If you are wondering why you are reading so much about the Mulatto Girlfriend from hell reporting her boyfriend doesn't like blacks, well, maybe it's because Obama's trip to Asia is a bust.
Not only did he diss the Japanese, but now he has told the Philippines that our mutual defense treaty doesn't mean anything (essentially he is giving a green light to China to take the west Philippine sea from the Philippines, Vietnam etc. despite international laws that mandate against it).
The questions were embarrassing because they reflected our mendicant mentality and our fantasy about America. But they had to be asked because many Filipinos wanted to hear from the leader of the world's superpower that he will take care of us if we get clobbered by a neighborhood enemy that is the world’s number two superpower.
ah, but the dirty little secret is that if China claims land right off the coast of the Philippines, and if no one opposes them, they not only could steal the potential natural gas resources, but could block important sea lanes.
But never mind. Obama apparently doesn't know anything about sea lanes either.
WTF? uh, sea lanes? SEA LANES?
In answer to a question from reporters accompanying him about the situation in Ukraine and the perceived weakness of his foreign policy,Obama gave a reply that is applicable to the armed conflict scenario in the Spratlys:” My job as Commander-in-Chief is to look at what is it that is going to advance our security interests over the long-term. To keep our military in reserve to where we absolutely need them.”
Japan is aware of this.
LNG shipments through the South China Sea constitute two-thirds of the world's overall LNG trade. Japan is the recipient of the bulk of these shipments; in 1996 Japan was dependent upon LNG for over 11% of its total energy supplies. South Korea (over 7% of energy consumption) and Taiwan (over 4% of energy consumption) also import large amounts of LNG via the South China Sea.
The other major shipping lane in the region uses the Lombok and Makassar Straits, and continues into the Philippine Sea. Except for north-south traffic from Australia, it is not used as extensively as the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea, since for most voyages it represents a longer voyage by several hundred miles.
nope, no strategic security there, folks, just move on.
update: I should note that our print edition of the Manila Bulletin quotes Obama's speech to military types lauding the alliance, and the headlines suggest he would indeed defend the Philippines..
And the Inquirer has the same story
he really makes them smile, doesn't he...
I guess it depends on what the meaning of "is" is....
I had to laugh at the headlines about the small protests. Less than a thousand communist protesters, (who are worried the US will recamp here and help kill the NPA instead of the Abus) get all the headlines, but this is a very tiny protest: heck, thousands protest all the time, and church rallies gather up to a million people.
and Obama did sign a "defense pact"..
but it's actually about the Philippines letting the US "train" them, and getting bases (that last part is denied). Full details pending.
Nevertheless, the mutual defense pact does not specifically state that the United States must come to the Philippines’ defense over remote islets and reefs in the South China Sea.
Obama made no mention of the hotspots when referring to the mutual defense pact, but did again call on China to not use intimidatory tactics to assert its claims.
in other words, no red line here.