I just want to patrol our territorial waters,” he said. “We do not go into a patrol or join any other army from now, because I do not want trouble,” Duterte said. “I do not want to ride gung-ho style there with China or with America. I just want to patrol our territorial waters. Territory is limited to the 12-mile limit. That is ours.”

Bloomberg reported that Duterte, in a televised speech Tuesday before military officers in Manila, said that two unidentified countries had agreed to give the Philippines a 25-year soft loan to buy military equipment. But he also announced that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and technical people in the armed forces would visit China and Russia “and see what’s best.”

Reiterating his insistence that the Philippines would not engage in military provocations with the U.S. against China, he said the Philippines needs propeller-driven planes that it can use against insurgents and to fight terrorists in Mindanao. He said he wanted to buy arms “where they are cheap and where there are no strings attached, and it is transparent. I don’t need jets, F-16 — that’s of no use to us. We don’t intend to fight any country.”

WAPO Geopolitical Threat: Stop Duterte, or China Wins Asia

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Sept. 6, 2016 (EIRNS)–In an article by Emily Rauhala, a {Washington Post} China correspondent, titled “The son of whore story is about so much more than Duterte’s dirty mouth,” the WAPO puts out a warning in stark terms: If Philippines President Duterte is not eliminated, China will “win.”

This geopolitical hysteria should be taken seriously. Obama yesterday cancelled the scheduled meeting with Duterte after Duterte made clear that the Philippines is no longer a US colony, that nothing will stop his committemnt to crush the drug trade which is killing his nation’s youth, and that if Obama were to carry out his threat to lecture Duterte on extra judicial killings of drug lords, Duterte would challange him on the U.S. extrajudicial killings both in the U.S. and around the world — and would cuss him out.

Rauhala writes that there is a “potent strain of anti-U.S. sentiment that could shift the balance of power in the South China Sea. The Philippines is a former U.S. colony. About 25 years ago, Filipino politicians fought to expel U.S. forces, promising to free the country from foreign domination. Now, with China pressing its claims to most of the South China Sea, some — but not all — want U.S. forces back. An agreement backed by former president Benigno Aquino III, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, or EDCA, would place more U.S. ships at Philippine ports…. Duterte’s insults may seem trivial, but when they lead to the cancellation of high-level U.S.-Philippine meetings, leaving the door open for China, they are not.”

China’s Navy Chief Demands U.S. Stop Provocations

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Nov. 20 (EIRNS)–China’s People’s Liberation Army naval commander Wu Shengli, meeting Wednesday in Shanghai with Admiral Scott Swift, head of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told him directly that the U.S. must stop the provocations in the South China Sea. The Chinese navy, he said, “bearing the bigger picture of bilateral ties in mind,” had exercised “maximum restraint” in the face of U.S. provocations, Xinhua reports today. Adm. Wu urged the U.S. to cherish the “good development” of ties between the countries, and “control” its maritime military operations. He commended Admiral Swift’s welcome visit to China as a sign that both sides attach great importance to the development and maintaining of the new type of major-country and military relations between the two sides, Xinhua said.

But, he added, “The U.S. conduct does not contribute to peace and stability in the South China Sea whatsoever. The U.S. cannot impose its own claims on other nations. It cannot sabotage other nations’ sovereignty and security.” He called the island-building by China “sensible, reasonable and legitimate,” adding that Chinese and U.S. navies should view their differences rationally, and avoid “situations of exigency.”

Admiral Swift, Xinhua reported, said the U.S. navy does not want the South China Sea to become an issue disrupting ties between the two sides, expressing hope that the two navies could maintain high-level exchanges and hold more joint drills.

Obama to Try Again at ASEAN in Malaysia–Same Result Likely as at APEC in the Philippines

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Nov. 20 (EIRNS)–Obama is now in Kuala Lumpur for the ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit (EAS). He spoke at a Town Hall meeting, boasting that the subject of the summits would be world terrorism and Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.

The likely reality, however, is that he will get the same result as at the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ meeting at the beginning of November, where ASEAN ministers rejected Obama’s demand (delivered by Defense Seecretary Ash Carter) to include an attack on China in the final communiqué.

Malaysia, responsible for preparing a draft for the final communiqué of the ASEAN Summit, has again left out any mention of the South China Sea. While Obama may have felt compelled to keep quiet at the just completed APEC meeting (since it is explicitly intended as an economic forum), he is hell bent on getting his way in Malaysia.

Even on trade, Obama was essentially snubbed at the APEC meeting. While he focused on the progress in the TPP, calling on other nations (except China, of course) to join, the final communiqué reflected the dominent attitude of the Asian nations, that “We reiterate our belief that the FTAAP should be pursued as a comprehensive free trade agreement by building on ongoing regional undertakings.” FTAAP, the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, is an inclusive, fair-trade deal, unlike TPP. The communiqué only “noted” the initial passage of the TPP, but “encouraged” both the FTAAP and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a China-sponsored agreement among Asian nations only.

Sen. Kit Tatad Greeted Obama in Manila with a Blast from Helga Zepp-LaRouche

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Nov. 18, 2015 (EIRNS)– Former Philippine Senator Kit Tatad issued a scathing attack on Obama and fullsome praise of Putin and Xi Jinping in this morning’s Manila Times, the first day of the APEC Summit, quoting directly from the Press Club event featuring Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Senator Mike Gravel on Oct. 27. The op-ed is titled: “Let President Xi tell us about the new Silk Road,”

“So the Aquino government is determined to splurge ten billion pesos on the APEC Economic Leaders Summit and all its related lower-level meetings. At the same time, private firms are to be bled white by the forced shutdown of their operations and the cancellation of hundreds of international and domestic flights during the main event. Nothing could be more absurd and bizarre, but it could soon turn tragic if most of the summiteers fail to realize that inclusive economic growth, which they saucily long for, won’t happen unless the global casino economy is replaced by a new paradigm.

A new paradigm

Indeed, the world needs not just a paste-up job, but a new paradigm. No significant intervention has occurred since Lehman Brothers, with assets of over $600 billion, declared bankruptcy in 2008. None since the most vulnerable European economies began to flounder. None since Iraq and Libya lost their unwanted governments. Bail-outs in Wall Street and bail-ins in Europe saved the big banks but not the small depositors. Since 2008, the too-big-to-fail banks grew bigger by 40-80 percent, and enlarged their derivatives debt contracts to up to $2 quadrillion, said the founder of Schiller Institute Helga Zepp-Larouche in a recent address at the National Press Club in Washington.

There are no more tools in the toolbox of the financial institutions, Zepp-LaRouche said. So chaos could soon break out. For some international players, chaos, more precisely war, is the solution. They have invested so much in stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, including thermonuclear weapons with the capacity to kill the entire human population 20 times over, that they seem obliged to consider using them, regardless of the cost or consequence. But war can only translate into death and destruction [in] our clearly civilizational crisis.

The solution has to be something moral, social, political and economic. Mankind must recover from the global blurring of fundamental moral principles, the clashing political agendas and ambitions of men and nations, and the utter bankruptcy of the global economic system. The overindulgence of our sexual appetites, the unfettered desire by an unaccountable elite to impose their own ethic upon the rest, the resultant divide that sets apart the one percent at the top from the ninety-nine percent at the bottom of the pyramid — not these, but the opposite of these, are the pillars upon which our future civilization should be built.

Who will teach whom?

Which nation, and which leader of what nation, will drive home this point? And who has the best credentials to do it?

The United States, according to the renowned social-work educator Paul Adams in a book on social justice with Michael Novak and Elizabeth Shaw, was the first to lift a large majority of its poor (largely immigrants) out of poverty within a generation, and to keep on doing so. The United States was, as it were, the laboratory for how underdeveloped peoples break through the chains of centuries of poverty. It was the first developing nation. No one could argue against this.

US vis-a-vis China

But the record has shifted since. In the last seventy years since its founding, the United Nations, according to President Obama, has raised more than a billion poor people to the middle class. But it was former US Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska, who has pointed out in a paper he filed before our Supreme Court,that more than half of that number — 600 million, twice the total population of the United States — were Chinese. It happened within a little more than one generation or three decades; by adopting free-market capitalism while remaining communist, China — and not the United Nations — did it.

Poverty in the US

Today in the United States, by Zepp-La Rouches own reckoning, at least seven (7) percent of the population live in extreme poverty; some 21 percent have no access to sufficient food; 95 million have lost their jobs; and 104 million who are eligible cannot find jobs. In Europe, one-third of all the youth are unemployed; in the south of Europe alone, 60 percent are unemployed….

60 million refugees

Yet there is a new class of people whose problem is worse than sheer poverty. Many of them drown at the Mediterranean trying to flee the war, hunger, ethnic strife, unemployment in their own countries. These are the refugees….

Most powerful in history

But some leaders seem to be more concerned with projecting military might rather than manifesting compassion for the excluded and the marginalized. In his address to the 70th UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015, Obama left the world gobsmacked when he said: “I lead the strongest military that the world has ever known, and will never hesitate to protect my country or our allies, unilaterally and by force where necessary.”…

As if to make sure that nobody missed this point, the US guided missile destroyer USS Lassen reportedly sailed within 12 nautical miles of one of the China-built land formations in the Spratlys while the Asean defense chiefs were meeting in Kuala Lumpur, together with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and his Chinese counterpart, Chang Wanquan.

Putin in contrast

Addressing the same UN General Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin took a different path. He decried the aggressive foreign interference that has resulted in a flagrant destruction of institutions and peoples lifestyle itself. Violence, poverty and social disaster have marred the growth of democracy and progress; “nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life,” Putin said. In the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere, anarchy areas have been created, which are now filled with extremists and terrorists, he added.

As though in anticipation of the Nov. 13 terrorist attack in Paris, which left over a hundred people dead and more than two hundred wounded, and prompted the Hollande government to declare a state of emergency, Putin proposed the creation of a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism. He promised that under Russia’s chairmanship, the UN Security Council would convene a ministerial meeting to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the threats in the Middle East and seek to coordinate all actions against the Islamic extremists.

He proposed to restore government institutions in Libya, support a new government in Iraq, and provide comprehensive assistance to the legitimate government in Syria. And he asked that the international community now live without dividing lines, build on transparent and jointly formulated rules, including WTO principles stipulating the freedom of trade and investment and open competition, harmonize regional economic projects to promote the integration of integrations.

Finally, he offered a vision of the Eurasian Economic Union interconnecting with Chinas new Silk Road Economic Belt project to create a new development paradigm for the 21st century.

Xi Jinpings new Silk Road

The unexplained crash of a Russian passenger plane which killed all 224 passengers at Egypts Sinai Peninsula on Oct. 31 has prevented Putin from coming to Manila. But Chinas President Xi Jinping will be here. He should be encouraged to talk about China’s vision for the world economy. Supported by Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa which, together with itself, constitute the relatively new economic bloc called BRICS, China has defined a 30-year vision to unite the worlds economies through high-speed railroads, roads and other fiber optic communications across the Eurasian land mass of Russia from western China to Europe, extending all the way north into the Scandinavian countries and South into Iran and the Arab countries. Its maritime component seeks to build efficient ports in strategic places to enhance the development of world trade.

The new bloc represents a power center based on economic growth, and above all, on leading-edge technology, including, for now, the exploration of the Moon to bring back to Earth large quantities of helium-3 for the future economy of thermonuclear.