uh oh: Yup that's us at the bottom right.
Of course, a lot of people who don't know the backstory (that the CIA sprang a bad guy from jail in Davao) are aghast at Duterte's salty language criticizing President Obama for making a big thing about the deaths caused by the war on drug pushers.
Does this mean he will make nice with China?
Actually, it might mean that he is making anti American noise to keep the left quiet about the human rights abuses in his war on drugs, and also to keep the left happy while he allows the US military coming back here to their old bases.
Nationalism can be fueled by the left if the US is seen taking over again, and right now Duterte, like Trump or Brexit, is about populism vs the elite.
It is an open secret that much of the country's problems are because the elites (backed by the US) are corrupt. So yes, the US helps fight a couple hundred Abus, but they support those who are stealing millions of dollars which are supposed to help the poor, and their corruption discourages investment?
But if China thinks as "fellow Asians" they can become more popular: well, remember, the Pinoys helped the Spanish fight them off in the past (yes, the Chinese base their claim on the West Philippine sea on the fact that their pirates terrorized ships here 400 years ago). and help the Yanks against the Japs when they though the same thing.
but as Belmont club points out: only the US stands between the Philippines and China trying to take over the area.
China is not just stealing our traditional fishing grounds, but the government there is looking the other way as their drug kingpins spreads drugs, crime, and lawlessness in the Philippines.
and Obama's weak response to Chinese aggression has put up a green light for the Chinese strategy to move into the area, while apparently trying to push the Philippines around about an internal matter.
The biggest threat to the Philippines is not amphibious invasion but subversion by China. The enormous size of the Philippine drug problem is the result of the growing Chinese meth trade. The local market could never support such a titanic scale of vice. The Philippines is at risk of becoming one gigantic meth lab to feed the enormous Chinese appetite for drugs, of being to Southern China what Mexico is to the US....
Obama's framing of Duterte's drug war as a human rights problem, which it doubtless is, missed a key dimension. The drug war is the symptom of a national security problem: the narco invasion of the Philippines.
The killings are a result and not the cause in themselves of the problem. And now that the diplomatic breach has opened the door to Chinese subversion on an unprecedented scale with incalculable consequences to regional security it is likely to get worse.
The MB says the remarks made Duterte popular at the ASEAN meeting, but wryly comments that it didn't give him enough power to pressure them to condemn China's sealane aggression.
so would China invade the Philippines? Discussion here at National Interest.
But China is also pushing around India, VietNam, Indonesia, Japan and Korea. Japan sent us some boats and India just sent VietNam some anti ship missiles.
The real danger is a "wag the dog" scenerio, where China will use a small war to distract people from their very real economic problems.
with a weak President Obama, China is pushing into the breach, so that their island military bases are complete before the new president takes over (PhilInquirer story today: US official backs China against Philippines claim they are building an island so they can have a military base140 miles from Luzon... who do you believe? the US or
Hillary would probably be a problem, but if Trump get in, he will be seen as a wild card, similar to when Reagan got elected....
so things could change....
and the discussion ignores one major area: Pakistan has nukes and a military that backs Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and northern India.
write your own fantasy about World War III.